A recently expanded Army Reserve center is being named during a Dec. 4 ceremony in honor of a World War II Medal of Honor recipient who was killed in France in 1945.
The reserve center, at 635 S. Locust in Pleasant Grove, is home of the 259th Quartermaster Battalion. The building will be named for the first time in memory of Pfc. Jose F. Valdez, who lived in Pleasant Grove when he entered the Army in 1943.Valdez received the Medal of Honor posthumously for acts of bravery in a fire fight near Rosenkrantz, France on January 25, 1945. From a position 500 yards beyond the American lines, Valdez fired on a German tank until it withdrew, then he killed three German soldiers after they fired on him with automatic weapons from nearby woods, according to the medal citation, which was signed by President Harry Truman.
He was shot in the stomach while providing cover for other members of his patrol as they scrambled to a safe position during an attack by two companies of German soldiers. Valdez then, by field telephone, directed the artillery and mortar fire that broke the attack.
Valdez' sister, Manuela Chavez, is the guardian of the medal and will be an honored guest at the naming ceremony. Another Jose Valdez, cousin to the medal recipient, coincidentally is a civilian employee at the quartermaster battalion and will also be a guest at the ceremony.
The quartermaster battalion, part of the 96th Army Reserve Command, is under the command of Maj. Donald S. McOmie. Maj. Gen. Richard O. Christiansen, commander of the the 96th ARCOM, will deliver the memorialization address.