Shizuya “Cesar” Hayashi MOH

b. 28/11/1917 Waialua, Hawaii. d. 12/03/2008 Pearl City, Hawaii.

DATE OF MOH ACTION: 29/11/1943 near Cerasuolo, Italy.

Shizuya Hayashi MOH

Hayashi was born in Waialua, Hawaii. He is the son of immigrants who were born in Japan. He is a Nisei, which means that he is a second generation Japanese-American.

Nine months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hayashi was drafted into the US Army in March 1941. He was given the nickname “Cesar” because his sergeant could not pronounce his name.

Hayashi volunteered to be part of the all-Nisei 100th Infantry Battalion. This army unit was mostly made up of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland. For his actions in November 1943, Hayashi was awarded the Army’s second-highest decoration, the Distinguished Service Cross.

Hayashi was originally awarded the Distinguished Service Cross which was upgraded to the Medal of Honor upon military review in June 2000. The review was conducted on the belief that racial discrimination prevented Hayashi and several other soldiers of Asian descent from being awarded the United States’ highest decoration for valor. Twenty one other soldiers also received the Medal based on the review. Hayashi was one of 12 who were still alive when the Medal was eventually awarded. He received the Medal on June 21, 2000 from President William J. Clinton at The White House. Since he was recognized with the Medal, Hayashi became a guest speaker at various events including being an honored guest at the United States Army Southern European Task Force.



For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Private Shizuya Hayashi distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 29 November 1943, near Cerasuolo, Italy. During a flank assault on high ground held by the enemy, Private Hayashi rose alone in the face of grenade, rifle, and machine gun fire. Firing his automatic rifle from the hip, he charged and overtook an enemy machine gun position, killing seven men in the nest and two more as they fled. After his platoon advanced 200 yards from this point, an enemy antiaircraft gun opened fire on the men. Private Hayashi returned fire at the hostile position, killing nine of the enemy, taking four prisoners, and forcing the remainder of the force to withdraw from the hill. Private Hayashi’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.