Pfc. Anthony T. Kaho'ohanohano and Pfc. Henry Svehla
Korean War heroes Pfc. Anthony T. Kaho'ohanohano (left) and Pfc. Henry Svehla (right).

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 13, 2011) -- The White House announced Wednesday evening that the president will present the nation's highest award for valor to the families of two Korean War heroes.

A White House ceremony is scheduled for May 2, to award Medals of Honor to recognize the bravery of Army Pfc. Anthony T. Kaho'ohanohano and Pfc. Henry Svehla. Their actions ultimately cost them their lives, yet saved countless others and inspired their comrades to fight on against overwhelming odds.

Kaho'ohanohano displayed extraordinary heroism near Chopra-Ri, Korea, Sept. 1, 1951, while assigned to Company H, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Because of the enemy's overwhelming numbers, friendly troops were forced to execute a limited withdrawal. As the men fell back, Kaho'ohanohano ordered his squad to take up more defensible positions and provided covering fire for them.

Although painfully wounded in the shoulder during the initial enemy assault, Kaho'ohanohano gathered a supply of grenades and ammunition and returned to his original position to face the enemy alone. Kaho'ohanohano delivered deadly accurate fire into the ranks of the onrushing enemy. When his ammunition was depleted, he engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat until he was killed.

Svehla distinguished himself June 12, 1952, near Pyongony, Korea, while serving as a rifleman with Company F, 32d Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. During intense enemy automatic weapons and small fire, Svehla leapt to his feet and charged the enemy positions, firing his weapon and throwing grenades as he advanced. He inflicted heavy casualties.

Fragments from a mortar round exploding nearby wounded Svehla seriously in the face. Despite his wounds, he refused medical treatment and continued to lead the attack. He was mortally wounded when an enemy grenade landed near him.

Those who receive the Medal of Honor must display "conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty."

Pfc. Kaho'ohanohano's surviving family members include his sister Elaine Kaho'ohanohano, his brother Eugene Kaho'ohanohano, and his nephew George Kaho'ohanohano of Hawaii.

Pfc. Svehla's surviving family members include his sister Dorothy Mathews of Texas, his sister Sylvia Svehla, and his nephew Anthony Svehla of New Jersey.

Page last updated Wed April 13th, 2011 at 00:00