Rudolph B. Divila
Davila was born to a Spanish father and a Filipino mother in El Paso, Texas. His family moved to Watts, California when he was a child. There he was raised and received his primary and secondary education.
Davila got his Education at the University of Southern California
Davila enlisted in the Army from Los Angeles in March 1941.Davila was a United States Army Staff Sergeant assigned to Company H of the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. On May 28, 1944, his company was involved in an offensive, near Italy. Which broke through the German mountain strongholds surrounding the Anzio beachhea
His company was under a heavy enemy attack and for an unknown reason his machine gunners were reluctant to risk putting their guns into action. Realizing that his company was in danger, Davila crawled 50 yards to the nearest machine gun and fired over 750 rounds into the enemy strongholds in the foothills.
World War II
His fellow machine gunners reacted and Davila directed their firepower with hand and arm signals until the two enemy hostile machine guns were silenced. Despite being wounded by the enemy, he continued his assault by engaging the enemy from the turret of a burnt tank. Davila then spotted what he believed to be a rifle barrel in a farmhouse window. He grabbed a rifle and two grenades and went inside the farmhouse. He tossed the grenades at the attic and shot at the troops inside, destroying two more enemy machine gun nests. The enemy was forced to abandon their prepared positions.Davila then received a battlefield commission to Lieutenant and even though a Captain in the rifle company said he would recommend Davila for the Medal of Honor, the highest honor for battlefield valor, Davila was instead awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army's second highest military honor. Davila continued to serve with his company after he recovered from his leg wound. A few months after the attack. Davila found himself in France's Vosges Mountains. He received a chest wound from a shell which ricocheted off a tree as he was ordering his men to storm a German tank. The tank shell caused injuries that left his right arm paralyzed.
Heading Back Home
Davila was treated for his wounds at a hospital in Modesto, California. There he met a nurse by the name of Harriet and three months later they were married. He continued his education and earned a bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Southern California, and became a high school history teacher in Los Angeles. He moved to Vista in 1977 with his wife after he retired from teaching. His wife, Harriet Davila, lobbied Army officials to award the Medal of Honor to her husband based on the actions he performed during the Allied offensive in Italy, after she became aware of her husband's heroic actions. For years, she petitioned the government for her husband's medal — making phone calls, writing letters and researching military records to prove her husband deserved the Medal of Honor. No reply ever came. Awhile after he got the Medal of Honor.
- Medal of Honor
- Distinguished Service
- CrossPurple Heart