Other RCT Veteran Related News

George Company Reunion 2017

442ND GEORGE COMPANY VETERANS AND FAMILIES AND FRIENDS REUNION 2017

Aloha!!  Everyone,

Yes, we are having another George Company and Friends Reunion for 2017.   This year our get together will take place in Cabazon at the Morongo Casino and Resort.  We are planning to go on a tour of the Go For Broke National Education Center in Japan town if there is enough interest on Monday morning, April 24th.  Some of us will be going to Morongo to stay from Monday, the 24th and checking out on the 27th.  The actual dinner will be on Tuesday, the 25th and the hospitality luncheon will be on Wednesday, the 26th.   We are looking to getting a shuttle for those who need a ride to Go For Broke National Education Center and or Morongo.

Ann Kabasawa can make the hotel reservation for you or if you wish you can call Morongo direct at 1-800-252-4499 or 951-849-3080 and state that this reservation is for 442nd George Company Veterans Reunion to get the special rate.  Don’t send in any monies for the meals as we are still working on the exact price.

There is a free shuttle to the Desert Hills Premium Outlet from the Morongo Casino…..very huge outlet mall.

We hope that all of will be able to stay at the hotel since they are gracious enough to block off rooms for us.

Please fill out the form if you are planning to attend so that I have an idea of the count.

Download (PDF, 402KB)

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

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Nisei Veterans Memorial Center (Maui) and Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans (California)

Introducing/Reacquainting with the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center (NVMC) on Maui and the Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans (FFNV) of California

Maui Nisei Veterans Memorial Center
The next time you visit Maui, please take a few minutes to visit the Education Center at the Maui Nisei Veterans Memorial Center. It is at One Go For Broke Road, which is accessed from Kahului Beach Road as you head from Kahului towards Wailuku along Kahului harbor. Look for the building complex on the hill on the left side. The Education Center is the first building on the left as you approach the complex. Visitor parking is available just in front of the building. Admission is free.
NVMC Wall of Honor
Before you enter the building, you can peruse the Wall of Honor which lists the names of all Maui Nisei soldiers that lost their lives in combat in Europe during World War II. If you know someone on the Wall of Honor, the Education Center may have information on the Veteran. The Center also has stories about the Nisei Veterans who returned to Hawaii and their lives after the war.

The Center shows exhibits from time to time to help educate the general public about the Nisei soldiers. The Military Intelligence Service exhibit that on display at the U.S. Army Museum at Fort DeRussy (Oahu) just completed a showing at the Center. The Center also shows a short video that features the Nisei soldiers from Maui.

Before you go to the NVMC, check out their website: http://www.nvmc.org/. The mission of the Maui NMVC is to ignite human potential by inspiring people to find the hero in themselves through the legacy of the Nisei Veterans. Inspiring stuff.

Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans of California
The Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans (FFNV) mission is to preserve the proud accomplishments of the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) and to honor all veterans of the RCT. The FFNV activities include presentations by guest speakers on topics related to the RCT, Nisei veterans, and World War II; an annual membership meeting; periodic community events in the Alameda/Northern California area; etc. Their website can be found at ffnv.org and contact information is on the Contact Us link of the site for those wishing to learn more about the FFNV.

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75th Anniversary Tour of France, July 2019

Plans for 75th Anniversary Tour of France, July 2019

Brian Yamamoto of Alaska will be leading and organizing stops on a 75th Anniversary Tour of France in July 2019. Brian and his wife Leslie were on the 2009 tour with Lawson Sakai of the 442nd RCT and Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans. Brian led a 2013 tour to Italy with 43 people and a 442nd veteran and also led a 2014 France tour with 65 people and two 442nd veterans. He is working with Nora Di Bievre on planning the 2019 trip. Nora was one of the guides for the 2014 France tour and also led the study group a year later with Stuart Hirai’s group.

