Friday, August 24, 2012

Freaky (Factual) Tale Friday: Missing body parts were no obstacle for Captain Daniel Inouye

(photo @ wikipedia)


On December 7, 1941, a young man by the name of Daniel Inouye was getting ready to go to church when the nearby military base of Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese. He decided shortly thereafter to enlist in the United States Army and fight for his country.

Unfortunately for Inouye (who was of Japanese descent) it wouldn't be until 1943 that the military dropped its ban on Japanese-Americans. When they finally did, however, America got about as much pure badassery as could ever be contained in one person.

Once he was able to enlist, Inouye put his studies as a premed studies on hold and did so immediately. He was assigned to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which ended up being the most highly decorated unit in the history of the U.S Army.


                                           sideshowcollectors
They were also one of the elite fighting units
in the Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars.


He quickly rose to the rank of second lieutenant (and platoon leader) while seeing extensive action in Europe. During a battle in Vosges Mountain region of France, Inouye was shot in the chest directly above his heart. Fortunately, he had two silver dollars in his front pocket that stopped the bullet. He continued to carry the coins with him for good luck, until one day when he lost them. (If you're at all superstitious, than you may not want to read what happens next).

On April 21, 1945, (the very next battle after losing his lucky charms) Inouye was leading his platoon in an assault on a heavily defended ridge near in Tuscany, Italy. As he and his men executed a flanking maneuver, three German machine gun units unleashed hell from covered (and nearby) positions, pinning the platoon to the ground....

...except for Inouye, who wasn't going to let a few thousand bullets keep him from taking the position. He stood up, got shot in the stomach, and yet somehow managed to single handedly destroy the first machine gun unit with a barrage of hand grenades and submachine gunfire.

His men, who were no doubt worried about the physical (and mental) health of their leader, informed Inouye that he should seek medical attention. He responded by informing his troops to stop being pansies (citation needed), rallied them together, and led them in an attack that managed to take out the second German gun position.




At that point, Inouye's body forced him to take a break when he collapsed due to losing a massive amount of blood. Not one to listen to weak arguments the Grim Reaper, Inouye pressed on and began crawling toward the third and final machine gun position while his men laid down cover fire.

Unfortunately, one of the Nazi soldiers spotted Inouye (along with his trail of blood) and fired a rifle grenade at him from only 10 yards away. The explosion blew off most of most of his right arm, which happened to be clenching a grenade that he was about to lob at his attacker.

Inouye looked over and noticed that the grenade had not gone off...but that was due to the fact that it was still being reflexively clinched by his disembodied hand. While I (and virtually anyone else reading this) would have begun screaming hysterically and/or passed out, Inouye's primary concern was for his troops; he shouted for them to stay back in case his lifeless appendage relaxed and discharged the grenade.

Then as his men stared on in disbelief, Inouye crawled over, pried the grenade from his severed right hand (with his still functioning/attached left hand), and lobbed it at the soldier that had just fired on him.




The Nazi gunner was too busy reloading (and not being anywhere near as awesome as Inouye) to noticed his one armed attacker. The blast also destroyed the third and final machine gun encampment. 

But Inouye didn't leave anything to chance; he stood up and began firing his submachine gun in the direction of the dying/fleeing German troops.

One of them managed to get off a final shot that hit Inouye in the leg and caused him to fall unconscious back down the ridge. When he awoke, Inouye was surrounded by his understandably worried troops. Instead of giving some type of moving and/or comforting soliloquy to ease their concerns, however, he simply barked out:

"Nobody called off the war! I want you to set up defensive positions and hold until the rest of the outfit gets here! Report back when you're all set; get me a casualty report as soon as you can! Now get moving!"

 Despite his massive injuries, Daniel Inouye kicked the Grim Reaper in the nuts and decided to survive. He was honorably discharged in 1947 (later receiving the distinguished Medal of Honor) and decided to pursue a career in politics (since the whole "getting his arm blown off thing" made becoming a surgeon a bit difficult).

Inouye became a senator for the state of Hawaii in 1963 and has remained in that position ever since. On June 29, 2014, he will become the longest serving U.S Senator in history.


                                                               wikipedia
His record as America's most badass senator remains unchallenged  


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