Sadao Munemori

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Sadao "Spud" Munemori
Sadao Munemori.jpg; Cmoh army.jpg
Born August 17, 1922 (1922-08-17)
Los Angeles, California
Died April 5, 1945 (1945-04-06) (aged 22)
Killed in action at Seravezza, Italy
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1942 - 1945
Rank Private First Class
Unit US Army 100th Infantry Battalion
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Medal of Honor

Sadao Munemori (August 17, 1922 – April 5, 1945) was a United States Army soldier.[1] he was a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor, after he sacrificed his life to save those of his fellow soldiers at Seravezza, Italy during World War II.[2][3]

Munemori was a private first class in the United States Army, in Company A, 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team.[4] For his actions, when the 442nd was part of the 92d Infantry Division, he was the only Japanese American to be awarded the Medal of Honor during or immediately after World War II.[5]

Early life[edit]

Munemori was born in Los Angeles, California to Japanese immigrant parents. He was a Nisei, which means that he is a second generation Japanese American.[6]

During World War II, Munemori's parents and siblings were incarcerated at the Manzanar concentration camp.[1]

Soldier[edit]

Two months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he joined the US Army.[7]

Munemori volunteered to be part of the all-Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion.[8] The battalion was initially listed as a separate battalion, and fought as part of the 133rd Infantry Regiment within the 34th Infantry Division. After the allied capture of Rome, the battalion withdrew from the front and became the 1st battalion of the 442nd Infantry Regiment.[9] This army unit was mostly made up of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland.[10] In the late 20th century, the awards issued to soldiers of the 442nd Infantry Regiment were reviewed, and 22 soldiers medals were upgraded to the Medal of Honor.[11]

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 100th Infantry Battalion, 442d Combat Team. Place and date: Near Seravezza, Italy, 5 April 1945. Entered service at: Los Angeles, Calif Birth: Los Angeles, Calif. G.O. No.. 24, 7 March 1946.

"He fought with great gallantry and intrepidity near Seravezza, Italy. When his unit was pinned down by grazing fire from the enemy's strong mountain defense and command of the squad devolved on him with the wounding of its regular leader, he made frontal, one-man attacks through direct fire and knocked out two machine guns with grenades. Withdrawing under murderous fire and showers of grenades from other enemy emplacements, he had nearly reached a shell crater occupied by two of his men when an unexploded grenade bounced on his helmet and rolled toward his helpless comrades. He arose into the withering fire, dived for the missile and smothered its blast with his body. By his swift, supremely heroic action Pfc. Munemori saved two of his men at the cost of his own life and did much to clear the path for his company's victorious advance."[4]

Namesakes[edit]

  • The interchange between the I-105 and I-405 freeways in Los Angeles is labeled the "Sadao S. Munemori Memorial Interchange."[3][12][13]
  • USAT Private Sadao S. Munemori is a reserved name in the U.S. Army, and was used as the name of a troop ship, USNS Private Sadao S. Munemori|T-AP-190, between October 31, 1947 and the 1970s.[3][14]
  • Sadeo S. Munemori Hall, a building located on the grounds of the Captain Nelson M. Holderman U.S. Army Reserve Center in West Los Angeles, California, was dedicated in his honor in 1993.[3][15]
  • Sadeo Munemori is memorialized by a statue in Pietrasanto Italy[3][16][17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Tamashiro, Ben H. (1985-03-15). "The Congressional Medal of Honor: Sadao Munemori". The Hawaii Herald, via the Hawaii Nisei Project, University of Hawaii. Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  2. ^ "Medal of Honor Recipients, World War II (M-S)". US Army Center of Military History. 2011-06-27. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Army Historian Tells Java Members About Munemori's Patriotism And Courage". Rafu Shimpo. 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  4. ^ a b "Munemori, Sadao S.". Congressional Medal of Honor Society. 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  5. ^ "Military Times: Hall of Valor - Sadao S. Munemori". Military Times. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  6. ^ Niiya, Brian. Japanese American History: An A-To-Z Reference from 1868 to the Present. New York: Japanese American National Museum and Facts On File. p. 241. ISBN 0-8160-2680-7. 
  7. ^ "WWII Army Enlistment Record #39019023 (Munemori, Sadao S.". U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). 2002-09-30. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  8. ^ "Medal of Honor Recipient Private First Class Sadao S. Munemori". Go for Broke National Education Center. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  9. ^ Niiya, Brian. Japanese American History: An A-To-Z Reference from 1868 to the Present. pp. 277–386. 
  10. ^ "100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry". Global Security. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  11. ^ Williams, Rudi (2010-07-10). "Army Secretary Lionizes 22 World War II Heroes". Associated Press. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  12. ^ "California 1993-94 Senate Concurrent Resolution 41". State of California. 1994-09-09. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  13. ^ a b Aoyagi-Stom, Caroline (2008-04-18). "A Hometown Honor for Sadao Munemori?". Pacific Citizen. Retrieved 2012-12-25. 
  14. ^ "Dictionary Of American Naval Fighting Ships: Private Sadao S. Munemori". U.S. Naval History And Heritage Command. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  15. ^ "Army Facility Memorializes WW II Hero". Los Angeles Times. June 13, 1993. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  16. ^ Costello, Joyce. "Fellow Soldier's Monument in Pietrasanta". United States Army. Retrieved 2012-12-07. 
  17. ^ Doi, Tonko. "A Trip To Pietransanta" (PDF). The JACLer (Japanese American Citizens League, Chicago Chapter) (September/October 2007). Retrieved 2012-12-27. 
  18. ^ "Post 321 (Sadao Munemori)". Togetherweserved.com, Inc. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 

External links[edit]