Manuel Perez, Jr., “Toots” to his family and close friends, was born in Oklahoma City in the Riverside neighborhood on March 3, 1923. At an early age his family moved from Oklahoma City to Chicago, Illinois where he lived until he was drafted into the Military in in January of 1943.
Private First Class Perez served as a paratrooper in the 11th Air Borne Infantry Division as lead scout for Company A of the 511th Parachute Infantry. He single-handedly killed 18 of the enemy in neutralizing the position that had held up the advance of his entire company. Pfc. Perez made possible the successful advance for his unit toward a valuable objective and provided a last inspiration for his comrades.
At age 22, Manuel Perez, Jr. was killed in action on March 14, 1945 in the Philippine Islands, where he qualified for the United States highest military honor “Medal of Honor”. Pfc. Perez was memorialized in Chicago and brought back to Oklahoma City for his final resting place.
Manuel Perez, Jr. como era conodido por su familia y amigos cercanos, nacio en Oklahoma City, en el vecindario de Riverside, el 3 de marzo de 1923. A una edad muy temprana su familia se mudo de Oklahoma City a Chicago, Illinois. Donde vivio hasta que fue reclutado en el ejercito en enero de 1943.
Privado de Primera Clase Perez sirvio como un paracaidista en la 11th “Division de Infanteria Borne de Bomeo como explorado Infanteria de Paracaidismo. Donde el solo mato a 18 del enemigo en neutralizar la posicion que habia aguantado el avance de toda su compania. Pfc. Perez hizo posible el avance exitoso de su unidad hacia un objetivo valioso y proporciono una ulitima inspiracion para sus companeros.
Manuel Perez Jr. de veintidos anos de edad murio en accion el 14 de marzo de 1945 en las Islas Filipinas, donde se califico para el mas alto honor militar de Estados Unidos “Medalla de Honor.” Privado Primera Clase Perez fue memorialize en Chicago, Illinois, pero fue comprado nuevo a Oklahoma City para su lugar de descanso final.
Rank and Organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A 511th Parachute Infantry, 11th Airborne Division. Place and Date Fort William McKinley, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 13 February 1945. Entered service at. Chicago, Ill. Born: 3 March 1923 Oklahoma City, Okla. G.O. No.: 124, 27 December 1945.
He was lead scout for Company A, which had destroyed 11 of 12 pillboxes in a strongly fortified sector defending the approach to enemy-held Fort William McKinley on Luzon, Philippine Islands. In the reduction of these pillboxes, he killed 5 Japanese in the open and blasted others in pillboxes with grenades. Realizing the urgent need for taking the last emplacement, which contained 2 twin-mount .50-caliber dual-purpose machineguns, he took a circuitous route to within 20 yards of the position, killing 4 of the enemy in his advance. He threw a grenade into the pillbox, and, as the crew started withdrawing through a tunnel just to the rear of the emplacement, shot and killed 4 before exhausting his clip. He had reloaded and killed 4 more when an escaping Japanese threw his rifle with fixed bayonet at him. In warding off this thrust, his own rifle was knocked to the ground. Seizing the Jap rifle, he continued firing, killing 2 more of the enemy. He rushed the remaining Japanese, killed 3 of them with the butt of the rifle and entered the pillbox, where he bayoneted the 1 surviving hostile soldier. Single-handedly, he killed 18 of the enemy in neutralizing the position that had held up the advance of his entire company. Through his courageous determination and heroic disregard of grave danger, Pfc. Perez made possible the successful advance of his unit toward a valuable objective and provided a lasting inspiration for his comrades.