Pampa WWII veteran receives Bronze Star - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Pampa WWII veteran receives Bronze Star

Pampa, TX -- A Pampa native was honored for his bravery in one of the most decisive battles in World War II - 70 years after the fact.

Joe Hernandez graduated Pampa High School in 1944, and the following February he was on the front lines in Belgium at the Battle of the Bulge.

The Battle of the Bulge is widely considered one of the greatest battles in U.S. military history - and a critical turning point in World War II.

And Joe Hernandez was there as a replacement soldier to take the place of the dead and wounded.

"First, we heard the machine guns hit to the right," recalls Hernandez. "And then they (German forces) started laying the artillery on us, and one of the guys got hit right in the head and it killed him. And I just thought, 'Uh oh ... we're in trouble."

Hernandez fought alongside his comrades, staving off the advancing German forces until reinforcements arrived.  The Allied forces ultimately triumphed, but not without taking heavy losses.

"I didn't think about myself," said Joe.  "We fought as a group because we were. And I thought, 'We're in trouble.' And we were - we lost 87 percent of the company. And so I knew we were in trouble."

Joe was awarded the Purple Heart and several other honors before receiving the Bronze Star this evening (Mar. 12).

When I asked him his thoughts about the ongoing war efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, Joe had only this to say: "I'll be glad when they bring 'em home. And that's it."

If you'd like to learn more about the significance of the Battle of the Bulge, you'll find that at the link attached to this story.

ADVERTISEMENT
Bookmark and Share
  • Today's Local News HeadlinesToday's Local NewsMore>>

  • Clovis-Carver Library now has WWII Japanese American internment exhibit

    Clovis-Carver Library now has WWII Japanese American internment exhibit

    KFDAKFDA

    The Clovis-Carver Public Library now has an exhibit that shows the history of Japanese American Internment camps in New Mexico during World War II (WWII).  

    The Clovis-Carver Public Library now has an exhibit that shows the history of Japanese American Internment camps in New Mexico during World War II (WWII).  

  • Warford Activity Center renovations underway

    Warford Activity Center renovations underway

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 11:40 PM EDT2017-03-29 03:40:12 GMT
    Source: KFDASource: KFDA

    Amarillo's former North Branch YMCA is closer to opening as the Charles E. Warford Activities Center. Now that the facility is free of asbestos, construction and renovations are set to begin soon. First up is the indoor swimming pool. Tuesday evening the Amarillo City Council approved a $488,031 contract to renovate the pool at the center. "The pool was built in the 1960s, so we're dealing with a pool that had cast iron drain lines...

    Amarillo's former North Branch YMCA is closer to opening as the Charles E. Warford Activities Center. Now that the facility is free of asbestos, construction and renovations are set to begin soon. First up is the indoor swimming pool. Tuesday evening the Amarillo City Council approved a $488,031 contract to renovate the pool at the center. "The pool was built in the 1960s, so we're dealing with a pool that had cast iron drain lines...

  • United Way announces 2017 funding allocations

    United Way announces 2017 funding allocations

    Tuesday, March 28 2017 9:52 PM EDT2017-03-29 01:52:43 GMT
    Source: United Way of Amarillo & CanyonSource: United Way of Amarillo & Canyon

    United Way of Amarillo and Canyon announced the 26 programs that will benefit from the $1.6 million raised during the 2016 annual campaign.

    United Way of Amarillo and Canyon announced the 26 programs that will benefit from the $1.6 million raised during the 2016 annual campaign.

Powered by Frankly