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2017 442nd S&D Family Christmas Party, Dec. 17

S&D Members, families and friends – (date corrected)

It is that time of Year to gather together for fellowship, food and fun at the

    annual S&D Family Christmas Party.

ALL 100TH/442ND/MIS/1399 Veterans, Wives and Widows can attend FREE, but please submit names of all attending.

Save the date of Sunday, Dec. 17 (start 11 am) and bring your family to join with other Sons & Daughters members, veterans and supporters.

Print out the flyer below and submit the form and money by Dec. 10.

Contact Ann Kabasawa if you have questions or can volunteer that day to help, phone 781-8540 or email diverseinnov@gmail.com.

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

To All 442nd RCT Veterans’ Families
(updated 11 Dec 2017)

Legion of Honor medals recently awarded to:
James Morita, F Co/2nd Bn, 442nd
Masayoshi Nakamura, I Co/3rd Bn, 442nd
Tetsuo Tateishi, A Co/100th Bn
Harold Zenyei Afuso, H Co/3rd Bn, 442nd, and
Futao Terashima, I Co/3rd Bn, 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:

William Yoshio Thompson, Hq. 3rd Bn, 442nd
Seichi Joseph Oshiro, L Co., 442nd
Hajime Miyamoto, Med. Detachment, Hq., 442nd
Minoru Tamashiro, Hq. 3rd Bn, 442nd
Harold Watase, I Co., 442nd
Norman Noboru Kamada, F Co/2nd Bn
Takashi “Bolo” Shirakata, 206th AGFB/442nd
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)
Shigeru Oshita, Hq. Co., 100th/442nd (passed away after application was filed)
Kenny M. Shimabukuro, K Co., 442nd
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

 

 

 

IN ADDITION there is a program for US Army One-Time Replacement of Awards and Decorations.

S&D member Jeff Morita was also generously assisting Veterans AND their families with this program, but as of Dec. 2017 the process is changed: Those still desiring to request a one-time replacement of awards and decorations must go through the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) website.

Not many veterans, or their primary next-of-kin family know about the US Army gratuitous (FREE) one-time replacement of awards and decorations program.

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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 44nd 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.

Sources

http://www.goforbroke.org/learn/history/combat_history/world_war_2/european_theater/rhineland_maritime.php

http://nisei.hawaii.edu/object/io_1149149955984.html

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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.
www.jamsj.org

by S&D member Jon Ishihara

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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/

References

http://www.goforbroke.org/learn/history/combat_history/world_war_2/european_theater/rhineland_vosges.php

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

http://www.the442.org/battlehistory.html

http://www.homeofheroes.com/moh/nisei/index6_vosges.html

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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.

nma-small-logo

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.

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

Download (PDF, 524KB)

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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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This Time in 442nd History (July 2017)

The Flight of the Anti-Tank Company

glider
(photo courtesy of the U.S. Army)

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was an U.S. Army infantry unit, as we the friends and family of the 442nd veterans know. Not all may know, however, that just weeks after the 442nd arrived in Italy and entered combat in June of 1944, the men of the Anti-Tank Company were separated from their 442nd brethren to be trained as glider troops taking to the air to transport anti-tank guns, Jeeps and ammunition. Here are some details of the flight of the Anti-Tank Company.

For general background, the 442nd HQ, 2nd and 3rd Battalions had all arrived in Italy by mid-June 1944. The battle hardened 100th Infantry Battalion was attached to the 442nd RCT on June 11. The 442nd RCT then entered combat in Italy on June 26 near Suvereto and continued this phase of fighting until July 24. Within this context, the Anti-Tank Company was detached from the RCT on July 16 for a secret mission in support of Operation Dragoon, the invasion of Southern France by Allied troops.

The men of Anti-Tank Company learned that they were assigned to glider training. They had to learn how to load and lash down equipment in the gliders, and the gliders would be used to transport the entire Company with British-made anti-tank guns in to the battlefield. They did this training near Rome.

Then on August 15, as part of the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Airborne Task Force, the men of Anti-Tank Company loaded into the gliders, were pulled by U.S. aircraft from Italy to Southern France and landed in the fields and in the trees around Le Muy, France. There were injuries, especially to the pilots of the gliders that were transporting the Company. The 517th paratroopers had preceded the Anti-Tank Company to secure the landing areas, and these infantry men suffered casualties.

