East Hawaii News

Veterans to Receive French Legion of Honour Award

January 19, 2015, 1:08 PM HST
* Updated January 19, 1:09 PM
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Veterans of the 442nd Infantry’s 100th Battalion will be recognized for their bravery 70 years after their daring rescue of a Texas battalion trapped behind enemy lines in France.

Kazumi Taguchi and the late Mitsuo “Benty” Tachibana of Hilo will be recognized alongside Iwao Yonemitsu and Tokuichi Nakano of Naalehu and the late Hidetaka Sato of Kona at a ceremony at the West Hawai’i Veterans Cemetery on Jan. 21 at 11 a.m.

Ms. Pauline Carmona, Consul General of France in Hawai’i, will award the Vetrans with the French Legion of Honour Award medals.

Legion of Honor Award. Courtesy image.

Legion of Honor Award. Courtesy image.

The Legion of Honour award was created in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte and represents France’s highest decoration of valor.

During World War II, the 442nd, known as the “little men of iron” by war correspondents, gained renown in Italy for their efforts battling the Nazis.


They later became legend after their brazen rescue of the 141st “Lost Battalion” of Texas in the mountains of France. Remembered as one of World War II’s most famous acts of bravery, the battalion battled for six-days to free the soldiers of the 141st, resulting in the rescue of over 20 men from behind enemy lines.


During the rescue, the 442nd infantry heavily lost their own, later becoming one of the most decorated fighting units in U.S. history.

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