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Japanese American Military Experience Database

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Masato "Curly" Nakae

Birth date
Place of birth
Lihue, Kauai HI, U.S.A.
1942-2-8, Honolulu HI
Service branch
Service type
Unit type
Units served
100th Infantry Battalion, Company A
Military specialty
Schofield Barracks, HI, Camp McCoy, WI, Camp Shelby, MS; France; Italy
Unit responsibility
Personal responsibility
Major battles (if served in a war zone)
Rome-Arno, Ardennes, and Rhineland Campaigns
Awards, medals, citations (individual or unit)
One of 22 Asian Pacific Americans to be awarded the Medal of Honor at White House ceremonies on June 21,2000. He previously was decorated with the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army's highest medal for extraordinary heroism. His citation for the Medal of Honor reads as follows:

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of The Congress the Medal of Honor to


for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Private Masato Nakae distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 19 August 1944, near Pisa, Italy. When his submachine gun was damaged by a shell fragment during a fierce attack by a superior enemy force, Private Nakae quickly picked up his wounded comrade's M-1 rifle and fired rifle grenades at the steadily advancing enemy. As the hostile force continued to close in on his position, Private Nakae threw six grenades and forced them to withdraw. During concentrated enemy mortar barrage that preceded the next assault by the enemy force, a mortar shell fragment seriously wounded Private Nakae. Despite his injury, he refused to surrender his position and continued firing at the advancing enemy. By inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy force, he finally succeded in breaking up the attack and caused the enemy to withdraw.

Private Nakae'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.

Additional information
'He, and that whole generation, left us a legacy and the challenge for us to leave the same kind of legacy if possible. Like them, we do what we believe is right, and we don't look for recognition. But this is a great way of making it happen.' (June 23, 2000, The Honolulu Advertiser)
-- Deputy Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu, nephew of Nakae.

He was wounded twice in Italy - May 1944 and again in August 1944.

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