Carlos James Lozada (September 6, 1946 – November 20, 1967) was a member of the United States Army who was one of nine Puerto Ricans who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for their actions in combat.
Carlos James Lozada
PFC Carlos Lozada
|Born||September 6, 1946|
Caguas, Puerto Rico
|Died||November 20, 1967 (aged 21)|
Dak To, Republic of Vietnam
|Place of burial|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Army|
|Years of service||1966–1967|
|Rank||Private First Class|
|Unit||503 Infantry, Co. A, 2nd Battalion|
|Awards|| Medal of Honor|
Lozada was born in Caguas, Puerto Rico. His family moved to New York City in the early 1950s. They settled in the Bronx section of the city, where Lozada received both his primary and secondary education. He graduated from high school in 1966 and soon married. Lozada then joined the Army, intending to use his G.I. benefits to attend college after his term of service.
The United States at that time was involved in the Vietnam War and on June 11, 1967, Lozada was sent to Vietnam and assigned to Co. A, 2nd Battalion, 503 Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade.
On November 20, 1967, at Dak To in the Republic of Vietnam, PFC Lozada spotted a North Vietnamese Army company rapidly approaching his outpost. He alerted his comrades and opened fire with a machine gun, killing at least twenty of the enemy soldiers and disrupting their initial attack. He realized that if he abandoned his position there would be nothing to hold back the surging North Vietnamese soldiers and that his entire company withdrawal would be jeopardized – as a result he told his comrades to move to the back and that he would supply cover for them. He continued to deliver a heavy and accurate volume of suppressive fire against the enemy until he was mortally wounded and had to be carried during the withdrawal.
Medal of Honor citationEdit
- For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Lozada, U.S. Army, distinguished himself at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty in the battle of Dak To. While serving as a machine gunner with 1st platoon, Company A, Pfc. Lozada was part of a 4-man early warning outpost, located 35 meters from his company's lines. At 1400 hours a North Vietnamese Army company rapidly approached the outpost along a well-defined trail. Pfc. Lozada alerted his comrades and commenced firing at the enemy who were within 10 meters of the outpost. His heavy and accurate machinegun fire killed at least 20 North Vietnamese soldiers and completely disrupted their initial attack. Pfc. Lozada remained in an exposed position and continued to pour deadly fire upon the enemy despite the urgent pleas of his comrades to withdraw. The enemy continued their assault, attempting to envelop the outpost. At the same time enemy forces launched a heavy attack on the forward west flank of Company A with the intent to cut them off from their battalion. Company A was given the order to withdraw. Pfc. Lozada apparently realized that if he abandoned his position there would be nothing to hold back the surging North Vietnamese soldiers and that the entire company withdrawal would be jeopardized. He called for his comrades to move back and that he would stay and provide cover for them. He made this decision realizing that the enemy was converging on 3 sides of his position and only meters away, and a delay in withdrawal meant almost certain death. Pfc. Lozada continued to deliver a heavy, accurate volume of suppressive fire against the enemy until he was mortally wounded and had to be carried during the withdrawal. His heroic deed served as an example and an inspiration to his comrades throughout the ensuing 4-day battle. Pfc. Lozada's actions are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
PFC Lozada was buried with full military honors in Long Island National Cemetery located in Farmingdale, New York. His name is located in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Panel 30E-Row 045. His name is also inscribed in "El Monumento de la Recordación" (Monument of Remembrance), dedicated to Puerto Rico's fallen soldiers and situated in front of the Capitol Building in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Bronx honored him by naming a playground in his honor located behind 175 Willis Ave. On November 11, 2008, the Government of Puerto Rico unveiled in the Capitol Rotunda the oil portrait of PFC Carlos James Lozada.
Military decorations awardedEdit
|Medal of Honor||Purple Heart|
|National Defense Service Medal||Vietnam Service Medal with one bronze service star||Vietnam Campaign Medal|