US Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura dies at 97

Nov 29, 2022, 6:57 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2022, 9:07 am
FILE - Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura, a corporal in the U.S. Army during the Korean War...

FILE - Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura, a corporal in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, attends the groundbreaking ceremony for the National Medal of Honor Museum on March 25, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. Hiroshi "Hershey" Miyamura, the son of Japanese immigrants has died. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced that Miyamura died Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, at his home in Phoenix. He was 97. (Amanda McCoy/Star-Telegram via AP, File)

(Amanda McCoy/Star-Telegram via AP, File)

              FILE - People stand to honor Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura, center, during a Veterans Day ceremony at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial in Albuquerque, N.M., on Nov. 11, 2014. Hiroshi "Hershey" Miyamura, the son of Japanese immigrants who was honored for actions in the Korean War, has died. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced that Miyamura died Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, at his home in Phoenix. He was 97. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan, File)
            
              FILE - Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura, a corporal in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, attends the groundbreaking ceremony for the National Medal of Honor Museum on March 25, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. Hiroshi "Hershey" Miyamura, the son of Japanese immigrants has died. The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced that Miyamura died Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, at his home in Phoenix. He was 97. (Amanda McCoy/Star-Telegram via AP, File)

PHOENIX, Ariz. (AP) — Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura, the son of Japanese immigrants who was awarded the U.S. Medal of Honor for holding off an attack to allow an American squad to withdraw during the Korean War, has died.

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced that Miyamura died Tuesday at his home in Phoenix. He was 97.

Born in Gallup, New Mexico, Miyamura’s parents operated a 24-hour diner near the Navajo Nation where the family interacted with the diverse population of miners and travelers who passed along Route 66.

Miyamura’s mother died when he was 11 and his father never talked about Japan, Miyamura said in later interviews. He would earn the nickname “Hershey” because a teacher couldn’t pronounce his first name.

Miyamura worked as an auto mechanic during high school. He joined the U.S. Army late in World War II after the federal government lifted restrictions on Japanese Americans serving. Miyamura was allowed to join the 442nd Infantry Regiment, composed almost entirely of “nisei” — those born in the U.S. to parents who were Japanese immigrants.

After the war, Miyamura met Terry Tsuchimori, a woman from a family who had been forced to live at the Poston internment camp in southwestern Arizona following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. They married in 1948 and had three children.

Miyamura continued to serve in the Army Reserves and was called into action during the Korean War.

On the night of April 24, 1951, near Taejon-ni, Miyamura’s company came under attack by an invading Chinese force. Miyamura ordered his squad to retreat while he stayed behind and continued to fight, giving his men enough time to evacuate.

Miyamura and fellow squad leader Joseph Lawrence Annello, of Castle Rock, Colorado, were captured. Though wounded, Miyamura carried the injured Annello for miles until Chinese soldiers ordered him at gunpoint to leave Annello by the side of a road. Miyamura refused the orders until Annello convinced him to put him down.

Annello was later picked up by another Chinese unit and taken to a POW camp, from which he escaped.

Miyamura was held as a prisoner for two years and four months.

Upon his release, he was presented the Medal of Honor by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It had been awarded in secret while he was still a prisoner of war.

“I never ever thought I would receive the Medal of Honor for doing my duty, which I thought that’s all I was doing, was my duty,” Miyamura said in the 2018 Netflix documentary “Medal of Honor.”

Miyamura and Annello later met up and remained lifelong friends. Annello died in 2018.

After the Korean War, Miyamura returned to Gallup as a hero. More than 5,000 people came to meet his train. He spent much of the rest of his life working in town as an auto mechanic.

In his Living History documentary in the Congressional Medal of Honor Society library, Miyamura reflected on the soldiers who deserved recognition but never received it.

“There are so many Americans who don’t know what the Medal represents or what any soldier or servicewoman or man does for his country. And I believe one of these days — I hope one of these days — they will learn of the sacrifices that a lot of the men and women have made for this country,” he said.

Miyamura remained active in veterans’ issues and gave annual summer lectures to military members in Gallup, New Mexico. The talks drew hundreds of servicemen and servicewomen over the years.

In 2019, an aide announced that Miyamura had likely given his last public talk due to declining health.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer both called Miyamura a hero, saying he will be missed by many who are forever grateful for his service.

Miyamura is survived by numerous family members. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Paul Njoroge, right, points to photos of his wife and three children that were killed in the 2019 c...
Associated Press

Boeing pleads not guilty in case over deadly Max crashes

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Boeing pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charge that it misled regulators who approved its 737 Max, the plane that was involved in two crashes that killed 346 people. Family members of passengers who died gave emotional testimony, calling for criminal prosecution of top Boeing officials. The families are trying […]
17 hours ago
abortion Capital gains tax Olympia meeting legislature abortion...
Associated Press

Washington lawmakers hear testimony on 7 abortion bills

Abortion rights proposals have been front and center in Olympia, Washington, this week as state lawmakers heard hours of public testimony on seven proposals that would reinforce abortion access.
17 hours ago
FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at t...
Gene Johnson, Associated Press

Justices weigh effort to balance Washington state’s tax code

SEATTLE (AP) — An effort to balance what is considered the nation’s most regressive state tax code came before the Washington Supreme Court on Thursday, with justices hearing arguments about whether they should overturn a prohibition on income taxes that dates to the 1930s. Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and […]
17 hours ago
FILE - In this April 4, 2017, file photo, fountains erupt along the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. A...
Associated Press

Lawsuit: Vegas Strip resorts used vendor to fix hotel rates

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A federal lawsuit in Nevada is seeking class-action damages for countless hotel patrons who booked rooms in Las Vegas since 2019, alleging that most hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip have used a third-party vendor to illegally fix prices. The complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas alleges […]
17 hours ago
This undated photo provided by the Grants Pass Police Department shows Benjamin Obadiah Foster. Fos...
Associated Press

Police: Oregon fugitive kidnapped woman like 2019 Vegas case

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Police in southern Oregon were searching Thursday for a man accused of torturing a woman he held captive less than two years after he was convicted in Nevada of critically injuring another woman he held captive for two weeks. Police Chief Warren Hensman, of Grants Pass, Oregon, said in a telephone […]
17 hours ago
Brittany Lampkin of Yazoo County, extolls the Mississippi Black Women's Roundtable legislative agen...
Associated Press

Maternal deaths and disparities increase in Mississippi

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Deaths from pregnancy complications have become more prevalent in Mississippi, and racial disparities in the health of those who give birth have widened in recent years, according to a report released Thursday by the state’s Department of Health. The Mississippi Maternal Mortality Report shows that between 2017 and 2019, the overall […]
17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
US Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi Miyamura dies at 97