442 Sons & Daughters Events-Meetings-News

Dedication Ceremony of Memorial Monument on March 16, 2018

Dedication Ceremony at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl Crater

photo of new memorial monument
On March 16, 2018 a dedication ceremony was held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Punchbowl Crater in Honolulu for a new memorial monument installed along the Memorial Walkway.

The memorial monument was a project of the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and S&D members Laura Hirayama, Colleen Hirai and Mae Isonaga worked very hard in planning and getting approval for the monument, purchasing the plaque and marble stone base and organizing the dedication ceremony.

In the hallowed atmosphere of Punchbowl/Puowaina and blessed with beautiful weather, S&D President Grace Tsubata Fujii welcomed the audience, which included eight 442nd veterans along with sons and daughters and family and friends.

See these few selected photos of the dedication ceremony.

The S&D offer their warmest “Mahalo” to the following for their contributions leading to this dedication:

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, National Cemetery of the Pacific
James Horton, Director and Gene Maestas, Public Affairs Specialist

Members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team

Franklin Bronze Plaque Company
Honor Life Memorial
Wesley Deguchi

from the Memorial Plaque committee

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Reception and Exhibit at Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, March 2018

Reception at Hamilton Library at the University of Hawaii at Manoa

Volunteers and friends of the Sons and Daughters of the 442nd RCT:

The Archives and Manuscripts Department of Hamilton Library invites us to this event to celebrate the ongoing S&D volunteer efforts digitizing documents from the 442nd Veterans Club collection at the Library. The event will be in the Moir Reading Room, 5th floor in the Hamilton Library Addition (please ask at main Library desk if not familiar with the Addition) on March 20, 2018, Tuesday, 5 pm – 6:30 pm.

All S&D members are welcome to attend to be applauded, enjoy beverages and pupus and view the Library’s new exhibit commemorating the 442nd’s 75th Anniversary. Note that after 4pm, upper campus parking is a flat rate $6 fee (instead of $2/half hour).

Guests are welcome – feel free to forward this information to others!–and RSVPs are appreciated but not required: either email Leilani Dawson at ltdawson@hawaii.edu or just show up and join the festivities! Here is a flyer about the Library’s exhibit.

Download (PDF, 108KB)

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Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit

Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit as part of the Gannenmono 150th Commemoration Events in Hawaii

image of exhibit In Tokyo
In 2018, this exhibit is planned to be shown around the State of Hawaii jointly by the Nisei Veterans Legacy (NVL) and the Consulate General of Japan in Honolulu as part of the 150th anniversary celebration of initial Japanese immigration to Hawaii. The immigrants who arrived in 1868 to Hawaii were called “gannenmono” because they arrived in the first year, or gannen, of the Meiji era.  The first venue will be at the Honolulu Festival being held in March (exhibit showing on Mar 10 and 11 from 1000 am – 300 pm at the Hawaii Convention Center).

The NVL successfully toured the photographic exhibit in several locations in Japan in 2017. The intent of the exhibit is to educate people on the story of Hawaii’s Japanese Americans and to promote goodwill between Japan and the United States through deeper understanding of the cross-cultural values and customs between Japan and Hawaii.

The Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit covers the period from the initial immigration of Issei (first generation immigrants) from Japan in the late 1800s up to modern day Hawaii, showing how Japanese Americans in Hawaii have merged their Japanese cultural values with the blend of other cultural values in Hawaii. It addresses the Japanese American experience during World War II including the incarceration of over 110,000 people in internment camps, what life was like for Japanese Americans in Hawaii during the War and the exploits of the Nisei (second generation) Japanese American soldiers that fought in both theaters of war to prove their loyalty to the United States.

The exhibit also shows how the Nisei Veterans contributed to life in Post-War Hawaii after returning home such as campaigning for Statehood, changing the political environment and helping to make Japanese customs and culture popular again after the War. Prominent Japanese Americans from Hawaii are featured along with the prefectures in Japan that their ancestors emigrated from.

The exhibit was produced with an all-volunteer effort and in collaboration with the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii and the Japan-American Society of Hawaii. It was shown in several locations in Japan in 2017 with warm responses from the Japanese public, including at the: Japanese Overseas Migration Museum, Yokohama (June 24 to September 18, 2017); Hawaii Expo, Tokyo (July 15-17, 2017); Minpo Publishing Company Exhibition Hall, Fukushima (July 19-29, 2017, where the exhibit was scheduled to coincide with the 110th anniversary celebration of Fukushima City and a visit by several groups from Hawaii including the Honolulu Fukushima Kenjin Kai); Usa City Library (September 7-16, 2017 as part of a Peace Symposium sponsored by the Pacific Aviation Museum and Usa City); and the Former Bank of Japan Building, Hiroshima (October 1-14, 2017 where the exhibit was scheduled in conjunction with a visit from the Honolulu Hiroshima Kenjin Kai as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of the Sister State relationship between Hawaii and Hiroshima Prefecture).

image of Hiroshima exhibit banner
The narrative text and captions are in Japanese and English. If you have a chance, please go to see the exhibit.  The date and times are listed on the Honolulu Festival web site.

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A Look Back at the 442nd RCT In Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary

A Look Back at the 442nd RCT

442 logoIn Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Establishment of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, we offer these selected facts and resources, many perhaps well known to you already with others less so, related to the brave and honorable men of the 442nd.  Any errors are inadvertent and the responsibility of the E-/web editor.

◊ U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall approves formation of Nisei combat team on January 1, 1943.  The combat team is formally authorized by President Roosevelt on Feb. 1.

◊ The call for volunteers is issued on January 28, 1943 by the War Department, with a proclamation in Hawaii and by posters, press and other means on the U.S. mainland and later by recruiting teams, and the 442nd is activated on February 1 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

◊ Volunteers for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in the Territory of Hawaii are given an aloha ceremony on March 23, 1943 at Iolani Palace while on the mainland, officers and enlisted men had already begun reporting to Camp Shelby in small groups and individually from February 1.

◊ We must not forget that many mainland Nisei of the 442nd volunteered from internment camps.  Read this series of articles by law professor Geoffrey R. Stone published in the Huffington Post in 2017: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/5a10b5e2e4b0e6450602eb9c (Part I), https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/it-can-happen-here-the-75th-anniversary-of-the-japanese_us_5a121186e4b023121e0e9439 (Part II) and https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/it-can-happen-here-the-75th-anniversary-of-the-japanese_us_5a135f12e4b05ec0ae8444e2 (Part II) (accessed 2.8.2018).

◊ Volunteers from Hawaii depart on April 4, 1943 for Camp Shelby, arriving 2,686 strong on April 13.

◊ The 442nd RCT begins basic training on May 10, 1943.

◊ The 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate), who had arrived at Camp Shelby in January 1943 from Camp McCoy (Wisconsin), leave Camp Shelby on August 11 and ship out for North Africa on August 21, 1943 where the Battalion joins the 34th Division.

◊ Basic training ends for the 442nd RCT on August 23, 1943 and platoon and company level training begins in October followed by battalion training in November.

◊ Ten officers and 165 enlisted men from the 442nd RCT are transferred to be replacements for the 100th Inf Bn in January 1944 with another 20 officers and 210 enlisted men transferred in February.

◊ The 442nd RCT is reviewed by Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall on March 4, 1944.

◊ Another 10 officers and 155 enlisted men are transferred to be replacements for the 100th Inf Bn in (month).

◊ The 442nd RCT (short one infantry battalion) leave Camp Shelby on April 22-23, 1944 and board Liberty ships on May 1.  On May 2 the 442nd ship out from Virginia via convoy for Naples, Italy.  The remainder of 1st Battalion stay at Camp Shelby to later become the 171st that trains replacement personnel for the 442nd for the duration of the war.

◊ The 442nd, minus most of 2nd Battalion whose ships had detoured to Oran (Algeria), arrive at Naples on May 28, 1944.  Most of 2nd Battalion join the rest of the 442nd, who were on the move, on June 17 near Tarquinia, Italy.

◊ The 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) becomes part of the 442nd RCT on June 11, 1944 and is redesignated the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry on Aug 10, 1944 (instead of being designated the 1st Battalion).

◊ The 442nd RCT enters combat on June 26, 1944 near Belvedere, Italy as part of the 34th Infantry Division.

◊ The Anti-Tank Company is detached from the 442nd from July 13-Oct 24, 1944 during which time the men become “glider troops.”

◊ The 442nd RCT take part in the Vosges Campaign (including the liberation of Bruyeres and Biffontaine) and the fighting to rescue the “Lost Battalion” in October and November 1944.

◊ The 100th is detached from the 442nd from Nov 10-28, 1944 and make their way to Menton in Southern France.

◊ The 442nd (less the 522nd FAB) help break the Gothic Line in the Po Valley Campaign in March 1945.

◊ The 522nd FAB is detached from the 442nd on March 15 and pursue German troops into Germany along with other American units.  The 522nd encounter those who had been held in Nazi death camps and sub-camps near Dachau.

◊ The war in Europe ends on May 8, 1945.  Men of the 442nd start being sent back to the U.S. and then on home to their families.

◊ Members of the 442nd RCT march to the White House Lawn on July 16, 1946 and the RCT is presented a seventh Presidential Unit Citation by President Truman.

◊ The 442nd RCT is deactivated in August 1946 but is reactivated in July 1947 as part of the Army Reserve.

