Hiroshi "Hershey" Miyamura
Awarded the MEDAL OF HONOR, nationís highest award for valor
Hiroshi "Hershey" Miyamura is a native of Gallup, New Mexico, where he was born on October 6, 1925. His grammar school teacher couldnít pronounce "Hiroshi" , so he was given the nickname "Hershey" , which has stuck with him all his life.
His parents came from Kyushu and settled in Gallup around 1906. His older sister was born in Japan and came to the US when she was 2 Ĺ years old. His other four sisters and a brother were all born in or near Gallup, New Mexico. Hershey graduated from Gallup High School in June 1943 and was drafted into the US Army in January 1944. He was first sent to Camp Blanding, Florida and later transferred to Camp Shelby, Mississippi , where he was assigned to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He was unable to go overseas with the 442nd RCT because of his young age, but eventually sent overseas to join the 442nd RCT in Naples, Italy. After five days, the war ended and he was assigned to occupation duties. He returned to the US with the 442nd RCT and marched in review with the 442nd for President Truman.
After his discharge, he enlisted in the Army Reserves in June 1946 and enrolled at the Milwaukee School of Engineering. In June 1948, he was married and in August 1950 , he was recalled to active duty . After nine weeks of refresher training, he was flown to Japan, where he was assigned to Company H, 2nd Battalion , 7th Regiment of 3rd Division. The Division landed in North Korea and fought its way to Yalu River. The Division was evacuated by ship to Pusan, where it was refitted with new gear and shipped north again.
Edward Chow, Veterans Administrationís Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, made the following remarks concerning Hershey at the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May 1997: "On the night of 24 April (1951), Company H was occupying a defensive position when the enemy fanatically attacked, threatening to overrun the position. Cpl Miyamura , a machine-gun squad leader, aware of the imminent danger to his men, unhesitatingly jumped from his shelter wielding his bayonet in close hand-to-hand combat killing approximately 10 of the enemy. Returning to his position, he administered first aid to the wounded and directed their evacuation.
As another savage assault hit the line, he manned his machine-gun and delivered withering fire until his ammunition was expended. He ordered his squad to withdraw while he stayed behind to render the gun inoperative. He then bayoneted his way through infiltrated enemy soldiers to a second gun emplacement and assisted in its operation. When the intensity of the attack necessitated the withdrawal of the company, Cpl Miyamura ordered his men to fall back while he remained to cover their movement. He killed more that 50 of the enemy before his ammunition was depleted and he was severely wounded.
He maintained his magnificent stand despite his painful wounds, continuing to repel the attack until his position was overrun. When last seen , he was fighting ferociously against an overwhelming number of enemy soldiers"
Hershey was subsequently captured in early April 25th , spending 27 Ĺ months in a Chinese prisoner of war camp near the Yalu River. Upon his release, he was told that he had been awarded the MEDAL OF HONOR. President Eisenhower personally presented the MEDAL OF HONOR to Hiroshi "Hershey" Miyamura on October 27, 1953. The MEDAL OF HONOR is the nationís highest award for valor.