SSG Antonio Santos Carrucini (Ret.) - Co. F-WWII, Co. D Korea 1950-51, Silver Star, Served 25 yrs 1940-65 (Deceased 3/19/2008)
SSGT Antonio Santos Carrucini (Ret.), age 87 of Frisco, Texas, died on March 19, 2008. Santos served in the 65th during World War II in Company “F” and in Korea in Company “D”. He retired after 25 years in the Army from 1940-1965. During the Korean War, Santos was a squad leader and gunner. On December 22, 1950, a large Chinese force attacked his battalion with about 200 concentrating their fire on Santos’ machine gun. Stranded and without communication, Santos opened fire along with his assistant gunner, Cpl. Gilberto Calderon. Just as the enemy was advancing, the machine gun lost the covert bolt-in that built up pressure making it disabled. Using typical Borinqueneer ingenuity, Santos removed a safety pin from Calderon’s shirt which held a Saint’s medal and used it to replace the bolt pin. Disregarding his own safety, he bravely opened fire again. Due to Santos' and his squad’s heroic actions, the enemy was forced to withdraw. Although Santos was initially recommended for a Medal of Honor, he was awarded instead the Silver Star. Calderon and the other men also earned various medals making it the most decorated unit in Korea at the time. The other valiant men in the squad were: 1st Sgt. Saez, Cpl. Gilberto Calderon, PFC Carmoaga, PFC Peter (New Yorican), PFC Bonet, PFC Ruben Santiago Cabrera, CPL Enrique Aviles and a Korean interpreter Kadoni. Antonio’s daughter, Carmen, is working with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (Texas) in trying to get Santos upgraded to a Medal of Honor. She is trying to locate Gilberto Calderon or another witness who can testify to Antonio’s heroism. If you have any information, please contact us or Carmen at firstname.lastname@example.org.