Details for the 2019 tour are currently being worked out and the organizers expect an itinerary to be available in the first part of 2018. They are hoping to plan a “short 6 day tour” to encourage any veterans who may be thinking of joining. This shorter tour will only visit the Vosges and the celebrations there around Bastille Day, July 14, 2019. There will be a “long 13-14 day tour” which will visit Sospel and L’Escarene, eventually meeting up with the “short tour” in Bruyeres.

While in the Vosges, the group will visit all of the monuments which will include: 442nd RCT, Lost Battalion, Yohei Sagami Stele, Tomosu Hirahara Square, 3rd Infantry Division, 45th Infantry Division, Robert Booth, and the 405th FS. We will also visit the American Cemeteries at Epinal and Lorraine for wreath laying ceremonies. The group will place leis and flags at grave markers of the 100th/442nd soldiers buried there.

Sospel and L’Escarene are in the French Maritime Alps where the Nisei troops were after the bitter fighting in the Vosges. It became known as the “Champagne Campaign”. The long tour group will place a wreath at the plaque in Sospel where Larry Miura and Kenji Sugiwara were killed. We will spend a day in Sospel visiting with the locals during special ceremonies. The tour will spend a day in L’Escarene which is famous for the Christmas party the Nisei troops held for the children in 1944. When the tour visited in 2014, there were many adults who were children at that party.

The organizers will keep those interested informed of any developments for the tour periodically. They are expecting a large group for this historic occasion, so it would be a good idea to sign up early once the itinerary is available in 2018. There may be a limit for the tour of around 100 people.

If you have further questions, you can contact Brian Yamamoto at brianeyamamotodds@gmail.com or write him at: 2136 Airport Way #2 Fairbanks, AK 99701.

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UPDATE: Assistance for 442nd Veterans to apply for the French Legion of Honor

To All 442nd RCT Veterans’ Families

Legion of Honor medals recently approved for:
Harold Zenyei Afuso, H Co, 442nd, and
Futao Terashima, I Co., 442nd
CONGRATULATIONS to the veterans and their families.

S&D member Jeffrey Morita of Mililani is generously assisting any 442nd veteran to apply for and receive the Legion of Honor, France’s highest award. This medal is only given to those still living, although once the application has been received by the French government, if the recipient passes away the medal will be presented to his family. To date, Jeff has submitted applications for the following veterans:
(updated 10 June 2017)

Yutaka Doi, A Co., 100th/442nd
Kenneth Yoichi Sugai, G Co., 442nd
Charles Toyoji Ijima, 232nd Combat Engineer Co., 442nd
Hideo Nakayama, L Co., 442nd
Takashi Aragaki, I Co., 442nd (owned Sputnik’s Restaurant in Hilo)
Masatsu Kawamoto, I Co., 442nd (lives in Hawi)
Don Matsuda, A Co., 100th (former Club 100 President)
James Yoshio Morita, F Co., 442nd (Jeff Morita’s uncle)
Masayoshi Nakamura, I Co., 442nd (lives in Kohala)
Shigeru Oshita, Hq. Co., 100th/442nd (expedited application as he is age 99, lives in Kohala)
Kenny M. Shimabukuro, K Co., 442nd
Tetsuo Tateishi, A Co., 100th/442nd (died since application filed)
Hiromi Fujimura, B Co, 100 & H Co, 442nd (corrected)

All those with a family member who has not received this prestigious award please contact Jeffrey directly at jeff_kine_57@icloud.com or call our S&D chapter member Bill Wright at 425-922-9229.

(Photos of Joe Obayashi (522nd FAB) and his family at his French Legion of Honor award ceremony held at 15 Craigside in 2016, and award applicant Kenny Shimabukuro at the 442nd Veterans Banquet in 2011.)
joe-obayashi-522nd-fab-and-family-at-his-french-legion-of-honor-award-ceremony-held-at-15-craigside-earlier-this-year
kenny-shimabukuro-k-company-legion-of-honor-applicant-from-2011

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Update to the Battle to Restore Civil Rights for Veteran Noboru Kawamoto

Joint Statement by the State of Hawaii and Counsel for Plantiffs Noboru and Elaine Kawamoto

HONOLULU, HAWAII (September 6, 2016) – As a result of meetings and discussions between Plaintiffs’ counsel, Jeffrey S. Portnoy and John P. Duchemin, and Defendants’ counsel, Deputy Attorneys General, Andrew L. Salenger, Dana A. Barbata and Caron M. Inagaki, Plaintiffs Noboru Kawamoto and Elaine Kawamoto have been reunited in his nursing care home pending determination by the Court of the constitutionality of certain Hawaii state statutes and administrative rules applicable to community care foster family homes.

