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First Name: James

Last Name: Okubo

Birthplace: Anacortes, WA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Middle Name: K.

Date of Birth: 30 May 1920

Date of Death: 29 January 1967

Rank: Technician Fifth Grade

Years Served: 1943 - 1945
James K. Okubo

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


James K. Okubo

Technician Fifth Grade, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Technician Fifth Grade James K. Okubo (30 May 1920 - 29 January 1967) 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. Okubo was interned with his family at the Tule Lake War Relocation Center.

On 28 October 1944, Okubo was a Technician Fifth Grade serving as a combat medic in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. During a battle on that day and the following day, in the Foret Domaniale de Champ near Biffontaine, France, he carried wounded soldiers to safety and treated over two dozen men despite intense enemy fire. One week later on 4 November, he again braved enemy fire to rescue a man from a burning tank. For his actions, Okubo was recommended for the Medal of Honor, but was instead given the Silver Star under the mistaken belief that medics were not eligible for higher awards.

A 1990 review of service records for Asian Americans who were decorated in World War II led to Okubo being awarded 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: Technician Fifth Grade James K. Okubo distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 28 and 29 October and 4 November 1944, in the Foret Domaniale de Champ, near Biffontaine, eastern France. On 28 October, under strong enemy fire coming from behind mine fields and roadblocks, Technician Fifth Grade Okubo, a medic, crawled 150 yards to within 40 yards of the enemy lines. Two grenades were thrown at him while he left his last covered position to carry back wounded comrades. Under constant barrages of enemy small arms and machine gun fire, he treated 17 men on 28 October and 8 more men on 29 October. On 4 November, Technician Fifth Grade Okubo ran 75 yards under grazing machine gun fire and, while exposed to hostile fire directed at him, evacuated and treated a seriously wounded crewman from a burning tank that otherwise would have died. Technician Fifth Grade James K. Okubo'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.

Okubo left the Army while still a Technician Fifth Grade.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Silver Star Medal


In 2002, a medical clinic was named after him at Fort Lewis, WA.

In 2003, the U.S. Army named the barracks near Brooke Army Medical Center after Okubo in a ceremony which featured his widow. The barracks are now used for Fort Sam Houston's Warrior Transition Battalion.

Death and Burial

Technician Fifth Grade James K. Okubo died on 29 January 1967, at age 47, in a traffic accident. He is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Detroit, MI.

Honoree ID: 1577   Created by: MHOH




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