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Anthony T. Kahoʻohanohano
Kahoʻohanohano.jpg
Born 1930
Died September 1, 1951 (aged 20–21)
Place of birth Maui, Hawaii
Place of death near Chup'a-ri, Korea
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 1950 - 1951
Rank Private First Class
Service number 29040479
Unit 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division
Battles/wars Korean War
Awards

Anthony Thomas Kahoʻohanohano (1930 – September 1, 1951) was a United States Army soldier who was killed in action during the Korean War. He became a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions.

Early life and familyEdit

A native of Maui, Hawaii, Kahoʻohanohano was the son of a police officer and one of six brothers.[1][2] He lived in Wailuku and played football and basketball at St. Anthony's School for Boys (now known as St. Anthony High School) before graduating in 1949.[2][3] All six of the Kahoʻohanohano brothers served in the U.S. military: Anthony and three others in the active duty Army, one in the Marine Corps, and one in the National Guard.[2]

Korean War serviceEdit

Kahoʻohanohano2

By September 1, 1951, he was serving in Korea as a private first class with Company H, 2nd Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. On that day, near Chup'a-ri, he was in charge of a machine gun squad tasked with supporting another company. When a numerically superior enemy force launched an attack, he and his squad withdrew to a more defensible position. Although wounded in the shoulder, Kahoʻohanohano ordered his men to hold their ground while he gathered ammunition and returned to their original post. From that position, he single-handedly held off the enemy advance, fighting hand to hand with an entrenching tool after running out of ammunition, until he was killed. An American counter-attack later retook the position and found thirteen dead Communist Chinese soldiers around Kahoʻohanohano's body.[4]

Honors and legacyEdit

For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the U.S. Army's second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross. This medal was presented to his family in 1952 on Maui.[1]

In the late 1990s, Kahoʻohanohano's brother, Abel Kahoʻohanohano, Sr., began an effort to have the Distinguished Service Cross upgraded. Abel's son George took up the cause after his father's death. After an unsuccessful Medal of Honor nomination in 2001 by Representative Patsy Mink, which was rejected by the Army, the family enlisted the help of Senator Daniel Akaka. Akaka nominated Kahoʻohanohano for the medal again, and in March 2009 was informed by Secretary of the Army Pete Geren that, after "careful, personal consideration", the request had been approved.[2] A provision making the upgrade official was included in the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R.2647), signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009. The Medal of Honor was formally presented to the Kahoʻohanohano family at a White House ceremony on May 2, 2011.[5]

A complete list of Kahoʻohanohano's decorations include the Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.[6]

Distinguished Service Cross citationEdit

Kahoʻohanohano's official Distinguished Service Cross citation reads:

The President of the United States of America, under the provisions of the Act of Congress approved July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Private First Class Anthony T. Kahoohanohano (ASN: RA-29040479), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy of the United Nations while serving with Company H, 2d Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Private First Class Kahoohanohano distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against enemy aggressor forces in the vicinity of Chup'a-ri, Korea, on 1 September 1951. On that date, Private Kahoohanohano was in charge of a machine-gun squad supporting the defensive positions of Company F when a numerically superior enemy force launched a fierce attack. Because of the overwhelming numbers of the enemy, it was necessary for the friendly troops to execute a limited withdrawal. As the men fell back, he ordered his squad to take up more tenable positions and provide covering fire for the friendly force. Then, although painfully wounded in the shoulder during the initial enemy assault, he gathered a supply of grenades and ammunition and returned to his original position to face the enemy alone. As the hostile troops concentrated their strength against his emplacement in an effort to overrun it, Private Kahoohanohano fought fiercely and courageously, delivering deadly accurate fire into the ranks of the onrushing enemy. When his ammunition was depleted, he engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat until he was killed. His heroic stand so inspired his comrades that they launched a counterattack that completely repulse the enemy. Coming upon Private Kahoohanohano's position, the friendly troops found eleven enemy soldiers lying dead before it and two in the emplacement itself, beaten to death with an entrenching shovel.[4][n 1]

Medal of Honor citationEdit

Citation:

Private First Class Anthony T. Kaho'ohanohano, Company H, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action against the enemy in the vicinity of Chupa-ri, Korea, on 1 September 1951. On that date, Private First Class Kaho'ohanohano was in charge of a machine-gun squad supporting the defensive positioning of Company F when a numerically superior enemy force launched a fierce attack. Because of the enemy's overwhelming numbers, friendly troops were forced to execute a limited withdrawal. As the men fell back, Private First Class Kaho'ohanohano ordered his squad to take up more defensible positions and provide covering fire for the withdrawing friendly force. Although having been wounded in the shoulder during the initial enemy assault, Private First Class Kaho'ohanohano gathered a supply of grenades and ammunition and returned to his original position to face the enemy alone. As the hostile troops concentrated their strength against his emplacement in an effort to overrun it, Private First Class Kaho'ohanohano fought fiercely and courageously, delivering deadly accurate fire into the ranks of the onrushing enemy. When his ammunition was depleted, he engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat until he was killed. Private First Class Kaho'ohanohano's heroic stand so inspired his comrades that they launched a counterattack that completely repulsed the enemy. Upon reaching Private First Class Kaho'ohanohano's emplacement, friendly troops discovered 11 enemy soldiers lying dead in front of the emplacement and two inside it, killed in hand-to-hand combat. Private First Class Kaho'ohanohano's extraordinary heroism and selfless devotion to duty are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 7th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.[7]

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Kaho'ohanohano originally received the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions but on October 28, 2009 the Medal was upgraded to the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Cole, William (October 27, 2009). "Medal of Honor expected to be approved for Maui man". Honolulu, Hawaii. Archived from the original on 31 October 2009. http://web.archive.org/web/20091031034732/http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091027/BREAKING01/91027072/Medal+of+Honor+expected+to+be+approved+for+Maui+man. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Cole, William (October 28, 2009). "Medal of Honor likely for Isle man". Honolulu, Hawaii. Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. http://web.archive.org/web/20110614220839/http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20091028/NEWS08/910280341/Medal+of+Honor+likely+for+Isle+man. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  3. "SAS Honor Roll and Memorial". Maui, Hawaii: St. Anthony Junior-Senior High School. Summer 2009. p. 7. http://www.sasmaui.org/alumni/alumni_newssummer-6-2009%20FINAL%20FOR%20ACE-for%20print%20here.pdf. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Valor awards for Anthony Kahoohanohano". Hall of Valor. Military Times. 2009. http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=7042. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  5. "2 Korean War soldiers to receive posthumous Medals of Honor". CNN (This Just In blog). April 14, 2011. http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/14/2-korean-war-soldiers-to-receive-posthumous-medals-of-honor/?hpt=T2. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  6. "Kahoohanohano, Anthony". Korean War Honor Roll. American Battle Monuments Commission. http://www.abmc.gov/search/koreanwar.php. Retrieved October 28, 2009. 
  7. "Medal of Honor Citation for Pvt. 1st Class Anthony T. Kaho'ohanohano". United States Army. April 22, 2011. http://www.army.mil/-news/2011/04/22/55391-medal-of-honor-citation-for-pvt-1st-class-anthony-t-kahoohanohano/index.html. Retrieved March 6, 2011. 

External linksEdit

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