Scene on the Sound: Army ship named for hero almost visible through the haze

Saturday, August 18, 2018

SSGT Robert T. Kuroda, LSV-7
Photo by Jan Hansen

Honolulu became the home of a hero and a ship named in his honor

By Jan Hansen
Rarely do I see an Army ship, but blending into our Shoreline Sea Friday was the SSGT Robert T. Kuroda, LSV-7. In 2006 she was the only one of the Army's eight LSVs named for a Medal of Honor recipient.

Kuroda is the first of two new-generation LSVs built for the Army's Tank-automotive and Armament Command (TACOM). She was assigned to an Army Reserve unit, the 548th Transportation Detachment in Pearl Harbor.

The LSVs are "roll-on roll-off" vessels used to transport heavy equipment and other bulky items, and are capable of discharging a payload of 2,000 short tons - including 15 main battle tanks or up to 82 double-stacked 20-foot long ISO containers - directly onto unimproved beaches and ports using large, retractable bow ramps.

Robert T. Kuroda
Photo in public domain
From Wikipedia comes “the rest of the story.”

Robert Kuroda was born in 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 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 surviving family 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 HonoluluHawaii.


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