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Hayashi, Joe J.

Date of birth:
August 14th, 1920 (Salinas/California, United States)
Date of death:
April 22nd, 1945 (Tendola/Province of Massa-Carrara, region Tuscany, Italy)
Buried on:
American War Graves Evergreen Cemetery
Service number:
39 233 508
American (1776 - present, Republic)


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Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
DSC was upgraded to Medal of Honor.
Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
Second World War (1939-1945)
Company K, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 92nd Infantry Division, U.S. Army
Awarded on:
June 21st, 2000
"Private Joe Hayashi distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 20 and 22 April 1945, near Tendola, Italy. On 20 April 1945, ordered to attack a strongly defended hill that commanded all approaches to the village of Tendola, Private Hayashi skillfully led his men to a point within 75 yards of enemy positions before they were detected and fired upon. After dragging his wounded comrades to safety, he returned alone and exposed himself to small arms fire in order to direct and adjust mortar fire against hostile emplacements. Boldly attacking the hill with the remaining men of his squad, he attained his objective and discovered that the mortars had neutralized three machine guns, killed 27 men, and wounded many others. On 22 April 1945, attacking the village of Tendola, Private Hayashi maneuvered his squad up a steep, terraced hill to within 100 yards of the enemy. Crawling under intense fire to a hostile machine gun position, he threw a grenade, killing one enemy soldier and forcing the other members of the gun crew to surrender. Seeing four enemy machine guns delivering deadly fire upon other elements of his platoon, he threw another grenade, destroying a machine gun nest. He then crawled to the right flank of another machine gun position where he killed four enemy soldiers and forced the others to flee. Attempting to pursue the enemy, he was mortally wounded by a burst of machine pistol fire. The dauntless courage and exemplary leadership of Private Hayashi enabled his company to attain its objective. Private Hayashi’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army."
Awarded posthumously.
Medal of Honor - Army (MoH)
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded with three bronze campaign stars.
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal