War Hero Private First Class Kahoohanohano Honored Posthumously
By Wendy Osher
Members of Hawaii’s Congressional Delegation were among those in attendance at the Medal of Honor Ceremony for a Hawai’i man who died in the Korean War.
President Barack Obama presented the nation’s highest military honor posthumously to Maui-born U.S. Army Private First Class Anthony Kahoohanohano for his heroic actions during the War.
“It was a privilege to attend today’s ceremony at the White House with 30 members of the Kahoohanohano family,” said Congresswoman Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii). “The President related Private Kahoohanohano’s extreme bravery and heroism in battle before presenting the Medal of Honor to Private Kahoohanohano’s nephew, George Kahoohanohano. It was a touching and heartfelt ceremony, reminding us of his family’s sacrifice in losing this extraordinary young man,” said Rep. Hirono.
At the age of 21, Private Kahoohanohano took command of a battle situation that looked bleak for his regiment as they came under fire from a large number of enemy troops.
Serving as squad leader, he ordered the others to fall back to a better defensive location. H e then took it upon himself to gather ammunition and grenades and returned to face the oncoming enemy alone. Kahoohanohano was killed in action during the 1951 fire-fight near the village of Chupa-ri while single-handedly fighting off the enemy soldiers.
His actions inspired his squad to fight on and eventually turn back the enemy.
*** Supporting information courtesy Office of Congresswoman Mazie Hirono.