MOH Kaneshiro

SSG Edward N. Kaneshiro*

Medal of Honor Citation

Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Troop C, 1st Battalion, 98th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile)

Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 01 December 1966

Entered service at: Honolulu, Hawaii

Born: 22 July 1928, Honolulu, Hawaii


Citation: Staff Sergeant Edward N. Kaneshiro distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an Infantry Squad Leader with Troop C, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division near Phu Huu 2, Kim Son Valley, Republic of Vietnam, on 1 December 1966. Not knowing that the village was heavily fortified with a fully bunkered and concealed trench system and garrisoned by North Vietnamese troops in vastly superior force, two squads of the platoon had deployed to its center, while Staff Sergeant Kaneshiro and his squad scouted the more open terrain to the east of the village. Sensing the opportunity to ambush the Infantry squads, the entrenched enemy force erupted with machine gun and small arms fire against the two squads at the center of the village, killing the platoon leader and the point man, wounding four others, then successfully suppressing the surviving soldiers. Staff Sergeant Kaneshiro moved with his men to the sounds of the fire. Swiftly reading the situation, seeing that the fire from the trench had to be stopped if anyone was to survive, he first deployed his men to cover, then crawled forward to attack the enemy force alone. He began by throwing grenades from the parapet while flattened to the ground, successfully throwing the first grenade through the aperture of the bunker, eliminating the machine gunner who had opened the action. With five grenades remaining and his rifle to sustain his assault, Staff Sergeant Kaneshiro jumped into the trench to sweep its length where it fronted the two pinned squads. Over the distance of about 35 meters, he worked the ditch alone, destroying one enemy group with rifle fire and two others with grenades. By the end of his sweep, the able-bodied survivors of the two squads were again standing and preparing to move the dead and wounded. Staff Sergeant Kaneshiro’s actions enabled the orderly extrication and reorganization of the platoon which ultimately led to a successful withdrawal from the village. Staff Sergeant Kaneshiro’s conspicuous gallantry and uncommon heroism under fire were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

The Medal of Honor was Posthumously awarded to his son John Kaneshiro in a White House Ceremony by President Joseph R. Biden on 5 July 2022. SSG Kaneshiro was killed in action on 6 March 1967 in Vietnam leaving behind his wife, Mitsuko, and five children. Mitsuko died 10 April 2022 at the age of 90. SSG Kaneshiro was previously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for this action.