The Medal of Honor was presented to PFC Cafferata by President Harry S. Truman during ceremonies at the White House, 24 November 1952.
Hector Albert Cafferata, Jr. was born 4 November 1929, in New York City. He attended elementary school in Parsippany, New Jersey, and high school in Boonton, New Jersey, until 1943, when he went to work for the Sun Dial Corporation of Cauldwell, New Jersey. He played football for three years in high school and for two more years as a semi-pro. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on 15 February 1948, and was a member of the 21st Reserve Infantry Battalion in Dover, New Jersey, until called to active duty on 6 September 1950.
After training at Camp Pendleton, California, PFC Cafferata embarked for Korea in October 1950, joining the 2d Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division. Because of the wounds he suffered during the action in which he earned the Medal of Honor, he was evacuated to Japan in December 1950, and returned to the United States the following month for treatment at the U. S. Naval Hospital, St. Albans, New York. He was placed on the retired list on 1 September 1951.
In addition to the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart, PFC Cafferata's medals include the Presidential Unit Citation, the Korean Service Medal with one bronze star, the National Defense Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, and the Korean Presidential Unit Citation.