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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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Photos from the 74th 442nd RCT Anniversary Banquet 2017 (2.5 of 3)

Candid shots from the banquet

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Photos from the 74th 442nd RCT Anniversary Banquet, 2017 (2 of 3)

Scenes from the 2017 74th 442nd Anniversary Banquet at the Sheraton Waikiki

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Photos from the 74th 442nd RCT Anniversary Banquet, 2017 (1 of 3)

Photos of the 442nd veterans that attended this year’s banquet

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The Way Ahead for the Sons & Daughters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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History Day Project on 442nd RCT

History Day Project on the 442nd RCT

Ms. Angelee Marshall, a Kahuku High and Intermediate School 7th grader (Oahu), contacted the S&D of the 442 RCT chapter to request information on the regiment with a questionnaire for her History Day documentary entry.  The request was shared with the 442nd Veterans Club members. We are grateful for Angelee’s contribution to the annual National History Day competition and to veteran Mr. Kenji Ego and others for submitting their answers to her questionnaire.  Here is a link to Angelee’s draft video, which she said she will be editing to correct some errors, https://vimeo.com/205118187.

We congratulate Angelee on winning her School and Windward (Oahu) District competition and heartily convey our very best wishes to Angelee for the State competition! The State Competition will be held on April 15, Saturday, 7:30 – 3:30 pm at the Windward Community College. Some S&D members plan to attend the public viewing and competition run off. Please join us!  The schedule for the competition is:

2017 HAWAI‘I HISTORY DAY STATE FAIR ~ Windward Community College
APRIL 15 @ 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM

7:30 am – 8:30 am: Registration
8:30 am – 8:45 am: Orientation and Welcome
9:00 am to 12:00 pm: First round of judging will be held
12:00 pm – 12:30 pm:  Public viewing of Exhibits
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm: Run-offs will be held
2:00 pm – 2:30 pm: Announcements of State History Day Winners and Closing

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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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This Time in 442nd History (Mar 2017)

This Time in 442nd RCT History
The following quote is one example of many where a commander of soldiers writes of the horribleness of war (the “plague of Mankind” refers to war). “My first wish is, to see this plague to Mankind banished from the Earth; & the Sons & daughters of this World employed in more pleasing & innocent amusements than in preparing implements, & exercising them for the destruction of the human race.” George Washington in a letter to his former aide-de-camp David Humphreys, 25 July 1785, written nearly 2 years after the end of the Revolutionary War.

The 442nd RCT and the Po Valley Campaign, April-May 1945
This is a synopsis of several written accounts of the Po Valley Campaign, links are provided below. The stories that are summarized are included as examples of the honor, bravery, sacrifice and above all the courage all of our soldiers of the 442nd RCT exhibited to prove their loyalty and to pave the way for all of us. The stories illustrate also the destruction that General Washington wrote about.

Private First Class Sadao S. Munemori had joined the 100th Infantry Battalion as a replacement from the 442nd prior to the 442nd arrival in Italy. Born in Los Angeles, he was 22 going on 23 in April 1945. In the advance to the Po Valley on 5 April, Pfc. Munemori of A Company took control of his squad after his squad leader fell wounded. Against enemy fire, he destroyed two enemy machine gun placements single handedly with grenades. When returning to his position and his men, a thrown enemy grenade hit his helmet and landed in a shell hole where two A Company men had sheltered. Pfc. Munemori dove to cover the grenade with his own body to smother the blast and saved the lives of two comrades. Pfc. Sadao S. Munemori was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.

Private Joe Hayashi of K Company, born in Salinas, led his squad on 22 April to take a steep hillside above Tendola, about 50 kilometers northwest of Pfc. Munemori’s heroism. Under fire from heavy machine guns, Pvt. Hayashi crawled forward to destroy the enemy position with a grenade attack. Pvt. Hayashi noticed elements of his platoon under fire from four additional enemy positions and again used a grenade to destroy the closest one. He then crawled to another enemy position, killing four of the enemy gunners and forcing the remaining to abandon position. As he attempted to pursue the enemy soldiers, he was hit by machine pistol fire. Private Joe Hayashi would become one of the last casualties of the war for the 442nd. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, which was upgraded to the Medal of Honor 56 years later.

One day before Pvt. Hayashi fell in battle, Second Lieutenant Daniel Inouye from Honolulu and E Company led his platoon in an all-out assault of a German stronghold. He took out one machine gun nest and was wounded in the stomach, though he did not realize it until his men reached his position. With the platoon still under fire, 2nd Lt. Inouye rushed forward and silenced a second machine gun position with grenades. While his men were attacking the third machine gun nest, 2nd Lt. Inouye had dragged himself toward it unseen. As he was about to throw a live grenade towards the machine gun, a rifle grenade shot by an enemy solder tore apart his right arm with his grenade still clutched in his useless hand. Using his good arm, he extracted the live grenade from his hand and destroyed the third machine gun. He then shot the surviving German gunners using his left arm, enduring the damage to his right arm and side. Second Lieutenant Daniel Inouye was just 20 years old. His actions earned him a Distinguished Service Cross which was upgraded to a Medal of Honor that Senator Inouye accepted in June of 2000.

Links to several written accounts of the Po Valley Campaign:
http://www.goforbroke.org/learn/history/combat_history/world_war_2/european_theater/north_apennines_campaigns.php
http://www.javadc.org/po_valley_campaign.htm
http://www.homeofheroes.com/moh/nisei/index8_italy.html
http://www.history.army.mil/brochures/po/72-33.htm

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S&D members march in 2016 Veterans Day Parade

Some of the S&D marching group before the parade
Sons & Daughters members march in 2016 Veterans Day Parade

On November 11, 2016 a group of Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT members and others community members marched with a group of descendants from the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans (Rural Chapter) in the annual Veterans Day Parade in Wahiawa.

