Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Stories of Sacrifice

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Vietnam War - U.S. Army

Rodney James tadashi Yano

  • Rank: First Sergeant
  • Conflict/Era: Vietnam War
  • Unit/Command:
    Air Cavalry Troop,
    11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
  • Military Service Branch: U.S. Army
  • Medal of Honor Action Date: January 1, 1969
  • Medal of Honor Action Place: near Bien Hao, Republic of Vietnam

Sfc. Yano distinguished himself while serving with the Air Cavalry Troop. Sfc. Yano was performing the duties of crew chief aboard the troop's command-and-control helicopter during action against enemy forces entrenched in dense jungle. From an exposed position in the face of small-arms and antiaircraft fire he delivered suppressive fire upon the enemy forces and marked their positions with smoke and white phosphorous grenades, thus enabling his troop commander to direct accurate and effective artillery fire against the hostile emplacements. A grenade, exploding prematurely, covered him with burning phosphorous, and left him severely wounded. Flaming fragments within the helicopter caused supplies and ammunition to detonate. Dense white smoke filled the aircraft, obscuring the pilot's vision and causing him to lose control. Although having the use of only one arm and being partially blinded by the initial explosion, Sfc. Yano completely disregarded his welfare and began hurling blazing ammunition from the helicopter. In so doing he inflicted additional wounds upon himself, yet he persisted until the danger was past. Sfc. Yano's indomitable courage and profound concern for his comrades averted loss of life and additional injury to the rest of the crew. By his conspicuous gallantry at the cost of his life, in the highest traditions of the military service, Sfc. Yano has reflected great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Medal of Honor Recipient Rodney J. Yano
Medal of Honor Recipient Rodney J. Yano
Additional Details
  • Accredited to: Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii
  • Awarded Posthumously: Yes
  • Presentation Date & Details: April 7, 1970

    The White House, presented by Pres. Richard M. Nixon to his family

  • Born: December 13, 1943, Kealakekua Kona, Hawaii County
  • Died: January 1, 1969, Republic of Vietnam
  • Buried: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) (MH) (W-614), Honolulu, HI, United States

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