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Marine Private Fernando Garcia

USS Garcia (FF-1040)

USS Garcia (FF-1040) underway at sea off Newport, Rhode Island, 18 August 1972. Photographer: PHC Frederick W. Gotauco. Official Navy photograph from the collections of the Naval History and Heritage Command. Catalog#: NH 107500.

Destroyer escort USS Garcia (FF-1040) proudly bears the name of U.S. Marine Private First Class Fernando Luis Garcia, who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for his heroic actions during the Korean War in September 1952. 

Garcia was born on 14 October 1929, in Utuado, Puerto Rico. He attended both grade and high school there. He was working as a file clerk in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when he joined the Marines on 19 September 1951. After completing basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina, he was promoted to private first class in December 1951. In March 1952, Garcia was sent to Korea where he joined the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines.

Private First Class Fernando Garcia

Private First Class Fernando Luis Garcia. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps.

On 5 September 1952, at Outpost Bruce in the “Bunker Hill” area, Garcia and his acting platoon sergeant, Staff Sgt. Floyd V. Wiley, had been under a pre-dawn attack for almost an hour. During the engagement, an enemy grenade landed nearby, and without hesitation, Garcia threw himself on the grenade just as it exploded saving the life of his platoon sergeant. Wiley was wounded and knocked unconscious, and when he regained consciousness, Garcia was dead. The enemy eventually overran the outpost, and Garcia’s body was never recovered. 

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Garcia received the Purple Heart, the Navy Unit Commendation, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars, the United Nations Service Medal, and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation. 



Marine Corps University: Private First Class Luis Garcia, USMC (Deceased). Retrieved 2 March 2020. 

USS Garcia (FF-1040)

  • Laid down: 16 October 1962 at San Francisco, California, by the Bethlehem Steel Co.
  • Launched: 31 October 1963
  • Commissioned: 21 December 1964
  • Decommissioned: 31 January 1989
  • Sponsor: Daisy Garcia de Alvarez, sister of the late Fernando Luis Garcia

Additional Resources

Published: Fri Mar 06 16:31:52 EST 2020