Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Mikio Hasemoto from Hawaii, who posthumously received a Medal of Honor for heroism in World War II.
Mikio Hasemoto was born on July 13, 1916 in Honolulu, Hawaii. He was the son of immigrants who were born in Japan. Hasemoto was a Nisei, which means that he was a second-generation Japanese American.
He joined the Army from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, in June 1941. Hasemoto volunteered to be part of the all-Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion.
Hasemoto received the Distinguished Service Cross in recognition of extraordinary heroism near Cerasuolo, Italy, on Nov. 29, 1943. Forty enemy soldiers, including two firing machine guns, attacked his platoon. Hasemoto challenged the machine gunners and emptied four magazines from his Browning Automatic Rifle at the approaching enemy before gunfire damaged his weapon. He found a new rifle and killed 20 enemy soldiers. He kept fighting until his weapon jammed again.
Hasemoto survived this battle, but died in combat two days later on Dec. 1, 1943.
Following a review in the late 1990s of Distinguished Service Cross awards to Japanese Americans, the Distinguished Service Cross previously awarded to Hasemoto was upgraded to a Medal of Honor. President Bill Clinton posthumously presented the award June 21, 2000.
Hasemoto is interred in Hawaii at the National Memorial of the Pacific, Section D, Site 338.
We honor his service.
As it did last year, this year National Cemetery Administration is collaborating with Carry The Load for Memorial Day to honor fallen Veterans. Both NCA and Carry The Load are honoring select “Veterans of the Day” with remembrances on social media during May.
Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.
It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.
Graphic artist: Steve Ellmore