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Japanese American Military Experience Database

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Joe M. Nishimoto (KIA 11/7/1944)

Gender
Male
Birth date
1919-2-21
Place of birth
Fresno CA, U.S.A.
Enlistment type
Draftee
Service branch
Army
Service type
War
Unit type
Combat
Units served
442nd Regimental Combat Team, 2nd Battalion, Company G
Military specialty
Infantryman
Stationed
Camp Shelby, MS
France
Unit responsibility
Infantry
Personal responsibility
Rifleman; Squad leader
Major battles (if served in a war zone)
Rhineland Campaign
Awards, medals, citations (individual or unit)
One of 22 Asian Pacific Americans 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

PRIVATE FIRST CLASS JOE M. NISHIMOTO, UNITED STATES ARMY

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

Private First Class Joe M. Nishimoto distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action of 7 November 1944, near La Houssiere, France. After three days of unsuccessful attempts by his company to dislodge the enemy from a strongly defended ridge, Private First Class Nishimoto, as acting squad leader, boldly crawled forward through heavily mined and booby-trapped area. Spotting a machine gun nest, he hurled a grenade and destroyed the emplacement. Then, circling to the rear of another machine gun position, he fired his submachine gun at point-blank range, killing one gunner and wounding another. Pursuing two enemy riflemen, Private First Class Nishimoto killed one, while the other hastily retreated. Continuing his determined assault, he drove another machine gun crew from its poistion. The enemy, with their key strong points taken, were forced to withdraw from this sector.

Private First Class Nishimoto's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit, and the United Stattes Army.

Additional information
'The 2nd Battalion's Company G had a total of 87 men and 5 officers. For three days the soldiers had fought their way across the ridge, unable to dislodge the well fortified enemy. Each day men fell, hidden mines and booby traps exploded, the enemy dropped more artillery, and soldiers suffered. On November 7th, Pfc. Joe M. Nishimoto had had enough. The slightly built, mild mannered young infantryman from California turned into a one-man army.'
--From Home of the Heroes
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