◊ The Album, 442nd Combat Team 1943 created by the 442nd (includes photos of each company at Camp Shelby in 1943) and Americans: The Story of The 442d Combat Team by Orville C. Shirey are available online via Peter Wakamatsu’s website at http://www.the442.org/home.html (accessed 2.8.2018)

◊ A selection of photograph’s from the 442nd 10th Anniversary gathering courtesy of the family of Kazutoshi Fujino, Easy Co., is available on the S&D website at this link.

◊ An electronic copy of the 442nd 50th Anniversary booklet, Go For Broke 1943 * 1993 (accessed 2.8.2018), is available on the Densho website in two files at https://ddrstage.densho.org/media/ddr-csujad-1/ddr-csujad-1-207-mezzanine-acdcfc588a.pdf (first file) and at https://ddrstage.densho.org/media/ddr-csujad-1/ddr-csujad-1-207-mezzanine-acea0781ac.pdf
(second file) and an electronic copy of the picture booklet recapping the 50th Anniversary events is found at https://ddrstage.densho.org/media/ddr-csujad-1/ddr-csujad-1-195-mezzanine-0f028d0279.pdf (accessed 2.22.2018).

1995 Homecoming event at Camp Shelby https://ddrstage.densho.org/media/ddr-csujad-1/ddr-csujad-1-46-mezzanine-6e161c6818.pdf (accessed 2.22.2018)

◊ Select Unit Decorations (out of a total of 7)
General Orders awarding the 442nd RCT (less the 522 FAB) a Presidential Unit Citation: http://www.442.us.com/images/GO_34-442_less_522.pdf (accessed 2.7.2018)

General Orders for one of the two Presidential Unit Citations awarded to the 100th Inf Bn: http://www.442.us.com/images/GO_360-100_Oct_44_.pdf (accessed 2.7.2018)

Extract of General Orders awarding the 2nd Bn a Distinguished Unit Citation: (Japanese American Veterans Association file accessed 2.6.2018)

General Orders awarding the 3rd Bn a Presidential Unit Citation: http://www.442.us.com/images/GO_317-3rd_Bn.pdf (accessed 2.7.2018)

General Orders awarding Fox and Love Companies 3rd Bn a Presidential Unit Citation: (Japanese American Veterans Association file accessed 2.6.2018)

General Orders awarding the 232nd Engineers (with the 111th Engineer Combat Bn) a Presidential Unit Citation: http://www.442.us.com/images/GO_425-232_Eng.pdf (accessed 2.7.2018)

442nd Veterans Club website, http://www.442.us.com

Go For Broke National Education Center website, http://www.goforbroke.org/index.php

442nd Regimental Combat Team website, http://www.the442.org

Americans: The Story of The 442d Combat Team, Orville C. Shirey, 1946. (see link above)

University of Hawaii Japanese American Veterans Collection material, http://manoa.hawaii.edu/library/research/collections/archives/manuscript-collections/japanese-american-veterans-collection/

Boyhood To War: History and Anecdotes of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Dorothy Matsuo, 1992.

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This Time in 442nd RCT History (Mar 2018)

Selection of photos from the 442nd RCT 10th Anniversary events, 1953

These photos were made available courtesy of the family of the late Kazutoshi Fujino, Easy Company.

(double click on an image to see a larger size photo; you may also be able to right click on an image to save a copy to your device. apologies for the page layout that covers the right side of larger sized photos)

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ATTENTION – March 28, 2018 payment deadline for Aloha Luncheon Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr.

Aloha to the families and friends of the Sons and Daughters of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team,

Dear Members and Friends,

The time will soon arrive for Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr. to complete his current assignment as the 24th Commander, United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) to become the United States Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Australia.

We encourage you to still register to attend the special Aloha Luncheon for Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr. and his wife Ms. Bruni Bradley. For many, many years Admiral Harris has been a staunch supporter and admirer of the Nisei veterans including our fathers of the 442nd RCT and has spoken at anniversary banquets and other 442nd related events.

The Aloha Luncheon will be on Saturday, April 21, 10:30 to 2:30 at the Hale Koa Hotel, DeRussy Hall 2nd floor, 2055 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Hawaii.  The flyer/registration form for the Aloha Luncheon can be found below.

There are already a number of members registered and anyone else interested in attending to honor and thank Admiral Harris and his wife should submit the registration form with payment to the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans no later than March 28. DeRussy Hall can hold up to 370 people so let’s fill the hall with the maximum of 370 Harris well-wishers for their continuing service to our country!