Plaintiff Noboru Kawamoto is 95, a World War II veteran and member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and his wife, Plaintiff Elaine Kawamoto, is 89. This temporary accommodation is limited to these Plaintiffs and the impact of the laws as applied to them only. Counsel expect to file motions seeking summary adjudication of this lawsuit by United States District Court Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi to resolve this case.

Please note that there will be no further comment to the press at this time. Thank you.

###

Cades Schutte LLP

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CAMP ‘US, FRANCE

Microcoft Word Doc

 

 

 

 

 

The Bruyeres, Vallons des Vosges Community of Communes

The Bruyeres Vallons des Vosges Office of tourisme

and the Peace and Freedom Trail Association- Go for Broke French Club

are delighted to present to you a new website dedicated to the Camp’US project:

Click here

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Corrected time – 1st Annual Wahiawa War Memorial Ceremony

The Wahiawa Lions Club will host the 1st Annual Wahiawa War Memorial Ceremony on July 26, 2015 to honor the 21 Veterans who were killed in action during World War II and recognize their families for the great sacrifices made.

The rich history of the soldiers and community recalls how they worked to build the first City and County of Honolulu swimming pool in 1949. Come and hear of the touching stories of the boys from Wahiawa who went to war and returned home wanting to help their home town. The program on July 26th is open to the public and will include representatives from veterans organizations and community groups to honor the 21 veterans of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

JULY 26, 2015

10:00 AM 

 Wahiawa District Park Swimming Pool 

1129 Kilani Avenue 

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The National Order of the Legion of Honor

 

January 14, 15, 16, 2015 – Hawaii

France honors veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd RCT in three separate ceremonies held on the Big Island, Maui and Oahu. Some 57 veterans received the French Legion of Honor decree, the highest decoration bestowed by France, in recognition of those who risked their lives during World War II to liberate France.

Legion of Honor (2)

Click to view KITV news clip

Click to view West Hawaii newspaper article

Click to view Rafu Shimpo news article

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The Generals Messenger

June Morimatsu and Milton Kaneshiro

 THE GENERAL’S MESSENGER

Written by June Morimatsu

Daughter of 442nd RCT veteran, Ralph Tomei of M Company

 

We graduated from Farrington High School in 1971, during the era of the war in Vietnam.  For some of the boys in our graduating class the future held the very real prospect of being drafted into the military.

When my friend, Milton Kaneshiro, was faced with the dilemma of a low lottery number and waiting for the inevitable draft notice, or, enlisting and choosing where he would be stationed, Milton chose to enlist and was guaranteed eighteen months at the Army base in Stuttgart, Germany.  As the center for the European high command, Stuttgart Army Base had more than twenty generals.

Now, this 20 year old Kalihi boy was by no means a model soldier.  By Milton’s own admission, he was a “rebel” in uniform and for that reason he wasn’t well-liked by his superiors.  One of the sticking points was Milton’s refusal to take down a sign he posted at the entrance to the barracks he shared with three other soldiers.  The sign read:  “Please Remove Footwear Before Entering”

The roommate sharing half of the barracks with Milton complied with the sign, but Milton’s other two roommates and his superiors simply ignored it and labeled him a “troublemaker”.  Although Milton’s superiors kept chiding him to take his sign down, he held his ground, saying that they were going to do whatever they wanted to do, regardless of the sign; he was only asking that they respect his Japanese culture; and, if they wanted it taken down, they would have to take it down themselves.  For some reason no one bothered to take the sign down, and so it remained posted.

