Jose Mendoza Lopez, Medal of Honor

July 10, 1910

July 10, 1910 is the birthday of the all-American medal of honor winner, Jose Mendoza Lopez, who was born in Mission, Texas, to Mexican parents.  Lopez’ father was killed in the Mexican Revolution, and his mother died when he was 8. After a globe trotting tour as a boxer, Lopez joined the US Army in 1942.  He fought heroically at the Battle of the Bulge, single-handedly fighting off a German infantry attack, killing at least 100 enemy troops.  Lopez was one of the 12 Latino World War II veterans to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military accolade.  With his prayers to the Virgen de Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, Lopez returned safely home.  Lopez has been honored by several US Presidents and was also awarded Mexico’s highest military honor, la Condecoracion del Merito Militar.