Congressional Medal of Honor Society
In Memoriam – Hiroshi Miyamura and Frank Herda
Our annual Medal of Honor Convention is this week, and while it is a celebration of the 65 living Recipients, it is also a time to honor Recipients who have passed or who were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor since the last Convention. With this in mind, we wanted to take a moment to recognize and remember the lives and service of Medal of Honor Recipient Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura, who passed away on November 29th, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of 97, and Medal of Honor Recipient Frank A. Herda, who passed away October 13th, 2023, in Cleveland, Ohio, at the age of 76.
Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura was born in Gallup, New Mexico, on Oct. 6, 1925, and joined the U.S. Army during World War II in January 1945 as part of the all-Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, composed mostly of Japanese Americans. He was discharged from the Army shortly after Japan surrendered but later enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve. He was recalled to active duty following the start of the Korean War.
On April 24, 1951, then-Cpl. Miyamura was a machine-gun squad leader with Company H occupying a defensive position when the enemy threatened to overrun the position. Aware of the imminent danger to his men, he engaged in close hand-to-hand combat before returning to administer first aid to the wounded and direct their evacuation. When another assault hit the line, he manned his machine gun until his ammunition was expended and ordered the squad to withdraw while he stayed behind fighting his way through infiltrated enemy soldiers to a second gun emplacement, where he there assisted in its operation. He soon ordered his men to fall back while covering their movement. While providing cover for his men, he was severely wounded but was still seen continuing to fight an overwhelming number of enemy soldiers before ultimately being captured.
News that Miyamura was to be awarded the Medal of Honor was kept quiet until his release from a prisoner of war camp on Aug. 23, 1953. President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented him with the Medal of Honor on White House grounds on Oct. 27, 1953.
Frank A. Herda was born on Sep. 13, 1947, in Cleveland, Ohio, and joined the U.S. Army at the age of 20.
On June 29, 1968, near Dak To in Quang Trang Province, then-Private-First-Class Herda was defending his position during a nighttime enemy assault. His company was hit by an attack from enemy fighters armed with hand grenades and small charges. Herda fired at the aggressors until they were within 10 feet of his position and one of their grenades landed in his foxhole. He fired one last round from his grenade launcher, hitting an enemy soldier, and then, with no concern for his own safety, Herda immediately covered the blast of the grenade with his body. The explosion wounded him grievously, but his selfless action prevented his two comrades from being seriously injured or killed and enabled the remaining defenders to stop the attack.
For these actions, President Richard M. Nixon presented Herda with the Medal of Honor at the White House in Washington, D.C., on May 14, 1970. After the war, Herda served 33 years as a systems analyst for the U.S Department of Defense. A lover of science fiction, he authored the book “The Cup of Death: Chronicles of the Dragons of the Magi” in 2007.
Medal of Honor Recipients Hiroshi Miyamura and Frank A. Herda bravely served our country, both on the battlefield and within their communities. Their lives and their actions exemplified the values of the Medal of Honor: courage, sacrifice, integrity, commitment, patriotism, and citizenship. The Recipients will share their stories of these two heroes during today’s memorial service.
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