About Ysmael R Villegas, SSG
Staff Sergeant Ysmael R. Villegas (March 21, 1924 born in Casa Blanca, California, died March 20, 1945 in Luzon, Philippines), was a United States Army soldier who posthumously received the Medal of Honor - the United States' highest military decoration for his actions during World War II. On March 20, 1945, at age 21, Staff Sergeant Ysmael R. Villegas was killed in action during the Battle of Luzon in the Philippines. Villegas single-handedly cleared five enemy foxholes that had his squad pinned down.
Medal of Honor citation
He was a squad leader when his unit, in a forward position, clashed with an enemy strongly entrenched in connected caves and foxholes on commanding ground. He moved boldly from man to man, in the face of bursting grenades and demolition charges, through heavy machinegun and rifle fire, to bolster the spirit of his comrades. Inspired by his gallantry, his men pressed forward to the crest of the hill. Numerous enemy riflemen, refusing to flee, continued firing from their foxholes. S/Sgt. Villegas, with complete disregard for his own safety and the bullets which kicked up the dirt at his feet, charged an enemy position, and, firing at point-blank range killed the Japanese in a foxhole. He rushed a second foxhole while bullets missed him by inches, and killed 1 more of the enemy. In rapid succession he charged a third, a fourth, a fifth foxhole, each time destroying the enemy within. The fire against him increased in intensity, but he pressed onward to attack a sixth position. As he neared his goal, he was hit and killed by enemy fire. Through his heroism and indomitable fighting spirit, S/Sgt. Villegas, at the cost of his life, inspired his men to a determined attack in which they swept the enemy from the field