Frank Ono

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Frank Ono
In this Japanese name, the family name is Ono.

Frank H. Ono (June 5, 1923 – May 6, 1980) was a United States Army soldier. He received the Medal of Honor because of his actions in World War II.[1]

Early life[change | change source]

Ono was born in Colorado.[2] His parents were immigrants from Japan. He was a Nisei, which means that he was a second generation Japanese-American.[3]

Soldier[change | change source]

Ono joined the US Army in September 1943.[2]

He volunteered to be part of the all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team.[4] This army unit was mostly made up of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland.[5]

For his actions in July 1944, Ono 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. Ono's award was upgraded to the Medal of Honor. In a ceremony at the White House on June 21, 2000, his family 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.[6]

Medal of Honor citation[change | change source]

Ono's Medal of Honor recognized his conduct in frontline fighting in northern Italy in 1944.[1] He held an advance position alone. He treated wounded men; and he remained behind to provide covering fire as his unit withdrew.[7]

The words of Ono's citation explain:

Private First Class Frank H. Ono distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 4 July 1944, near Castellina, Italy. In attacking a heavily defended hill, Private First Class Ono's squad was caught in a hail of formidable fire from the well-entrenched enemy. Private First Class Ono opened fire with his automatic rifle and silenced one machine gun 300 hundred yards to the right front. Advancing through incessant fire, he killed a sniper with another burst of fire, and while his squad leader reorganized the rest of the platoon in the rear, he alone defended the critical position. His weapon was then wrenched from his grasp by a burst of enemy machine pistol fire as enemy troops attempted to close in on him. Hurling hand grenades, Private First Class Ono forced the enemy to abandon the attempt, resolutely defending the newly won ground until the rest of the platoon moved forward. Taking a wounded comrade's rifle, Private First Class Ono again joined in the assault. After killing two more enemy soldiers, he boldly ran through withering automatic, small arms, and mortar fire to render first aid to his platoon leader and a seriously wounded rifleman. In danger of being encircled, the platoon was ordered to withdraw. Volunteering to cover the platoon, Private First Class Ono occupied virtually unprotected positions near the crest of the hill, engaging an enemy machine gun emplaced on an adjoining ridge and exchanging fire with snipers armed with machine pistols. Completely disregarding his own safety, he made himself the constant target of concentrated enemy fire until the platoon reached the comparative safety of a draw. He then descended the hill in stages, firing his rifle, until he rejoined the platoon. Private First Class Ono'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.[8]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

Medal of Honor
  1. 1.0 1.1 US Army Center of Military History (CMH), "Medal of Honor Recipients, World War II (M-S)"; retrieved 2012-12-26.
  2. 2.0 2.1 National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), WWII Army Enlistment Record #35893759 (Ono, Frank H.); retrieved 2012-12-26.
  3. "Frank H. Ono, Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor" at North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library, May 15, 2010; retrieved 2012-12-26.
  4. Go for Broke National Education Center, "Medal of Honor Private First Class Frank H. Ono" Archived 2011-02-03 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-12-26.
  5. "100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry" at Global; retrieved 2012-12-26.
  6. "21 Asian American World War II Vets to Get Medal of Honor" at University of Hawaii Digital History; retrieved 2012-12-27.
  7. CMH, "Asian Pacific American Medal of Honor recipients"; retrieved 2012-12-28.
  8. Gomez-Granger, Julissa. (2008). Medal of Honor Recipients: 1979-2008, "Ono, Frank H.," pp. 17-18 [PDF 21-22 of 44]; retrieved 2012-12-26.

Other websites[change | change source]