The Company was able to set up their guns and for two months after their glider flights guarded the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment and the flank of the U.S. 7th Army. The Anti-Tank Company is the only unit in the 442nd to receive the Glider Badge.

Read the words of veterans of the Anti-Tank Company in these links:
http://nisei.hawaii.edu/object/io_1149148189765.html (accessed 7/8/2017)
http://www.100thbattalion.org/archives/newspaper-articles/ben-tamashiro/the-antitank-company-442-rct/ (accessed 7/8/2017)
http://www.goforbroke.org/learn/history/combat_history/world_war_2/european_theater/southern_france_campaign.php (accessed 7/8/2017)

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S&D Volunteer project with Hamilton Library

S&D Volunteer project with Hamilton Library at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa

screen shot of Archives & Manuscripts Dept. web page

The S&D has initiated a volunteer project with Hamilton Library at the University of Hawai’I at Manoa to digitize archival material that was previously given to the Library by the 442nd Veterans Club.  Much of the material is only accessible currently by visiting the Manuscripts and Archives Department in person.  S&D members have volunteered to digitize the material, which will allow Hamilton Library to provide the information online to provide access to many more who may be interested in the 442nd RCT.

The volunteers are to receive training beginning in late July and the hope is to start the project in August with the goal of completing much or all of the digitization by some time next year.  The material that will be digitized includes copies of National Archives documents related to the activities of the 442nd RCT, 100th Infantry Battalion, MIS, 1399th Engineers and other Japanese Americans serving in World War II; and a set of material collected by the 442nd Veterans Club such as a copies of the memoirs of Chaplain Masao Yamada (3rd Battalion) and of the memoirs of members of Love Company.

Hamilton Library has these materials in the Japanese American Veterans Collection.  By digitizing the material, the goal of the S&D and Hamilton Library is to increase access to these important resources.
At this time (July 2017) we have had good response from our S&D members and are not actively recruiting volunteers.

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Hawaii History Day State Fair competition (2017)

Hawaii History Day State Fair competition

Sixth-grader Victoria (Tori) Yamashita and her panel display on the 442nd RCT, titled ‘Go for Broke’.”
Sixth-grader Victoria (Tori) Yamashita and her panel display on the 442nd RCT, titled ‘Go for Broke’.” (from Byrnes Yamashita)

 

 

The legacy of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team is alive and well as represented by several entries in the State Finals of the Hawaii History Day State Fair, held on April 15, 2017 at the Windward Community College on Oahu.

Sons and Daughters members Grace Fujii, Byrnes Yamashita and Jonathan Ego attended the Hawaii History Day State Fair finals at Windward Community College campus and enjoyed the competition and awards ceremony. Jonathan’s father, Kenji Ego, a 442nd RCT veteran, was also in attendance.

Angelee Marshall, a 7th grade student from Kahuku Intermediate and High School, came in second for her 442nd RCT documentary and qualified for the National History Day competition at the University of Maryland, College Park in mid-June. She will share the final version of her documentary so that it can be posted on the S&D website. Stay tuned.

Byrnes’ two nieces, Tori and Katie Yamashita, qualified for the State finals from the Leeward District in the junior and senior categories, respectively. Tori produced a tri-fold display (photo above) on the history of the 100th/442nd RCT titled “Go for Broke.” Katie, along with partner Esther Park, produced a documentary video on the 442nd called “442nd RCT: Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts.” Their project also qualified for the National History Day competition.

There were two entries featuring the 100th/442nd RCT from Maui students that also qualified for the National competition. It was heartwarming to see that students across the State are helping to perpetuate the legacy of the Nisei soldiers of World War II.

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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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This Time in 442nd History (May 2017)

This Time in 442nd RCT History
Start of Life at Camp Shelby for the 442nd RCT: our Fathers, Uncles, Grandfathers

E Co. at Camp Shelby
E Company, 2nd Battalion of the 442nd RCT, Camp Shelby, Mississippi. May 13, 1943. (National Archives and Records Administration.)

