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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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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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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Sneak Preview of Go For Broke, a 442 Origins Story movie

Sneak Preview of the Go For Broke, A 442 Origins Story movie, Hawai’i Theater, October 8, 2017
By Gail Nishimura and Jon Ishihara

image of Go For Broke, A 442 Origins Story movie
“442nd RCT Foundation Presents a Stacey Hayashi Production” was on the printed program for this special event to provide a preview of this movie long in the making on the 442nd RCT. In attendance at the Hawai’I Theatre in Honolulu were some 442nd veterans, many 100th/442nd family members and distinguished guests. The movie preview was attended by approximately 1400 people.

Opening the event was a group of dancers from Okinawa and Hawaii, with a lively presentation. Then Jake Shimabukuro played the national anthem on the ukulele and the 100th/442nd Reserves Guard posted the colors. Admiral Harry Harris, Commander U.S. Pacific Command, gave the keynote speech and then made a special presentation of the French Legion of Honor medal to veteran Mr. Masayoshi Nakamura. The text of Admiral Harris’s speech can be read here. Hawaii Governor David Ige then presented Stacey Hayashi with a proclamation making October 8, 2017 “Go For Broke” day.

This movie was dedicated to the late K. Mark Takai, U.S Representative from Hawai’I and a strong supporter of Stacey Hayashi and this movie. His daughter says “Go For Broke” in the movie. Stacey said Mark would leave copies of her book “Journey of Heroes” in his office for people visiting to read.

Former Senator Daniel Akaka attended and was in one of the scenes of the movie (look for him in the funeral scene.) Our own S&D member Anita Nihei was an extra and you can see and hear her a couple of times during the scene at Iolani Palace. S&D member Gwen Fujie and Anita’s son Gavin were also extras but the camera goes pretty fast at times and the crowd and recruits are big groups.

The movie itself moves quickly (90 minutes) and covers events just before and the year after Pearl Harbor. It tells of the Hawaii Territorial Guard and the formation of the Varsity Victory Volunteers (VVV). It also introduces the 298th Infantry/100th Infantry Battalion. The movie closes with the famous picture taken at Iolani Palace of the men who were inducted into the 442nd RCT in April 1943. Very touching as we get a look into the daily lives of different people before, during and after the start of the war, scnes which are based on stories from 442nd veterans.

The Hawaii Film Festival showed the film on the 12th of November at Hawai’i Theater and other venues. It was also just shown on the Big Island and Kaua’i the weekend of 17-19 November. Here is the link to the film’s description via the Hawaii Film Festival: go_for_broke_a_442_origins_story_2017

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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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75th Anniversary Banquet “Diamond Jubilee” of the 100th Infantry Battalion

The Ebb Tides performing at the banquetThe Ebb Tides performing

The Sons and Daughters of the 442nd were well represented at the 100th Battalion’s 75th Anniversary Banquet, which was held on Sunday, July 23, 10am-2pm, at the Pomaikai Ballroom at Dole Cannery. We had two full tables – including officers Grace Fujii, Juanita Allen and Shirley Igarashi, and members Gwen and Clayton Fujie, Glenn and Edean Goya, Lynn Heirakuji, Phyllis Hironaka, Anita Nihei and Ken Akinaka. Wes Deguchi, representing the NVL, was also present. (Sorry if we missed anyone.) Also our guests Mr. and Mrs. King Lit Ching sat with us. He is the son of Hung Wai Ching, who in 1940 was part of the Hawaii Council for Interracial Unity that helped prepare the local Issei community for the impending war. King Lit is working with us, the S&D, to fundraise for Tom Coffman’s new book, How Hawaii Changed America.
S&D members Anita, Gail and GraceS&D members Anita, Gail and Grace

The banquet was wonderful – the 100th can sure do these events up right! They had all of the veterans march in as their names were called, there was a 75th Anniversary cake, and the entertainment was spectacular. During our meal, we were entertained by The Ebb Tides playing everything from Hawaiian to Japanese to swing music. Afterwards, a young performer in full traditional attire including white face makeup, did several Japanese dances. This was followed by his luring audience members up to dance – and the first one up was our own Gwen Fujie, followed quickly by Anita Nihei. Before it was all over, they had been joined by Grace Fujii and – Japan Consul General Misawa, Hawaii Governor Ige and Honolulu Mayor Caldwell. Clearly the best way ever to end the banquet. We truly hope that the 100th continues with a 76th Anniversary Banquet in 2018.

