Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura, the second-to-last living Korean War Medal of Honor recipient, died Tuesday in Phoenix. He was 97.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society made the announcement, noting there are now 64 living Medal of Honor recipients.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented Miyamura with the Medal of Honor at the White House on Oct. 27, 1953, for his actions near Taejon-Ni, Korea, during the Korean War.
On April 24, 1951, then-Cpl. Miyamura was a machine-gun squad leader with Company H occupying a defensive position when the enemy threatened to overrun the position, the society stated on its website.
“Aware of the imminent danger to his men, he engaged in close hand-to-hand combat, killing approximately 10 of the enemy before returning to administer first aid to the wounded and directed their evacuation,” according to the site.
“When another assault hit the line, he manned his machine gun until his ammunition was expended and ordered the squad to withdraw while he stayed behind bayoneting his way through infiltrated enemy soldiers to a second gun emplacement and assisted in its operation.
Miyamura ordered his men to fall back while covering their movement and killed more than 50 of the enemy before his ammunition was depleted. He was “severely wounded but was still seen continuing to fight an overwhelming number of enemy soldiers before being captured by the enemy,” according to the website.
News that Miyamura was to be awarded the Medal of Honor was kept quiet until his release from a prisoner of war camp on Aug. 23, 1953.
According to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society:
Miyamura was born in Gallup, NM, on Oct. 6, 1925, and joined the U.S. Army during World War II in January 1945 as part of the all-Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment, composed mostly of Japanese Americans.
He was discharged from the Army shortly after Japan surrendered but later enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve. He was recalled to active duty following the start of the Korean War. Upon return to the U.S. after his release from capture, Miyamura worked for the U.S. Post Office in Gallup.
He is survived by numerous family members. Burial arrangements are pending.