Mahalo nui loa,

Sons and Daughters of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team officers

Fill out the reservation form and submit with total payment BY MARCH 28, 2018 to the following receiving organization:

100th Infantry Battalion Veterans
520 Kamoku Street
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826
(Phone: 946-9272)

Download (PDF, 932KB)

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Community project – KCC Cactus Garden clean up March 3, 2018

Kapiolani Community College (KCC) Cactus Garden clean up

The Kapiolani Community College Alumni and Friends Association sends the following:

Respectfully requesting your help this semester!!

Please join us at this semester’s Campus Service Project: Cactus Garden Clean up. The KCC Cactus Garden is the crown jewel of our campus. Cactus Garden creator and 442nd Veteran Mr. Moriso Teraoka and Mr. Sam Camp maintains the Cactus garden with a team of dedicated students and community volunteers. Once a semester, they call upon the KCC Ohana to help them maintain the world famous garden that is on our campus for one Saturday morning. For the last 16 years, KCC Cactus Garden Clean-up project have brought the dedicated campus groups such as the Student Activities Board, dedicated faculty/staff, students as well as our community friends to assist in making our campus look great.

This semester’s clean-up is on

    March 3, 2018 Saturday at 7:45am to 12 noon.

Please meet us at the Ilima building courtyard. Please bring your gloves, work clothes, gardening tools, and lots of Aloha. Proudly sponsored by the KCC Student Activities Board

Kalani M. Fujiwara, Lecturer, Political Science
Vice-President, KCC Alumni and Friends Association
University of Hawaii, Kapi’olani Community College
Arts & Science Division, Social Sciences
4303 Diamond Head Road, Manono 112
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816, USA
(808) 734-9741

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2018 George Co. and Friends Reunion

2018 442nd George Company & Friends Reunion

Aloha!! Everyone,

Yes, we are having another George Company and Friends Reunion for 2018. This year our get together will take place in Alpine (near San Diego) at the beautiful Viejas Casino and Resort. Some of us will be going to Viejas to stay from Monday, the 23rd of April and checking out on the 26th. The actual dinner will be on Tuesday, the 24th and the hospitality luncheon at the Penthouse Suite will be on Wednesday, the 25th.

Please find attached the information about the George Co. and friends Reunion. Please let everyone know……we are looking for a time of talking story and having fun together!!!

Please be aware the deadline for rooms that we are holding at that special rate is March 22nd. Deadline for the banquet is April 1, 2018.

We hope that all of you folks can come!!! Bring your family and friends!!

If you have any questions, please call Ann Kabasawa at (808) 781-8540 or e-mail her at diverseinnov@gmail.com. Hope to see all of you there!!!

Download (PDF, 149KB)

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Registration Info for the 442nd RCT 75th Anniversary Banquet

2.25.2018 Update
It’s not too late to register for the 75th Anniversary of the 442nd RCT banquet! The deadline has been moved back to March 7. Please share this information with your friends and family.

Important change: The doors will open at 9:30 instead of 10 AM. The plan is to start the procession into the ballroom at 10 AM; we hope folks can be in their seats by then. We made the change to keep the program as short as possible out of respect for our very elderly veterans.

We are looking for volunteers to be Guidon Bearers representing all the 442 companies, to march in the opening procession. We have some volunteers, but are looking for more!

If your veteran loved one is deceased or not able to march in the procession, we are welcoming family members to march behind the Guidon Bearer of their dad/grandpa’s/great-grandpa’s company. Participants are asked to bring an 8” x 10” photo of their loved one in a standing frame to be placed on a table at the end of the procession.

Lastly, we still need participants to read short passages of quotes and poignant messages from soldiers during war time. Participants may also read their own message to their father/grandfather. The messages should be a minute or less.

If you’re interested in volunteering for any of these program activities, please contact Gwen Fujie at gwenfujie@gmail.com, or 888-9374 as soon as possible.

Please see attached registration and procession forms for more information.

Mahalo and see you on the 18th!

The 75th Anniversary Banquet of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team will be on Sunday, March 18, 2018.  The theme is Celebrating with Gratitude and Pride.  Doors will open at 09:30 am, with the program to start at 10:00 am (and ending between 1:30 – 2:00 pm).  The banquet will be at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, Hawaii Ballroom.

A Special Request from the planning committee is for the Veterans group photo, which will be at 9:30 am and veterans are asked to be on time for the photo.

Veterans and wives as well as surviving spouses are free. The cost for others is $75.00 per person.

Lunch entrée will be a chicken and short ribs combo. If the Vegetarian option is preferred, please indicate with a check mark on the registration form (see below).

The cost for self-parking is $10; valet parking is $15. Parking for veterans, wives and widows – whether self-park or valet — will be paid for. For those driving a passenger with a wheelchair, someone will assist you at the front entrance of the hotel if you wish to drop off passenger(s).

