Joe M. Nishimoto

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Joe M. Nishimoto
Head and shoulders of a smiling young man with dimples and round wire-framed glasses wearing a garrison cap and a military jacket over a shirt and tie
Private First Class Joe Nishimoto
Born(1919-02-21)February 21, 1919
Fresno, California
DiedNovember 15, 1944(1944-11-15) (aged 25)
near La Houssière, France  
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branchSeal of the United States Department of War.png United States Army
Years of service1943 - 1944
RankUS Army WWII PFC.svg Private First Class
Unit442nd Regimental Combat Team
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsMedal of Honor

Private First Class Joe M. Nishimoto (February 21, 1919 – November 15, 1944) was a United States Army soldier. He is best known for receiving the Medal of Honor because of his actions in World War II.[1]

Early life[edit]

Nishimoto was born in California to Japanese immigrant parents. He was a Nisei, which means that he was a second generation Japanese-American.

He was interned at the Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas,[2]


Nishimoto joined the US Army in October 1943.[3]

Nishimoto volunteered to be part of the all-Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion.[4] This army unit was mostly made up of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland.[5]

For his actions in November 1944, Nishimoto was awarded the Army's second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross.[6] He was killed in action on November 15, 1944.

Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Nishimoto's Medal of Honor recognized his conduct in frontline fighting in France in 1944.[1]

Private First Class Nishimoto's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

Cmoh army.jpg

Private First Class Joe M. Nishimoto distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 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 a 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 position. 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 on him, his unit, and the United States Army.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b US Army Center of Military History, "Medal of Honor Recipients, World War II (M-S)"; retrieved 2012-12-7.
  2. ^ U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Japanese-American Internee Data File, 1942-1946 #29517 (Nishimoto, Joe M.); retrieved 2012-12-7.
  3. ^ NARA, WWII Army Enlistment Record #35229917 (Nishimoto, Joe M.); retrieved 2012-12-7.
  4. ^ Go for Broke National Education Center, "Medal of Honor Recipient Private Shinyei Nakamine"; retrieved 2012-12-7.
  5. ^ "100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry" at Global; retrieved 2012-12-7.
  6. ^ "21 Asian American World War II Vets to Get Medal of Honor" at University of Hawaii Digital History Archived 2012-03-17 at the Wayback Machine.; retrieved 2012-12-7.
  7. ^ Gomez-Granger, Julissa. (2008). Medal of Honor Recipients: 1979-2008, "Nishimoto, Joe M.," pp. 15-16 [PDF 19-20 of 44]; retrieved 2012-12-7.

External links[edit]