Warriors in their Own Words

Remarkable stories of war told by the men who fought for a proud nation. Their words. Their voices. Our first episodes tell riveting stories from World War II, then we move on to the Vietnam War and other dramatic conflicts.

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PREVIEW: Pearl Harbor, Northern Italy, and the Medal of Honor

PREVIEW: Pearl Harbor, Northern Italy, and the Medal of Honor

Tomorrow, on the 82nd Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor, we’ll be sharing our full interview with Captain Daniel Inouye. At 17 years old, Inouye witnessed the attack first-hand from his home in Hawaii, and he joined the US Army a year later when the government reversed its policy on Japanese Americans serving. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery in Northern Italy, and he became a Senator after returning home.

In this preview of tomorrow’s interview, Inouye describes how his regiment climbed a treacherous cliff in order to flank a German company in WWII.


Ken Harbaugh:

I'm Ken Harbaugh, host of Warriors In Their Own Words.In this preview, we'll be sharing a clip from tomorrow's interview with Captain Daniel Inouye. If you'd like to hear more previews like this, please let us know at [email protected]

Capt. Daniel Inouye:

This area had been static for nearly six months. The division had been in possession and hadn't moved. And during that time, the Germans had built fortifications, concrete fortifications. So when we were called back from France to lead the last assault to break this line, and it was felt that if you break this line, you'll break the Italian resistance, we all assembled. But before we assembled to listen to the division commander, our regimental commander sent many of the officers on reconnaissance, and he figured this would be the area very likely that we would be assigned to, and said, "Look around and figure out the best approaches that you can find." And so when we met with the division commander, our attack plan was already made. And so when the division commander said, "I must tell you that this line has been here for over five months, and it's well dug in, well established. The Germans have fortifications and a lot of men up there. It's not going to be easy, but we hope you can overcome these difficulties and take your first objective," within a week, our regimental commander, and I'm sitting there as a young officer, the regimental commander turned to the general and said, "Would it be okay if we finish it up in less than a day?" He wasn't bragging, because oftentimes, the division has plans. And the general thought, our colonel was kidding. "Are you serious?" "Absolutely." We can take our first objective in 12 hours, something that they've been standing there for five months. But it called for attacking in an area that no one would anticipate. We had to sacrifice one battalion to take the traditional route going up forward, and they got slammed and hit. And while they were doing that, from about nine o'clock at night, we were climbing cliffs that were just almost vertical. And I remember on this attack, we took off all of the things that would make noise, and we were told that if anything happens, don't yell. One fella fell without a peep. All you heard was the thump on the end. That's discipline. And I don't know how you describe that. Is that courage? Is that patriotism? It's something. He just fell, and he must have known he was on his way to death. But when we got up on the top, at least in my company sector, I don't know about the other companies, we came across a German company that had just gotten up. They were lining up for breakfast. We're like shooting fish in a barrel, and we did it in less than 12 hours.

Ken Harbaugh:

That was Capt. Daniel Inouye. Make sure to catch our full interview with Inouye when it releases tomorrow.

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