The deadline to submit reservations and payment is Wednesday, March 7, 2018.  A block of rooms is also being held at the Sheraton Waikiki for those wishing to stay there.  For questions, please contact the 442nd Veterans Club office by phone (808-949-7997) or Email (442veterans@hawaiiantel.net).

Banquet Registration Form

Download (PDF, 318KB)

Grand Procession Registration Form

Download (PDF, 53KB)

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This Time in 442nd RCT History (Jan 2018)

The Champagne Campaign in the French Maritime Alps, Part 2
map of maritime alps area
A brief summary of the “Champagne Campaign” was included in the November 2017 E-newsletter.  The 100th/442nd was assigned to protect the right flank of the Sixth Army Group along the French-Italian border in the French Maritime Alps from November 1944 to March 1945.  Despite the use of the term “champagne” and the liberty granted many of the men to Nice, Paris and other French towns and cities, there was still war at hand and daily patrols and fighting took place.

Excerpts from the Headquarters 442D Regimental Combat Team Monthly Historical Report for the month of January 1945 will serve to highlight some of what the men lived through during this “campaign”.

New Year’s Day 1945, the 100th conducted reconnaissance from Menton to Castillon, the 2nd Bn did the same from Castillon to Mount Grosso, the 522nd fired in support of the 2nd Bn and the 232nd Combat Engineers laid mines.

January 3, Able Co. and Fox Co. patrols went on reconnaissance and reported no enemy activity, 3rd Bn organized a reserve line from Roquebrune to Col de Braus, Antitank Co. was on guard duty on roads and at installations, 94 Italian refugees were apprehended and turned over to command in Nice, and new cold-climate sleeping bags were distributed to the companies.

January 10, the Regimental HQ and Medical Detachment moved location by 5 miles, 232nd assisted Easy, Fox and George Cos. with laying antipersonnel mines and double apron fences, and a ration of beer and candy was distributed to the companies.

January 15, a George Co. patrol departed for Olivetta at 1700 with the intention of capturing prisoners and engaged with enemy troops on the banks of the Bevera River.  The patrol leader was hit and the radio was damaged and inoperable.  The patrol withdrew and S Sgt Rocky Matayoshi went to retrieve his lieutenant and carried him back 300 yards under fire.  The patrol then attempted to move location but encountered a mine field and also could not cross the Bevera River, so spent the night outside.  The next day, five men who were headed to the patrol to evacuate the wounded lieutenant ran into a minefield and two were killed with the other three wounded.

January 21, all personnel were ordered to check and carry gas masks and protective equipment at all times, a Fox Co. patrol had spent the night in the field and returned at 1600 with no enemy contact, Mike Co. guards recaptured two German POWs that had escaped from Nice, the 522nd fired in support of the 100th.

January 30, a plaque from the 1st Bn, 141st Infantry Regiment (36th Infantry Division), the “Lost Battalion”, was received by 442nd HQ and the inscription on the plaque read, “To the 442d Infantry with deep sincerity and utmost appreciation for the gallant fight to effect our rescue after we had been isolated for seven days.  Biffontaine, France, 24-30 October, 1944.”


This was also a period of rebuilding the strength of the 442nd.  Ten officers and 369 enlisted men joined the 442nd as replacements during this one month alone, and these replacements brought the 442nd back to near full strength.  The other side of this is that the replacements were needed because 442nd men had been killed or injured in combat during the previous months.


Reference: https://library.manoa.hawaii.edu/departments/archives/mss/aja/nara/1945-02-06_MonthlyReport.pdf (accessed 1.15.2018)

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This Time in 442nd RCT History (Nov 2017)

This Time in 442nd RCT History
After the Vosges: The Champagne Campaign in the French Maritime Alps

map of the bruyeres area
October 30, 1944 was a Monday but for many with a sense of history it is the day the 442nd RCT reached the 1st Battalion, 141 Infantry Regiment in what has come to be known as the “Rescue of the Lost Battalion.”  This is a short summary of the movements of the 442nd following the brutal fighting in the Vosges Mountains, including the Rescue.

According to historical information in the National Archives, the 100th Infantry Battalion was detached from the RCT on November 10 and was sent to Nice on the southern coast of France.  The rest of the 442nd RCT was given relief on November 17 after the more than one month of fighting in the Vosges.  They traveled by truck a distance of 540 miles over four days to St. Jeannet, just a few miles west of Nice in the “Maritime Alps” of France, stopping in Docelles within the township of Bruyeres for one day.  One can only imagine the thoughts of some of the men as they rode in the trucks down from the eastern part of France to the southeast, after the fighting in the mountains and the liberation of the towns of Bruyeres and Biffontaine, and the loss of so many of their friends and comrades.

map of maritime alps area

The RCT reentered duty on November 23, Thanksgiving Day in 1944, having been attached to the 44th Antiaircraft Artillery (AAA) Brigade, and the men provided defensive duty along the France-Italian border until March 1945.  The 100th rejoined the 442nd on November 28.  The duty for the 442nd was to patrol a stretch of the border.  But because the area is part of the French Riviera and the men were able to avail themselves of the comforts of the resort towns as the units were not engaged in battle, this period has been dubbed the Champagne Campaign.

