Pvt. Marcelino Serna, who was living in Colorado when drafted, served in Co. B, 1st Bn., 355th Infantry, along with the 353rd “All Kansas” Infantry, in the 89th “Rolling W” Division.
On September 12th, 1918, fighting in the St. Mihiel Salient, Serna single-handedly took out a German strong point, killing 26 and capturing 24. Later, fighting in the Meuse Argonne, he was severely wounded but survived.
For his actions, Serna received a Distinguished Service Cross (DSC), a Purple Heart, two French Croix de Guerre with Palm, a French Médaille Militaire and several other foreign decorations.
You can read about the latest effort to get Serna’s DSC upgraded by clicking here.
Only one Hispanic American was awarded the Medal of Honor during WW1. He was Pvt. David Barkly, a Texan whose mother was Mexican. He also served in the 89th Division, in the 356th Infantry.