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First Name: Joe

Last Name: Nishimoto

Birthplace: Fresno, CA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: M.

Date of Birth: 21 February 1919

Date of Death: 15 November 1944

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served: 1943 - 1944
Joe M. Nishimoto

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Joe M. Nishimoto

Private First Class, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Private First Class Joe M. Nishimoto (21 February 1919 - 15 November 1944) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

Joe M. Nishimoto was born on 21 February 1919 in Fresno, CA. Nishimoto, who had been interned at the Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas, joined the Army and was a member of the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team which served in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. On 7 November 1944, near La Houssiere, France, his acts of heroism earned him, posthumously, the Army's second-highest award for valor, the Distinguished Service Cross. A 1990 review of service records for Asian Americans who received the Distinguished Service Cross during World War II led to Nishimoto's award being upgraded to the Medal of Honor. In a ceremony at the White House on 21 June 2000, his surviving family 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.

Medal of Honor

Citation: Private First Class Joe M. Nishimoto distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 7 November 1944, near La Houssiere, France. After three days of unsuccessful attempts by his company to dislodge the enemy from a strongly defended ridge, Private First Class Nishimoto, as acting squad leader, boldly crawled forward through a heavily mined and booby-trapped area. Spotting a machine gun nest, he hurled a grenade and destroyed the emplacement. Then, circling to the rear of another machine gun position, he fired his submachine gun at point-blank range, killing one gunner and wounding another. Pursuing two enemy riflemen, Private First Class Nishimoto killed one, while the other hastily retreated. Continuing his determined assault, he drove another machine gun crew from its position. The enemy, with their key strong points taken, were forced to withdraw from this sector. Private First Class Nishimoto'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.

Death and Burial

Private First Class Joe M. Nishimoto was killed in action on 15 November 1944. He is buried at Washington Colony Cemetery in Fresno, Fresno County, CA.

Honoree ID: 1569   Created by: MHOH




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