Intermission Stories (5)

Corporal Hiroshi Hersey Miyamura

Corporal Hiroshi Hersey Miyamura

Corporal Hiroshi “Hersey” Miyamura

Hersey Miyamura, a young Nisei Army Corporal distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy near Taejon-ni, Korea on 24-25 April 1951.

On the night of 24 April, Company H was occupying a defensive position when the enemy fanatically attacked, threatening to overrun the position.  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 ten of the enemy.  Returning to his position, he administered first-aid to the wounded and directed their evacuation.

Area of combat in central South Korea__ click to enlarge

Area of combat, Taejon, in central South Korea__
click to enlarge

As another savage assault hit the line, he manned his machine-gun and delivered withering fire until his ammunition was expended.  He ordered the 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, Corporal Miyamura ordered his men to fall back while he remained to cover their movement.

He killed more than fifty 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 he was last seen by his men, he was fighting ferociously against an overwhelming number of enemy soldiers.But, it was only the beginning of a long night.  Wounded, he struggled to safety, engaging in only brief encounters with the enemy.  By dawn, the exhausted corporal was playing dead in a ditch as hundreds of the enemy walked past his body, but one Chinese officer was not fooled and Hersey was taken prisoner.

Miyamura in Freedom Village

Miyamura in Freedom Village

For 28 months he struggled to survive and for more than a year, his family did not know if he was dead or alive; the Chinese had not released his name as a POW.  Unaware that due to his own courage, many of his men had reached American lines, Miyamura believed they were all wounded or dead.

It was 23 August 1953 when he was escorted by his captors to the Freedom Village near Panmunjom.  Then, Hersey heard a strong voice inquire, “Are you Corporal Hiroshi H. Miyamura?”  He thought momentarily that the MPs were to take him into custody to await his court martial.  To his amazement, the general extended his hand with the announcement, “Congratulations.  You’ve been awarded the Medal of Honor.”

Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor

For the young Nisei corporal, this was unbelievable.  Just as the Chinese had kept to secret of his capture, the US Army had maintained the secret of his award.  He was later told that had the Chinese captors known of this honor, “You might not be here, alive, today.”  Two months later, 27 October 1953, Pres. Dwight D. Eisenhower shook Miyamura’s hand and placed the medal around the neck of the Japanese-American boy from Gallup, New Mexico.

"Hersey" (center) w/ friends in Gallup, NM for the Hiroshi Miyamura High School dedication Oct. 2010

“Hersey” (center) w/ friends in Gallup, NM for the Hiroshi Miyamura High School dedication Oct. 2010

As of this post, Mr. Miyamura is 88 years old.

Click on images to enlarge.

This information is courtesy of Home of the Heroes.com; http://www.nj.gov and 100th battalion.org

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Click on images to read a heartwarming WWII update and a very unique upgrade for our current military…

Coutesy of "The Week" news magazine

Courtesy of “The Week” news magazine

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A Farewell Salute video from fellow blogger Carl D’Agostino.wordpress.com/

Two Air Firce pilots, Major Howard V. Andre, Jr. and Major James E. Sizemore, MIA since the Vietnam War return home.

Watch HERE>

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Farewell Salutes – untitled

Lucille Camarota – McKees Rock, PA & D.C.; US Army Nurse Corps, Captain

Virgil Dunn – Rowlett, TX; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO

John Frankowski, Sr. – New Hyde Park, NY; US Army, Vietnam

Charles W. Menifee – Nakina, Ont.; RCAF, WWII, ETO

Harold Mouser – Wichita, KS; US Army, Lt.

Michael Scanlon – Gainsville, VA; USMC, Colonel (Ret.) 32 years

Maurice J. Walker – Christchurch, NZ; RNZAF # 425958, navigator F/Sgt., WWII

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About gpcox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on March 24, 2014, in Korean War, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 73 Comments.

