Congress has approved the posthumous award of the Medal of Honor to a Maui man who died fighting in the Korean War.
The 2010 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision to award the medal to Pfc. Anthony T. Kahoohano-hano for his “acts of valor” during combat in Korea. The bill for the act has been forwarded to President Barack Obama, who was expected to sign it today in the White House Rose Garden.
Kahoohanohano, who already was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, served with Company H, 2nd Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, during the Korean War.
According to the Military Times’ Hall of Honor, Kahoohanohano was in charge of a machine-gun squad in the vicinity of Chup’a-ri, Korea, on Sept. 1, 1951.
On that day, his squad faced a numerically superior enemy force. And, as American forces undertook a limited withdrawal, Kahoohanohano ordered his men to take up more secure positions to provide covering fire for fellow troops.
Then, although he had been wounded in the shoulder, he stayed behind, gathered gre-nades and ammunition and fought the enemy alone. He continued fighting until his ammunition was gone, and he engaged in “hand-to-hand” combat until he was killed.
His stand inspired his comrades who launched a counterattack to completely repulse the enemy.
The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration and is given to those who risk their lives “above and beyond the call of duty.” Most medals are awarded posthumously.
The Distinguished Service Cross is the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a person in the U.S. Army.