Inouye was only 17 when he witnessed the December 1941 attack of Pearl Harbor. Enlisting as soon as he was able, Inouye deployed with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Shortly after dawn on April 21, 1945, Inouye and his men marched on Colle Musatello ridge, Italy. Despite a fierce enemy, overwhelming odds and multiple injuries, Inouye did not relinquish command nor move from his position until the area was secure and his men were safe. Along with 19 fellow Nisei members of the 442nd RCT, Inouye’s Distinguished Service Cross was upgraded to the Medal of Honor in 2000.