Still in basic training when Pearl Harbor was attacked, Kobashigawa rushed to report to his boot camp only to have his rifle taken away. Soon he was among the young men of Japanese ancestry called to active duty as part of the 100th Infantry Battalion. From basic training at Camp Shelby, Miss., the then tech sergeant shipped out to Europe, where he immediately saw fierce action in Italy. On June 2, 1944, near Lanuvio, Italy, he led a charge on machine gun nests with “flawless precision.” Kobashigawa was awarded a battlefield commission and a Distinguished Service Cross, later upgraded to the Medal of Honor in 2000, for this action.