Hispanic Americans - 1970s



In the 1970s, the Navy developed and implemented an affirimative action plan to recruit Hispanic Americans. With the Vietnam War continuing into the decade, Hispanic Americans also served in the conflict.

Two U.S. Marines posthumously received the Medal of Honor for their actions during the spring of 1970. Of note, in March 1973, Lieutenant Commander Everett Alvarez, Jr. was released from captivity as a Prisoner of War in Vietnam.

During this period, Lieutenant Al Cisneros, USN, became the first Hispanic pilot to serve with the Blue Angels.

In 1979, Secretary of the Navy Edward Hidalgo became the first Hispanic American to serve in this appointed post. Secretary Hidalgo promoted the recruitment of Hispanics for both officers and enlisted alike.

Continue here for Hispanic Americans in the U.S. Navy - 1980s.

Click the photograph to prompt a larger view.

Photo #: NH 106932

Lance Corporal Emilio de la Garza, Jr., USMC

Lance Corporal de la Garza Jr. served with Company E, Second Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division during the Vietnam War. On 11 April 1970, he participated in battle as a machine gunner. When an enemy soldier threw a grenade in his platoon's midst, he threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the impact and saving the lives of his comrades. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life," on this occasion, De la Garza Jr. was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps History Division.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 83KB; 685 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106966

Lance Corporal Miguel Keith, USMC


Lance Corporal Keith served as a Rifleman with the First Combined Action Group, Third Amphibious Force during the Vietnam War. On 8 May 1970, he was mortally wounded while valiantly fighting in Quang Ngai Province. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life"on this occasion, Keith was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps History Division.

Online Image: 79KB; 700 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106937

Hospitalman Oliva Marie Dunn, USNR

Hospitalman Dunn stands under a palm tree on the grounds of the Balboa Naval Hospital, Naval Station, San Diego, California, October 1970.
Photographer: PH1 W. B. Fair, USN.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 67KB; 700 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106938

U.S. Naval Station, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico

Aviation Machinist's Mate First Class Gilbert Morales, USN, left, of Maguabo, Puerto Rico, and Airman Jorgi L. Gali of Ponce, Puerto Rico, remove a panel from a Fleet Composite Squadron Eight (VC-8) S-2F Tracker Anti-Submarine Aircraft. Petty Officer Morales is veteran of fifteen years Naval service and twenty-year old Gali has been in the Navy for three years, 1970.
Photographer: PH1 Patrick C. Wilkerson, USN.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 68KB; 600 x 925

 
Photo #: KN 21869

Lieutenant Commander Everett Alvarez, Jr.

"Welcome Home"
Sketch by combat artist, Dante H. Bertoni at the Welcoming Ceremonies at Clark Air Force Base, Philippine Islands upon Alvarez' return after being a Prisoner of War in Vietnam.
On 5 August 1964, then Lieutenant Junior Grade Alvarez' plane was shot down. Held captive for eight years, he was released in March 1973. While captive, he was advanced in rank. In 1980, Alvarez retired as a Commander.

Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

Online Image: 170KB; 900 x 750

Reproductions may also be available at National Archives.

 
Photo #: NH 106939

USS El Paso (LKA-117)


Mexican-American sailors are positioned on the gangway, circa 1973.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 106KB; 705 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106940-KN (Color)

Lieutenant Al Cisneros, USN

Lieutenant Cisneros became the first Hispanic pilot to serve with the Blue Angels in 1975.

Courtesy of the Blue Angels Photograph Collection.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 105KB; 680 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106941

Photographer's Mate First Class Camille (Trindad) Moreno, USN

Photographer's Mate First Class Moreno served in the U.S. Navy from May 1977 to June 1995.

Courtesy of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation, Inc.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 103KB; 700 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106942

Gunner's Mate Second Class Roberto Aguilar, USN


Gunner's Mate Second Class Aguilar inspects a missile launching control panel on board USS Sterrett (CG-31), circa 1978.
Photographer: Claudie Bob Johnson II.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 103KB; 730 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106943

Commander Raul Vazquez, USN


Commander Vazquez attributes "Loyalty, Patience and Courage" to his success. To him, these were formed because of his Spanish-American background. In 1979, Vazquez commanded Helicopter Squadron One and became the "Air Boss" of USS New Orleans (LPH-11) later that year.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 92KB; 675 x 925

 
Photo #: NH 106944-KN (Color)

Edward Hidalgo
(Secretary of the Navy)

Secretary of the Navy Hidalgo served from October 1979 to January 1981. A former Naval officer during World War II, Hidalgo promoted the recruitment of Hispanics for the officer and enlisted ranks alike.

U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.

Online Image: 101KB; 715 x 925

 



For higher resolution images see: Obtaining Photographic Reproductions

To the best of our knowledge, the pictures referenced here are all in the Public Domain, and can therefore be freely downloaded and used for any purpose.





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