Oldest living Medal of Honor recipient dies in Hawaii - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Oldest living Medal of Honor recipient dies in Hawaii

Barney Hajiro Barney Hajiro
Glenn Hajiro Glenn Hajiro

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii is mourning the loss of World War II veteran Barney Hajiro. The Oahu man was the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient in America.

"He wants to be remembered as a simple person," said son Glenn Hajiro.

Barney Hajiro, 94, served in the Army's famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He single-handedly destroyed two German machine gun nests during the rescue of the "Lost Battalion" in France. He was shot in the cheek, shoulder and wrist, leaving his left arm paralyzed.

"There were snipers, lot of shooting, and people were saying it's going to be suicide, but he said he had a duty to do," recalled Glenn Hajiro.

More than half a century after the bloody battle, President Bill Clinton presented the Medal of Honor to the Nisei veteran in 2000.

"He said he was a little bit excited and he was proud to receive the medal for the boys. He said, 'It's not for me. It's for the boys.' He would always say that," said Glenn Hajiro.

Glenn Hajiro was by his father's side for the final moments on Friday morning.

"His dream was to be a track star, but he only went to the 8th grade. He never got to do his thing, so I told him, on his death bed, to run," said Hajiro's son.

Funeral services are still pending.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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