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History Club
Military history and past events only. Rants or inflamitory comments will be removed.
Hosted by Frank Amato
Daniel Inouye - US Senator - WWII MOH - RIP
California, United States
Joined: September 04, 2002
KitMaker: 1,411 posts
AeroScale: 0 posts
Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 02:39 PM UTC
Daniel Inouye, a World War II combat veteran and the most senior senator in the U.S. Senate, died Monday of respiratory complications. He was 88.

His last words were "Aloha," Hawaiian for hello and goodbye.

Inouye, a Democrat from Hawaii, was hospitalized a week and a half ago at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he said he was working with doctors to regulate his oxygen intake.
He is survived by his wife, Irene Hirano, and son, Daniel "Kenny" Inouye. Kenny is his son with Margaret Shinobu Awamura, to whom he was married for 56 years until her death in 2006.

Inouye had served in the Senate for 49 years, since 1963. At the time of his death, he was the longest-living serving member of the Senate. The late Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia is the only senator who has served longer, for 51 years.

Hawaii became a state in 1959, and Inouye was the state's first Congressman. He also became the country's first Japanese-American Congressman.

He was also hospitalized on Nov. 15 after falling and cutting the back of his head. A statement released by his office spoke to the senator’s apparent dislike of being hospitalized: “The U.S. Army Captain and World War II combat veteran wanted to put a bandage on and come to work but his family insisted he get it checked out.”

He was hospitalized the day before Pearl Harbor Day. Although ailing, he honored the day as he does every year, this time through a press release remembering his time as a Japanese-American teenager in Hawaii. He wrote: In 1941, the date December 7th was a day that evoked anger, fierce patriotism and dangerous racism. Soon after that day, I suddenly found myself, pursuant to a decision by the government and along with thousands of Japanese Americans declared 4C, enemy aliens. It was a difficult time. I was 17.

Born to working class parents, Hyotaro, a jewelry clerk, and Kame, a homemaker, Inouye dreamed of being a doctor, according to the Washington Post, plans that were sidelined by the war. He was a second-generation Japanese-American, or nisei, and he wrote that it pained him that those who dropped bombs on Hawaii looked like him.

Inouye was 17 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served with the 442 Regimental Combat Team, according to a statement on his website. He lost part of his right arm while he was charging a series of machine gun nests in San Terenzo, Italy.

"I looked at it, stunned and disbelieving. It dangled there by a few bloody shreds of tissue, my grenade still clenched in a fist that suddenly didn't belong to me anymore," Inouye wrote in his 1967 autobiography, "Journey to Washington," according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. After the war, he was nominated for the Medal of Honor but did not receive it. President Bill Clinton later bestowed the honor on him and 21 other Japanese-Americans for their courage during World War II, according to the Star-Advertiser.

Joined: June 12, 2006
KitMaker: 1,027 posts
AeroScale: 131 posts
Posted: Monday, December 17, 2012 - 10:16 PM UTC
This is his MoH Citation. Remember, he did this while his family was interned. On a personal not I have met a few MoH recipients over the years. Its remarkable to me how few are like "Rambo". Most of them, well, if you put hem in a group of GIs or Marines or whatever you would never say "oh yeah, the guy who looks like Ahnold, he's our boy." Or as a SEAL once told me, "Rambo wouldn't last a day".

Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action 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.

Colorado, United States
Joined: January 20, 2005
KitMaker: 7,219 posts
AeroScale: 101 posts
Posted: Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 01:46 PM UTC
I did know know him, but my mom received a personal letter from him congratulating her on the birth of my sister in 1968. My dad was in the Navy stationed at Pearl at the time and I think this was standard practice for him to do so. It says a lot about the man.