Puerto Rican Recipients Of The Navy Cross
Puerto Ricans have served as members of the United States Armed Forces and have fought in every major conflict in which the United States has been involved from World War I onward. Many Puerto Ricans, including those of Puerto Rican descent, have distinguished themselves during combat as members of the five branches of the U.S. Military, the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and the Coast Guard.
Five Puerto Ricans have been awarded the United States' highest military decoration — the Medal of Honor, six have been awarded the Navy Cross and seventeen have been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
The Navy Cross is the second highest medal that can be awarded by the U.S. Navy and are awarded to members of the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps for heroism or distinguished service. The following is a list of the five Puerto Ricans awarded the Navy Cross with their citations. On August 2, 1917 Lieutenant Frederick L. Riefkohl of the US Navy became the first known Puerto Rican to be awarded the Navy Cross.
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