S&D members Gwen and AnitaS&D members Gwen and Anita

S&D member Gail with 100th Infantry Bn veteran Masaharu Saito and familyS&D member Gail with 100th Infantry Bn veteran Masaharu Saito and family

table favor for the banquettable centerpiece – cute

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This Time in 442nd RCT History (Sept 2017)

RHINELAND CAMPAIGN-VOSGES (October 10, 1944 – November 21, 1944)

There were five major battle campaigns that were fought by the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, of which the Rhineland Campaign-Vosges was one of them.  The 442nd arrived in France in October 1944 to join the 36th Division as part of the 7th Army, after fighting in and then leaving Italy, where the 442nd and 100th Infantry Battalion had joined up to form the RCT.  At this point in time, the Allies were about 40 miles from the France/Germany border but the Vosges Mountains brought a new type of terrain experience for the 442nd soldiers.

map of Bruyeres showing 442nd RCT movement and hills A, B, C, D

map from http://1stabtf.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/map-bruy%C3%A8res-17-octobre.png

In order to proceed ahead towards the border, the soldiers needed to secure the town of Bruyeres.  Bruyeres is located in a valley bordered by four hills, which were heavily guarded by the Germans.  The Allies labeled the hills A, B, C, and D.  Hill A was Northwest of Bruyeres, Hill B to the North, Hill C on the Northeast side, and Hill D was to the East.  Besides the hilly terrain and dense forest, the soldiers encountered thick fog, mud, rain and cold temperatures, conditions that were extremely challenging for fighting.

On October 15, 1944, the 442nd began their attack on Bruyeres, under the command of Major General John Dahlquist.  The 100th Infantry Battalion attacked Hill A, the 2nd Battalion attacked Hill B and the 3rd Battalion moved in to take the town of Bruyeres.  After three days of “vicious” fighting and assistance from the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, Hills A and B were secured and the enemy was cleared out of Bruyeres.  The Germans still held Hills C and D, so on October 19, the soldiers began their assault on those hills.  With casualties of 100 plus men, the hills were finally secured.  Hill D became known as “Ohama’s Hill” to the 442nd in remembrance of Tech Sergeant Abraham Ohama, F Company.

After some needed rest, the 100th was ordered to march east to the town of Biffontaine.  They were soon encircled by German forces who fired heavy artillery and rocket fire.  Low on supplies, the 100th had to hide in building cellars and wait for assistance.  Finally on October 23, the 3rd Battalion of the 442nd reached the 100th and assisted in driving out the German forces and handing Biffontaine to the 36th Division.

The Rhineland Campaign-Vosges liberated several towns in France but it had the most profound impact on Bruyeres and Biffontaine.  In honor of being liberated by the soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team from German forces, the people of the two villages have erected monuments and hold yearly celebrations to recognize the soldiers of the 442nd.  School children in Bruyeres learn to sing Aloha Oe and Hawaii Ponoi as part of their curriculum.  It is impressive to see the extreme gratitude of the people of these two towns toward the 442nd RCT and their families.  If you have the chance to visit the area, such as during the planned 2019 tour, you will get to experience this first hand.  Others have been fortunate to have already visited Bruyeres and Biffontaine, as written about in our May e-newsletter.

photo from Bruyeres town websitehttp://www.ville-bruyeres.fr/



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/442nd_Infantry_Regiment_(United States)#Vosges_Mountains



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442nd Veterans and the National Museum of the U.S. Army

Aloha Hawaii 442nd RCT Veterans, Families, and Supporters

The U.S. Army plans to open a new National Museum of the U.S. Army (NMUSA) near Washington D.C. in 2019. NMUSA will include sections recognizing the WWII Nisei Soldiers of the 442nd RCT, 100th Infantry Battalion and Military Intelligence Service. It is seeking individual Nisei Soldier stories, as well as objects and artifacts that will be made part of the exhibit. See the NMUSA website at: thenmusa.org.


The Sons & Daughters Chapter is working with the National Veterans Network to coordinate the submission of 442nd Soldier stories for consideration for use in the museum. S&D member Lynn Heirakuji is the point of contact for this project and is providing detailed information on how interested parties can submit Soldier stories, as well as donated objects and artifacts, to be considered for inclusion in the NMUSA. Attached is an Information Sheet (below) on NMUSA along with two Attachments that explains NMUSA and what it is seeking to help create the Nisei Soldier sections of the new museum. The one-year deadline for bringing these sections to completion is very tight.

This is an extremely important and rare opportunity for the compelling story of the WWII Nisei Soldiers to be told at the national level and to a broad audience.

Please review the Information Sheet and support this effort by

    nominating a WWII 442nd RCT Nisei Veteran for individual recognition

at NMUSA – the local submission deadline is October 1, 2017. If you have any related

    objects or artifacts

that you would like to permanently donate to NMUSA, please consider doing so – submission deadline is September 30, 2017.

On behalf of the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT, Lynn is coordinating the submission of 442nd RCT Hawaii Nisei Soldier stories. Mark Matsunaga and Susan Muroshige will be coordinating the nominations for the MIS and 100th Infantry Battalion Soldiers, respectively.

Please email Lynn at LHeirakuji@gmail.com if you have any questions or need help with your nomination submission. Or you can call or text Lynn at 240 351-8656.

