SSG KAZUO OTANI
442nd Regimental Combat Team
Pieve Di S. Luce, Italy
15 July 1944
Staff Sergeant Otani’s platoon became pinned down in a wheat field by enemy machine gun and sniper. Otani left his position of cover, moved forward, and neutralized the sniper.
Out in the open SSG Otani became the target of every enemy gunner in the area. A steady stream of machine-gun bullets chased Otani as he dashed across the open wheat field toward the foot of a cliff and moved his men to a safer position.
When platoon movement drew heavy enemy fire, Otani jumped to his feet exposing himself and drawing fire away from his men as he dashed along the cliff toward the left flank.
Staff Sergeant Otani again made his way out into the open field, shouting instructions to the stranded men while continuing to draw enemy fire.
A fellow American was seriously wounded, SSG Otani ordered his men to take cover as Otani crawled to the wounded soldier, in full view of the enemy. He dragged the wounded soldier to a shallow ditch and administered medical aid until he was filed by an enemy machine gunner.