Jose M Lopez
Boxer, Machine Gunner, Medal of Honor Recipient
Jose Lopez gunned down over 100 German troops with his heavy machine gun in a single action during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944. Placing himself as a rear guard in a fox hole that was too shallow, he reloaded three times as artillery shells exploded around him and kept firing. Moving to catch up with his infantry division, he again covered them from the German attack while wounded, reloading his heavy machine gun while lying on his back. His actions allowed his company to escape and saved many lives.
Before the war, Jose was a boxer known as Kid Mendoza and sparred in Australia where he first joined the Merchant Marines. Later in life, he was mistakenly called up for active duty to Korea and was eager to participate until President Truman corrected the mistake. Jose was also given Mexico's highest award Condecoración al Mérito Militar for his service. He lived in Mission, Texas married to his wife of 62 years. He died a year after his wife in 2005 at age 94.
He started his life as an orphan: He ended his life in the halls of the Valorous.
El Valor esta en ti: Liberalo