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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
Carlos Lozada.JPG
PFC Carlos Lozada
Born(1946-09-06)September 6, 1946
Caguas, Puerto Rico
DiedNovember 20, 1967(1967-11-20) (aged 21)
Dak To, Republic of Vietnam
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchEmblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service1966–1967
RankArmy-USA-OR-03.svg Private First Class
Unit503 Infantry, Co. A, 2nd Battalion
Battles/warsVietnam War
AwardsMedal of Honor ribbon.svg Medal of Honor
Purple Heart ribbon.svg Purple Heart

Contents

Early yearsEdit

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.[1][2]

Vietnam WarEdit

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.[1][2]

Lozada was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in December 1969, for distinguishing himself in the Battle of Dak To.

Medal of Honor citationEdit

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to:
LOZADA, CARLOS JAMES
Rank and organization:Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 2d Battalion, 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade.
Place and date: Dak To, Republic of Vietnam, November 20, 1967.
Entered service at: New York, N.Y.
Born: September 6, 1946, Caguas, Puerto Rico.
Citation:
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.[3]

In memoryEdit

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.[1][2]

Military decorations awardedEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Puerto Rico Hearld Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b c "Carlos Lozada". Hall of Valor. Military Times. Retrieved September 6, 2010.
  3. ^ "Medal of Honor citation". Retrieved October 5, 2010.

Further readingEdit

  • Puertorriquenos Who Served With Guts, Glory, and Honor. Fighting to Defend a Nation Not Completely Their Own; by : Greg Boudonck; ISBN 978-1497421837

External linksEdit