b. 08/11/1922 Honolulu, Hawaii. d. 20/10/1944 near Bruyeres, France.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 20/10/1944 near Bruyeres, France.
Robert Kuroda was born in Aiea, Hawaii, the son of immigrants from Japan. He was thus a Nisei, which means a second generation Japanese-American. Kuroda was trained as an electrician, but he enlisted in the U.S. Army in March 1943, at the age of 20. Kuroda joined the Army in March 1943.
Kuroda volunteered to join the all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This army unit was mostly made up of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland.
On October 20, 1944, Kuroda was serving as a staff sergeant in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. On that day, near Bruyères, France, he single-handedly attacked two enemy machine gun emplacements before being killed by a sniper. For these actions, he was posthumously awarded the Army’s second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross. A 1990s review of service records for Asian Americans who received the Distinguished Service Cross during World War II led to Kuroda’s award being upgraded to the Medal of Honor. In a ceremony at the White House on June 21, 2000, his brother Ronald was presented with his Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton. Twenty-one other Asian Americans also received the medal during the ceremony, all but seven of them posthumously.
Kuroda, aged 21 at his death, was buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii.
In 2021, a French man walking in the forest with a metal detector near Bruyeres, France found Kuroda’s high school class ring. After searching for months, the man returned the ring to Kuroda’s relatives in 2022.
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Staff Sergeant Robert T. Kuroda distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 20 October 1944, near Bruyeres, France. Leading his men in an advance to destroy snipers and machine gun nests, Staff Sergeant Kuroda encounted heavy fire from enemy soldiers occupying a heavily wooded slope. Unable to pinpoint the hostile machine gun, he boldly made his way through heavy fire to the crest of the ridge. Once he located the machine gun Staff Sergeant Kuroda advanced to a point within ten yards of the nest and killed three enemy gunners with grenades. He then fired clip after clip of rifle ammuntion, killing or wounding at least three of the enemy. As he expended the last of his ammuntion, he observed that an American officer had been struck by a burst of fire from a hostile machine gun located on an adjacent hill. Rushing to the officer’s assistance, he found that the officer had been killed. Picking up the officer’s submachine gun, Staff Sergeant Kuroda advanced through continuous fire toward a second machine gun emplacement and destroyed the position. As he turned to fire upon additional enemy soldiers, he was killed by a sniper. Staff Sergeant Kuroda’s courageous actions and indomitable fighting spirit ensured the destruction of enemy resistance in the sector. Staff Sergeant Kuroda’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions ofmilitary service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.
BURIAL LOCATION: NATIONAL MEMORIAL CEMETERY OF THE PACIFIC, HONOLULU, HAWAII.
SECTION D, GRAVE 92.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: FAMILY.