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. glenn robert

    I volunteered to go to Korea as a 2nd Lt. We were there by the authority of the peace treaty ending WWll. So we were attack and totally unprepared. My third night on the front lines I was an extra platoon leader the next morning I was the senior platoon leader. With one killed and three wounded. It was a police action not a war. (?) I was there in 1953, 1951 and 1952 were much worse. My men were daftees and good soldiers.

    April 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. tony

    Sir"s, I salute you and celebrate the ultimate sacrifices you made. Congratulations on finally being recognized. you uphold the FINEST tradition of military service. i wish i could have met you

    April 14, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • doorgunner dan

      Well said, brother!
      overandout
      dd.

      April 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar

    Come on LarryDavidSandwich,could you cut the Tea Party lingo out? It has no place here! Leave that for Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.

    April 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. banasy

    Everybody, simmer down, now. I am so glad these two men have finally been recognized for the valor they have shown. There are many, many unsung heros that will hopefully be recognized for the service they have provided to this country...

    I cannot believe that people are bickering about which was *better*! No one war is better than another; all war suck, and everyone who has served in *any* war deserves our respect, and anyone who has dies while in the service of this county deserves to be recognized for the ultimate sacrifice they made. I do not *care* if they died while in active combat or not; dead is dead, and our dead soldiers are deserving of our respect. I'm sure the families of those who never came back would agree that *All War Sucks!*

    April 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy

    "Tea Party Lingo" would also be a great u/n. Just sayin'.

    Maybe "Tea Party Bingo" would be even better.

    April 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Susan Svehla

    This soldier you all are speaking of happens to be my Uncle Henry. Here is one of the reasons he is receiving this highest honor:

    "Ignore fear and danger to perform "a deed of personal bravery or self-sacrifice above and beyond the call of duty while a member of the armed forces in actual combat with an enemy of the nation."

    He sacrificed his life for his platoon. There is a long process to receive this award. How dare you ignorant people say the things that you do. But, that is the beauty of this country, the freedom for idiots to speak their minds. No soldier loves or glorifies war, sometimes it is a necessary evil and I thank GOD every day that there are men and women still willing to serve and protect us. You may not support the policies but, dammit support our troops. My family is honored and grateful that our Uncle is finally receiving the recognition he deserves.

    April 14, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Michelle

    I agree with Svehla. You're all absolutely wretched for putting your negative opinions on this article and arguing over issues that should be put in a forum or other public domain where they really belong. I'm proud of these men just as you all should be. Some of you are acting like children, and it's ridiculous.

    April 14, 2011 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ed Bailey

    Desert red, you are the only one who mentioned that trajedy that could have been much much worse. We suffered our biggest defeat and those men did the most incredible job of survival in our military history and my heart goes out to these two soldiers families! Sad that it happened like it did.Korea was bad, and amercan phony democracy is a disgracer on our record and a HUGE segment of our society still practices discrimination of all kinds. WHY!!!!!

    April 15, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  9. Frank

    Like Philip said above,if the Russians occupied all of Korea after 1945 and then gave it it's independence in 1948,there never would have been a war there in the first place. We need to let these countries decide their own future like Afghanistan,for example. But I guess that the right-wing thugs in Washington just don't see things that way. This international interference must stop!

    April 15, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Philip

      Thank you,Frank. That was well stated and quite correct.

      April 15, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  10. Josh

    I always find it incredibly sad when you hear these stories and know that you can't thank them for what they did.

    Very deserving of those medals.

    April 15, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. Anonymous

    We give medal of honors to soldiers who interfere with a foreign civil war? That has divided the two Koreas for decades now and the conflict being kept alive? The killing of thousand of koreans and seperation of thousands of korean families, all in the name of fighting off communists? What might have been an unification of Korea, whomever side may have won, would have been beneficial for Korea. So what if the communists took over? Look at China now, run by communists, and turned into the 2nd largest nations of our modern history, run by communists.

    Now Americans repeat the same errors in Libya, interfering with a civil war, and creating more deaths, fueling the conflict. These americans shouldnt be awarded the medal of honor, they should be branded as war criminials to humanity.

    April 15, 2011 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  12. Anonymous

    We give medal of honors to soldiers who interfere with a foreign civil war? That has divided the two Koreas for decades now and the conflict being kept alive? The killing of thousand of koreans and seperation of thousands of korean families, all in the name of fighting off communists? What might have been an unification of Korea, whomever side may have won, would have been beneficial for Korea. So what if the communists took over? Look at China now, run by communists, and turned into the 2nd largest nations of our modern history.

    Now Americans repeat the same errors in Libya, interfering with a civil war, and creating more deaths, fueling the conflict. These americans shouldnt be awarded the medal of honor, they should be branded as war criminals to humanity.

    April 15, 2011 at 3:13 am | Report abuse |
  13. Anonymous_

    We give medal of honors to soldiers who interfere with a foreign civil war? That has divided the two Koreas for decades now and the conflict being kept alive? The killing of thousand of koreans and separation of thousands of korean families, all in the name of fighting off communists? What might have been an unification of Korea, whomever side may have won, would have been beneficial for Korea. So what if the communists took over? Look at China now, run by communists, and turned into the 2nd largest nations of our modern history.

    Now Americans repeat the same errors in Libya, interfering with a civil war, and creating more deaths, fueling the conflict. These americans shouldn't be awarded the medal of honor, they should be branded as war criminals to humanity.

    April 15, 2011 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Thank you,Anonymous_. Nothing could be closer to the truth than what you stated above.

      April 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cesar

    They give those medals to police dogs every day, they don't even have to die for them, just bark at a thiev.

    April 15, 2011 at 4:44 am | Report abuse |
  15. Cesar

    @Cesar of 4:44: your mother is a dog. She did not get a medal cuz she bore a POS like u.

    April 15, 2011 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
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