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Obituaries > GONZALES, FERNANDO E.

A lone machine gun did the fighting for an entire company of Marines for more than three hours during a Jap ambush on Okinawa recently. And the man who manned the machine gun—and eventually paid with his life for his heroism—was Pfc. Fernando E. Gonzales of 1019 S. Fickett St., Los Angeles.

Ambushed by a Jap force in one of the narrow ravines of northern Okinawa, Gonzales’ company was pinned down as, from well-camouflaged caves in surrounding ridges, the enemy criss-crossed the ravine with machine gun and rifle fire.

Gonzales moved up the ridge and established a position behind a small knoll. For three hours he sprayed the Jap-held area with a steady stream of fire while Marines in the ravine snaked their way out and withdrew the wounded. Twice the Japs tried to charge the ambushed company, but were beaten back by Gonzales’ fire.

Later, when the company had reformed and moved up to wipe out the Jap concentration, Gonzales left his gun to aid a wounded Marine. He was killed [April 2, 1945] while dragging the man to safety.