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Kiyoshi K. Muranaga
Kiyoshi K. Muranaga, Medal of Honor recipient
February 16, 1922|
Los Angeles, California
|Died||June 26, 1944
near Suvereto, Italy †
|Place of burial||
(Los Angeles, California)
|Allegiance||United States of America|
||United States Army|
|Years of service||1943–1944|
|Rank||Private First Class|
|Unit||442nd Regimental Combat Team|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Medal of Honor
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.
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.
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.
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