Senator Daniel K. Inouye was born September 7, 1924 in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. He witnessed the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and at the age of 18 he enlisted in the U.S. Army and joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Following the Rescue of the Lost Battalion, Senator Inouye was awarded a Bronze Star and received a battlefield commission as a Second Lieutenant. Later, in intense fighting in Italy, Senator Inouye lost his right arm from an exploding grenade. For his action that day, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second highest award for military valor.
Following the war, Senator Inouye became Hawai‘i’s first representative in Congress when Hawai‘i achieved statehood in 1959. In 1962 he was elected to the United States Senate and has been re-elected every six years since then. Senator Inouye, a Democrat, was the first American of Japanese descent to serve in either House of Congress.
In 2000, Senator Inouye and 20 other Asian American veterans were honored in a ceremony at the White House. The medals they had earned in World War II were given a long-overdue and deserving upgrade to the Medal of Honor.
He passed away on December 17, 2012 at age 88. (December 2012)