In spite of the relative peace of this duty compared to front line battle, 11 442nd soldiers died, 96 were were wounded and others went missing or were injured.  A notable event that occurred in the town of Menton was the capture of a one-man German submarine.  This is reported to be the first time that the U.S. Army captured an enemy submarine, and it was accomplished by soldiers of the 442nd.  Read more details of the event in the link below to a transcript of stories by Antitank Company Shiroku Yamamoto.




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The Japanese American Museum of San Jose

Visiting the Japanese American Museum of San Jose

photo of entrance to JAMsjI visited the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (JAMsj) in May of this year with my wife and my wife’s aunt, who lives in San Jose and is a member of the museum. I am very glad that we went, because I humbly submit that the visit helped to increase my understanding of the world. I have not yet visited the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles or other Japanese American museums in San Francisco, Seattle and other cities. I have been to the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii (Honolulu) a number of times, thank you.

There is a portion of the JAMsj that features the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. There is also material on the Military Intelligence Service. What made the biggest impact on me, however, were the stories and artwork related to the forced incarceration of Japanese Americans who were living on the West Coast, including Japanese Americans who lived in and around San Jose.

Reading the material and viewing the artwork impressed on me a bit of the experiences of the 120,000 Japanese Americans who were forced from their homes after December 7, 1941 – impressions that I had not gained from books and articles I had read before my visit. There is also a re-creation of a barracks from the Tule Lake incarceration camp that we walked through that held my attention in a way that a written description would not. My mother-in-law was sent to an incarceration camp with her family, but she does not remember much since she was 2 years old when they entered the camp. My wife’s aunty was also incarcerated with her family in a different camp and she shared some stories with us and with the docent who took us through the JAMsj. These are stories that must not be forgotten and the JAMsj is helping to tell these stories to visitors to the Museum and their website.

photo re-creation of a Tule Lake barracks in the JAMsj

The JAMsj also has other exhibit material such as old farming equipment used by San Jose and Santa Clara Valley Japanese Americans farmers (including a tractor from about 1915!), baseball and sumo related information from around San Jose and information on the pioneers who established the San Jose Japantown area. To folks like me, born and raised in Hawaii, I highly recommend visiting the JAMsj and other Japanese American museums on the mainland. The hope is that you come away with a greater understanding of the fuller Japanese American experience, which includes the experiences of our 442nd veterans and also the experiences of the Japanese Americans incarcerated during WWII.

sculpture outside of JAMsjLocated in the San Jose Japantown area, the JAMsj is located about half a block off Jackson Street (which has a number of Japanese restaurants for your dining adventure). The Museum is in the former residence of Tokio Ishikawa, M.D., who was born and raised in San Jose, practiced medicine and also led tours of Japantown so that he became known as the Historian of San Jose Japantown.

by S&D member Jon Ishihara

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522nd “Unlikely Liberators” display at Schofield Barracks until May 20, 2017

522nd Field Artillery Battery Display at Sergeant Rodney J. Yano Library, Schofield Barracks Hawaii (on till May 20, 2017)

The 522nd of the 442nd RCT was their artillery unit known for speed and accuracy during the war.  After the Po Valley campaign and the breaking of the German Gothic Line, the 522nd was ordered to separate from the rest of the 442nd and to enter Germany.  The 522nd advanced with speed and were in front of U.S. infantry units, which is something as usually the artillery unit brings up the rear.  This is how the 522nd came across the Jewish prisoners at Dachau subcamps and others who were part of the death march away from the camps.

image of exhibit panel




Members of the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT along with sponsor organization Nisei Veterans Legacy (NVL) members volunteered on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at the Sgt. Rodney J. Yano Library at Schofield Barracks on Oahu.  Eight Sons & Daughters & NVL members and nine military volunteers and spouses and the Yano Library head librarian worked on the display, with help from the delivery crew. S&D member Bill Wright was the lead in organizing work and making sure we had tools and supplies.  He also gave a brief background on the 522nd and some of the significance of the display.

the volunteers


522nd Biggie Nakakura and Boyan Higa and wife


The 522 FAB were represented at the opening ceremony for the display by Masaru “Biggie” Nakakura and Masayuki “Boyan” Higa and his wife Nancy.  The Garrison Commander made a nice speech and the library staff treated the veterans like superstars and the honored guests the were.

