Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army,
Company K, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Place and date: Tendola, Italy, 20 &
22 April 1945. Born: 14 August 1920, Salinas, Calif. Entered
service at: Pasadena, Calif.
Private Joe Hayashi distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 20 and 22
April 1945, near Tendola, Italy. On 20 April 1945, ordered to attack a strongly defended
hill that commanded all approaches to the village of Tendola, Private Hayashi skillfully
led his men to a point within 75 yards of enemy positions before they were detected and
fired upon. After dragging his wounded comrades to safety, he returned alone and exposed
himself to small arms fire in order to direct and adjust mortar fire against hostile
emplacements. Boldly attacking the hill with the remaining men of his squad, he attained
his objective and discovered that the mortars had neutralized three machine guns, killed
27 men, and wounded many others. On 22 April 1945, attacking the village of Tendola,
Private Hayashi maneuvered his squad up a steep, terraced hill to within 100 yards of the
enemy. Crawling under intense fire to a hostile machine gun position, he threw a grenade,
killing one enemy soldier and forcing the other members of the gun crew to surrender.
Seeing four enemy machine guns delivering deadly fire upon other elements of his platoon,
he threw another grenade, destroying a machine gun nest. He then crawled to the right
flank of another machine gun position where he killed four enemy soldiers and forced the
others to flee. Attempting to pursue the enemy, he was mortally wounded by a burst of
machine pistol fire. The dauntless courage and exemplary leadership of Private Hayashi
enabled his company to attain its objective. Private Hayashis extraordinary heroism
and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and
reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.