On Nov. 29, Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura passed away at 97. He was a war veteran and recipient of the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the conflict. His legacy has been remembered by many as a symbol of courage and bravery during a difficult time in history. Please look back at Hiroshi Miyamura’s life and service to his country.

Early Life

Hiroshi Miyamura was born to Japanese immigrants in Gallup, New Mexico, on Oct. 6, 1925. His parents owned a small diner in the town, and he attended Gallup High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army in January 1945 as a volunteer for the all-Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, where he trained as a machine gunner.

The Battle at Taejon-ni

The 442nd was made up of Japanese-American soldiers and compiled a storied combat record during WWII, despite fears of their loyalty as they were placed under armed guard at internment camps while living on the West Coast.

Hiroshi Miyamura
(Source: Unknown author/Wikimedia)

In 1950, Miyamura was recalled to active duty with the outbreak of the Korean War and became a squad leader in the Third Infantry Division for an integrated battalion. During one intense firefight near Seoul, he killed at least 50 Chinese Communist troops and was taken prisoner afterward. He spent over two years as a POW before being released in 1953.

“He killed more than 50 of the enemy before his ammunition was depleted and he was severely wounded,” said the Medal of Honor citation he eventually received. “He maintained his magnificent stand despite his painful wounds, continuing to repel the attack until his position was overrun. When last seen he was fighting ferociously against an overwhelming number of enemy soldiers.”

“In October 1953, Mr. Miyamura, then a sergeant, was formally presented with the medal, the military’s highest award for valor, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a White House ceremony.”

Miyamura retired from active duty in 1972 after 20 years of service with a Sergeant First Class (SFC) rank. In 2019 he was inducted into The Pentagon Hall Of Heroes, where his name will forever be remembered alongside other heroes who have served their country so bravely throughout history.

“Miyamura’s was the first Medal of Honor to be classified Top Secret. As Brigadier General Ralph Osborne explained to Miyamura and a group of reporters upon notifying them of his medal, “If the Reds knew what he had done to a good number of their soldiers just before he was taken prisoner, they might have taken revenge on this young man. He might not have come back.”