Salvador J. Lara (July 11, 1920 – September 1, 1945) was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and recipient of the Medal of Honor. He was of Mexican-American descent.
Members of Lara’s family received the Medal of Honor flag from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in a March 19, 2014, ceremony when Lara was inducted into the Pentagon Hall of Heroes. They received the actual medal from President Barack Obama at the White House on March 18, 2014.
The award came through the Defense Authorization Act, which called for a review of Jewish and Hispanic veterans from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War to ensure that no prejudice was shown to those deserving the Medal of Honor.
Lara was born in Riverside, California and died on September 1, 1945, shortly after World War II ended, while serving with the 602d Ordnance Armament Maintenance Battalion in Europe. He is buried at the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in Saint-Avold, Moselle, France.
According to Lara’s U.S. Army biography:
Then-Pfc. Salvador Lara was bestowed the Medal of Honor to recognize his valorous actions in Aprilia, Italy, May 27–28, 1944. During the fight, May 27, he aggressively led his rifle squad in neutralizing multiple enemy strong points and inflicting large numbers of casualties on the enemy. The next morning, as his company resumed the attack, Lara sustained a severe leg wound, but did not stop to receive first aid. Lara continued his exemplary performance until he captured his objective.
Lara’s awards include: