One month before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Kobashigawa joined the US Army in November 1941.
Kobashigawa volunteered to join 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 June 1944, Kobashigawa was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. He led his squad in destroying several German machine gun nests. This was eventually upgraded to the Medal of Honor upon military review on June 21, 2000. The review examined whether or not Asian Americans who fought in uniform during the war were treated unfairly due to prejudice. Twenty-two Americans of Asian ancestry who had fought in World War II were awarded the Medal after the review. Kobashigawa was one of only a handful still alive in 2000 to receive the Medal during a White House ceremony. After the war, Kobashigawa worked as a maintenance mechanic.
He died March 31, 2005 and is buried in National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii. His grave can be found in the Columbarium Section CT8-E, Row 500, Site 536.
Read more about this topic: Yeiki Kobashigawa
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