PHOENIX – Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura, the son of Japanese immigrants who was awarded the U.S. Medal of Honor for holding off an assault to enable an American squad to withdraw all through the Korean War, has died.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society declared that Miyamura died Tuesday at his house in Phoenix. He was 97.
Born in Gallup, New Mexico, Miyamura’s mom and dad operated a 24-hour diner near the Navajo Nation exactly where the loved ones interacted with the diverse population of miners and tourists who passed alongside Route 66.
Miyamura’s mother died when he was 11 and his father hardly ever talked about Japan, Miyamura reported in later on interviews. He would get paid the nickname “Hershey” simply because a trainer could not pronounce his very first name.
Miyamura worked as an automobile mechanic all through substantial school. He joined the U.S. Army late in Planet War II right after the federal authorities lifted constraints on Japanese People in america serving. Miyamura was permitted to sign up for the 442nd Infantry Regiment, composed practically fully of “nisei” – individuals born in the U.S. to parents who have been Japanese immigrants.
Immediately after the war, Miyamura met Terry Tsuchimori, a lady from a relatives who experienced been forced to stay at the Poston internment camp in southwestern Arizona next the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. They married in 1948 and experienced three small children.
Miyamura ongoing to serve in the Military Reserves and was termed into action for the duration of the Korean War.
On the night time of April 24, 1951, around Taejon-ni, Miyamura’s business arrived beneath attack by an invading Chinese drive. Miyamura ordered his squad to retreat though he stayed powering and continued to fight, supplying his guys sufficient time to evacuate.
Miyamura and fellow squad chief Joseph Lawrence Annello, of Castle Rock, Colorado, were being captured. Though wounded, Miyamura carried the injured Annello for miles until eventually Chinese troopers requested him at gunpoint to depart Annello by the facet of a street. Miyamura refused the orders until Annello convinced him to place him down.
Annello was afterwards picked up by one more Chinese device and taken to a POW camp, from which he escaped.
Miyamura was held as a prisoner for two a long time and 4 months.
On his launch, he was introduced the Medal of Honor by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It had been awarded in top secret although he was continue to a prisoner of war.
“I never at any time assumed I would obtain the Medal of Honor for undertaking my responsibility, which I considered that’s all I was undertaking, was my duty,” Miyamura reported in the 2018 Netflix documentary “Medal of Honor.”
Miyamura and Annello afterwards met up and remained lifelong pals. Annello died in 2018.
Soon after the Korean War, Miyamura returned to Gallup as a hero. A lot more than 5,000 people arrived to satisfy his educate. He put in considerably of the rest of his daily life functioning in city as an automobile mechanic.
In his Dwelling Historical past documentary in the Congressional Medal of Honor Modern society library, Miyamura mirrored on the soldiers who deserved recognition but hardly ever been given it.
“There are so quite a few Us citizens who never know what the Medal represents or what any soldier or servicewoman or person does for his country. And I believe that a person of these days – I hope a person of these days – they will master of the sacrifices that a large amount of the adult males and women have built for this region,” he said.
Miyamura remained lively in veterans’ troubles and gave annual summer season lectures to military services associates in Gallup, New Mexico. The talks drew hundreds of servicemen and servicewomen over the many years.
In 2019, an aide introduced that Miyamura experienced likely supplied his last public converse thanks to declining wellness.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Navajo Country Vice President Myron Lizer both equally referred to as Miyamura a hero, saying he will be missed by numerous who are for good grateful for his services.
Miyamura is survived by numerous household members. Funeral arrangements are pending.