Korean War hero receives upgraded headstone
February 29, 2012
- Medal of Honor - Pfc. Anthony T. Kaho'ohanohano
- Army.mil: Asia and Pacific News
- STAND-TO!: Medal of Honor Posthumously Awarded to Two Korean War Soldiers
- U.S. Army Pacific on Facebook
- U.S. Army Pacific on Flickr
- VIDEO: Medal of Honor Ceremony for Pfc. Anthony Thomas Kaho'ohanohano
- Haleakala National Park
MAKAWAO, Hawaii (Feb. 29, 2012) -- On the slopes of the volcanic mountain called Haleakala, rest the remains of a Korean War hero whose headstone now reflects the title of Medal of Honor recipient.
In a solemn ceremony Feb. 27 at Maui Veterans Cemetery military leaders, island representatives, family and friends of the late Pfc. Anthony T. Kaho'ohanohano participated in the unveiling of the headstone that bears the hard-earned award.
Kaho'ohanohano, a Maui native, posthumously received the nation's highest military award on May 2, 2011, at a White House ceremony attended by his surviving family. Military regulations state Medal of Honor recipients who have passed away are authorized specialized headstones marking the graves.
Representing U.S. Army Pacific and delivering the dedication remarks was Maj. Gen. William Beard, deputy commanding general, Army Reserves.
"We like to believe that uncommon valor is a common virtue amongst those serving in uniform and even though each does his or her duty to country and friends. The reality is that selfless actions like the one performed by Private First Class Kaho'ohanohano are rare, even in the thickets of fights. It is that awe-inspiring infrequency that makes such valor rare, and worthy of our Nation's highest honor."
Kaho'ohanohano was assigned to Company H, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division in charge of a machine gun squad in the vicinity of Chupa-ri, Korea on Sep. 1, 1951. Because of the enemy's overwhelming number, friendly troops were forced to execute a limited withdrawal.
As men fell back, Kaho'ohanohano alone manned the machine gun delivering effective and devastating fire against the oncoming enemy. When his ammunition was depleted, Kaho'ohanohano engaged the enemy in hand to hand combat until he was mortally wounded.
Kaho'ohanohano's heroic stand so inspired his comrades that they launched a counterattack that completely repulsed the enemy. Kaho'ohanohano was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross that was upgraded decades later to the Medal of Honor.
"This is the final piece that will bring closure for everyone. We're real excited, but also relieved that this is done. He is most deserving of this recognition," said Kaho'ohanohano's nephew George Kaho'ohanohano.
Pfc. Kaho'ohanohano is the third Medal of Honor recipient from the Valley Isle. Other Maui natives that have been awarded the medal were Pvt. Barney Hajiro and Pfc. Frank Ono, both former members of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team that fought World War II campaigns in France and Italy.