Silvestre S. Herrera. Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

Private First Class Silvestre S. Herrera, Company E., 142nd Infantry Regiment, 36th Division, received the Congressional Medal of Honor, European Theater World War II, from President Truman in 1945. (War Department Citation, G.O. No. 75, 5 September 1945.)

Silvestre S. Herrera was born in El Paso, July 17, 1917. He was married to Ramona. They had three children, Mary, Elva, and Silvestre. All lived in Phoenix. Herrera worked as a farm worker in El Paso. He enlisted in the Army on January 13, 1944. Later in March 15, 1945, Pvt. First Class Herrera advanced with a platoon on a wooded road near Mertzwiller, France, until their platoon was challenged by heavy enemy machine gun fire. Herrera captured eight enemy soldiers after he made a one man frontal attack on a strong point. Further on, the platoon came under fire a second time from an emplacement beyond an extensive minefield. Again, Private Herrera advanced, disregarding the dangerous


possibility of exploding mines, to attack the position. Unfortunately, he stepped on a mine and lost both feet; but he continued firing to keep the enemy pinned down, allowing meanwhile, a squad to skirt the minefield and to capture the enemy machinegun emplacement from the flank. (War Department Citation, G.O. No. 16, 8 February 1946.)

The Honorable Silvestre S. Herrera received many honors and recognitions: Arizona Governor Sidney P. Osborn declared August 14, 1945 to be "HERRERA DAY" to welcome home Pfc. Silvestre S. Herrera; an elementary school was named after him; Valle Del Sol, Inc. recognized him with a Special Recognition Award in 1994, and with a Hall of Fame award in 1999.