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(E) CUKELA, LOUIS Croatian American Hero
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  09/9/2004 | Awards | Unrated
(E) CUKELA, LOUIS Croatian American Hero

 

The President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to

CUKELA, LOUIS


Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 66th Company, 5th Regiment. Place and date: Near Villers-Cotterets, France, 18 July 1918. Entered service at: Minneapolis, Minn. Born: 1 May 1888, Sebenes, Austria.(Sibenik ?, Croatia) G.O. No.: 34, W.D., 1919.
Citation:

ARMY
When his company, advancing through a wood, met with strong resistance from an enemy strong point, Sgt. Cukela crawled out from the flank and made his way toward the German lines in the face of heavy fire, disregarding the warnings of his comrades. He succeeded in getting behind the enemy position and rushed a machinegun emplacement, killing or driving off the crew with his bayonet. With German handgrenades he then bombed out the remaining portion of the strong point, capturing 4 men and 2 damaged machineguns.


NAVY
For extraordinary heroism while serving with the 66th Company, 5th Regiment, during aciton in Forest de Retz, near Viller-Cottertes, France, 18 July 1918. Sgt. Cukela advanced alone against an enemy strong point that was holding up his line. Disregarding the warnings of his comrades, he crawled out from the flank in the face of heavy fire and worked his way to the rear of the enemy position. Rushing a machine-gun emplacement, he killed or drove off the crew with his bayonet, bombed out the remaining part of the strong point with German hand grenades, and captured two machineguns and four men.


Received BOTH the Army and Navy Medal of Honor for the same action

http://www.homeofheroes.com/moh/citations_1918_wwi/cukela_louis.html

Dobri vojak Lujo

U Spomen-knjizi americkih nacionalnih junaka na istaknutom je mjestu upisano i ime jednog Hrvata: Spliæanin Vjekoslav (Louis) Lujo Cukela u Prvom se svjetskom ratu borio pod americkom zastavom i bio odlikovan cak dvjema medaljama casti


Koliko je veliko i ugledno to priznanje najbolje govori podatak da je u americkoj povijesti dosad bilo dodijeljeno svega 19 dvostrukih dobitnika toga najvišeg odlicja u SAD-u. Premda je Cukela u Sjedinjenim Americkim Državama slavljen kao nacionalni junak, on je u vlastitoj domovini ostao gotovo nepoznat.

Roðen je 1888. u Splitu. Otac Ðuro je iz sela Koljane kraj Vrlike, a majka Ivanica (roðena Bubriæ) iz Kaštel Lukšiæa. Osim najstarijeg sina Luje imali su još tri kæeri: Maricu, Zorku i Ružu. Neko su vrijeme živjeli u Šibeniku, gdje je Ðuro Cukela imao malu trgovinu delikatesnom robom.

Mladi Lujo služio je cetverogodišnji vojni rok u austrijskoj vojsci. Nakon toga, 1911. otišao je u SAD, gdje je ubrzo po dolasku stupio u americku vojsku u kojoj je ostao do kraja života. Pocetak Prvog svjetskog rata zatekao ga je kao americkog narednika na Filipinima. Kad je i Amerika zaratila prebacio se na europsko ratište i prijavio u pomorsku pješadiju 1917. Istakao se posebno na ratištu u Francuskoj pa su ispisane cijele legende o njegovoj hrabrosti.

Cukela je 1919. i 1920. bio na Haitiju gdje je zaslužio Medalju Haitija, a potom je od 1921. do 1923. u Dominikanskoj Republici, odakle takoðer donosi jednu medalju. Izmeðu 1927. i 1929. Cukela je kao americki marinac u Kini, odakle donosi dvije medalje. Bogatu je zbirku nastavio popunjavati i za Drugog svjetskog rata. U tom je razdoblju zaslužio još tri americke medalje.

Cukela je u dva navrata 1925. i 1931. posjetio svoj zavicaj. Živio je u Bethesdi u Marylandu, državi Washington D.C.

Vjekoslav (Louis) Lujo Cukela umro je 19. ožujka 1956. godine. Pokopan je na groblju za americke nacionalne heroje, na Nacionalnom groblju Arlington u Washingtonu.
 

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