Shinyei Nakamine (KIA 6/2/1944)

Gender Male
Birth date 1920-1-21
Place of birth Waianae, Oahu HI, U.S.A.
Inducted 1941-11-14, Honolulu HI
Enlistment type Draftee
Service branch Army
Service type War
Unit type Combat
Units served 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 100th Infantry Battalion (original), Company B
Stationed Schofield Barracks, Oahu, HI w/ 298th Infantry Regiment
Camp McCoy, WI
Camp Shelby, MS w/ 100th Battalion, Company B
Unit responsibility Infantry
Personal responsibility Automatic rifleman
Major battles (if served in a war zone) Anzio to Rome Campaign
Awards, medals, citations (individual or unit) One of 22 Asian Pacific American who were awarded the Medal of Honor at White House ceremonies on June 21, 2000. He had previously received the Distinguished Service Cross, posthumously, the Army's highest medal for extraordinary heroism. His citation for the Medal of Honor states:

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 Shinyei Nakamine distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 2 June 1944, near La Torreto, Italy. During an attack, Private Nakamine's platoon became pinned down by intense machine gun crossfire from a small knoll 200 yards to the front. On his own initiative, Private Nakamine crawled toward one of the hostile weapons. Reaching a point 25 yards from the enemy, he charged the machine gun nest, firing his submachine gun and killing three enemy soldiers and capturing two. Later that afternoon, Private Nakamine discovered an enemy soldier on the right flank of his platoon's position. Crawling 25 yards from his position, Private Nakamine opened fire and killed the soldier. Then, seeing a machine gun nest to his front approximately 75 yards away, he returned to his platoon and led an automatic rifle team toward the enemy. Under covering fire from his team, Private Nakamine crawled to a point 25 yards from the nest and threw hand grenades at the enemy soldiers, wounding one and capturing four. Spotting another machine gun nest 100 yards to his right flank, he led the automatic rifle team toward the hostile position, but was killed by a burst of machine gun fire.

Private Nakamine'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.

Distinguished Service Cross
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart w/Oak Leaf Cluster (Posthumous)
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal (Posthumous)
Combat Infantryman Badge

Additional information Memories of Pvt. Shinyei Nakamine by sister Anita K. Korenaga.

Are Medal of Honor recepients made of special mold? I wish my parents were here to tell me about my brother, Shinyei Nakamine, who died at age 24 in Italy.

I hardly knew him. He was born in 1920 and I came along in 1930. But I remember he left the simple sugar plantation life after graduation to become an apprentice cook in the city of Honolulu. This was a huge adventure and a major step for a country boy. Later he joined the Civilian Conservation Corp to plant trees in the island of Molokai. He returned to Waianae and worked at the Gaspro Company before being drafted into the Army.

I remember Shinyei sharing and teaching us new ideas and trends, everytime he visited home. He was a fascinating young fellow and explained the nutritional value of the miso soup and tofu to mother, way before it was public knowledge, how good posture was very important for a growing girl, that weight-lifting was necessary for growing boys and brothers, and encouraged us with the use of other beneficial products.

In a small tight-knit rural community, he bought the first Indian motorcycle and caused quite a stir; he talked the town tailor to sewing his trousers with the wrong side of the fabric out (introducing a new fad); entered a Japanese Language School song contest singing all 6 verses of an Okinawan song (it was not the thing to do in the 30's) - but he captured the hearts of the Okinawan immigrants with his dashing audacity and seriousness of purpose (proud to be an Okinawan!)

In late 1941, he came in his motorcycle to bid me farwell at the elementary school. Did I ever shine! That is the last time I saw my brother. A few months later, someone said that Shinyei and the other soldiers were going to pass Waianae town in a train on the way to a ship harbor. I ran to Pokai Bay train station, just in time to wave goodbye to the blur of men's faces. I cried all the way home.

A few months later, he sent a snapshot of me waving. Was I thrilled that Shinyei saw me!

I was in the 5th or 6th grade and my mother forced me to write a letter to the General in Camp McCoy, WI, to buy a cake for Shinyei on his 22nd birthday. I don't remember the amount of money she put in the envelope, but the Medal of Honor picture of Pvt. Shinyei Nakamine is the top half of a snapshot with him holding a huge birthday cake.

I remember a picture of Shinyei and his buddy in Las Vegas with two lovely Japanese girls. How did he get there? Before he passed away, he sent me a beautiful cameo in a simple envelope and it arrived unscratched! I was the beneficiary of all his War Bonds. They financed my education at the University of Hawaii (which gave me a wonderful career and life).

That he was special, daring, caring, brave and a courageous American from Hawaii -- there is absolutely no doubt..

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