According to S&D member Byrnes Yamashita, the Higas really enjoyed themselves and were glad that they attended the ceremony.  And the cake was ono.

cake at ceremony
The display at Schofield will be up until the 20th of May.  Many of the pictures have post-it notes on them as people who have seen the display recognized someone and added a name to the picture.  The pictures are very touching and really make you think about the atrocities committed during the war by the Nazi regime.

If you have the chance to get to Schofield Barracks Hawaii, stop by and see the display.  You will need to enter through Lyman Gate (second gate off Kunia Road) to get a visitor pass if you do not have a Dept. of Defense or military ID.  Everyone in the car must show an official ID with picture.  Plan on taking at least 10 minutes to enter (sometimes longer), as you must open all doors, trunk and hood of car as well as have all visitors step outside the car as it is inspected.  It’s worth the drive to Central Oahu! Hours of Operation:

Mon, Tues 11am – 8pm
Wed – Sat 11am – 6pm
Closed Sundays & Federal Holidays

1565 Kolekole Avenue, Bldg. 560
Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
Phone:  808/655-8002

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Support the “How Hawaii Changed America” project

Support the How Hawaii Changed America project

Aloha S&D members:

In our monthly meeting of 4 May, the members voted to support the work of Tom Coffman to publish a new book on the Hawaii AJA experience in WW2. Tom is the acclaimed author of deeply researched and powerfully written books on AJA history, particularly focused on pre- and post-WW2 Hawaii. This includes Catch a Wave (required reading in many high school and college courses), I Respectfully Dissent, a biography of Edward H. Nakamura, and How Hawaii Changed America, The Movement for Racial Equality 1939-1942.

Photo of Volume 1 courtesy of Tom Coffman

Photo courtesy of Tom Coffman

This latter book was intended as Volume 1, with Volume 2 to cover 1942 thru 1945. However, Duke University Press wants the new book to combine the full time period of the Hawaii AJA experience in WW2 (1939-1945) in one single book, along with a brief summation of the resulting impacts, such as statehood for Hawaii, expanded thinking on civil rights, immigration, etc.

Because Duke is a nationally prestigious press, this opens the door to spreading knowledge across the Nation of the profound impact Hawaii and our Nisei veterans have had on improving America for all its diverse citizens. Tom is dedicating the next twelve months to get it researched, written and delivered to Duke for publication and distribution.

As many of you know, Tom is an independent researcher/writer and documentary film producer who approaches history from the grassroots up. His work is distinguished by both depth and innovation. If we the S&D are to preserve and protect the 442nd legacy, we need to support the development of such in-depth history. For this purpose we have initiated a new special project, the “How Hawaii Changed America” project to conduct and manage fund-raising efforts to support the research, writing and publication of this book. The MIS Club and Nisei Veterans Legacy (NVL) have also agreed to support a fund-raising effort in their respective memberships.

Why should the S&D support this effort?
1. This book will contribute in a very big way to perpetuating the legacy of the 442nd RCT. It will tell the story of how the many ethnic divisions of Hawaii, and in particular the AJA community, responded to the crushing challenges they faced during the war years. In Tom’s own words:

This new book will breathe with the tensions and possibilities that swelled up through the war. The resulting transformation of Hawai’i from an overseas colony, ruled by a select few, to a robust multiracial state, takes on heightened meaning with the passage of time. Hawai’i has contributed to the passage of national civil rights legislation, liberalization of immigration laws, strengthening of the institutional safeguards of liberty, the increase of East-West exchange, the spread of democracy in Asia, and a general improvement of relationship between East and West, ironically between Japan and the United States.
For a time these developments merely seemed to be inevitable aspects of a great wave of progressive change. Today they stand out as signal lights against the rising storm of global tribalization, intolerance and fanaticism.

2. This story is only sketchily known in Hawaii and is unknown to our fellow Americans on the Mainland. We believe this will change the way history is understood. This is not an academic exercise. We cannot ignore the disquieting signs of a rising tide of intolerance eroding away the hard fought gains in racial equality, else the legacy of our fathers, grandfathers, uncles will cease to have meaning. Supporting the completion and publication of this book is a small task on our part, but with large benefits to preserving and protecting the legacy of the 442nd veterans and all Nisei veterans.

3. Fund-raising to support the research and writing of How Hawaii Changed America is in direct support of the following purposes of our new S&D nonprofit corporation:
• To further historical research into the contributions by the men of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and their descendants to our Nation, our Freedoms, and the indivisible unity of our People
• To educate the public concerning all aspects of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team

How much money do we need to raise, and how will it be spent?
• Tom has estimated that $35,000 will be needed for the costs of travel and research in archives on the Mainland, and monthly expenses during the next 12 months.
• The MIS Club and NVL will be assisting us in this fund-raising effort.
• Publication costs are not part of this fund-raising project. These costs will be handled by Duke University Press itself.

