MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C., Dec. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announces that Private George T. Sakato, Medal of Honor Recipient, passed away Wednesday evening, December 2, 2015, in Denver, Colorado at the age of 94.
Private Sakato was born in Colton, California, on February 19, 1921.
George Taro Sakato grew up outside San Bernardino where he graduated from Redlands High School. After World War II began, his family moved to Arizona to avoid internment on the west coast. He joined the Army in 1944 and volunteered for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was mostly made up of Japanese-Americans. In October 1944 after his platoon had virtually destroyed two enemy defense lines near Biffontaine, France, his unit was pinned down by heavy enemy fire. Disregarding the enemy fire, Private Sakato made a one-man rush that encouraged his platoon to charge and destroy the enemy strong point. Taking charge of the squad after his squad leader was mortally wounded, he continued his relentless tactics to stop an organized enemy attack. He was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross for his actions, but the 1990s review upgraded it to a Medal of Honor. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team remains the most decorated for its size and length of service in the history of American warfare.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor by President William J. Clinton at a White House ceremony on June 21, 2000.
Funeral services are pending. There are 78 recipients alive today.
About the Congressional Medal of Honor Society
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society was chartered by Congress in 1958 and consists exclusively of the living Recipients of our nation's highest award for bravery in combat, the Medal of Honor. Those who wear this light blue ribbon and Medal around their neck are "recipients" of this prestigious award; they are not "winners." Although it is common to refer to the Medal as the Congressional Medal of Honor, it is simply named the Medal of Honor, although, as stated, the Congress did establish the Society as the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.