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TAKR 304 Pililaau

USNS Pililaau, fifth in the Bob Hope class, was christened in New Orleans Jan. 8, 2000.

Pfc. Herbert K. Pililaau

The ship is named Pililaau to honor Army Pfc. Herbert K. Pililaau, (1928-1951), awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for the valiant defense of his position near Piari, Korea, Sept. 17, 1951. While defending a key piece of terrain on "Heartbreak Ridge," his company held back enemy assaults until the unit was ordered to withdraw due to a shortage of ammunition. Voluntarily remaining behind to cover the withdrawal, Pililaau fired his remaining automatic weapons ammunition and grenades into the assailants, then fought hand- to-hand with trench knife and bare fists until he was mortally wounded. When the position was subsequently recaptured, 40 enemy dead were found nearby. No previous ship has been named Pililaau.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:01:42 ZULU