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First Name: Yeiki

Last Name: Kobashigawa

Birthplace: Hilo, HI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Schofield Barracks, HI

Date of Birth: 28 September 1917

Date of Death: 31 March 2005

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Years Served: 1941-1945
Yeiki Kobashigawa

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Yeiki Kobashigawa
Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
World War II

Second Lieutenant Yeiki Kobashigawa (28 September 1917 - 31 March 2005) was a U.S. Army officer who received the Medal of Honor in for his heroic actions near Lanuvio, Italy, during World War II. He was initially awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in 1944, but the DSC was eventually upgraded to the Medal of Honor after military review. The review examined whether or not Asian Americans who fought in uniform during the war were treated unfairly due to prejudice. Twenty-two Americans of Asian ancestry who had fought in World War II were awarded the Medal after the review. Kobashigawa was one of only a handful still alive in 2000 to receive the Medal during a White House ceremony.

Yeiki Kobashigawa was born on 28 September 1917 in Hilo, HI. He fought with the 100th Infantry Battalion and was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading a squad in destroying several German machine gun nests. He was also given a commission to Second Lieutenant.

After the war, Kobashigawa worked as a maintenance mechanic.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army, 100th Infantry Battalion.

Place and date: Near Lanuvio, Italy, 2 June 1944.

Citation: Technical Sergeant Yeiki Kobashigawa distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 2 June 1944, in the vicinity of Lanuvio, Italy. During an attack, Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa's platoon encountered strong enemy resistance from a series of machine guns providing supporting fire. Observing a machine gun nest 50 yards from his position, Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa crawled forward with one of his men, threw a grenade and then charged the enemy with his submachine gun while a fellow soldier provided covering fire. He killed one enemy soldier and captured two prisoners. Meanwhile, Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa and his comrade were fired upon by another machine gun 50 yards ahead. Directing a squad to advance to his first position, Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa again moved forward with a fellow soldier to subdue the second machine gun nest. After throwing grenades into the position, Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa provided close supporting fire while a fellow soldier charged, capturing four prisoners. On the alert for other machine gun nests, Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa discovered four more, and skillfully led a squad in neutralizing two of them. Technical Sergeant Kobashigawa's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

In a ceremony at the White House on 21 June 2000, Second Lieutenant Yeiki Kobashigawa was presented with his Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton. Twenty-one other Asian Americans also received the medal during the ceremony, all but seven of them posthumously.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster (2 Awards)

Death and Burial

Second Lieutenant Yeiki Kobashigawa died on 31 March 2005. He is buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, HI. His grave is located in Columbarium Section CT8-E, Row 500, Site 536.

Honoree ID: 1488   Created by: MHOH




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