Honoring POW and KIA Medal of Honor Recipients
On National POW/MIA Recognition Day we honor all those who were prisoners of war and those missing in action while defending the United States. Thousands of U.S. service members remain…
Earned Nation’s Highest Award for Valor during Korean War
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C.— The Congressional Medal of Honor Society regretfully announces that Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura, the second-to-last living Korean War Medal of Honor recipient, passed away Nov. 29, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of 97.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented Miyamura with the Medal of Honor on White House grounds in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 27, 1953, for his actions near Taejon-Ni, Korea, during 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, killing approximately 10 of the enemy before returning to administer first aid to the wounded and directed 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 bayoneting his way through infiltrated enemy soldiers to a second gun emplacement and assisted in its operation. He ordered his men to fall back while covering their movement and killed more than 50 of the enemy before his ammunition was depleted and he was severely wounded but was still seen continuing to fight an overwhelming number of enemy soldiers before being captured by the enemy.
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.
In his Living History documentary in the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Video Library, Medal of Honor Recipient Miyamura said of the Medal of Honor and its connection to all servicemembers’ sacrifices, “Until I saw that flag—the Star-Bangled Banner waving in the breeze–did I know. I’ve learned what it represents. That alone is what makes you feel so humble. So many of these fellas who deserve it never came home to any recognition. There are so many Americans who don’t know what the Medal represents or what any soldier or service woman or man does for this country, and I believe one of these days–I hope one of these days–they will learn of the sacrifices that a lot of the men and women have made for this country.”
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. Upon return to the U.S. after his release from capture, Miyamura worked for the U.S. Post Office in Gallup.
He is survived by numerous family members. Burial arrangements are pending.
There are now 64 living Medal of Honor Recipients alive today.
About the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is dedicated to preserving the legacy of the Medal of Honor and its Recipients, inspiring Americans, and supporting the Recipients as they connect with communities across the country.
Chartered by Congress in 1958, its membership consists exclusively of those individuals who have received the Medal of Honor. There are 64 living Recipients.
Learn more about the Medal of Honor and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s initiatives at cmohs.org.