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Joe M. Nishimoto
Head and shoulders of a smiling young man with dimples and round wire-framed glasses wearing a garrison cap and a military jacket over a shirt and tie
Private First Class Joe Nishimoto
Born (1919-02-21)February 21, 1919
Fresno, California
Died November 15, 1944(1944-11-15) (aged 25)
near La Houssière, France  
Allegiance  United States of America
Service/branch Seal of the United States Department of War.png United States Army
Years of service 1943 - 1944
Rank US Army WWII PFC.svg Private First Class
Unit 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Medal of Honor

Private First Class Joe M. Nishimoto (February 21, 1919 – November 15, 1944) was a United States Army soldier. He is best known for receiving the Medal of Honor because of his actions in World War II.

Early life

Nishimoto was born in California to Japanese immigrant parents. He was a Nisei, which means that he was a second generation Japanese-American.

He was interned at the Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas,


Nishimoto joined the US Army in October 1943.

Nishimoto volunteered to be part of the all-Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion. This army unit was mostly made up of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland.

For his actions in November 1944, Nishimoto was awarded the Army's second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC).

Medal of Honor citation

Nishimoto's Medal of Honor recognized his conduct in frontline fighting in France in 1944. Without help from others, he destroyed three machine gun positions.

In the 1990s, there was a review of service records of Asian Americans who received the DSC during World War II. Nishimoto's award was upgraded to the Medal of Honor. In a ceremony at the White House on June 21, 2000, his family was presented with his medal by President Bill Clinton. Twenty-one other Asian Americans also received the medal during the ceremony, but only seven of them were still alive.

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