Read more »

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Scott Fujita of the NFL visits the GFB Monument

Fujita

Los Angeles – November 25, 2013. Scott Fujita, recently retired from the National Football League, after playing 11 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, The New Orleans Saints, the Dallas Cowboys and the Cleveland Browns. He is the adopted son of Rodney and Helen Fujita of California. His grandfather, Nagao Fujita, was a member of the 442nd RCT.

Scott was at the Go For Broke Monument where a Japanese TV station was doing a story about him. Also there were veterans Hiro Nishikubo and Don Seki, Tracey Matsuyama, Dickie Wilson and Takanori Nishi.

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Go For Broke Exhibit at JANM

Eric Saul

Los Angeles – November 10, 2013. The Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles celebrated to opening of a new exhibit entitled, “Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts.” The exhibit is part of an extensive collection held by writer and military historian, Eric Saul.

Saul was present at the ceremony and delivered the following speech:

Go For Broke:

Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts

I think we all felt that we had an obligation to do the best we could and make a good record.  So that when we came back we can come back with our heads high and say, ‘Look, we did as much as anybody else for this country and we proved our loyalty; and now we would like to take our place in the community just like anybody else and not as a segregated group of people.’ And I think it worked.

– Nisei solder, Camp Shelby, Mississippi

Hawaii is our home; the United States our country…  We know but one loyalty and that is to the Stars and Stripes.

We are gathered here today to talk about a group of men.  Men who fought for their country and for their community.  They were fighting two wars: a war against prejudice and racism at home and a war to literally save the world from tyranny.  It has now been more than 70 years since the first Nisei committed themselves to the fight for democracy.

Many of these Nisei have passed from this world and are no longer here with us to tell us their story.  Some of you Nisei are in the audience today, and I will be addressing my remarks today to you.

You were among the 1,550 brave young men who, in the words of President Harry S. Truman, “fought not only the enemy, but fought prejudice, and won.” 

Who were you?  First of all, you were Americans.  You happened to be of Japanese Ancestry.  You were called Nisei.  You were second generation, born in the United States.  Most were born in the 1920s.

Where were you from?  You were from Hawaii, Ohau, Maui, Kawai.  You were also from California, Oregon and Washington.  You grew up on Honolulu, Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, the Paloma District, Fresno, Seattle, Portland and in hundreds of small farming towns in the Western United States.  You lived in the Little Tokyos and Nihonmachis of the big cities on the West Coast.  In Hawaii, you grew up on plantations, where you toiled in the hot sun, helping to harvest and process the sugar cane.

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Opening Day at Building 640

Art Ishimoto

San Francisco- November 11, 2013. The MIS Historic Learning Center held its opening day ceremonies after 25 years in the making. It began operations as the first MIS language school in 1941, a month before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Many dignitaries, veterans, and family members attended the ceremony.

Maj. Gen. Arthur Ishimoto (Ret), a MIS veteran, delivered the following keynote speech:

 

Building 640, The Presidio, San Francisco, California

I was a member of the Military Intelligence Service during World War II.  This building has a connection to all of us who served in the MIS.  We began our long journey from here to prove we’re Americans.

But first, let me remind you of our shameful and ugly history so that you can fully understand why so much blood was spilled by my generation.

Our lives changed dramatically on December 7, 1941.

We nisei were suspected of being disloyal and were classified as “enemy aliens” (4-C).  With one stroke of a pen, 70,000 nisei lost their citizenship. One hundred and twelve thousand  Japanese residents from the West Coast were sent to internment camps.  From April 1942 to October 1943, 17,000 so-called “enemy aliens” lived in the stables at Santa Ana racetrack under deplorable condition.

In 1943, we were allowed to enlist in the Army.  Even while in the Army, we were called Japs. When we returned home from the battlefields with Purple Hearts,  we were met with signs that read, “No Japs allowed”. We were refused service at barber shops, restaurants and other places.

We looked like the enemy, but  we were Americans at heart. What price is freedom, we wondered?

