Happy Veteran’s Day and a big thank you to all who served. In our latest “Badass Blade User From History” feature, we bring you the tale of Staff Sgt. Hiroshi H. Miyamura (then Corporal), Korean War badass and Medal of Honor recipient.
While in a forward defensive position, Miyamura and his men found themselves under Chinese attack. From War History Online:
“After I heard the bugles and saw a flare or two going off, that’s when the firing commenced,” said Miyamura, a machine gun squad leader for his heavy weapons company. “I was positioned between two other machine gunners, I had two cases of grenades, an M-1, a carbine and a pistol. I don’t recall how long the guns were firing, but pretty soon, the first gunner came by and said it was getting ‘too hot.’ I fired as long as I could until it (the machine gun) jammed on me, then both gunners were gone, I was there by myself.”
Miyamura started throwing grenades and firing his rifle to repel the Chinese who were trying to flank him. “I started shooting at them as they silhouetted across the skyline. I knew the situation was getting bad so I told my men to withdraw,” he said. “While they were leaving, I just fired and threw (grenades) all that I could. After they left, our own mortars started dropping phosphorous bombs on our position. That woke me up to the thought I’ve got to get out of here.”
His ammunition exhausted, Miyamura tried to fall back to a friendly position. WHO continues:
“He started making his way down the hill when he met the enemy face-to-face. He brandished his bayonet in hand-to-hand combat and killed 10 Chinese as he tried to make his way back to safety”.
Miyamura was captured, but unlike in our previous features where the hero perished in the action, he survived 2 years in captivity. UN forces recaptured the lost ground, and discovered that Miyamura had killed more than 50 of the enemy using all weapons at his disposal.
Miyamura was repatriated in 1953. His Medal of Honor citation was issued in 1951 in secret, lest his captors take revenge on him. His citation reads as follows:
Cpl. Miyamura, a member of Company H, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. On the night of 24 April, Company H was occupying a defensive position when the enemy fanatically attacked threatening to overrun the position. Cpl. Miyamura, a machinegun squad leader, aware of the imminent danger to his men unhesitatingly jumped from his shelter wielding his bayonet in close hand-to-hand combat killing approximately 10 of the enemy. Returning to his position, he administered first aid to the wounded and directed their evacuation. As another savage assault hit the line, he manned his machinegun and delivered withering fire until his ammunition was expended. He ordered the squad to withdraw while he stayed behind to render the gun inoperative. He then bayoneted his way through infiltrated enemy soldiers to a emplacement and assisted in its operation. When the intensity of the attack necessitated the withdrawal of the company Cpl. Miyamura ordered his men to fall back while he remained to cover their movement. He killed more than 50 of the enemy before his ammunition was depleted and he was severely wounded. He maintained his magnificent stand despite his painful wounds, continuing to repel the attack until his position was overrun. When last seen he was fighting ferociously against an overwhelming number of enemy soldiers. Cpl. Miyamura’s indomitable heroism and consummate devotion to duty reflect the utmost glory on himself and uphold the illustrious traditions on the military service.
Staff Sgt. Miyamura, age 90 is still alive at the time of this writing. Thank you for your heroic service sir.