Friday, November 11, 2016 was a bright and sunny day, resulting in our umbrellas being unnecessary and left in our cars. Sun screen, hats and dark glasses were more in order for the day. About a dozen members of the Sons and Daughters chapter walked in the annual Veterans Day parade up California Avenue, the main drag in the former plantation town of Wahiawa. We joined a group of descendants from the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans (Rural Chapter) at the invitation of president Stephen Saito, the Yonsei grandson of a Nisei veteran, Masaharu “Bull” Saito.

The Sons & Daughters group was coordinated by Grace Fujii, S&D Chapter President, and consisted of Bill Wright, Juanita Wright Allen, Laura Hirayama, Anita Nihei, her son Gavin and his friend Brant, Susan Yoshitomi, Laughlin Tanaka, Gail Nishimura and Byrnes Yamashita. Jeannie Ishikawa stopped by just before the start of the parade to say hello and to give us encouragement before heading off to march with her Neighborhood Board group.

We proudly carried the huge banner of the Sons & Daughters of the 442 RCT and a large poster created by S&D member Ron Takamoto, depicting the famous 442 RCT Liberty Torch with the words “GO FOR BROKE!” The tagline on the banner read “The Legacy Lives On.” Grace had a frame made of PVC pipe which made the banner very easy to carry. Our combined group was given the honor of being the 10th marching group and we gamely fell in line behind the Veterans of Foreign Wars caravan. The parade route was just a little over a mile long and slightly uphill in places. The street was lined with many people who cheered us on in a spirit of patriotism and gratitude for all of the veterans that have served our country over the years.

Besides its deep plantation roots, Wahiawa is also strongly influenced by nearby Schofield Barracks and there was a lot of spirited support for the marchers. Several members commented on how nice it was to meet the 100th Infantry Battalion descendants and expressed the desire to have more joint activities with them. Stay tuned for news of any upcoming joint activities.
Our combined marching group at Wahiawa District Park after the parade

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UPDATE 2 to 74th 442nd RCT Anniversary Banquet

UPDATE 2 – Assistance Needed

• ALL S&D members and families attending the banquet
Assistance is needed on banquet day:
1) Drivers may be needed to pick up veterans/wives and elder guests and bring to the Sheraton.
2) Help may be needed to escort veterans from drop-off at the Sheraton drive way (by valet service) to the ballroom, before and after the event. Wheelchairs will be available for those who need to use one. Arrival time for volunteers, 8:45 please.
3) Helpers to place favors and centerpieces on tables. Arrival time 8:00.

Please email Mae Isonaga, maeisonaga@mac.com if you can help with any of these duties.

• Come Early! The banquet committee will show a 23 minute documentary, “Senator Inouye: As Told By His Son”, by Gloria Borland. The planned time slot will be approx. 1000, after the picture taking of veterans at 0930.

• Note on menu: There has been a small change to the meat entree, which will now feature chicken only instead of chicken and short ribs. The vegetarian option for those who selected this with your registration will feature portobello ravioli.

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This Date in 442nd RCT History (Jan 2017)

photo of 442nd RCT volunteers taken 4.2.1943 in Aiea

442nd RCT volunteers in Aiea, April 2, 1943

The Call for Volunteers for the 442nd RCT, 74 Years Ago

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, our families in Hawai’i and the Mainland experienced arrests and internment; the classification of Japanese-American citizens as “enemy aliens” for military draft status; and many other prejudiced and unjustified actions and conditions.  On January 28, 1943, however, Lt. General Delos C. Emmons, military governor of Hawai’i, made the following announcement locally on behalf of the War Department:

“Once in a great while an opportunity presents itself to recognize an entire section of this community for their performance of duty.  All of the people of the Hawaiian Islands have contributed generously to our war effort.  Among these have been the Americans of Japanese descent.  Their role has not been an easy one.”

“Open to distrust because of their racial origin, and discriminated against in certain fields of the defense effort, they nevertheless have borne their burdens without complaint and have added materially to the strength of the Hawaiian area.  They have behaved themselves admirably under the most trying conditions, have bought great quantities of war bonds, and by the labor of their hands have added to the common defense.  Their representatives in the 100th Infantry Battalion, a combat unit now in training on the Mainland; the Varsity Victory Volunteers, and other men of Japanese extraction in our armed forces, have also established a fine record.”

“In view of these facts, and by the War Department authority, I have been designated to offer the Americans of Japanese ancestry an additional opportunity to serve their country.  This opportunity is in the form of voluntary combat service in the armed forces.  I have been directed to induct 1,500 of them as volunteers into the Army of the United States.  I am glad to make this statement to the Americans of Japanese extraction in the Hawaiian Islands.  This call for volunteers affords an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the faith that the Army has in their loyalty and fighting qualities. ”

“I believe the response to this call will be sincere and generous and that it will have the hearty support of the parents concerned and of the community as a whole.  The manner of response and the record these men establish as fighting soldiers will be one of the best answers to those who question the loyalty of American citizens of Japanese ancestry in Hawaii.”

photo of Lt. General Delos C. Emmons and Col. Richard Tongg, Jan. 1943

photo of Lt. General Delos C. Emmons & Col. Richard Tongg, Jan. 1943

On the Mainland, with over 110,000 Issei and Nisei living in “relocation camps”, the call for volunteers was via recruitment posters with words attributed to President Roosevelt (but drafted by War Department staff such as Elmer Davis) and the posters were supplemented by recruitment drives.

poster with Pres. Roosevelt's words on "Americanism"

image of poster with Pres. Roosevelt’s words on “Americanism”

 

Thereafter began the 442nd RCT story.

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