Koloa, Hawaii, US
TSGT, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
8/24/2003, Hilo, US
Medal of Honor citation:
Technical Sergeant Yukio Okutsu distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 7 April 1945, on Mount Belvedere, Italy. While his platoon was halted by the crossfire of three machine guns, Technical Sergeant Okutsu boldly crawled to within 30 yards of the nearest enemy emplacement through heavy fire. He destroyed the position with two accurately placed hand grenades, killing three machine gunners. Crawling and dashing from cover to cover, he threw another grenade, silencing a second machine gun, wounding two enemy soldiers, and forcing two others to surrender. Seeing a third machine gun, which obstructed his platoon’s advance, he moved forward through heavy small arms fire and was stunned momentarily by rifle fire, which glanced off his helmet. Recovering, he bravely charged several enemy riflemen with his submachine gun, forcing them to withdraw from their positions. Then, rushing the machine gun nest, he captured the weapon and its entire crew of four. By these single-handed actions he enabled his platoon to resume its assault on a vital objective. The courageous performance of Technical Sergeant Okutsu against formidable odds was an inspiration to all. Technical Sergeant Okutsu’s 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.
Okutsu was born on November 3, 1921, in Koloa, Kaui, Hawaii, where he later entered service. He served as a Technical Sergeant, United States Army, Company F, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Okutsu was awarded his medal for service at Mount Belvedere, Italy, on April 7 1945, during World War II.
He is survived by his wife, Elaine; two sons, Wayne and Randal; three brothers, Seiji, Tsuneo and Paul; six sisters, Gladys Endo, Mitsuko Matsuura, Fuyuko Tanaka, Margie Shinn, Betty Thomas and Rachel Akazawa; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.