July 21, 2000

Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera to Honor Medal of Honor Recipient Rudy Davila

San Diego County's newest medal of Honor recipient, WWII Army veteran Rudy Davila, will be honored at the San Diego Business Journal's 6th Annual Multicultural Awards 2000 luncheon, being held July 25 at the Hyatt Regency San Diego on San Diego Bay

Secretary of the Army Louis Caldera, keynote speaker for the event, will recognize Davila for being the newest recipient of America's highest award for battle field courage in a special ceremony during the luncheon.

Davila was one of 21 Asian Americans belatedly awarded the Medal of Honor last month for their heroism during WWII.

The Vista resident of Filipino-Spanish decent, was honored for his actions in May 1944 during the breakout from the Anzio beachhead, one of the longest and bloodiest battle of the war. According to military accounts, Davila single handedly saved the lives of as many as 130 American soldiers when he repeatedly stormed German machinegun emplacements to prevent an ambush of an advancing American infantry company.

After the firefight, the grateful captain of the rescued infantry company told Davila he was going to recommend him for the Medal of Honor. However, a climate of racism in the U.S. military during the war prevented the approval of many such recommendations made for the heroic acts of Asian American servicemen Congress ordered a review of those records in 1996, resulting in the belated awarding of the Medal.

The awards luncheon celebrates "the rich multicultural diversity of the San Diego business community," said Business Journal publisher Ted Owen. "We are so fortunate here in San Diego to have such a rich variety of ethnic backgrounds in our population."

Honorees will be selected from the fields of small business, health care, technology, public service, media, education, hospitality, and human services.

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