Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Obama honors two Army privates killed in Korean War

President Barack Obama hugs Dorothy Mathews, the sister of Pfc. Henry Svehla, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Korean War.

Associated Press

President Barack Obama hugs Dorothy Mathews, the sister of Pfc. Henry Svehla, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Korean War.

When President Barack Obama expressed his pride in America's men and women in uniform, he was speaking about those who hours earlier had killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and those who six decades earlier had given their lives in the Korean War.

During a somber ceremony on Monday in the White House East Room, Obama bestowed the Medal of Honor posthumously on two Army privates — Anthony T. Kaho'ohanohano of Pukalani, Hawaii, and Henry Svehla of Belleville, N.J.

"Today we remember them with the highest military decoration that our nation can bestow," Obama said, describing the pair as "hometown kids who stood tall in America's uniform."

Kaho'ohanohano was in charge of a machine-gun squad with Company H, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division on Sept. 1, 1951, when they were overrun by enemy forces. He ordered the squad to fall back and seek cover, then gathered up some grenades and fought the enemy alone. When his ammunition ran out, he fought them hand-to-hand until he was killed.

Svehla, a rifleman with Company F, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, charged enemy positions when his platoon began to falter under heavy fire on June 12, 1952. He destroyed enemy positions and inflicted heavy casualties, but when an enemy grenade landed among a group of his comrades, he threw himself on the grenade and was fatally wounded.

Relatives accepted the medals on behalf of their deceased loved ones.

Anthony Svehla, a nephew, said he never knew his uncle but was so inspired by the stories relatives told him that about 10 years ago he began researching Medal of Honor winners and contacted his congressman. His uncle had received a Distinguished Service Cross — as did Kaho'ohanohano — but Svehla said he thought his uncle deserved a higher level of recognition and pressed for it. "We feel very honored and proud today that my uncle received this medal," he said afterward.

Obama honors two Army privates killed in Korean War 05/02/11 [Last modified: Monday, May 2, 2011 8:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Want to audition for Howl-O-Scream? Here's how.

    Florida

    How would you like a job that has you running all night, dodging punches and earning high marks from your boss if you make someone wet their pants?

    Lindsay Weppelman, a University of South Florida biomedical science student, plays a Zombie Bride in one of Busch Gardens' open-air scare zones at Howl-O-Scream 2016.  Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens.
  2. On the defensive: Heisman history not in Derwin James' favor

    College

    The lowdown on Derwin James? "No offense to (Michigan's Jabrill) Peppers (a Heisman finalist last year)," ESPN analyst Rex Ryan says, "but he only wished he was the player this kid was." (Monica Herndon, Times)
  3. Trigaux: Closing Iron Yard coding school hits area tech hard but leaders talk of options

    Business

    The coming shutdown this fall of the Iron Yard software coding school in downtown St. Petersburg — announced this month as part of a national closing of all 15 Iron Yard locations — remains a shocking event to a Tampa Bay technology community that dreams big of becoming a major player in the Southeast if not …

    In better days last fall, friends and family of graduates at The Iron Yard, based in the Station House in downtown St. Petersburg, applaud during "Demo Day" when grads of the coding school show off their skills. Despite the local success and strong job placement by the coding school, The Iron Yard is closing all of its 15 locations across the country this summer. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. Kevin Kiermaier: Return to action Thursday 'didn't set the world on fire'

    The Heater

    Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier's return from the hip injury that sidelined him since June 8 could have gone better Thursday in Port Charlotte. He broke two bats and went hitless in two at bats while playing for the Class A Charlotte Stone Crabs.

    Kevin Kiermaier takes cuts in the cage during batting practice before the game between the Rays and Texas Rangers Saturday at Tropicana Field. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. U.S. economy gathers steam in second quarter

    Business

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy revved up this spring after a weak start to the year, fueled by strong consumer spending. But the growth spurt still fell short of the optimistic goals President Donald Trump hopes to achieve through tax cuts and regulatory relief.

    A government report released Friday showed economic output picked up in the second quarter. 
[Associated Press file photo]