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. Alan Seago

    Philip and Cesar: I couldn't disagree more. I spent three years in Korea in the 1980's, with the US 2d Infantry Division. The people of the Republic of Korea (ROK) wanted to resist the Communists, and did, but in 1950 when the North invaded the ROK needed US/UN help, which we provided. The ROK has matured into a true republic with free enterprise, and as many civil rights and as much democracy as you'll find here. Our intervention in the Korean War saved a country, made life better for 60,000,000 Koreans, and served notice on Mr. Stalin and Mr. Mao that they could not dominate Asia. And the Koreans have not forgotten the American sacrifice. In the 1960's, when Lyndon Johnson asked, the ROK sent a couple of very tough infantry divisions that fought alongside our guys in Viet Nam. And they continue to be loyal friends of the U.S. We can only hope that our current interventions turn out so well.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • What A. Relief

      This is the only post on the page that tells it like it really is. Congratulations.

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

      More right-wing mumbo-jumbo I see here. Tell me Alan,have you ever been to North Korea? I figure that you have not. Besides,I hope our current interventions do not turn out well as the one in Vietnam didn't. All this interventionist military nonsense needs to stop and how!!!

      April 14, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Right-wing mumbo-jumbo? You're a disgrace, dude. Any sane person who knows facts, history, and has a sense of reality, left or right, would agree with Alan. Well said, Alan. For the record, I voted for Obama, and I will again.

      April 14, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed


      While I agree with your argument, please understand that the population of South Korea is far from 60 million. It is more like 45 million.

      April 14, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Svehla

    @ raven: Beautifully stated comments. And ethnicity was not a factor in Pfc Svehla's case. He has received various other medals for his sacrifice in the war. His being honored means a great deal to our entire family but even more so to my aunts who will be receiving this medal for their brother.

    Note to all: It took many years for these two heroes to receive this high honor and those who wrote juvenile or negative comments on this article should be ashamed for having disrespected men as valiant as Pfc. Kaho’ohanohano and my
    uncle. To those who wrote words of respect and praise I sincerely thank you.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Big~Smelly~Tuna

    Two very deserving young men who gave their all for their country. It is just sad that the j@ck @sses who are allowed to post ad nauseum on here don't give this story a break and go elsewhere to spew their self serving stupidity.
    Philip and Ceasar ~ I think mommie just called ~ the spagetti os are ready.
    Job well done Anthony and Henry

    April 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dark

    You blame the war for why the North is a mess....while South Korea is a thriving nation. Seems to me that the war did a whole lot of good.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Ohioan

    Ahh yes, because we fought the Russians in the Korean War. I always forget that. I also forget that China, North Korea, and the Soviet Union were a cohesive alliance at the time.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. daddy rabbit

    Much adoo about nothing

    April 14, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Cesar

    @daddy rabbit- I'm not gay!

    April 14, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  8. raven

    Svehla for your family's sacrifice words are not enough. Anyone who has lost a loved one in the course of defending this country and his/her fellow commrades in arms, has paid a high cost that people take for granted. It is sad that people in this country have to mock our soldiers and their families in order to fill the time in their pathetic lives.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. daddy rabbit

    much whoopdedoo about nothing

    April 14, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cesar

    @ fake Cesar: Shut up stupid.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Jazzzzzzzz

    Good filler on such a serious blog topic guys

    April 14, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. DoD 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee

    The Department of the Defense's 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee would like to congratulate PFC Kaho’ohanohano and PFC Svehla and their families. Thank you for your sacrifices.


    April 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • doorgunner dan

      They certainly deserve my respect, as well as the respect of our entire nation.
      Simply can't believe some of the nut-ball comments on this post.
      C'mon...we're all Americans. Show some respect, & cut-out the b.s.
      Anyone with a Medal of Honor should be shown greater respect than any politican, celebrity, or sports figure.

      April 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Chris

    This is not about weather or not this war was politicaly correct or not. This is about correcting a wrong that should have happened 60 years ago. These men said my country needs me and without question went. Nowthey will rightly receive the higest award this country can give. That is what this about!

    April 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jazzzzzzzz

    I live in a sheep farm. Does that make me a lamb,goat or a sheep. Baaaaah Baaaah

    April 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  15. wzrd1

    First, liar, there are no Marines getting shot in the middle east. Iraq only has support troops there. Kuwait has supply bases and nobody is getting shot there. Bahrain is a fleet headquarters and nobody is getting shot there. Qatar has TWO supply bases and nobody is getting shot there!
    Add to that, those who were wounded in action, they are evacuated stateside, NOT left in the war theater to heal.
    Now, some military ARE getting injured and even killed in AFGHANISTAN, which is NOT in the middle east, but in Asia.
    THAT is because a couple of little, itty, bitty, little buildings got knocked down with a few THOUSAND people in them. My cousin was in one of them, his remains were never recovered.
    I've lost buddies while we were over there, two of whom had Westboro Baptist church protest at THEIR GRAVESIDE. I've met and even talked to the enemy. So, you know NOTHING of which that you speak of, but DO SPAM some video that I'll not waste my time with, as *I* DO KNOW THE FACTS. I spent nearly 5 years deplyed in the war zone. I don't need to invent sob stories that are BS and off topic, unless you are going to claim that Afghanistan is related to the Korean war.

    April 14, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
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