Kiyoshi Muranaga facts for kids

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Kiyoshi K. Muranaga
Kiyoshi K. Muranaga, Medal of Honor recipient
Born (1922-02-16)February 16, 1922
Los Angeles, California
Died June 26, 1944(1944-06-26) (aged 22)
near Suvereto, Italy  
Place of burial Evergreen Cemetery
(Los Angeles, California)
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 ribbon.svgMedal of Honor
Purple Heart ribbon.svgPurple Heart

Kiyoshi K. Muranaga (February 16, 1922 – June 26, 1944) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in World War II.

Early life

Muranaga was born in California to Japanese immigrant parents. He is a Nisei, which means that he is a second generation Japanese-American. He was raised as one of the oldest of 9 other siblings in what is now Gardena, California.

He was interned with his family at the Granada War Relocation Center in Colorado.

Soldier

Muranaga joined the US Army in May 1943. Muranaga volunteered to be part of the all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This army unit was mostly made up of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland. Muranaga was killed on the first day of action for the 442nd in Italy.

For his actions in June 1944, he was posthumously awarded the Army's second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross. A 1990s review of service records for Asian Americans who received the Distinguished Service Cross during World War II led to Muranaga's award being upgraded to the Medal of Honor.

In a ceremony at the White House on June 21, 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.

Muranaga, aged 22 at his death, was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Los Angeles, California.

Medal of Honor citation

Muranaga's Medal of Honor recognized his conduct in frontline fighting in central Italy in 1944.

On June 26, 1944, Muranaga was serving as a private first class in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. On that day, near Suvereto, Italy, he single-handedly manned his squad's mortar weapon in an attempt to destroy an enemy artillery gun. Muranaga was able to fire three shells before being killed by the enemy's return fire.

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