Hershey Miyamura is joined by members of the military, including Maj. Gen. Leopold Quintas (second from left), at the Society of the Third Infantry Division reunion in September 2018 in Albuquerque, N.M.

GALLUP, N.M. — Hiroshi Miyamura High School Principal Jack McFarland was notified on Aug. 27 that the U.S. Army JROTC command has approved a JROTC program for the school year 2020/2021.

The school opened ten years ago and initially applied at that time. Last year the most effective recommendation was provided by the office of the U.S. Army Third Infantry Division commanding general, who made a direct inquiry to the Army JROTC command in Missouri of the program’s status.

The application emphasized that the school was named for a living Korean War Medal of Honor recipient, “Hershey” Miyamura.

At the start of WWII, Miyamura realized the importance of the JROTC program and enrolled at Gallup High School. During the yearly senior awards program at Miyamura High there is a segment that honors students choosing to join the military.

Miyamura first served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team at the end of World War II. When the Korean War began on June 25, 1950, he was recalled into active duty with the Army and was sent to Korea as a machine gun squad leader in Company H, 7th Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division. At Taejon-Ni, when being overrun by the Chinese Communist forces, Miyamura ordered his men to retreat while he held off the enemy with a machine gun, bayonet and his own hands.

Records and eyewitnesses’ account for more than 50 of the enemy being killed before Miyamura was wounded and captured. After spending 28 months as a prisoner of war, he was released on Aug. 23, 1953 at the Freedom Village in Panmunjon, South Korea. It was only then, the news of the award was publicly announced.

The student population is approximately 80 percent Navajo and the school recognizes the military tradition of the U.S. Marine Code Talkers.


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