Most internees accepted their confinement, surrendered and said, “Shikata ga nai,  meaning “it can’t be helped, there is nothing we can do”.  Oh yes, we did.  More than  33,000 of us served in the military during World War II..  That was more than 13 percent of the total Japanese  population in the U.S.  and   greater than the national average.

In Japanese culture, there were values we depended on. Gaman is one.  It means “endure, tolerate, persevere”.  My judo sensei yelled in the dojo many times, “Ganbare   “don’t give up, hang in there.”

We suffered racial adversity since that December day. We had to gaman and ganbare. These two values were our guiding principle that navigated us through a sea of racial prejudice, hatred and distrust. 

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A “Very Special” Trip

442 Kashiwas in parade442 Genro Kashiwa pit stop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is an article from the Hawai‘i Herald’s special edition honoring the 70th Anniversary of the 442nd RCT.
First photo: Genro Kashiwa (far left) and his L Company buddy Howie Hanamura walk in the parade in Bruyeres with tour group leader Dorothy Matsuda (Photo by Karleen C. Chinen).

Second photo:  In Italy, 11 of the 14 veterans in our group stopped to take a group photo with Mount Folgorito (first peak on the left) in the background (Photo by Muriel Kashiwa).

Stories and images are courtesy of the Hawai‘i Herald.

 

A “Very Special” Trip
Steps Retraced in Journey to Bruyeres and Biffontaine
Karleen Chinen
The Hawai‘i Herald (March 15, 2013)

Genro Kashiwa was not in the best of health when he boarded the plane for our trip to Europe last fall. Eight days earlier, he was in a hospital bed, recovering from a bleeding colon.

But the recently retired lawyer insisted on making this pilgrimage — his first since the war.

Genro, his wife Muriel and I became fast friends on the trip. From early in our journey, I often observed him studying maps and writing in canary-colored legal tablets. When we talked, his comments usually had more to do with the mechanics of a battle — the strategy, the structure — or the humorous moments he recalled. Getting Genro to talk about how he felt was somewhat challenging.

But with each passing day, that stoic Nisei exterior melted away. As I listened to him at the end of our days in the Vosges mountains, I realized how therapeutic this journey has been for him.

Read more »

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Eric Saul on Solly Ganor and the Holocaust

solly

On September 5, 2013, Eric Saul wrote:

 

Dear Friends,

I wanted to take out a few moments and send you some material that I thought might be of interest to you.

I just received a letter from Mr. Solly Ganor, who lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.  He is a child survivor of the Holocaust from Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania.  He survived one of the most brutal Nazi occupations in Europe.  He was a survivor of the Kovno Ghetto and several camps of the infamous Dachau Concentration Camp.  His mother and brother were murdered by the Nazis during the war.  More than 92% of the Jews of Lithuania were murdered by the Nazi occupiers.

In 1992, I started actively researching the role of the Niseis in the liberation of the sub-camps of Dachau.  At the time, I was working with a number of the 522nd veterans.  I was also working with the researchers at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

At that time, we had only a very sketchy understanding of what the Niseis did as part of their witnessing of the Holocaust in southern Germany in late April and early May 1945.

As part of my research, I sought out Jewish survivors who had the experience of being liberated by the Nisei soldiers at the end of the war.  My parents were living in Jerusalem at the time, and I had them place a news article in the English-speaking newspaper, the Jerusalem Post.  The article asked for Jewish survivors of Dachau to relate their experiences being liberated by Niseis.  I had several survivors contact me and relate their powerful experiences of being freed.

One of them was Solly Ganor, who was living in Herzliya, outside of Tel Aviv.  At the beginning of the war, Solly was just 11 years old.  When the Nazis occupied Lithuania in 1941, he was 13 years old.  At the time, his father was a prosperous, middle class merchant living in Kovno, Lithuania.

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*** 2012 Honor Roll ***

HonorRoll

In Memorium

The following tribute is in memory the veterans of the 100th/442nd RCT who have left us in 2012. It is with honor and gratitude that we dedicate our ongoing efforts to promote their legacy and all they stood for. Read more »

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