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First Name: Esteban

Last Name: Estrada

Birthplace: USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)



Home of Record: Poteet, TX
Middle Name: Pena



Date of Birth: 25 January 1945

Date of Death: 29 January 1968

Rank: Corporal

Years Served: 1967 - 1968
Esteban Pena Estrada
'Steve'

   
Engagements:
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)

Biography:

Esteban Pena Estrada
Corporal, U.S. Army

Esteban Pena Estrada was born on 25 January 1945, the son of Francisco I. and Olivia Pena Estrada.

Steve Estrada graduated from Poteet High School in 1964. Following graduation, he worked in a grain elevator in Friona, TX. He entered the U.S. Army in June 1967 and received his Basic Training at Fort Polk, LA, and his Advanced Individual Training at Fort Bliss in El Paso, TX. He deployed to Vietnam in November 1967.

On 29 January 1968, then-Private First Class Esteban Pena Estrada was serving with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, in South Vietnam.

On that day, PFC Estrada was machine gunner of Infantry Company C on a search and destroy operation in hostile territory. While moving through dense woods, his unit came under enemy fire from well-fortified and concealed positions. The fire was so intense it forced his comrades to take immediate cover, but PFC Estrada ignored the bullets striking all around him and took up an exposed position. Although the Viet Cong focused their fire on him, he retained his position and delivered a devastating fusillade on the attackers. His fire prevented the insurgents from mounting a sustained assault on his unit. PFC Estrada was critically wounded by enemy fire but continued his fierce fight until his company regrouped and successfully counterattacked the numerically-superior Viet Cong. He died of his wounds. PFC Estrada's extraordinary heroism, at the cost of his life, earned him the U.S. Army's second highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross.

Estrada received a posthumous promotion to the rank of Corporal.

Medals, Awards and Badges

Distinguished Service Cross
Purple Heart
Army Good Conduct Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge

Distinguished Service Cross Citation

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Private First Class Esteban Pena Estrada (ASN: US-54404330), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with Company C, 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Private First Class Estrada distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 29 January 1968 as machine gunner of an infantry company on a search and destroy operation in hostile territory. While moving through dense woods, his unit came under ravaging enemy fire from well-fortified and concealed positions. The fire was so intense it forced his comrades to take immediate cover. Disregarding his personal safety, Private Estrada ignored the bullets striking all around him and took up an exposed position. Although the Viet Cong focused their fire on him, he unflinchingly retained his position and delivered a devastating fusillade on the determined attackers. His withering fire prevented the insurgents from mounting a sustained assault on his unit. He was critically wounded by enemy fire but continued his fierce fight until his company regrouped and successfully counterattacked against the numerically superior Viet Cong. Private First Class Estrada's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, U.S. Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 1745 (April 16, 1968)

Honors

The name Esteban P Estrada is located on Panel 35E Line 62 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

Burial

Corporal Esteban Pena Estrada is buried at Madre Dolorosa Cemetery in Poteet, Atascosa County, TX, in Plot: S02, R002, P, 0381.

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=146474667



Honoree ID: 245781   Created by: MHOH

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