Sgt. Jesus S. Duran

USCIS San Bernardino Field Office

Medal of Honor recipient Jesus S. Duran was born July 26, 1948, in Juarez, Mexico.

Duran joined the U.S. Army on May 13, 1968. Then-Specialist 4 Duran was assigned to Company E, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). During the third phase of the Vietnam War, Duran distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty on April 10, 1969, as a machine gunner on a search-and-clear operation.

His reconnaissance platoon was moving into an enemy bunker complex when the lead elements were ambushed with gunfire from every side. Duran rushed forward with his M60 machine gun and assumed a defensive position near the command post to fight back.

Learning that two seriously wounded troopers lay pinned down under fire, he assaulted the enemy positions, firing deadly bursts on the run. Duran mounted a log and fired directly into the foxholes, eliminating four enemy fighters along with several others as they fled. He continued to fire at the disorganized and fleeing enemy troops and led to the enemy’s retreat.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Duran was also awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Air Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Service Stars, Combat Infantryman Badge, Sharpshooter Marksmanship Badge with Auto Rifle and Machine Gun Bars, Marksmanship Badge with Rifle Bar, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 1960- Device and Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm Device.

After leaving the military, Duran pursued a career as a corrections officer at a juvenile detention center in San Bernardino, Calif. While working there, he dedicated numerous hours of personal time to mentor youth and lead them on educational trips. Sgt. Duran, who died in 1977, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor on March 18, 2014.

Last Reviewed/Updated: