2 Korean War soldiers to receive posthumous Medals of Honor
Pfc. Anthony T. Kaho’ohanohano, left, and Pfc. Henry Svehla are being honored for their actions during the Korean War.
April 14th, 2011
11:22 AM ET

2 Korean War soldiers to receive posthumous Medals of Honor

Two U.S. soldiers will receive posthumous Medals of Honor for their actions during the Korean War, the White House announced Wednesday.

Relatives of Pfc. Anthony T. Kaho’ohanohano and Pfc. Henry Svehla will receive the medals from President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony on May 2.

Kaho’ohanohano is being commended for his actions on September 1, 1951. As his unit, Company H, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, fell back under superior enemy numbers near Chopra-Ri, Kaho’ohanohano ordered his squad to move to a more defensible position and provide covering fire for the retreating forces, according to a White House news release.

"He then gathered a supply of grenades and ammunition and returned to his original position to face the enemy alone - delivering deadly accurate fire into the ranks of the onrushing enemy. When his ammunition was depleted, he engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat until he was killed. His heroic stand so inspired his comrades that they launched a counterattack that completely repulsed the enemy," the release reads.

“His last words were ‘I’ve got your back,' and he went out and did his job,” his younger brother David Kaho’ohanohano, 77, of Hawaii told Stars and Stripes. “Nowadays, you don’t have too many heroes, and he was one of the big heroes in our family.”

Kaho’ohanohano's sister, Elaine Kaho’ohanohano, and another brother, Eugene Kaho’ohanohano, will be at the White House ceremony.

Svehla is being honored for his actions on June 12, 1952, while he was a rifleman with Company F, 32d Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division near Pyongony, Korea.

"Coming under heavy fire and with his platoon's attack beginning to falter, Private First Class Svehla leapt to his feet and charged the enemy positions, firing his weapon and throwing grenades as he advanced. Disregarding his own safety, he destroyed enemy positions and inflicted heavy casualties. When an enemy grenade landed among a group of his comrades, without hesitation and undoubtedly aware of the extreme danger, he threw himself on the grenade" and was killed, according to the White House release.

Svehla's sisters, Dorothy Mathews and Sylvia Svehla, will receive the medal from Obama.

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Filed under: Medal of Honor • Military
soundoff (157 Responses)
  1. Jazzzzzzzz

    @ Phillip , thanks for the smile I needed it:)

    April 14, 2011 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Canadian Genius

    Well deserved, by the sounds of it. My only question is, why did it take so long to review these cases?

    April 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ernie Beatty

      I believe that Truman should have given Gen. McArthur his way and to go all out in Korea for a military victory,Canadian Genius. Then again,what do I know? I'm just a Tea Partier who doesn't think very much.

      April 14, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Real Tom Paine

      @ Ernie: No you don't think very much. We already brought the Chinese into the war by advancing to the Yalu River. The Soviets were providing aid in the form of pilots, weapons and training, and would have certainly brought them in openly had we advanced into China. You couple that with the fact we would have had the Soviets in Europe as well, and Truman made the right call. While not satisfactory from a military standpoint, his decision prevented a wider war. The current situation is far from ideal, but we were in no position to fight a war even with nuclear superiority in our favor.

      April 14, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Swoosh

      Most likely because these two soldiers didn't come from lily-white, Anglo backgrounds. The armed services in the early 50s were far more racist than they are today.

      April 14, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Desert Red

      @Ernie Also, MacArthur had ordered troops far beyond a sustainable supply route. That's why Chosin was such a brutal "offensive retreat", made necessary so that a whole lot of good Marines and soldiers didn't get captured. It would have been one of the worst losses ever for the US military, and, only because of incredible bravery and physical stamina on the part of those Marines and soldiers did they convert that colossal command error into one of the most remarkable (and undervalued) reversals in wartime history.

      April 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • jim

      @Ernie Beatty It's redundant to say that you're a Tea Partier who doesn't think very much.

      April 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canucktoo

      I too am a Canadian who is wondering why it took so long for two such obviously brave men to be suitably honoured.

      April 14, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      MY question is, why didn't the geniuses at CNN investigate your obvious question?

      April 14, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • baman

      If Obama deserves the Peace Prize, then the vast majority of war veterans deserve the MOH!

      April 14, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil

      Ernie, your last sentence was the one that made the most sense. You tea party people are total morons that have never had an original thought in your lives.

