Baldonado, Joe Rodriguez, Cpl

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
4745-Light Weapons Infantryman
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1950-1950, 4745, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry (Airborne), 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team
Service Years
1950 - 1950


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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSG Clentis Turnbow-Deceased to remember Baldonado, Joe Rodriguez, Cpl.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Santa Clara
Last Address
Santa Clara

Casualty Date
Nov 25, 1950
Hostile, Died
Multiple Fragmentation Wounds
Korea, North
Korean War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
MH 644

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Medal of Honor RecipientsThe National Purple Heart Hall of HonorKorean War FallenCongressional Medal Of Honor Society
  1950, Medal of Honor Recipients [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  1950, The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor [Verified]
  1950, Korean War Fallen
  2014, Congressional Medal Of Honor Society [Verified]

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 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team
  1950-1950, 4745, 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry (Airborne), 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1950-1950 Korean War
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Medal of Honor awardee Joe R. Baldonado was born in Colorado, Aug. 28, 1930.

He joined the U.S. Army as a light weapons infantryman (parachutist) during the Korean War.

Baldonado distinguished himself on Nov. 25, 1950, while serving as a machine-gunner in the vicinity of Kangdong, Korea. Baldonado's platoon was occupying Hill 171 when the enemy attacked, attempting to take their position. Baldonado held an exposed position, cutting down wave after wave of enemy troops even as they targeted attacks on his position. During the final assault by the enemy, a grenade landed near Baldanado's gun, killing him instantly. His remains still have not been found.

Baldonado's acts of bravery were briefly described in a book, "Disaster in Korea: The Chinese Confront MacArthur."

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Baldonado received the Distinguished Service Cross (this award will be upgraded to the Medal of Honor on Mar. 18), Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea-Korean War Service Medal.

From the White House Press Release:

Corporal Joe R. Baldonado will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously for his courageous actions while serving as an acting machine gunner in 3d Squad, 2d Platoon, Company B, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kangdong, Korea on November 25, 1950.


moh_army.gif (14215 bytes)

The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes Pride in presenting the

Medal of Honor



Rank and organization: Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment . Place and date: Kangdong, Korea, 25 November 1950. Entered service at: Santa Clara, Calif. Born: 28 August 1930, Colo.

For acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an acting machinegunner in 3d Squad, 2d Platoon, Company B, 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment during combat operations against an armed enemy in Kangdong, Korea on 25 November 1950. On that morning, the enemy launched a strong attack in an effort to seize the hill occupied by Corporal Baldonado and his company. The platoon had expended most of its ammunition in repelling the enemy attack and the platoon leader decided to commit his 3d Squad, with its supply of ammunition, in the defensive action. Since there was no time to dig in because of the proximity of the enemy, who had advanced to within twenty-five yards of the platoon position, Corporal Baldonado emplaced his weapon in an exposed position and delivered a withering stream of fire on the advancing enemy, causing them to fall back in disorder. The enemy then concentrated all their fire on Corporal Baldonado�??s gun and attempted to knock it out by rushing the position in small groups and hurling hand grenades. Several times, grenades exploded extremely close to Corporal Baldonado but failed to interrupt his continuous firing. The hostile troops made repeated attempts to storm his position and were driven back each time with appalling casualties. The enemy finally withdrew after making a final assault on Corporal Baldonado�??s position during which a grenade landed near his gun, killing him instantly. Corporal Baldonado�??s extraordinary heroism and selflessness at the cost of his own life, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army. 

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