By Shannon Collins, DOD: Medal of Honor Monday: Army Pvt. Pedro Cano
Pedro Cano (June 19, 1920 – June 24, 1952) was a World War II veteran who received the Medal of Honor for his actions in combat near Schevenhütte, Germany in December 1944.
Cano was born in La Morita, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He moved to the United States into the small community of Edinburg, Texas when he was 2 months old. There he served as a farm laborer until he volunteered to serve in the Army during World War II. As a private, he was deployed to the European theater to serve with the 4th Infantry Division where he engaged in battles both in France and in Germany. He exhibited extraordinary courage and valor in battle and later sustained injuries that left him permanently disabled. He returned to South Texas to join his wife and children and resumed his work as a farm laborer.
Private Cano received two Bronze Star medals, a Purple Heart, and a Distinguished Service Cross. On March 18, 2014, the Distinguished Service Cross was upgraded to the Medal of Honor.
After repeated requests during wartime to become a U.S. citizen and being ignored by his commanding officer due to other pressing matters, Cano finally achieved his longest-lasting ambition, to become an American citizen, in May 1946. He died six years later on June 24, 1952, at the age of 32 in a tragic automobile accident. He left a wife and three children.
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