There are six Medals awarded for actions on this day, one of them posthumous. They are from two wars, three fights that occurred during the Indian Campaigns and World War II.
Indian Campaigns. A very small skirmish, but one that looms large to the locals.
HEYL, CHARLES H.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, 23d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: Near Fort Hartsuff, Nebr., 28 April 1876. Entered service at: Camden, N.J. Birth: Philadelphia, Pa. Date of issue: 26 October 1897. Citation: Voluntarily, and with most conspicuous gallantry, charged with 3 men upon 6 Indians who were entrenched upon a hillside.
LEONARD, PATRICK T.
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 23d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: Near Fort Hartsuff, Nebr., 28 April 1876. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ireland. Date of issue: 26 August 1876. Citation: Gallantry in charge on hostile Sioux.
LYTTON, JEPTHA L.
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company A, 23d U.S. Infantry. Place and date: Near Fort Hartsuff, Nebr., 28 April 1876. Entered service at:——. Birth: Lawrence County, Ind. Date of issue: 26 August 1876. Citation: Gallantry in charge on hostile Sioux.
World War II. Private Minue charges machineguns, alone, bayonet fixed. Private Ruiz, sans the bayonet, does pretty much the same thing, albeit with a happier outcome for himself.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company A, 6th Armored Infantry, 1st Armored Division. Place and date: Near MedjezelBab, Tunisia, 28 April 1943. Entered service at: Carteret, N.J. Birth: Sedden, Poland. G.O. No.: 24, 25 March 1944. Citation: For distinguishing himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the loss of his life above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy on 28 April 1943, in the vicinity of MedjezelBab, Tunisia. When the advance of the assault elements of Company A was held up by flanking fire from an enemy machinegun nest, Pvt. Minue voluntarily, alone, and unhesitatingly, with complete disregard of his own welfare, charged the enemy entrenched position with fixed bayonet. Pvt. Minue assaulted the enemy under a withering machinegun and rifle fire, killing approximately 10 enemy machinegunners and riflemen. After completely destroying this position, Pvt. Minue continued forward, routing enemy riflemen from dugout positions until he was fatally wounded. The courage, fearlessness and aggressiveness displayed by Pvt. Minue in the face of inevitable death was unquestionably the factor that gave his company the offensive spirit that was necessary for advancing and driving the enemy from the entire sector.
RUIZ, ALEJANDRO R. RENTERIA
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 165th Infantry, 27th Infantry Division. Place and date: Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 28 April 1945. Entered service at: Carlsbad, N. Mex. Birth: Loving, N. Mex. G.O. No.: 60, 26 June 1946. Citation: When his unit was stopped by a skillfully camouflaged enemy pillbox, he displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. His squad, suddenly brought under a hail of machinegun fire and a vicious grenade attack, was pinned down. Jumping to his feet, Pfc. Ruiz seized an automatic rifle and lunged through the flying grenades and rifle and automatic fire for the top of the emplacement. When an enemy soldier charged him, his rifle jammed. Undaunted, Pfc. Ruiz whirled on his assailant and clubbed him down. Then he ran back through bullets and grenades, seized more ammunition and another automatic rifle, and again made for the pillbox. Enemy fire now was concentrated on him, but he charged on, miraculously reaching the position, and in plain view he climbed to the top. Leaping from 1 opening to another, he sent burst after burst into the pillbox, killing 12 of the enemy and completely destroying the position. Pfc. Ruiz’s heroic conduct, in the face of overwhelming odds, saved the lives of many comrades and eliminated an obstacle that long would have checked his unit’s advance.
And a new one, for Korea. Negron’s’ award was made in 2014, resulting from a review of awards for possibly having been downgraded due to racial prejudice. The abbreviated citation is not unusual with those awards.
NEGRON, JUAN E.
Then-Sgt. Juan E. Negron distinguished himself on April 28, 1951, for actions near Kalma-Eri, Korea. Negron held the most vulnerable position on his company’s exposed right flank after an enemy force had overrun a section of the line. He held the position throughout the night, accurately hurling hand grenades at short range when hostile troops approached his position.
*Asterisk indicates posthumous award.