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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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Fighting Two Wars AJA Veterans Tribute

Nisei Veterans gathered for official photo at AJA tribute luncheonBy Gail Nishimura, S&D

It was a very interesting afternoon.  To see and talk to many veterans and their families was really something that I will remember for a long time. There were so many people who came out to honor the veterans and the slide show that was playing in the background was an additional highlight.  It was nice to see my uncle’s picture when it popped up.  photo of slide show

Most of the veterans posed for the official picture, I think this was a big challenge for the photographers.  But the photo came out really nice!

photo of one of the group pictures

The mistress of ceremonies, Leslie Wilcox, kept the program moving smoothly. I was really impressed with the speakers, starting with Governor David Ige, followed by former Governor George Ariyoshi, and our keynote speaker Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., Commander, U.S. Pacific Command. When I first heard that Gov. Ariyoshi was with the MIS, I was really surprised.  Thought he was too young to be in the war! (Although he didn’t go into the service until 1944 and is about four years younger than my uncle, who was also in the MIS).

I enjoyed the speakers and each brought a slightly different perspective to how the war affected their families and their own lives.  Gov. Ige’s father was part of the 100th Infantry Battalion, already noted was Gov. Ariyoshi’s service in the MIS, and Admiral Harris’ mother was from Japan & he was raised in Tennessee. Seems that Gov. Ariyoshi and my uncle had the similar “notice” from Uncle Sam…one day my uncle was in 522B at Camp Shelby and the next day he was headed to Fort Snelling in Minnesota! Gov. Ariyoshi thought he was getting out of the service but was sent to Fort Snelling instead.  (Note: my uncle now lives in Tennessee!)

One of my tablemates at the tribute was a Leilehua grad like me and we were impressed with the Leilehua High School Honors Chorus – nice to see our alma mater represented! Good job!

Overall, I enjoyed the day, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. The speeches were inspiring and makes me want to try and be a better person and live up to what my parents tried to teach me as a person of Japanese ancestry.

Pearl Harbor 75th Fighting Two Wars luncheon-Dec5-inside photo

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11th Annual Joint Memorial Service

Distinguished guests and Barbara Tanabe, mistress of ceremony for this year's JMS

Distinguished guests and Barbara Tanabe, mistress of ceremony for this year’s JMS

11th Annual Joint Memorial Service – sponsored by the Nisei Veterans Legacy (NVLC)
The 11th Annual Joint Memorial Service (JMS) was held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl on Sunday, September 25, 2016.

The JMS honors the soldiers who served in World War II in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service, and 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion. It is held annually on the last Sunday of September to commemorate September 29, 1943, the day that Shigeo “Joe” Takata of the 100th Infantry Battalion became the first AJA killed in action in World War II. This year’s service adopted the theme of the 75th anniversary commemoration of the bombing of Pearl Harbor: Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future.

The keynote speaker was attorney and former State Senator Matt Matsunaga, son of the late U.S. Senator Spark Matsunaga who served in both the 100th Infantry Battalion and the Military Intelligence Service. Matt described his father’s long-time efforts to establish the U.S. Institute of Peace, which was inspired primarily from his wartime experience.

Lynn Heirakuji, whose father Walter Heirakuji served in K Company of the 442nd RCT, was the event Chairperson and Barbara Tanabe, whose father Frank Tanabe served with the MIS, was the emcee. Mahalo to all the hardworking volunteers who made this event possible.

Next year’s JMS will be held on Sunday, September 24 and the NVLC is seeking a chairperson or co-chairpersons. Please contact Wes Deguchi at 722-4728 if you are able to serve and help continue this important legacy event to honor the Nisei soldiers of WWII.

The attendees at the JMS, including Gov. and Mrs. Ige and Admiral Harry Harris.

The attendees at the JMS, including Gov. and Mrs. Ige and Admiral Harry Harris.

To Watch the JMS on Oceanic Ch. 53

The 11th Annual JMS was filmed and will be shown on Oceanic Ch. 53 on these dates.
11/6/2016 at 6:30 pm
11/7/2016 at 08:00 am
11/9/2016 at 10:30 pm
11/13/2016 at 2:30 pm

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2016 S&D Family Christmas Party

2016 Sons and Daughters Family Christmas Party.
Photo of 442 veterans R. Kishinami, K. Ego and R. Nomura
The annual 442nd Sons & Daughters Family Christmas Party was held on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at the 100th Infantry Battalion Clubhouse with the attendance of a little over 100 individuals. It was an event filled with merriment and memories for all. We were honored by the presence of three 442nd RCT veterans – Kenji Ego, Robert Kishinami, and Richard Nomura. Ann Kabasawa continues to amaze everyone with her organizational skills in chairing this event for the past few decades. Her dedication and commitment to the organization should be applauded by us all.

Lunch included an array of dishes such as tossed salad, fruit salad, a variety of sushi, rice, noodles, spring rolls, curry stew, and sweet sour spareribs. Dessert was on display on another table, with a beautiful Christmas cake centerpiece surrounded by brownies, various kinds of mochi, cupcakes, and other home baked goodies.
the Christmas cake!

Following lunch, Gail Nishimura treated us with her challenging holiday games. I’m still figuring out whether I needed to pass the candy cane to the right or left? Next year, I need to remember to review my Christmas carols.