  1. A truely courageous soldier.
    It is virtually unbelievable, a story out of an epic war movie.
    Yet is here in black and white and true.
    Thanks
    Ian

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  2. This was beautiful!

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  3. Thank you for this post… which got past my radar. Mr. Miyamura, as you know, was active in many veteran associations too, like Wounded Warrior and JAVA (not plugging either but I will “A Soldier’s Child”). He has a granddaughter, 1st Lt. Marisa Miyamura, USAF, who was recently serving in Kabul and carrying on her grandfather’s tradition.

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  4. It is a very touching story of a brave and lucky man.

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    • Thank you, Annie. I felt very lucky for finding it. There are still so many stories no one has heard and my Farewell Salutes proves that some will never be told.

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  5. Corporal Miyamura – what an amazing man! It defies comment really. Sometimes you feel that even a medal is not enough.

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  6. That pizza clipping—my apologies but my warped mind took it at first as if they’d developed a pizza especially for soldiers than can stay on the shelf for up to three years years …

    It’s all these human touches that bring it alive. (And that pizza after three years probably adds a whole new flavour to the term ‘iron rations’.)

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  7. I can’t even fathom his courage. I have to remind myself that many of these heroes are so young.

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    • That is something, isn’t it?! For the sons and daughters at home we call them boys and girls at 18, but in uniform they are definitely men and women! Thanks for coming by, Shelley

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  8. Great story. I don’t read enough of those. I wonder what kept him going. Thanks for sharing that.

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  9. I do not wish to upset anyone with my comment – but I love it that you also post stories about the contributions and sacrifices made by minority races. Quite often these are glossed over.

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  10. I hope all military and former military service personnel understand how your stories of extraordinary heroism and valor FORTIFY the daily lives of us who never wore a military uniform. Compared with the lives of those who gave so much in unimaginable circumstances, so many of us, experiencing far lesser and un-lethal circumstances are rightfully humbled, and thus moved, inspired, to persevere, to rise above and beyond the passing travails that assail us. Thanks for these stories, sir. :)

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    • What beautiful sentiments, Job!! I sincerely hope everyone takes a look at your comment because it DOES express the feelings of most of the civilians and I truly wish I could get this comment to the soldiers. (Maybe I’ll give that idea a shot – what do you think?)

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  11. Awesome story! Thanks!

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  12. What a touching story and video. A deep thank you for bringing such wonderful story’s to light.

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    • Certainly my pleasure, Carol. I keep meaning to e-mail you – but I’ve gotten a little tied up (the readers actually like me here – isn’t that a hoot!) O_o

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  13. Hersey’s courage was incredible. Thanks for the story. And I am thinking that the pizza might make it out on my next backpacking trip. :) –Curt

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  14. Amazing story ! Also , a very interesting article about the found love letters . Thanks .

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  15. Wonderful story. Well written, and the topic is great. He inspires me.

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  16. I think I like these individual stories of great courage the best. I suspect there are a great many of them, just waiting to be found and told. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Oh yes there are many, I am attempting to give an overall view – stories from different angles. From the responses I’ve been getting, I think everyone seems to like these type of remembrances the best.

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  17. Reblogged this on CrashCourse.

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  18. Great stories…all of them! Thanks!

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  19. Quite a determined man. The story is quite moving.

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  20. ‘Hershey’ is one amazing warrior – and a gallant champion for his comrades. It’s great that he received the Medal of Honor when he did and not decades later. And he looks great for 88!

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  21. Great story to start the week with. It’s interesting that they had to keep the medal secret.

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    • You would think they would have made a point to keep him safe if they had known, why create a martyr for the U.S.? But, I suppose they didn’t think like that.

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  22. Another amazing story of bravery and self sacrifice!

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  23. Pierre Lagacé

    Reblogged this on Lest We Forget and commented:
    Must read story about courage and valor…

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  24. Pierre Lagacé

    Unbelievable story.
    Thanks again for sharing.

    Like

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