Lynn Heirakuji
Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT, Member
Nisei Veterans Legacy, Board Member

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Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit in Yokohama, Japan

Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit in Japan
By S&D member Byrnes Yamashita
photo of Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit in Yokohama, Japan.
The Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit at the Japanese Overseas Migration Museum, Yokohama, Japan.
Photo courtesy of Philbert Ono.

An exhibit highlighting the Japanese-American experience in Hawaii from the initial waves of immigration through World War II and the post-war period with photographs and narrative text in English and Japanese opened in Yokohama this past June. Included are photos of Nisei soldiers from the 100th, 442nd, 1399th and MIS who fought in World War II to prove their loyalty to the United States. The exhibit also includes a section on prefectural roots that identifies prominent Japanese Americans from Hawaii whose ancestors were part of the flow of contract workers (kanyaku imin) who came to Hawaii beginning in 1885 to work on the sugar plantations.

The idea for this exhibit was initially conceived in 2015 by Mrs. Michiko Shigeeda, wife of the then Consul General of Japan in Honolulu, Mr. Toyoei Shigeeda, who is currently Japan’s ambassador to Lithuania. Mrs. Shigeeda felt that the Japanese people who already have a strong affinity for Hawaii would be interested in learning about the history of the Japanese Americans in Hawaii. Bishop Ryokan Ara of the Tendai Educational Foundation, who was recently named a Living Treasure of Hawaii by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, was the spiritual inspiration for the project. Bishop Ara has worked for over 40 years to improve the understanding and relationships between the Japanese Americans in Hawaii and the Japanese people. Mr. Ryoji Koike of the Pacific Aviation Museum played a key role in coordinating with organizations and support groups in Japan.

An exhibit content committee, including three S&D members, collected photographs, wrote the narrative and designed the exhibit. The project was prepared completely through volunteer efforts with printing and other expenses funded by the Nisei Veterans Legacy (NVL) and in-kind contributions.

Titled, “The Hawaii Nikkei Legacy,” the exhibit is co-sponsored by the NVL, the Japan America Society of Hawaii and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. (“Nikkei” refers to Japanese who have migrated to various foreign countries.) The exhibit is currently open at the Japanese Overseas Migration Museum (JOMM) in Yokohama, Japan. The JOMM is operated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency or JICA. The JICA is the rough equivalent of the USAID in the United States and one of its elements is the Association of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad, which serves as the host for the exhibit.

The exhibit is scheduled to be shown at the JOMM through September 3, 2017. It will also appear at the Hawaii Expo event at the Hikarie Building in Shibuya, Tokyo from July 15-17. Then it will be shown in Fukushima City from July 19-29 in conjunction with the City’s 110th anniversary celebration. Finally, it will be at the Imperial Bank Building in Hiroshima City from October 1-14. Anyone traveling to Japan during these time periods are encouraged to see the exhibit. The exhibit may also be shown in Hawaii in 2018 though no arrangements have been made to date.

photo of Ku'ulei Mamo Park and her band and dencers at opening ceremony
Hawaiian music performance by Kuʽulei Mamo Park (daughter of a 100th Infantry Battalion veteran, at right in photo – corrected) and her band with hula dancers at the opening ceremony for the exhibit.
Photo courtesy of Philbert Ono.

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Third Annual Wahiawa War Memorial Ceremony July 16, 2017

The Third Annual Wahiawa War Memorial Ceremony will be held on July 16 to commemorate the 21 Wahiawa veterans who gave their lives during World War II, and recognize their families for the sacrifices they made during the war. The event, which will begin at 4 p.m. at Wahiawa District Park in the Hale Okipa building, is free and open to the public. The history of the soldiers and community members who worked to build the first city swimming pool in 1949 also will be shared.

The Wahiawa veterans killed in action were:
Masaharu Endo
Chester Fukunaga
Robert Han
Harry Hayakawa
Himeo Hiratani
Kikuichiro Ikehara
William Irwin
Kumao Iwahiro
Robert Johnson
Kiichi Koda
Mitsuharu Kuboyama
Daniel Lim
Robert McEldowney
Weldon Simpson
Richard D. Suwa
Wesley B. Swain
Robert Sweet
Yoshio Tagami
Mitsuo Tanji
Kazuo Yamashita and
Jerry Yamauchi.

The ceremony will open with the Kapolei High School Marine Corps JROTC opening color guard, Ryugen Taiko Group and a special 21-gun salute. Guest speakers include representatives from veterans’ organizations and community groups to pay tribute to veterans from the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The event also will feature a performance by the Royal Hawaiian Band. The sponsoring Wahiawa Lions Club will have a wreath and the Wahiawa Rainbow Seniors will make lei for the families to present during the ceremony. Community organizations such as the Wahiawa Community and Business Association, the Wahiawa Nikkei Civic Association, the Wahiawa-­Whitmore Neighborhood Board and Wahiawa elected officials also will present lei during the ceremony. Members of the S&D of the 442nd RCT and of the 100th Infantry Battalion Descendants will be attending the ceremony and also will present lei.

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