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Today's Medal of Honor Moment for 27 May

WWII: This award was made in 2014, resulting from a review of awards for possibly having been downgraded due to racial prejudice that resulted in several new awards. The abbreviated citation is not unsual with those awards.

*LARA, SALVADOR J.

Then-Pfc. Salvador Lara is being recognized for his valorous actions in Aprilia, Italy, May 27-28, 1944. During the fight, May 27, he aggressively led his rifle squad in neutralizing multiple enemy strong points and inflicting large numbers of casualties on the enemy. The next morning, as his company resumed the attack, Lara sustained a severe leg wound, but did not stop to receive first aid. Lara continued his exemplary performance until he captured his objective. [Note -- The exact date of Lara's death is not known, but is approximated.]
Vietnam

*PHIPPS, JIMMY W.

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company B, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division (Rein), FMF. Place and date: Near An Hoa, Republic of Vietnam, 27 May 1969. Entered service at: Culver City, Calif. Born: 1 November 1950, Santa Monica, Calif.

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a combat engineer with Company B in connection with combat operations against the enemy. Pfc. Phipps was a member of a 2-man combat engineer demolition team assigned to locate and destroy enemy artillery ordnance and concealed firing devices. After he had expended all of his explosives and blasting caps, Pfc. Phipps discovered a 175mm high explosive artillery round in a rice paddy. Suspecting that the enemy had attached the artillery round to a secondary explosive device, he warned other marines in the area to move to covered positions and prepared to destroy the round with a hand grenade. As he was attaching the hand grenade to a stake beside the artillery round, the fuse of the enemy's secondary explosive device ignited. Realizing that his assistant and the platoon commander were both within a few meters of him and that the imminent explosion could kill all 3 men, Pfc. Phipps grasped the hand grenade to his chest and dived forward to cover the enemy's explosive and the artillery round with his body, thereby shielding his companions from the detonation while absorbing the full and tremendous impact with his body. Pfc. Phipps' indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, and selfless devotion to duty saved the lives of 2 marines and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country .
 
No big battle that entered the history books.  No pivotal action where the outcome lay in the balance.

His legacy is that of the lives led by his fellow Marines he saved that day, and the people he inspired and touched before that moment he jumped on the grenade... and now - you.