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First Name: Pedro

Last Name: Cano

Birthplace: La Morita, MX

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Date of Birth: 19 June 1920

Date of Death: 24 June 1952

Rank: Private

Years Served: 1944 - 1945
Pedro Cano

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Pedro Cano
Private, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient, World War II

Cano joined the U.S. Army in 1944, during World War II.

He is being recognized for his valorous actions in the months-long battle of Hurtgen Forest while serving with Company C, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. Cano was advancing with his company near Schevenhütte, Germany, on 2-3 December 1944, when the unit met heavy enemy resistance. During a two-day period, Cano eliminated nearly 30 enemy troops.

It was in this engagement, or shortly thereafter, that Cano sustained serious injuries. He was returned to the U.S. and placed in a Veterans hospital in Waco, TX.

Post-Military Life

After Cano was released from the hospital following treatment for the injuries that left him permanently disabled, he returned home to his wife and daughter in Edinburg, TX, and resumed his work as a farm laborer.

After repeated requests during war time to become a U.S. citizen, and being ignored by his commanding officer due to other pressing matters, Cano finally achieved his longest-lasting ambition, to become an American citizen, in May 1946.

Medals, Awards & Badges

Medal of Honor *
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart
Army Good Conduct Medal
American Theater Campaign Medal
European, African, Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Silver Service Star & Bronze Arrowhead
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Clasp
Presidential Unit Citation
Combat Infantryman Badge

He also received the Belgian Fourragere and the Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II.

* Medal of Honor

Seeking to correct potential acts of bias spanning three wars, and following a Congressionally-mandated review to ensure that eligible veterans were not bypassed due to prejudice, the Medal of Honor will be awarded to 24 Army veterans. The unusual mass ceremony, scheduled for 18 March 2014, will honor veterans, most of Hispanic or Jewish heritage, who had already received the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second-highest military award for valor. Only three of the recipients are living.

The Army conducted the review under a directive from Congress in the 2002 National Defense Authorization Act. The law required that the record of each Jewish American and Hispanic American veteran who received a Distinguished Service Cross, during or after World War II, be reviewed for possible upgrade to the Medal of Honor.

The Army reviewed the cases of the 6,505 recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross from World War II, Korea and Vietnam, and found an eligible pool of 600 soldiers who may have been Jewish or Hispanic. The Army also worked with the National Museum of American Jewish Military History, the Jewish War Veterans of the USA and the American GI Forum, the largest Hispanic-American veterans group, to pinpoint potential medal recipients. Of the 24, seven fought in World War II, nine in the Korean War, and eight in the Vietnam War.

Since the award of the Medal of Honor is an upgrade to the Distinguished Service Cross already received by PVT Cano, it is based on the valorous actions in the Citation for his DSC.

Distinguished Service Cross Citation:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Pvt. Pedro Cano, United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy, while serving with Company C, 8th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, in action against enemy forces in Germany, Dec. 2, 1944.

On that date, the infantry company with which Cano was advancing near Schevenhutte, Germany, was halted by intense enemy machine-gun fire. Armed with a rocket launcher, Cano crawled through a heavily-mined area, under a hail of fire, and reached a point within ten yards of the nearest emplacement. He fired a rocket into the position, killing the two gunners and five supporting riflemen; fired into a second position killing two more gunners; and with hand grenades killed several and dispersed other protecting riflemen. Then, when an adjacent company encountered heavy fire, Cano crossed his company front, crept to within fifteen yards of the nearest enemy emplacement, and killed the two machine-gunners with a rocket. With another round he killed two more gunners and destroyed a second gun. On the following day when his company renewed the attack and again encountered heavy machine-gun fire, Cano, armed with his rocket launcher, again went forward over fire-swept terrain and destroyed three enemy machine-guns in succession, killing the six gunners. His daring actions, without thought of his own safety, permitted the advance of his company.

Cano’s conspicuous heroism, and his fearless determination and courageous devotion to duty, exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 4th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.


Posthumously, Cano received the Texas Legislature Medal of Honor.

A school in Edinburg, Texas is named after Cano.

Death and Burial

Private Pedro Cano died in an automobile accident on 24 June 1952. He is buried at Hillcrest Memorial Park in Edinburg, TX.

Honoree ID: 228015   Created by: MHOH




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