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Medal of Honor Recipient
He gallantly gave his life for his country

Private First Class Valdez, U.S. Army, Company B, 7th Infantry, 3rd Infantry Division.  The Division was located near Rosenkrantz, France on 25 January 1945.


Pvt. Valdez was on outpost duty with 5 others when the enemy counterattacked with overwhelming strength.  From his position near some woods 500 yards beyond the American lines he observed a hostile tank about 75 yards away, and raked it with automatic rifle fire until it withdrew.  Soon afterward he saw 3 Germans stealthily approaching through the woods.  Scorning cover as the enemy soldiers opened up with heavy automatic weapons fire from a range of 30 yards, he engaged in a fire fight with the attackers until he had killed all 3.  The enemy quickly launched an attack with 2 ful companies of infantrymen, blasting the patrol with murderous concentrations of automatic and rifle fire and beginning an encircling movement which forced the patrol leader to order a withdrawal.  Despite the terrible odds, Pfc. Valdez immediately volunteered to cover the maneuver, and as the patrol 1 by 1 plunged through a hail of bullets toward the American lines, he fired burst after burst into the swarming enemy.  Three of his companions were wounded in their dash for safety and he was strruck by a bullet that entered his stomach and, passing through his body, emerged from his back.  Overcoming agonizing pain, he regained control of himself and resumed his firing position, delivering a protective screen of bullets until all others of the patrol were safe.  By field telephone he called for artillery and mortar fire on the Germans and corrected the range until he had shells falling within 50 yards of his position.  For 15 minutes he refused to be dislodged by more than 200 of the enemy; then, seeing that the barrage had broken the counter attack, he dragged himself back to his own lines.  He died later as a result of his wounds.  Through his valiant, intrepid stand and at the cost of his own life, Pfc. Valdez made it possible for his comrads to escape, and was directly responsible for repulsing an attack by vastly superior enemy forces.

Pvt. First Class Jose F Valdez as members and crew of your ship we salute you..

Before the renaming of the Valdez she was the Joe P Martinez Hull Number 2245
Our ship had the Honor of being named after TWO Medal of Honor winners below is the citation Joe P. Martinez recieved.

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company K, 32nd Infantry, 7th Infantry Division.

Place and Date:  On Attu, Aleutians, 26 May 1943

Entered service at: Ault, Colorado Birth: Taos N. Mexaco. G.O. No:71 27 Oct. 1943

Citation:  For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy.  Over a period of sevdral days, repeated efforts to drive the enemy from a key defensive position high in the snow-covered precipitous mountains between East Arm Holtz Bay and Chichagof Harbor had failed.  On 26 May 1943, troop dispositions were readjusted and a trial coordinated attack on this position by a reinforced battalion was launched.  Initially successful, the attack hesitated.  In the face of severe hostile machinegun, rifle, and mortar fire, Pvt. Martinez, an automatic rifleman, rose to his feet and resumed his advance.  Occasionally he stopped to urge his comrades on.  His example inspired others to follow.  After a most difficult climb, Pvt. Martinez eliminated resistance from part of the enemy position by BAR fire and hand grenades, thus assisting the advance of other attacking elements.  This success only partially completed the action. The main Holtz-Chichagof Pass rose about 150 feet higher, flanked by steep rocky ridges and reached by a snow-filled defile.  Passage was barred by enemy fire from either flank and from tiers of snow trenches in front.  Despite these obstacles, and knowing of their existence, Pvt. Martinez again led the troops on and up, personally silencing several trenches with BAR fire and ultimately reaching the pass itself.  Here, just below the knifelike rim of the pass, Pvt. Martinez encountered a final enemy-occupied trench and as he was engaged in firing into it ye was mortally wounded.  The pass, however, was taken, and its capture was an improtant preliminary to the end of the organized hostile resistance on the island.

Pvt. Joe P. Martinez we also salute you as well.

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