For his gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States on Nov. 6, 1943, with the Army’s 100th Infantry Battalion in the Italian Campaign, during the third crossing of the Volturno River, Sgt. Matsutada Makishi (1916-1943) of Wahiawa, Kauai, was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal on Jan. 25, 1944.
His citation reads as follows: “MATSUTADA MAKISHI, 30100465, Sergeant, Company “F,” 100th Infantry Battalion (Sep). For gallantry in action on the night of Nov. 6, 1943, in the vicinity of Santa Maria Olivedo and Pozzilli, Italy.
“Sgt. Makishi was ordered to take his squad across the Volturno River and to establish an outpost line there.
“Upon reaching the opposite banks, several of his men stepped on anti-personnel mines, and it was discovered that the entire area was heavily mined and booby-trapped.
“In the darkness, his squad dispersed and became disorganized.
“Sgt. Makishi, realizing the importance of his mission and with full knowledge of attendant dangers, combed the area, personally located each member, and reorganized his squad.
“Then, with utter disregard for his own personal safety, he took the lead and led his squad single file through the minefield, located the outpost line and posted his men. Sgt. Makishi’s devotion to duty and leadership in the face of grave danger was an inspiration to his comrades and a credit to the Armed Forces of the United States.”
Makishi was killed in action later that night.
Makishi was born in Makaweli, Kauai, on Sept. 4, 1916, the son of Matsu and Makato (Maekawa) Makishi. He attended Eleele School and Waimea Elementary and High School on Kauai.
Sadly, Sgt. Makishi’s father died at his home in Wahiawa within a month of being notified of his son’s death.
Makishi is interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl), Honolulu, Hawaii.