Jun 14, 2011
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa congratulated former Army Technical Sergeant Shinyei “Rocky” Matayoshi for being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest award for valor. The 87-year old from Koloa, Hawaii was honored for his exemplary heroism at Mount Belvedere, Italy – where he served with Company G, 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
On April 7, 1945, Matayoshi ordered his platoon to advance up the steep slopes of Mount Belvedere to seize forest areas that were under enemy control. As the platoon approached the elevated ridge line, Matayoshi’s platoon was attacked by intense machine gun fire from at least five enemy machine gun nests. Matayoshi suppressed the enemy with his machine gun and hand grenades killing four enemy soldiers. He then led the assault which destroyed three other machine gun nests, killing or wounding 15 enemy soldiers – some as close as five meters away. Matayoshi secured the key terrain which paved the way for the battalion’s pursuit of the retreating enemy soldiers.
In addition to the Distinguished Service Cross, he was previously awarded for other heroic actions: two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation, and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. This Distinguished Service Cross represents the 29th DSC awarded to the 100th Battalion and 442nd RCT.