His tombstone needs to say "Bad Ass Motherfucker".
From Wikipedia... On April 21, 1945, Inouye was grievously wounded while leading an assault on a heavily-defended ridge near San Terenzo in Tuscany, Italy called Colle Musatello. The ridge served as a strongpoint along the strip of German fortifications known as the Gothic Line, which represented the last and most unyielding line of German defensive works in Italy. As he led his platoon in a flanking maneuver, three German machine guns opened fire from covered positions just 40 yards away, pinning his men to the ground. Inouye stood up to attack and was shot in the stomach; ignoring his wound, he proceeded to attack and destroy the first machine gun nest with hand grenades and fire from his Thompson submachine gun. After being informed of the severity of his wound by his platoon sergeant, he refused treatment and rallied his men for an attack on the second machine gun position, which he also successfully destroyed before collapsing from blood loss.
As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, Inouye crawled toward the final bunker, eventually drawing within 10 yards. As he raised himself up and cocked his arm to throw his last grenade into the fighting position, a German inside the bunker fired a rifle grenade that struck him on the right elbow, severing most of his arm and leaving his own primed grenade reflexively "clenched in a fist that suddenly didn't belong to me anymore". Inouye's horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. As the German inside the bunker reloaded his rifle, Inouye pried the live grenade from his useless right hand and transferred it to his left. As the German aimed his rifle to finish him off, Inouye tossed the grenade off-hand into the bunker and destroyed it. He stumbled to his feet and continued forward, silencing the last German resistance with a one-handed burst from his Thompson before being wounded in the leg and tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge. When he awoke to see the concerned men of his platoon hovering over him, his only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order them to return to their positions, since, as he pointed out, "nobody called off the war!"
The remainder of Inouye's mutilated right arm was later amputated at a field hospital without proper anesthesia, as he had been given too much morphine at an aid station and it was feared any more would lower his blood pressure enough to kill him.
Here's my Inouye story - about 5-7 years ago I was watching some documentary talking about his Medal of Honor heroics and how he lost his arm in WW2. For some reason, I decided to write him a little note, simply telling him how impressed I was by his heroics, but also his service in the Congress for over 40 years. Don't do that very often, but was moved to do it by his story.
Within 1 week, he wrote me back the nicest letter - very personalized, and it was obvious he had written this himself, not some staffer. He told me he appreciated my work as a doctor and about how many different doctors had helped him over the years. Not many Congressmen would take the time to do what he did with that letter.
We lost a good man, in many ways, in him. Rest in peace.
Although his father was born in Japan, Inouye was not interned because Hawaii immediately came under military government, he told NPR in 2011, but he was declared an "enemy alien." He and others petitioned the government for the right to serve in the military to prove their allegiance, and in late 1942, at age 17, he enlisted. Serving in Europe, he rose quickly to become a non-commissioned and later a commissioned officer. On one occasion, he said a silver dollar in his shirt pocket stopped a bullet in France.
"generation" is a hard term to pin down, but but to my way of thinking it was the generation before Inouye's that did the internment. What he and his brethren in the 442 did to shine a harsh light on that kind of thinking is part & parcel of "the greatest generation"
gh wrote:"generation" is a hard term to pin down, but but to my way of thinking it was the generation before Inouye's that did the internment. What he and his brethren in the 442 did to shine a harsh light on that kind of thinking is part & parcel of "the greatest generation"