Medal of Honor Posthumously Awarded to Two Korean War Soldiers

Monday May 2, 2011

What is it?

The Medal of Honor is the nation's highest medal for valor in combat that can be awarded to members of the armed forces. Since the medal's creation in 1862, there have been more than 3,400 recipients; more than 2,400 of those were Soldiers.

What has the Army done?

The White House recently announced President Obama will present the Medal of Honor to the families of two Korean War Soldiers, Pfc. Henry Svehla and Pfc.. Anthony T. Kaho'ohanohano, during a White House ceremony today at 11:45 a.m.

On Sept. 1, 1951, Kaho'ohanohano displayed extraordinary heroism while assigned to Company H, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Svehla distinguished himself by demonstrating gallant courage on June 12, 1952, while serving as a rifleman with F Company, 32d Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.

What events will take place in honor of the Medal of Honor recipients?

In addition to today's ceremony at the White House, Army senior leaders will recognize Kaho'ohanohano and Svehla, their families and friends in a Pentagon ceremony at the Hall of Heroes on May 3 at 2 p.m. The families will be presented with the official picture and citation, and Medal of Honor flag. The Hall of Heroes plaque will also be unveiled.

Why is this important to the Army?

The actions of Pfc. Kaho'ohanohano and Pfc. Svehla embody the Army Values and its highest ideals. Overwhelmed by enemy forces, Kaho'ohanohano ordered his squad to retreat before gathering a supply of grenades and ammunition, and returning to his original position to face the enemy alone. When his ammunition was depleted, Kaho'ohanohano engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat until he was killed.

During a strategic patrol, Svehla's platoon was subjected to intense enemy weapons fire. Faced with defeat, Svehla leapt to his feet and charged the enemy position, firing his weapon and throwing grenades as he advanced. Svehla continued to lead the attack until he was mortally wounded after throwing himself upon an enemy grenade that landed among a group of his comrades.

Kaho'ohanohano's and Svehla's acts of valor occurred nearly 60 years ago, yet reflect the moral fiber that continues to hold our Army together today. Their selflessness, leadership and service above and beyond the call of duty exemplify why America's Army has always been--and continues to be--the strength of our nation.


Medal of Honor recipient, Pfc.. Anthony T. Kaho'ohanohano

Medal of Honor recipient, Pfc. Henry Svehla

Korean War 60th Anniversary

Related article: Korean War heroes reflect conspicuous gallantry

The United States Army Medal of Honor

Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Medal of Honor recommendation process

U.S Army Center of Military History

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