I have been so blessed to have many family members living and that have passed on that have served our country faithfully. I would like to highlight them each this week as we Honor those who have served this GREAT NATION!
This is my great Uncle, my father's Uncle, Herbert K. Pililaau.
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863 has awarded in the name of the Congress the Medal of Honor posthumously to:
PRIVATE FIRST CLASS HERBERT K. PILILAAU
UNITED STATES ARMY
for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty near Pia-ri, Korea, 17 September 1951:
"Pfc. Pililaau, a member of Company C, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. The enemy sent wave after wave of fanatical troops against his platoon which held a key terrain feature on "Heartbreak Ridge." Valiantly defending its position, the unit repulsed each attack until ammunition became practically exhausted and it was ordered to withdraw to a new position. Voluntarily remaining behind to cover the withdrawal, Pfc. Pililaau fired his automatic weapon into the ranks of the assailants, threw all his grenades and, with ammunition exhausted, closed with the foe in hand-to-hand combat, courageously fighting with his trench knife and bare fists until finally overcome and mortally wounded. When the position was subsequently retaken, more than 40 enemy dead were counted in the area he had so valiantly defended. His heroic devotion to duty, indomitable fighting spirit, and gallant self-sacrifice reflect the highest credit upon himself, the infantry, and the U.S. Army."
I am very proud to have such a Uncle that would defend others with his life. I wish I had the chance to know this great man. There is a ship named after him the USNS PILILAAU, fifth in the Bob Hope class, which was christened in New Orleans Jan. 8, 2000. More details about the ship are found here http://www.msc.navy.mil/inventory/ships.asp?ship=pililaau&type=LMSR Also, here is an article about one of the trips it took to deliver MRAP shippment to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. http://www.libnot.com/2007/12/14/large-number-of-mraps-loaded-today-onboard-usns-pililaau-for-theater-delivery/ -Melia