Originally posted by wolfgang59
One has to ask what more he could have done to get a VC????
If I recall correctly, during the Second World War, a Nisei (US citizen of
Japanese ancestry) soldier in the US Army sacrificed his life by using his
own body to smother a grenade, saving his comrades' lives. His courage
was recognised by only the US Army's second highest decoration, not
the Medal of Honor. On account of institutional racism, no American
combatants of East Asian ancestry (Japanese, Chinese, or Filipino)
were awarded the Medal of Honor *during* the Second World War.
Some white American veterans pointed out that in every comparable case
where a white American soldier had sacrificed his life by smothering a
grenade, he had been awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor. So why
should this Nisei soldier receive less recognition? Even the US Army found
it hard to deny that racial prejudice was at the root of this discrimination.
So, after the war, this Japanese-American became the first to receive the
Medal of Honor. Several decades later, the US military grudgingly admitted
that institutional racism had led to the strange fact that there were more
than 100 American combatants of East Asian ancesty who had received
(often posthumously) the second highest decoration for bravery but only
one (mentioned earlier) who had received the Medal of Honor. Among
white combatants, the ratio of second highest decoration to Medal of Honor
was about 4 to 1, not 100+ to 1 as in the case of East Asian combatants.
So the US military belatedly decided that about 20+ of these East Asians
who had received the second highest decoration should receive the Medal