Leadership: May 23, 2000

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: The US Army has reviewed the records of 104 Asian Americans who won the Distinguished Service Cross in WWII to determine if any of them should have received the Congressional Medal of Honor instead, and has found 21 deserving of the higher award. Nineteen of the 21 served with the famous Japanese units in WWII, the 100th Separate Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Those from the 100th include: Private Mikio Hasemoto, Private Shizuya Hayashi, Technical Sergeant Yeiki Kobashigawa, Private First Class Kaoru Moto, Private Masato Nakae, Private Shinyei Nakamine, and Sergeant Allan M. Ohata. Those from the 442nd include: Private Barney F. Hajiro, Private Joe Hayashi, 2nd Lieutenant (later Senator) Daniel K. Inouye, Staff Sergeant Robert T. Kuroda, Private First Class Kiyoshi Muranaga, Private First Class William K. Nakamura, Private First Class Joe M. Nishimoto, Technical Sergeant Yukio Okutsu, Private First Class Frank Ono, Staff Sergeant Kazuo Otani, Private George T. Sakato, and Technical Sergeant Ted. T. Tanouye. Those from other units include: Staff Sergeant Rudolph B. Davila and Captain Francis B. Wai, both of whom fought in the Pacific theater. In addition to the 21 DSC winners who will be awarded the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony on 21 June, Army Medic James Okubo (who served with the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regiment) was also found deserving of the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of several soldiers in Oct and Nov 1944. He received the Silver Star at the time, and Congress will have to waive the time limit for Medals of Honor for him to receive the nation's highest award.--Stephen V Cole

 


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