HYANNIS (CBS) – Kiyoshi Ota, a Purple Heart recipient who fought in Italy, France and Germany during World War II, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in a ceremony Sunday on Cape Cod.
Ota, 91, was a sergeant in the Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Composed of Japanese-Americans, the 442nd RCT had the motto of “Go for Broke,” and was one of the most decorated units in the war and also had one of the highest casualty rates.
Ota is among more than 1,500 Japanese Americans honored by President Obama in 2010 when he signed a bill granting them the Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, in recognition of their World War II service.
The Congressional Gold Medal is bestowed by the U.S. Congress and, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is the highest civilian award in the United States.
Prior to the bill signing Ota had suffered a stroke and was unaware he was a recipient.
David Worsman, a Vietnam veteran and member of the VFW Post 1074, was instrumental in completing the documentation for Ota to receive his medal, and presented it to him Sunday at his home at Emeritus at Cape Cod senior living community.
Diane Ota expressed her appreciation to Worsman for making the medal presentation happen for her uncle.
“It is all just a tribute to the spirit of our men and women in the armed services,” she said.
MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON