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America’s First Secret Hero: Interview with Medal of Honor Recipient Hiroshi H. Miyamura
Tuesday April 19, 2016 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT
Hosted by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation
Sponsored by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation
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Medal of Honor Recipient Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura told his personal story during this special webinar presented by the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation (CMOHF). Mr. Miyamura recounted his heroic actions and his internment as a Prisoner Of War during the Korean War.
Hiroshi H. Miyamura enlisted in the US Army in 1945 as a young Japanese American during World War II. He volunteered to be part of the all-Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion, a unit made up of mostly second-generation Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland. Shipping out to Europe just as that war ended, he would not see combat until his unit was called to active duty in North Korea.
Miyamura’s harrowing story began on April 24, 1951, as Chinese troops moved quickly into his unit’s defensive position. As the command for retreat came, Miyamura maintained the position with a machine gun while he covered his unit’s withdrawal. Trying to make it back to safety, he killed 10 Chinese soldiers using grenades and hand-to-hand combat. It was then that he was captured and forced to walk with his compatriots on a long, arduous trek through the bitter cold to the POW camp where he would spend the next 28 tortuous months. For his actions, Hershey was awarded the Medal of Honor but it was classified as Top Secret. Hershey was finally presented the Medal of Honor on October 27, 1953 by Dwight D. Eisenhower at the White House upon his return to the United States.
During this webinar, Mr. Miyamura discussed what the Medal of Honor means to him and how it has affected his life, adding his unique perspective on the values celebrated by the CMOHF Character Development Program. Ron Rand, President and CEO, Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, moderated the program.
Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura was born on October 6, 1925 in Gallup, New Mexico, to Japanese immigrant parents. In January 1945, he volunteered to be part of the Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion.
Miyamura was formally presented his Medal of Honor by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in a White House ceremony on October 27, 1953 for his actions on April 24-25, 1951, near the Imjin River in North Korea. His Medal of Honor citation reads, “Cpl. Miyamura’s indomitable heroism and consummate devotion to duty reflect the utmost glory on himself and uphold the illustrious traditions on the military service.” Read more here.
After an honorable discharge from the service, he worked as an automobile mechanic and owned a service station, though he now devotes some free time to fishing. Miyamura also remains very active in supporting fellow veterans, including working with the Wounded Warrior Project and visiting local schools.
Ron Rand, President and CEO, Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation
A retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general, Ron Rand has more than 40 years of leadership and corporate communications experience in positions of increasing responsibility, including most recently as a senior vice president at Lockheed Martin Corporation. Rand also brings a strong track record of developing leadership potential in others and executing complex outreach programs and events.
The Medal of Honor Character Development Program is a free resource that teaches character through stories of the Medal of Honor recipients. The CDP is a cross-curriculum supplement and complies with National/State Common Core standards. The Medal of Honor Character Development Program incorporates the ideals of courage and selfless service into the middle and high school curriculum to build character and promote responsible citizenship. The program is FREE and includes 50+ lesson plans supported by over 100 video vignettes of the Medal of Honor Recipients themselves, as well as videos of hometown heroes selected by the Medal of Honor Recipients as “Citizen Heroes.”