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Medal of Honor recipients, Asian American

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  • Rodney Jamus Takahashi Yano, SFC (1943 - 1969)
    Rodney Jamus Takahashi Yano (December 13, 1943 – January 1, 1969) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions ...
  • Elmelindo Rodrigues Smith, SFC (1935 - 1967)
    Sergeant First Class Elmelindo Rodrigues Smith (July 27, 1935 – February 16, 1967) born in Wahiawa, Hawaii, was a United States Army soldier, of Hispanic-Asian descent, who was posthumously awarded the...
  • Terry Teruo Kawamura, CPL (1949 - 1969)
    Terry Teruo Kawamura (December 10, 1949 – March 20, 1969) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the V...
  • Hiroshi "Hershey" H Miyamura, SSG (1925 - d.)
    Hiroshi H. "Hershey" Miyamura (born in Gallup, New Mexico on October 6, 1925) is a former United States Army soldier and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for h...
  • Francis // 弗朗西斯魏 // Fúlǎngxīsī Wèi Brown Wai, CPT (1917 - 1944)
    Francis Brown Wai (Chinese: 弗朗西斯魏; Pinyin: Fúlǎngxīsī Wèi; April 14, 1917 – October 20, 1944) was a captain in the United States Army and received the Medal of Honor for actions during the recapture of...

The Medal of Honor was created during the American Civil War and is the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its armed forces. The recipient must have distinguished themselves at the risk of their own life above and beyond the call of duty in action against an enemy of the United States. Due to the nature of this medal, it is commonly presented posthumously.


Of the 3,464 Medals of Honor awarded as of September 17, 2009,[2] 31 have been awarded to Asian American recipients. The first Asian American to receive the Medal was José B. Nísperos, who received it for his actions in the Philippine–American War.


In 1996, a study determined that Asian Americans were discriminated against in the awarding of medals during World War II; consequently, 22 had their medals upgraded to the Medal of Honor. Except for those awarded during the 1996 discrimination study the most recent Asian American recipient of the Medal of Honor was Rodney Yano, who received it for his actions during the Vietnam War