Bookmark and Share

Daniel K. Inouye

Date of birth: September 7, 1924
Date of death: December 17, 2012
Burial location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Place of Birth: Hawaii, Honolulu
Home of record: Honolulu Hawaii

Only one Medal of Honor was presented to a Japanese-American soldier during World War II, despite the fact that these soldiers, despite intense prejudice at home in the USA, were among the most decorated soldiers of the war. Following a review in the late 1990s of Distinguished Service Cross awards to Japanese Americans, the DSC previously awarded to Daniel Inouye was upgraded to the Medal of Honor. The award was presented to him by President Bill Clinton on June 21, 2000. In 1959 Daniel Inouye was elected to be Hawaii's first Congressman, as well as the first American of Japanese ancestry to serve in either house of Congress. In 1962 Representative Inouye was elected to the US Senate where he has served for nearly 40 years.


Medal of Honor

See more recipients of this award

Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye (ASN: 0-1998638), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company E, 2d Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team, attached to the 92d Infantry Division, in action against the enemy on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper's bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

Action Date: April 21, 1945

Service: Army

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Company: Company E

Battalion: 2d Battalion

Regiment: 442d Regimental Combat Team

Division: 92d Infantry Division