On a cold winter day in Belgium in 1945, Sgt. Jose Lopez, a native of Mission, Texas, saved his entire company, which was surrounded by enemy troops. Under intense tank and artillery fire, Lopez manned a heavy machine gun by himself, holding off two groups of Germans and protecting his badly outnumbered company.

Then for a second time, the Germans tried to outflank his company, forcing him to move his machine gun to a more favorable defensive position. He momentarily blown over by the concussion from enemy fire, but soon reset his gun and continued his Sgt. Jose Lopezdeadly and effective fire. As his company was pulling back, Lopez held off the Germans yet again, continuing to fire the machine gun, amidst a hail of enemy fire. Lopez remained at his position, firing until his ammunition was exhausted. At this point he returned to his company and they withdrew successfully, were reinforced and then returned to successfully repel the German advance.