1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Sen. Daniel Inouye - is his background hyperbole, or real?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Rusty Shackleford, Jun 6, 2012.

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    Bouncing around wikipedia a bit today, I came upon the entry for Hawaiian Senator Daniel Inouye. In describing his combat history, it details the following passage:

    On April 21, 1945, Inouye was grievously wounded while leading an assault on a heavily-defended ridge near San Terenzo in Tuscany, Italy called Colle Musatello. The ridge served as a strongpoint along the strip of German fortifications known as the Gothic Line, which represented the last and most dogged line of German defensive works in Italy. As he led his platoon in a flanking maneuver, three German machine guns opened fire from covered positions just 40 yards away, pinning his men to the ground. Inouye stood up to attack and was shot in the stomach; ignoring his wound, he proceeded to attack and destroy the first machine gun nest with hand grenades and fire from his M1 Thompson submachine gun. After being informed of the severity of his wound by his platoon sergeant, he refused treatment and rallied his men for an attack on the second machine gun position, which he also successfully destroyed before collapsing from blood loss.

    As his squad distracted the third machine gunner, Inouye crawled toward the final bunker, eventually drawing within 10 yards. As he raised himself up and cocked his arm to throw his last grenade into the fighting position, a German inside fired a rifle grenade that struck him on the right elbow, severing most of his arm and leaving his own primed grenade reflexively "clenched in a fist that suddenly didn't belong to me anymore".[10] Inouye's horrified soldiers moved to his aid, but he shouted for them to keep back out of fear his severed fist would involuntarily relax and drop the grenade. As the German inside the bunker reloaded his rifle, Inouye managed to pry the live grenade from his useless right hand and transfer it to his left. As the German aimed his rifle to finish him off, Inouye managed at last to toss the grenade off-hand into the bunker and destroy it. He stumbled to his feet and continued forward, silencing the last German resistance with a one-handed burst from his Thompson before being wounded in the leg and tumbling unconscious to the bottom of the ridge. When he awoke to see the concerned men of his platoon hovering over him, his only comment before being carried away was to gruffly order them to return to their positions, since, as he pointed out, "nobody [had] called off the war!"[11]

    Can somebody tell me how accurate this is? Seems like a bit of hyperbole and, to be honest, downright impossible. But then again, I know nothing about the man and maybe it’s all true. If so, it’s freaking increadible.
  2. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Doesn't he have a Medal of Honor?
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Maybe Hawaii doesn't even exist, and is actually just a government code for "get the fake documents ready." Do we know for sure that when we fly there we don't just go around and around in circles and ended up off the coast of Baja California?
  4. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Living in 2012, I'm sure this does seem impossible. Thank God it was not.
  5. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    Senator Inouye's war story has been out a long time and I've never heard it questioned. I have to assume that it's accurate.
  6. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    Yes, Senator Inouye was awarded the CMOH by President Clinton for his actions in Italy. Below is the citation:

    Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.
  7. CarlSpackler

    CarlSpackler Active Member

    They just showed the Ken Burns WWII doc over Memorial Day weekend. This battle happened a week after FDR died and the brigade he was in was inspired to "do it for the old man" -- despite the fact the old man interned Japanese-Americans like themselves.

    Now that's badass.
  8. Remember during the Watergate hearings when Erlichman's lawyer called him "a little Jap" over a live mike? Even Republicans in Congress railed about the overt racism. (sigh) Those were the days ...
  9. waterytart

    waterytart Active Member

    Who can forget Oliver North lecturing him about service to one's country?
  10. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Ollie got lectured to by a bunch of blowhards too.

    Not a fan of Inouye as a Senator, but the guy is a hero for his actions in WWII.
  11. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

  12. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Looks like his friend is the plagiarist.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page