SFC Rodney J. T. Yano

NAME: Rodney J.T. Yano

RANK: Sergeant First Class

ORGANIZATION: U.S. Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment

PLACE: Republic of Vietnam

DATE: 1 January 1969

ENTERED SERVICE AT: Honolulu, Hawaii

BORN: 13 December 1943, Kealakekua Kona, Hawaii


SFC Yano distinguished himself while serving with the Air Cavalry Troop. SFC Yano was performing the duties of crew chief aboard the troop's command-and-control helicopter during action against enemy forces entrenched in dense jungle. From and exposed position in the face of intense small arms and antiaircraft fire he delivered suppressive fire upon the enemy forces and marked their positions with smoke and white phosphorus grenades, thus enabling his troop commander to direct accurate and effective artillery fire against the hostile emplacements. A grenade, exploding prematurely, covered him with burning phosphorus, and left him severely wounded. Flaming fragments within the helicopter caused supplies and ammunition to detonate. Dense white smoke filled the aircraft, obscuring the pilot's vision and causing him to lose control. Although having the use of only one arm and being partially blinded by the initial explosion, SFC Yano completely disregarded his welfare and began hurling blazing ammunition from the helicopter. In doing so he inflicted additional wounds on himself, yet he persisted until the danger was past. SFC Yano's indomitable courage and profound concern for his comrades averted the loss of life and additional injury to the rest of the crew. By his conspicuous gallantry at the cost of his life, in the highest traditions of the military service, SFC Yano has reflected great credit on himself, his unit and the U.S. Army.