 

After the activation of the 442nd RCT in February and formation by March 1943, our men from Hawaii and the mainland went to train at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Most arrived in April, though some AJAs who were already in the U.S. Army and who were assigned to the 442nd got to Camp Shelby earlier.

The 442nd started training at about the time that the 100th Infantry Battalion, who had come to Camp Shelby from Camp McCoy in Wisconsin, was wrapping up theirs and readying for departure to fight in Europe. For the 442nd there are well known accounts of the fighting between men from Hawaii and men from the mainland. By the account in the following link, there were fights if a different type as well.

From the Hawaii Nisei Story project, you may remember Katsugo Miho’s telling of some of the details of life at Camp Shelby. Or read it for the first time.

Here in moving pictures (of poor video quality but the narration is clear) is an 11 minute film produced by the War Relocation Authority. It is public relations but gives a look at some of the training activities of the 442nd at Camp Shelby. (accessed 4/28/2017)

And finally, a story from the Los Angeles Times about veterans who returned to Camp Shelby in 1995. (accessed 4/28/2017)

Camp Shelby still serves as a training site to this day. It served as the training location for our men of the 442nd RCT.

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Photos from the 74th 442nd RCT Anniversary Banquet 2017 (3 of 3)

last set of photos of attendees per table

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The 442nd RCT 74th Anniversary Banquet

NDF_0078 (800x492)

By Lynn Heirakuji, S&D member

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team 74th Anniversary Banquet was held at the Sheraton-Waikiki Hotel on Sunday, March 26, 2017. The 442nd Veterans Club sponsored the annual affair, which was attended by about 440 people – 49 Nisei veterans also signed up for the event.

Ken Inouye, son of the late Senator Daniel K. Inouye, served as the Master of Ceremonies and Governor David Y. Ige rendered the moving keynote address. The Governor, son of a 100th Infantry Battalion veteran, reminded the audience of the climate of racial hysteria that gripped the Nation in the aftermath of the 1941 Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. This fear and prejudice led the U.S. President to issue Executive Order 9066, which directed the forced internment of over 110,000 Japanese Americans, most of whom were U.S. citizens. He described how despite this, over 14,000 Nisei went on to serve and perform with incredible valor in the U.S. Army during WWII. The Governor noted that the 442nd story is what inspired him to have the State of Hawaii file the recent suit which resulted in the blocking of the current U.S. President’s Executive Order banning travel into America based on nationality and, in effect, religion.

232nd veteran Hiroshi Arisumi and some of his family

232nd veteran Hiroshi Arisumi and some of his family

One of those attending the banquet was 96-year old Nisei veteran Hiroshi Arisumi, who hails from Kula, Maui. Hiroshi served with the 232nd Engineer Combat Company of the 442nd RCT and performed highly dangerous duties including mine clearing. Upon returning from the battlefields of Italy and France, he established the Arisumi Brothers construction company, building residential homes. He also stayed extra busy by serving as President of the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center in Maui for over 20 years. Hiroshi has passed on the story of the 442nd to his children and grandchildren. For fun he grows kaki (persimmon) and cherimoya, the latter which he describes as one of the top three most delicious fruits.

On display at the banquet was an exhibit called the, “Pearl Harbor Students’ Reflections – 442: Live with Honor, Die with Dignity.” The exhibit contained letters from Honolulu Community College (HCC) students in which they shared their reactions to a documentary on the 442nd story. Sharleen Nakamoto Levine who attended the banquet is the HCC instructor who developed the curriculum and brought the exhibit to the banquet. The exhibit was a great example of the many ways in which the 442nd story can be passed on to future generations.

The banquet program also included Mayor Caldwell’s proclamation presentation, a musical tribute sung by Reverend Takamasa Yamamura, an invocation by Bishop Eric Matsumoto, remarks by William Thompson, 442nd Veterans Club President, and the singing of the “Go For Broke” fight song.

Even though there are fewer Veterans attending the banquet each year, the Sons & Daughters are always strong supporters of the event and hope to see it continue as a legacy marker for future generations.

See photos from the banquet.

Photos 3 of 3
Photos 2.5 of 3
Photos 2 of 3
Photos 1 of 3

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