Michael Valente, Congressional Medal of Honor holder and long time resident of the City of Long Beach, died on January 10, 1976 at the age of 80. In every aspect of his life, he exemplified the very finest: beloved husband, proud father, grandfather and great grandfather, exemplary American citizen, heroic soldier, good neighbor and brotherly friend of all Long Beach residence, no matter what ethnic origin, faith or race. He was loved, honored and respected by all who knew him.
Michael Valente was born in St. Apollinare, Italy, the son of Anthony Valente and Mary Palompo, and emigrated to America at the age of 18. Ogdensburg, New York was his first home. He had been in the country only three years when he entered Company D of the New York National Guard. It was his start down the road that would lead him to the trenches of World War I France and the immortality of having his name inscribed on the Medal of Honor .Roll. His regiment had been activated during the American Campaign against Pancho Villa but saw no action until Company D was absorbed into the 27th Division and sent overseas tonight in France with the British during World War 1. On September 29, 1918, his unit - Company D of the 107th Regiment, 27th Infantry Division - suffered heavy casualties in assaulting the Hindenberg Line. He volunteered an assault on the machinegun nest pinning them down. For his heroic actions, he was cited for the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest distinction which can be earned by a member of the armed forces. Presented to him in Washington. D.C. by President Herbert Hoover in 1929.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company D, 107th Infantry, 27th Division. Place and date: East of Ronssoy, France, 29 September 1918. Entered service at: Ogdensburg N.Y. Born: 5 February 1895, Cassino, Italy. G.O. No.: 16, W.D., i929. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy during the operations against the Hindenburg line, east of Ronssoy, France, 29 September 1918. Finding the advance of his organization held up by a withering enemy machinegun fire, Pvt. Valente volunteered to go forward. With utter disregard of his own personal danger, accompanied by another soldier, Pvt. Valente rushed forward through an intense machinegun fire directly upon the enemy nest, killing 2 and capturing 5 of the enemy and silencing the gun. Discovering another machinegun nest close by which was pouring a deadly fire on the American forces, preventing their advance, Pvt. Valente and his companion charged upon this strong point, killing the gunner and putting this machinegun out of action. Without hesitation they jumped into the enemy's trench, killed 2 and captured 16 German soldiers. Pvt. Valente was later wounded and sent to the rear.