Donald M. Okamoto

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Private Donald Mitsumi Okamoto (ASN: 30105239), United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy while serving with Company B, 100th Infantry Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team, attached to the 92d Infantry Division, near Seravezza, Italy, on 21 April 1945. As gunner of a light machine gun squad which was accompanying an assault platoon from the 442d Regimental Combat Team during an attack on a heavily defended enemy position, Private First Class Okamoto gave his life in order to successfully protect his comrades and complete the mission which they had undertaken. When an attacking squad of his platoon was endangered by intense and accurate enemy fire, he leaped out of his comparatively well protected position and with utter disregard for his own safety, dragged his machine gun into the open where he could manipulate the weapon with complete freedom and maximum effectiveness. Opening up with a long burst, he thoroughly raked a German held house and the nearby ground with his fire. Surprised by the vehement and devastating force of his fire, the enemy drew back under cover. Temporarily free of the danger from the building, the attackers rushed to more adequate cover and leveling fire on the enemy, prevented him from regaining his advantage. Because Private First Class Okamoto was the greatest single threat to their defense, and because he presented such a vulnerable target, the enemy troops soon concentrated their fire on him. However, disregarding the bullets that whined close by or threw up spurts of dirt as they hit the ground around him, he remained out in the open and laid steady fire on the building. Largely due to his activity the enemy was unable to keep the assaulting squad in check as it advanced closer and closer to the structure, forcing the enemy snipers around the building to take refuge in the house. But, exposed as Private First Class Okamoto was to the enemy fire, it was almost impossible for him to escape injury, and the inevitable bullet coming from an enemy machine gun fatally wounded him. His outstanding courage and self-sacrificing heroism was an inspiring example to all who saw him and exemplified the highest traditions of the Army of the United States and the American Infantryman.

Rank: Private
Company: Company B
Battalion: 100th Infantry Battalion, 442d Regimental Combat Team
Division: 92d Infantry Division