Shinyei "Rocky" Matayoshi said he hoped his service in the US military would convince the American government to let his father out of a Japanese internment camp.
Matayoshi's service was indeed impressive, though it was not enough to get his father out of the camp. This week, President Obama awarded Matayoshi with the military's second highest honor, the Distinguished Service Cross.
His initial Distinguished Service Cross citation was lost in a fire in 1973 at the Army's National Records facility. Today he received the award at an induction ceremony at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes. The award is for valorous actions taken on April 7, 1945 in Italy when he led his platoon to assault and destroy 3 machine gun nests as they took Mt. Belvedere. Fifteen enemy were killed as a result. Much of the fighting was done at close range.
The award reads in part:
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Technical Sergeant Shinyei "Rocky" Matayoshi (ASN: 30103657), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action. Technical Sergeant Matayoshi distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity ...
Learn about the Japanese internment camps in the video below, beginning at the 2:09 mark: