House Passes Rep. Gomez’s Legislation to Honor WWII Hero, Pvt. Jacob Cruz

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Vice Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, applauded the House passage of bipartisan legislation he introduced to designate a post office in Boyle Heights after U.S. Marine Corps Private Jacob Cruz, a World War II hero who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Battle of Tarawa in 1943. The bill, supported by every member of the California Congressional Delegation, passed by a vote of 401 to 1 and will now move to the Senate for consideration.

“I am grateful for the ongoing advocacy of the Cruz family and share their dedication to advance legislation that honors U.S. Marine Corps Private Jacob Cruz,” said Congressman Jimmy Gomez. “East Los Angeles has a proud tradition of military service, and it is important that we pay tribute to the rich, diverse history of Latinos in the U.S. Armed Forces. I call on the Senate to support this important bill.”

Pvt. Cruz was 17 years old and a junior at Roosevelt High School when he asked his single mother, Gracia Cruz, a Mexican immigrant who worked as a custodian at White Memorial Medical Center, for permission to enlist. After initial training, Pvt. Cruz shipped off to the Pacific theater, where he gave his life while running ammunition boxes to gunners on the front line amid enemy fire. Pvt. Cruz's heroic devotion to duty played a vital role in enabling U.S. forces to maintain a foothold in the Pacific.  

After being declared unrecoverable for 77 years, Pvt. Cruz’s remains were identified and returned home to his family in Los Angeles, where he was laid to rest with full military honors on March 25, 2021.  

Pvt. Cruz served in Company D, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. For his service and sacrifice, Pvt. Cruz was posthumously awarded a Silver Star and Purple Heart.  

The post office to be designated in honor of Pvt. Cruz is located at 2016 East 1st Street, Los Angeles, California, 90033.  

Stay Connected

Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter and get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.