More than half a century ago, the city of Edinburg, Texas declared April 26, 1946 Pedro Cano Day. It was on this day that U.S. Army Pvt. Pedro Cano received public recognition for the Distinguished Service Cross that he received in the mail for the heroism he displayed while serving with the Army’s 4th Infantry Division.
In a December 1944 battle near the German town of Schevenhutte, Cano’s unit came under fire from machine guns. 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.
For these actions, Cano will receive the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award for valor, on March 18 at a White House ceremony.
Check out exclusive images of Cano below, as provided by his family.
To read Cano’s biography and award citation, visit http://www.army.mil/medalofhonor/valor24/recipients/cano/.
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