Atsuo "Aji" Miura, a Maui resident who received a Distinguished Service Cross for gallantry in action in 1952 during the Korean War, died Sept. 1 at Kula Hospital. He was 85.
Miura did not talk about his experiences in the Korean War, and quietly returned to civilian life after serving in the Army, finding work cleaning debris from nuclear test sites in the Marshall Islands, brother James Miura said.
Family members first learned about Atsuo Miura's heroism when they received a call from the Army at Fort Shafter sometime in 1953, James Miura said.
"A general was looking for him. It came as a big surprise, " Miura recalled.
Atsuo Miura was a corporal attached to the 180th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, when members of his platoon were ordered to attack the enemy on a hill at Karhyon-ni in North Korea on June 12, 1952.
Online records provided by militarytimes.com gave this account of the action:
The platoon's advance was halted near a trench on the slope. With a pistol and bayonet, Miura charged up the hill.
As he ran, he picked up enemy grenades, then threw them into the enemy trenches and bunkers. Another soldier came to his aid with a flame-thrower, and they cleared the area, allowing the platoon to advance.
As Miura was rejoining the platoon, a concussion grenade fell between him and the platoon sergeant. Miura threw his helmet on the grenade and flung his body on the helmet. He was stunned, but later captured the soldier who threw the grenade.
Atsuo Miura was born in Wailuku, the youngest in a family of six children.
His father died when he was 3, and his mother cleaned homes, James Miura said.
At age 35, half of Atsuo Miura's body was paralyzed from a stroke, his brother said. But he managed to walk with a brace and a cane.
"He never blamed anybody for his stroke. That never got him down. He was happy. … He had a lot of friends," his brother said.
Private services were held. Miura is also survived by sister Midge Loth and nieces and nephews.[caption id="attachment_59831" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Maui resident Atsuo Miura receives the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism as a U.S. soldier in 1952 during the Korean War. The medal was awarded to Miura while he was working in the Marshall Islands as a civilian clearing debris at nuclear test sites. (COURTESY MIURA FAMILY)[/caption]