You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Inouye was heroic in battle that cost his arm

Dec. 18, 2012 - 07:02AM   |   Last Updated: Dec. 18, 2012 - 07:02AM  |  
  • Filed Under

HONOLULU When U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor in 2000 for his service in World War II, his Army unit was honored by then-President Bill Clinton as the most decorated unit in American military history.

Their motto, Clinton said, was "Go for broke," risking everything to win it all.

Inouye, who died Monday at age 88, was honored for extraordinary heroism in action during a battle on April 21, 1945, in which he lost his right arm.

Inouye recounted the moment in the 2004 book "Beyond Glory: Medal of Honor Heroes in Their Own Words" by Larry Smith.

Inouye's platoon in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team had come under fire from a German bunk on a ridge guarding a crossroads near Terenzo, Italy. Inouye was shot as he tried to draw a grenade, then crawled up the exposed hillside, throwing grenades to take out two machine gun emplacements.

Just as Inouye intended to throw a grenade at a third position, an enemy rifle grenade exploded near his right elbow, shot by a German roughly 10 yards away.

"My arm was dangling by a couple of shreds, so when I lifted it up, it was hanging like that. Just shredded," Inouye said in Smith's book.

Inouye said he was looking for the grenade, then saw it in his right hand, armed.

"The fingers somehow froze over the grenade, so I just had to pry it out. When I pulled it out, the lever snapped open and I knew I had five seconds, so I flipped it into the German's face as he was trying to reload," he said. "And it hit the target."

Inouye was then shot in his right leg and fell down the hill.

Inouye lost his right arm and could no longer pursue the medical career he wanted. He went to law school and eventually politics, representing Hawaii in the U.S. Senate starting in 1962.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Go mustang
LDO and warrant careers offer more authority, a pay hike and big retirement payout

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook