Two Indiana County veterans, one from World War Two and one from the Civil War, will be honored next week with induction into the Soldiers & Sailors Hall of Valor in Pittsburgh. 95-year-old Guerinna Prola of Blairsville – who is also known as “Gued” or “Joe” – earned his place by being awarded the Silver Star for his actions as an Army medic on Jan. 15, 1945 in Belgium, when he saved one man under heavy fire and went into a minefield and treated and evacuated another wounded soldier. Among his other medals is the Bronze Star.
Sergeant James Bronson, who served in the United States Colored Troops in the Civil War, was a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor, for his actions on Sept. 9, 1864, when he took command of his company and gallantly led it in battle at Chapin’s Farm, Virginia, with all of the officers of the company either killed or wounded. He also was awarded the prestigious Butler Award, bestowed by General Benjamin Butler on African American soliders at that battle and another one nearby. Bronson was born in Indiana County in 1838.
The two men will be inducted next Sunday along with thirteen others.