Pvt Mikio Hasemoto
100th Infantry Bn
442nd Combat Team
29 Nov 1943,
Pvt Hasemoto was posted on the left flank of his unit when they came under intensive attack by a platoon-sized enemy force.
Two enemy soldiers with machine guns advanced on foot firing their weapons at Pvt Hasemoto,
Hasemoto summarily dispatched both. Then engaged the remaining enemy force.
His weapon was damaged by an enemy round so he unhesitatingly ran to the rear to secure a new one then returned to this post and continued to engage the enemy until his weapon seized up.
At this point, Private Hasemoto and his squad leader had killed approximately 20 enemy soldiers between them.
His weapon disabled, Hasemoto ran through a barrage of enemy machine-gun fire to secure a Rifle; Hasemoto and his squad leader killed an additional 10 enemy soldiers then charged courageously forward into a gun position with three enemy crewmen, killing one, wounding one, and capturing another.
The battle went through the night and on to the next day.
Pvt Mikio Hasemoto’s Medal of Honor Citation ends with the following words.
“Private Hasemoto continued to repel enemy attacks until he was killed by enemy fire. Private Hasemoto’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.”
Author’s note… Pvt Mikio Hasemoto’s Was a Japanese American from Hawaii, His family was held in an internment camp while he fought for the United States.
“No combat unit in the Army could exceed [them] in loyalty, hard work, courage and sacrifice. Hardly a man of them hasn’t been decorated at least twice, and their casualty lists were appalling…. A lot of us in Italy used to scratch our heads and wonder how we would feel if we were wearing the uniform of a country that mistreated our families. Most of us came to the conclusion that we would be pretty damn sulky about it, and we marveled at those guys who didn’t sulk … and showed more character and guts per man than any 10 of the rest of us… We were proud to be wearing the same uniform.”
Combat Journalist and Cartoonist Bill Mauldoon
speaking of his experience with the Men of the 442nd.