b. 1930 Maui, Hawaii. d. 01/09/1951 Chup'a-ri, Korea.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 01/09/1951 Chup'a-ri, Korea.
A native of Maui, Hawaii, Kahoohanohano was the son of a police officer and one of seven siblings, 6 brothers and 1 sister. He lived in Wailuku and played football and basketball at St. Anthony's School for Boys (now known as St. Anthony High School) before graduating in 1949. All six of the Kahoohanohano brothers served in the U.S. military: Anthony and three others in the active duty Army, one in the Marine Corps, and one in the National Guard.
By September 1, 1951, he was serving in Korea as a private first class with Company H, 2nd Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the U.S. Army's second-highest military decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross.
In the late 1990s, Kahoohanohano's brother, Abel Kahoohanohano, Sr., began an effort to have the Distinguished Service Cross upgraded. Abel's son George took up the cause after his father's death. After an unsuccessful Medal of Honor nomination in 2001 by Representative Patsy Mink, which was rejected by the Army, the family enlisted the help of Senator Daniel Akaka. Akaka nominated Kahoohanohano for the medal again, and in March 2009 was informed by Secretary of the Army Pete Geren that, after "careful, personal consideration", the request had been approved. A provision making the upgrade official was included in the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 2647), signed into law by President Barack Obama on October 28, 2009.
The Medal of Honor was formally presented to the Kahoohanohano family at a White House ceremony on May 2, 2011.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty: Private First Class Anthony T. KAHO'OHANOHANO, Company H, 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above the call of duty in action against the enemy in the vicinity of Chupa-ri, Korea, on 1 September 1951. On that date, Private First Class KAHO'OHANOHANO was in charge of a machine-gun squad supporting the defensive positioning of Company F when a numerically superior enemy force launched a fierce attack. Because of the enemy's overwhelming numbers, friendly troops were forced to execute a limited withdrawal. As the men fell back, Private First Class KAHO'OHANOHANO ordered his squad to take up more defensible positions and provide covering fire for the withdrawing friendly force. Although having been wounded in the shoulder during the initial enemy assault, Private First Class KAHO'OHANOHANO gathered a supply of grenades and ammunition and returned to his original position to face the enemy alone. As the hostile troops concentrated their strength against his emplacement in an effort to overrun it, Private First Class KAHO'OHANOHANO fought fiercely and courageously, delivering deadly accurate fire into the ranks of the onrushing enemy. When his ammunition was depleted, he engaged the enemy in hand-to-hand combat until he was killed. Private First Class KAHO'OHANOHANO's heroic stand so inspired his comrades that they launched a counterattack that completely repulsed the enemy. Upon reaching Private First Class KAHO'OHANOHANO's emplacement, friendly troops discovered 11 enemy soldiers lying dead in front of the emplacement and two inside it, killed in hand-to-hand combat. Private First Class KAHO'OHANOHANO's extraordinary heroism and selfless devotion to duty are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 7th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.
BURIAL LOCATION: MAUI VETERANS CEMETERY, MAUI, HAWAII.
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