Cpl. Rudy Hernandez fought in the Korean War and was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1952..
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -
Cpl. Rudy Hernandez, who fought in the Korean War and was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1952, has died at Womack Army Medical Center. He was 82.
An official at Rogers and Breece Funeral Home in Fayetteville said he was notified by the family of Hernandez's death on Saturday. The Fayetteville Observer reports he had been diagnosed recently with cancer and several other ailments.
His last public appearance was in the Fayetteville Veterans Day parade. Hernandez was considered a fixture at veterans events around the city.
Hernandez and other soldiers of Company G, 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team were in foxholes during a North Korean assault. As the rest of his platoon retreated after nearly running out of ammunition, Hernandez and his foxhole mate held their position and kept firing. Hernandez suffered a shrapnel wound to his head.
When he finally left his position, Hernandez charged the enemy armed only with a grenade and a rifle with a fixed bayonet. It stopped the enemy advance and sparked a counterattack.
The morning after the attack, Hernandez was pronounced dead after being found lying among the bodies of six North Korean soldiers who had been killed by bayonet. When a soldier saw a slight movement of Hernandez's hand, medics began frantically trying to save his life.
Hernandez couldn't talk for months following his injuries and had to relearn to walk. Part of his body remained paralyzed.
In August, Fort Bragg's Warrior Transition Battalion Complex was rededicated in his name.