The headline in the El Paso Herald-Post on Veterans Day, November 11, 1970 read “Hero of World War I Rides in Parade” and went on to tell the amazing story of Marcelino Serna. Private Serna was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart and Victory Medal (United States decorations) along with the French Medaille Militaire and two Croix de Guerre and the Italian Merito de Guerra. The article added that Private Serna spent his first Armistice Day in a hospital recovering from his wounds that he received about a week earlier on November 7, 1918 while participating in the Meuse-Argonne offensive.
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Jack Lummus was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on the island of Iwo Jima during World War II. According to a May, 1945 newspaper report based upon an interview with a fellow Marine, 1st Lt. Lummus was killed while leading an infantry and tank attack on the island on March 8, 1945.
The former Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth was named for Horace Seaver Carswell, a Medal of Honor winner from North Texas.
(Image credit: Findagrave)
(Doris Miller poster in the World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana)
Doris “Dorie” Miller was a true Texas hero. He was classified as a Navy Messman on December 7, 1941, serving on the USS West Virginia, a battleship. At the time, Messman was one of the few positions open to African American sailors. Miller was solidly built, carrying over 200 lb. on his 6’3” frame. He’d taken up boxing and was heavyweight champion of the West Virginia out of a crew of about 2,000. The West Virginia was on station in in Hawaii at Pearl Harbor. That morning, he woke at 0600, as was his custom. He served breakfast mess and was still below deck collecting soiled laundry when the first torpedo hit the West Virginia just before 0800. He heard and felt the explosion and immediately went to his battle station, an anti-aircraft gun near the heart of the ship.
Audie Leon Murphy was born in the village of Kingston, Hunt County, Texas (north of Greenville) in 1925 to Emmett Berry and Josie Bell Killian Murphy, a family of sharecroppers. Audie was the sixth of twelve children. His father abandoned the family when Audie was eight and his mother died when he was a teenager. Audie dropped out of school at the elementary level, in order to help support his family. Looking at this humble resume, not much would have been expected of him.