Rodney Yano

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Rodney Yano
In this Japanese name, the family name is Yano.

Rodney Jamus Takahashi Yano (December 13, 1943 – January 1, 1969) was a United States Army soldier. He received the Medal of Honor because of his actions in the Vietnam War.[1]

Early life[change | change source]

Yano was born in Hawaii. His grandparents were Japanese immigrant parents. Yano was a Sansei, which means that he was a third generation Japanese-American.[2]

Soldier[change | change source]

Yano joined the Army from Honolulu, Hawaii in 1963,[3] When he died in January 1969, he was as a Sergeant First Class in the Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment.

He was age 25 at his death. He was buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Medal of Honor citation[change | change source]

Yano's Medal of Honor recognized his conduct in frontline fighting in Vietnam in 1969.[1] He grabbed burning ammunition and threw it from the aircraft after being seriously wounded by a grenade explosion aboard a helicopter.[4]

The words of Yano's citation explain:

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 intense small arms and antiaircraft fire he delivered suppressive fire upon the enemy forces and marked their positions with smoke and white phosphorus 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 phosphorus, 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 1 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.[1]

Namesake[change | change source]

Yano is the namesake of the USNS Yano (T-AKR-297), a Shughart class cargo ship. She is a 'roll-on roll-off' non-combat United States Navy designated a "Large, Medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off" (LMSR) ship.

Yano Fitness Center at Camp Zama, Japan and Yano Hall Helicopter Maintenance Facility at Fort Rucker, Alabama are named in his honor.

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

Medal of Honor
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 US Army Center of Military History (CMH), "Medal of Honor Recipients, Vietnam (M-Z)"; retrieved 2012-12-31.
  2. "Big Island Salute," Rafu Shimpo (Los Angeles). July 12 2012; retrieved 2012-12-31.
  3. "Yano, Rodney J T. (MOH), SFC" at; retrieved 2012-12-31.
  4. CMH, "Asian Pacific American Medal of Honor recipients" Archived 2009-07-29 at the Wayback Machine; retrieved 2012-12-28.

Other websites[change | change source]