How can I help?
• You can send a donation by check to the Sons and Daughters of the 442nd RCT, and note on the check that it is for the How Hawaii Changed America fund. (You will be provided with a letter of appreciation and notification that your donation should be deductible as a charitable contribution on your income tax return for 2017.)
• Please mail your donation to:
Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT
Attn: Shirley Igarashi
933 Wiliwili St.
Honolulu, HI 96826
• The S&D will match your donation up to $200 per S&D member, adding more “bang for your buck,” up to a total of $5,000 of member donations.
• It would be most appreciated if you could send your donation by the end of this month (31 May).
• Please pass the word — tell your relatives and friends about this new book and the story it will tell of the Hawaii AJA WW2 experience and their contribution to a better America. Please encourage them to donate also.

Thank you.

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The Way Ahead for the Sons & Daughters

The Way Ahead for the Sons & Daughters Part II and Supporting the Legacy of the 442nd RCT
By S&D officers, July 2017

In the March 2017 issue of the E-Newsletter we informed our members of the relationship of our chapter to our parent 442nd Veterans Club and the decision to form a non-profit Sons & Daughters organization in the event the Veterans Club was to fold and the chapter would also cease as an organization. This is a short summary of some key events since March.

First, after communications sent to all S&D members via email; two telephone conferences; and discussions at the April and May monthly meetings, the S&D chapter formed a separate, non-profit organization with the same name (only with the addition of “Inc.”) by adopting bylaws for the organization, filing articles of incorporation with the State of Hawaii, and applying for tax-exempt status to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Tax-exempt status has since been granted by the IRS to our organization via letter dated June 2, 2017.

Second, the 442nd Veterans Club is still in existence, with a potential substantial change to come. By a vote at a special meeting called by the Board of Directors of the Club on June 26, 2017, the Club members, by majority vote, approved the transfer of substantially all or part of its assets and liabilities to the 442nd Legacy Center, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors of the 442nd Legacy Center. As noted in the March E-Newsletter, the sole purpose of the Legacy Center is to plan and build (and operate) a legacy center dedicated to the 442nd RCT.

Third, the S&D chapter had requested in writing a postponement of the Veterans Club June 26, 2017 special meeting and vote for various reasons, including questioning the limited information provided to Veterans Club members prior to the special meeting and vote as well as to provide time to ensure that all eligible Club members were contacted, including eligible S&D members who inherited Club membership from their 442nd fathers. The special meeting was not postponed and the vote resulted in approval of the transfer of the Veterans Club’s assets and liabilities.

Fourth and in summary, the S&D chapter and non-profit organization will continue to support the 442nd Veterans Club and the 442nd Legacy Center. It is our fathers who were the 442nd RCT. We can do no less. Other sections of this E-Newsletter will feature a few of the activities the S&D are currently engaged in to uphold the 442nd RCT legacy.

The Way Ahead for the Sons & Daughters
March 2017
The Sons & Daughters of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was established as a chapter under the 442nd Veterans Club of Honolulu in May 1993. Nearly 25 years have gone by and our chapter is thriving, still supporting our beloved Veterans. But with each passing year the number of Veterans dwindles; all too soon they will be gone. But their valor and sacrifices must not fade — and herein lies the future for the 442nd Sons & Daughters – assuring the enduring legacy of the men of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

In the last two years the leadership of the Veterans Club has put into place a plan to transition to the coming era when Taps and a rifle volley have saluted the calling home of the last Veteran. Under this plan the Veterans Club has formed a new organization, the 442nd RCT Legacy Center, and announced that the 442nd Veterans Club will be retired and cease to exist. When this happens, all the chapters of the 442nd Veterans Club will also cease to exist, which includes our Sons & Daughters chapter.

But we each know in our heart and soul that the end of our current organization does not diminish, does not end, our responsibility, our obligation, our kuleana to keep the memory of our fathers, grandfathers, uncles . . . our ancestors, their legendary valor and valiant sacrifices shining bright, a beacon for the generations to come.

So after much discussion in the last few monthly meetings, we determined in February to work toward transitioning our Sons & Daughters chapter into an independent nonprofit Hawaii corporation. We will not disappear with the end of the 442nd Veterans Club, but will be reborn with the mission to preserve, perpetuate, and share the legacy of the men who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in World War II and forever changed our lives for the better – Okage Sama De.

Very soon we will be sending the proposed Bylaws of our new organization to the S&D members for review and a vote, the specifics of which are in final preparation. Please keep up with this important matter via this e-newsletter and the S&D emails we will be sending to the members.

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