GALLUP, N.M. (KRQE) – America’s top sign of valor, The Medal of Honor, was awarded to a New Mexico man for his service in the Korean War. Now, the United States is honoring him again.
Hiroshi Miyamura will be immortalized on a stamp.
“I thought I was an American like everyone else,” Miyamura said.
When Miyamura went to enlist in the Armed Forces shortly after World War II, he was turned away and told “you have to prove you’re loyal to this country.”
Being of Japanese descent, the Gallup native hit roadblocks in his efforts to serve. That would quickly change.
At 18-years-old, Miyamura was assigned to the Nissei 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which would gain fame as the most decorated American unit in the Korean War. A war that ultimately took the lives of five million soldiers and civilians.
Miyamura remembers arriving.
“It was the coldest I’ve ever been in my life,” Miyamura said.
As an Army squad leader, he fought against the Chinese. He said their forces began moving in, waves of communist soldiers stormed their position. He and his men were outnumbered.
“I told the members of my squad to withdrawal,” Miyamura said.
Eventually, a wounded Miyamura was captured and spent 27 months as a Prisoner of War. He said it wasn’t clear if he’d be coming home. And when he did come home, he came to a big honor.
“[A General] said ‘Do you know why you’re here?’ and I said ‘No.’ ‘He said you received the Medal of Honor.’”
A series of stamps, recognizing America’s Medal of Honor recipients is out, now feature Miyamura, the boy from Gallup who never gave up when he was told no.
The Gallup Postmaster will present Miyamura with a framed set of those stamps Tuesday August 5 at 11 a.m. A short ceremony will be held outside the Gallup Post Office. The public is invited.