Yeiki Kobashigawa

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Yeiki Kobashigawa
In this Japanese name, the family name is Kobashigawa.

Yeiki Kobashigawa (September 28, 1917-March 31, 2005) was a United States Army soldier.[1] He received the Medal of Honor because of his actions in World War II.[2]

Early life[change | change source]

Kobashigawa was born at Hilo, Hawaii. He is the son of immigrants who were born in Japan. He is a Nisei, which means that he is a second generation Japanese-American.[3]

Soldier[change | change source]

One month before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Kobashigawa joined the US Army in November 1941.[4]

Kobashigawa volunteered to be part of the all-Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion.[5] This army unit was mostly made up of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland.[6]

For his actions in June 1944, Kobashigawa was awarded the Army's second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC). In the 1990s, there was a review of service records of Asian Americans who received the DSC during World War II. Kobashigawa's award was upgraded to the Medal of Honor. In a ceremony at the White House on June 21, 2000, he was presented with his medal by President Bill Clinton. Twenty-one other Asian Americans also received the medal during the ceremony, but only seven of them were still alive.[7]

Medal of Honor citation[change | change source]

Kobashigawa's Medal of Honor recognized his conduct in frontline fighting in northern Italy in 1944.[2] He led successful attacks on four machine gun positions.[8]

The words of Kobashigawa's citation explain:

Technical Sergeant Yeiki Kobashigawa distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 2 June 1944, in the vicinity of Lanuvio, Italy. During an attack, Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa's platoon encountered strong enemy resistance from a series of machine guns providing supporting fire. Observing a machine gun nest 50 yards from his position, Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa crawled forward with one of his men, threw a grenade and then charged the enemy with his submachine gun while a fellow soldier provided covering fire. He killed one enemy soldier and captured two prisoners. Meanwhile, Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa and his comrade were fired upon by another machine gun 50 yards ahead. Directing a squad to advance to his first position, Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa again moved forward with a fellow soldier to subdue the second machine gun nest. After throwing grenades into the position, Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa provided close supporting fire while a fellow soldier charged, capturing four prisoners. On the alert for other machine gun nests, Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa discovered four more, and skillfully led a squad in neutralizing two of them. Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa'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.[9]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

Medal of Honor
  1. Blakeman, Karen. "Yeiki Kobashigawa, World War II hero," Honolulu Advertiser. May 13, 2005; retrieved 2012-12-7.
  2. 2.0 2.1 US Army Center of Military History (CMH), "Medal of Honor Recipients, World War II (G-L)"; retrieved 2012-12-7.
  3. Bramlett, David A. "Go For Broke Monument, Fifth Anniversary Tribute," June 5, 2004; retrieved 2012-12-7.
  4. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), WWII Army Enlistment Record #30101851 (Kobashigawa, Yeiki); retrieved 2012-12-7.
  5. Go for Broke National Education Center, "Medal of Honor Recipient Technical Sergeant Yeiki Kobashigawa"; "Salute to Yeiki Kobashigawa" at 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans; retrieved 2012-12-7.
  6. "100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry" at Global Security.org; retrieved 2012-12-7.
  7. "21 Asian American World War II Vets to Get Medal of Honor" at University of Hawaii Digital History; retrieved 2012-12-27.
  8. CMH, "Asian Pacific American Medal of Honor recipients"; retrieved 2012-12-28.
  9. Gomez-Granger, Julissa. (2008). Medal of Honor Recipients: 1979-2008, "Kobashigawa, Yeiki," p. 12 [PDF 16 of 44]; retrieved 2012-12-7.

Other websites[change | change source]