      April 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    Good posting,Philip. At least with an already united Korea there would have been no war and all of Korea might even be prospering today with no shortages in the north. That goes to show just how much damage stupidity can do,just like WW1 did!!!

    April 14, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Cesar

    @Cesar of 12:37, Spoken like a true Tea Partier; WWl was a noble war with many men of honor on all sides. No, Korea would never be one nation until we rid the rat infested communist regime there. Think Cesar! Think! And will you stop using my name, Silly boy?

    April 14, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • leggs

      Noble wars only exist in fiction.

      April 14, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike in WA

      So because one person grant you he was a prince was assassinated it made it fine for every other country to get involved and get millions of people killed. Yes a very noble war. No one person is worth killing several millions over.

      April 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • wzrd1

      WWI, a family spat between a large royal family across a handful of nations, that were TOTALLY unrelated to the US, but managed to drag the US into.
      There is NO NOBLE war, ANYWHERE. The ONLY war that could be considered noble would be one against disease or some pestilence upon humanity.
      As soon as you start killing people, the nobility is gone.

      April 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobo

      The "prince" was Archduke Ferdinand, and his assassination was FAR from the only reason WWI started – it was really just the straw that broke the camel's back. WWI was going to start either way, the assassination of Ferdinand was just the excuse they needed to declare it.

      April 14, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • michele

      Why don't you try and pick up a weapon instead of shooting of your mouth you can try and be a real American and fight for your country, and country men with a weapon instead of your ignorance. If you don't like what we stand for here in America, which is freedom, Justice, go live in a third world country were you would be the one shout at and see if you like no one coming to your defense. Great men and women die so you could have the right to your stupid speech of ignorance.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • fantasticoquattro

      Noble wars do exist. An act of violence can be noble and even moral if it is intended to protect oneself as well as the defenseless.

      There is, however, no such thing as a glorious war. That is complete fiction.

      April 14, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jim

    Mike, it was the Grand Duke Ferdinand, not a prince. He and his wife were killed.

    April 14, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Will

      Archduke. Grand Dukes were in Russia and a couple German states.

      April 14, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy

    Oh, yes, the armed service were much, much more racist back then...and it's taken usa many years to finally start realizing that *all* of our brothers-in-arms fought valiantly. God Bless them.

    As for WWI, and *any* war for that matter... war does not determine who is right – only who is left.

    April 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • JN

      Society back then was more racist, so it goes without saying that the military would be racist as well.

      April 14, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jazzzzzzzz

    Can we say , very disturbing conversation going on here.

    April 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. raven

    I think you people need to focus on this story for what it is and leave out the politics of today or past wars. The simple fact here is that two young men gave their lives in service to their country and to the men they fought beside in the field. They died so that others could live even if only for a short while longer. Respect needs to be show and juvenille remarks need to be left out. God bless the men and women fighting today. But this story is about these two heroes. I do believe the ethenisity of these men were the factors for their case being over looked for so long. It is a great thing that their sacrifice is being acknowledged at last.

    April 14, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      They fought for freedom? Then let people say what they want to say. Its a free country. You dont have to agree with them, and if you dont like what they are saying, too bad.

      April 14, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1842

      Agreed. Don't use the Freedom argument. I'm not saying your not "allowed" to speak a bunch of nonsense, but it's incredibly insulting in the context of this article. Honestly, take your petty squabbling elsewhere.

      April 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mort

    those men are honarable men, and you dont see many of those around anymore. they deserve those medals.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tango6531

      There are thousands of honorable men and women serving today, these men gave unselfishly of themselves and our deserving but please do not discount all of the noble honorable men and women of todays armed forces.

      April 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. banasy

    @raven: *Applause!!!!*

    Totally agree with ya, sista!

    April 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cesar

    Jim briske, Phillip and raven and sherri ww from illinois.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy

    @cesar: What about them?

    April 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy

    What are "people who blog here", Alex.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  14. raven

    Thank you Banasy. I'm a guy though. Its a nickname I got as a kid because I had a pet raven.lol......Cesar if you could show some respect that would be greatly appreciated. Find a chat room if you want to start things. that's all I will say about it. This is a great story, yes, these men deserve those medals. So many don't get the credit they deserve. I'm glad for the families of these men, I'm sure that it means more for the families than it would for the men themselves.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JN

    If we hadn't gotten involved then the whole peninsula would be suffering under Kim Jong Il today, instead of just the north.

    April 14, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
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