The VVA Veteran® Online

January/February 2013

Daniel Inouye, 1924-2012

Alaska State Sen. Bill WielechowskiU.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, a World War II veteran who lost his arm in battle in Italy in 1945 and went on to become the first Japanese American elected to Congress, died December 17 in a Washington, D.C., hospital of a respiratory ailment. Inouye, who received the Medal of Honor for his courage under fire, was 88 years old, and at his death was the longest-serving U.S. Senator.

“Sen. Inouye was an institution on Capitol Hill and never forgot his fellow veterans,” said VVA National President John Rowan. “Among many other things, he and his staff worked closely in the early 1980s with Lynda Van Devanter, who headed VVA’s first women veterans’ efforts. Together, the Senator and VVA were able to convince the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide equal rights to America’s women veterans.”

Inouye joined the U.S. Army in 1943. He fought in Italy with the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was made up almost entirely of Neisi, second generation Japanese Americans. The 14,000-man unit became one of the most decorated in U.S. military history, receiving some 9,500 Purple Hearts, twenty-one Medals of Honor, and eight Presidential Unit Citations.

Daniel Inouye,
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Mid-Michigan Chapter 1047
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