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Thread: National Medal of Honor Day

  1. #1
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    National Medal of Honor Day

    Today is the 155th anniversary of the day the decoration was first awarded. My local paper published a story of one such recipient in the printed edition

    For service during World War II, 464 United States personnel received the Medal of Honor, 266 of them posthumously.

    One of those posthumously honored was the first Japanese American to receive the honor - a Californian, born in Los Angeles, named Sadao Munemori. Munemori, 22, was killed in action April 5, 1945, while fighting the Nazis in the mountains near Seravezza, Italy.

    Munemori was the fourth of five kids growing up with a widowed mother, Nawa. He enlisted Nov. 2, 1941, a month before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    By 1942, the Munemori family was forced to leave Los Angeles and was sent to Manzanar internment camp designated for "enemy aliens" in the Owens Valley of California. Internment camps held more than 110,000 people during the war.

    In 1942, the U.S. Army created an infantry unit, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, that consisted of Japanese Americans and was deployed to fight in Europe. Munemori, who was a sergeant in military intelligence, had to accept a lower rank to transfer to the 442nd. The Army called for 1,500 volunteers, and 10,000 turned up for recruitment.

    On April 5, 1945, Munemori's Company A of the 100th Infantry Battalion was leading an offensive, and he took command after his squad leader was wounded. He ran through heavy fire and lobbed grenades at two machine gun nests, destroying them.

    As the Germans threw a slew of grenades, Munemori went for cover in a shell crater with two of his men. A grenade bounced off his helmet and rolled towards his hapless comrades. He jumped on the grenade to smother the blast and saved the lives of his fellow soldiers. One month later, Germany surrendered. The Department of Defense awarded Munemori the Medal of Honor on March 7, 1946.

    Most decorated unit in U.S. history:

    Medals of Honor 21
    Distinguished Service Cross 52
    Silver Stars 560
    Bronze Stars 4,000
    Purple Hearts 9,486
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    Albany Rifles's Avatar
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    What a great story and what a fantastic outfit!
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

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