Rank Insignia Previous Honoree ID Next Honoree ID

honoree image
First Name: Yukio

Last Name: Okutsu

Birthplace: Koloa, HI, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Date of Birth: 03 November 1921

Date of Death: 24 August 2003

Rank: Technical Sergeant

Years Served: 1943 - 1945
Yukio Okutsu

•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Yukio Okutsu

Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army

Medal of Honor Recipient

World War II

Technical Sergeant Yukio Okutsu (3 November 1921 - 24 August 2003) was a U.S. Army soldier and a recipient of the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his heroic actions during World War II.

On 7 April 1945, Okutsu was serving as a Technical Sergeant in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. During a battle that day on Mount Belvedere in Italy, he single-handedly destroyed three enemy machine gun emplacements. He was awarded the Army's second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross, for his actions.

A 1990 review of service records for Asian Americans who received the Distinguished Service Cross during World War II led to Okutsu's award being upgraded to the Medal of Honor. In a ceremony at the White House on 21 June 2000, he 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 six of them posthumously.

Medal of Honor

Citation: Technical Sergeant Yukio Okutsu distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 7 April 1945, on Mount Belvedere, Italy. While his platoon was halted by the crossfire of three machine guns, Technical Sergeant Okutsu boldly crawled to within 30 yards of the nearest enemy emplacement through heavy fire. He destroyed the position with two accurately placed hand grenades, killing three machine gunners. Crawling and dashing from cover to cover, he threw another grenade, silencing a second machine gun, wounding two enemy soldiers, and forcing two others to surrender. Seeing a third machine gun, which obstructed his platoon's advance, he moved forward through heavy small arms fire and was stunned momentarily by rifle fire, which glanced off his helmet. Recovering, he bravely charged several enemy riflemen with his submachine gun, forcing them to withdraw from their positions. Then, rushing the machine gun nest, he captured the weapon and its entire crew of four. By these single-handed actions he enabled his platoon to resume its assault on a vital objective. The courageous performance of Technical Sergeant Okutsu against formidable odds was an inspiration to all. Technical Sergeant Okutsu'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.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart

Death and Burial

Technical Sergeant Yukio Okutsu died on 24 August 2003 at age 81, three years after receiving the Medal of Honor. He is buried in East Hawaii Veterans Cemetery No. 2 in Hilo, HI.

Honoree ID: 1578   Created by: MHOH




Honoree Photos

honoree imagehonoree imagehonoree image

honoree imagehonoree image

honoree image