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MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS

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Brief History & Criteria for the Award

The Medal of Honor, established by Joint Resolution of Congress July 12, 1862 (amended by Act of July 9, 1918 and Act of July 25, 1963) is awarded in the name of Congress to a person who, while a member of the Armed Forces, distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against any enemy of the United States, while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force, or while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party. The deed performed must have been one of personal bravery or self-sacrifice so conspicuous as to clearly distinguish the individual above his comrades and must have involved risk of life. Incontestable proof of the performance of service is exacted and each recommendation for award of this decoration is considered on the standard of extraordinary merit. Eligibility is limited to members of the Armed Forces of the United States in active Federal military service.

History of Japanese American World War II Medal of Honor Recipients

Although the various units of the Japanese American WWII soldiers were among the most decorated and credited with shortening the war by two years, at the end of WWII, only one Japanese American, Sadao Munemori, was acknowledged for his service and sacrifice to his country through the Medal of Honor award.

It took fifty years for the United States to recognize that other Nisei soldiers were just as deserving of the Medal of Honor. On June 21, 2000, President Clinton awarded the Medal of Honor to 22 Asian Americans, 20 of whom were Japanese American WWII veterans. Although 13 of the 20 Japanese American Medal of Honor awards were given posthumously, it demonstrated that the United States acknowledged the important contribution of the Japanese American WWII soldiers to American history.

Name Unit
Barney F. Hajiro Company I, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Mikio Hasemoto Original 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)
Joe Hayashi Company K, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Shizuya Hayashi Original 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)
Daniel K. Inouye Company E, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Yeiki Kobashigawa Original 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)
Robert T. Kuroda Company H, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Kaoru Moto Company C, 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)
Sadao S. Munemori Company A, 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)
Kiyoshi K. Muranaga Company F, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Masato Nakae Company A, 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)
Shinyei Nakamine Original 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)
William K. Nakamura Company G, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Joe M. Nishimoto Company G, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Allan M. Ohata Company B, 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)
James K. Okubo Medical Detachment, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Yukio Okutsu Company F, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Frank H. Ono Company G, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Kazuo Otani Company G, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
George T. Sakato Company E, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Ted T. Tanouye Company K, 442nd Regimental Combat Team

Above is a list of the 21 Japanese American WWII Medal of Honor recipients. Please click on each name to view a picture and the individual award citation. The military rank listed indicates the rank at the time the act of bravery was performed.