Santa made his grand appearance after the singing of songs with Ed Goto. Children were treated to candy sweets and Christmas gifts with a lot of “Ho Ho Hos”! It’s not Christmas without Santa and his elves (AKA Curtis Sakamoto and sons, Jason & Justin).

No one went home empty handed. During lunch and following our Santa visit, Ann called out everyone’s name to pick-up a grab bag gift, many generously donated by Carol and Mike Sullivan and much appreciated. In addition to the grab bag, several lucky people received donated gift cards before the ending of the event. If you want to join in the fun, plan to attend next year’s event. It will be posted on the 442nd Sons & Daughters website sometime in November 2017.
snowman drawing game
some of our Christmas party prize winners

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

To All 442nd RCT Veterans’ Families
(updated 5 Nov 2018)

French Legion of Honor approved/ceremony pending (as of October 2018) for three (3) 100th Infantry Battalion veterans:

– AKIYAMA, Masao (deceased-February 2018); A.Co/100; Salt Lake City, Utah
– DOI, Yutaka Jim (deceased-May 2018); A.Co/100; Saratoga, California
– NIKAIDO, Tsuyoshi Thomas (95); D.Co/100; Honolulu, HI

S&D member Jeff Morita of Mililani is generously assisting any surviving veteran of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd RCT who served in France prior to May 8, 1945 to apply for the Legion of Honor, France’s highest decoration. Jeff’s public service applies to not only Hawaii, but to any surviving World War II AJA veteran located on the US Mainland, Alaska, overseas, and those who may have served with the same France criteria in other military units as well. The decoration is presented to those still living, although once the application has been received by the French government and French Knighthood is approved the decoration may be presented to the veteran’s immediate family should the veteran pass away. Currently, Jeff has submitted applications which are under review by the French government for the following veterans:

Sanji Paul Watanabe, 232nd Engr.Co/442nd, Honolulu
Yoshiyuki Joel Fujita, Hq.Co/442nd, Kaneohe
Kenneth Ray Higashi (South Dakota), D Co., 100th/442nd
Koichi Harry Tokushige, 522nd FAB A “Able” Battery, 442nd
Royce E. Higa, 522nd FAB A “Able” Battery, 442nd
Ikito Muraoka, Medical Detachment, 100th/442nd
Clinton I. Shiraishi, HQ, 522nd FAB, 442nd
George Hayao Furukawa, G Co., 442nd
Isao Ace Handa, Hq. 3rd Bn, 442nd
Hidenobu Hiyane, HQ, 100th/442nd
Akiyoshi Kuriyama, HQ, 100th/442nd
Stanley Toshiyuki Matsuura, L Co., 442nd
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
Takashi “Bolo” Shirakata, 206th AGFB/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, 100th & H Co, 442nd (corrected)

Jeff is currently working on applications or awaiting information from family members of several veterans who are potential LoH nominees.

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.

The French Government approved the French Legion of Honor and French Knighthood for the following 442nd Veterans, and each veteran/family has been presented with the honors. CONGRATULATIONS to the Veterans and their Families.

Legion of Honor medals awarded in 2018:
Charles Toyoji Ijima, 232nd Combat Engineer Co., 442nd (Oahu, HI)
Norman Noboru Kamada, F Co., 442nd (Rocklin, CA)
Kenneth Yoichi Sugai, G Co., 442nd (Oahu, HI)

Legion of Honor medals awarded in 2017:
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

Photo of Mr. Kenneth Sugai being awarded the French Legion of Honor, June 2018
Photo above: Mr. Guillaume Maman, French Honorary Consul in Hawaii, decorating Mr. Kenneth Yoichi Sugai (97), G “George” Company, 2nd Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team with the French Legion of Honor – Chevalier in June 2018 as his daughter Gwen looks on. Mr. Sugai was a Browning Automatic Rifleman (BAR) and wounded twice in the Vosges Mountains near Bruyeres, France during World War II. Jeff Morita who nominated Mr. Sugai offers his public service to any current surviving 100th/442nd veteran for this prestigious foreign honor.  Photo courtesy of Mrs. Theresa Maman.

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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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11th Annual Joint Memorial Service, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016

Veterans, Sons & Daughters, Granddaughters and Grandsons and Family and Friends –

The 11th Annual Joint Memorial Service (JMS) which is open to the public was held on Sunday, September 25, 2016, at 10 am at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The JMS is held to honor the Japanese American Soldiers who served in WWII, specifically, those in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Military Intelligence Service, and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion. Thirty-three thousand Japanese Americans served in the U.S. Armed Forces during WWII and 800 lost their lives fighting for this country, which had initially classified them as “enemy aliens.” The wartime service of the Nisei Veterans was instrumental in helping to shift the racial mood of the country toward Japanese Americans and lay the groundwork for the admission of Hawaii to the Union. Their exemplary service also opened the doors of social, economic and political opportunity for future generations.
Mr. Matt Matsunaga, son of the late Congressman and U.S. Senator, Spark Matsunaga, will be the keynote speaker at this event. The Royal Hawaiian Band will provide musical entertainment.

Thank you to All who joined Us on Sunday, September 25.

Download (PDF, 176KB)


Download (PDF, 129KB)


Download (PDF, 57KB)


Download (PDF, 24KB)

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Photos from Memorial Day services, 2016

442nd RCT Veterans and Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT took part again this year in Memorial Day services to honor and remember those who sacrificed for our country.

 

DSC_0890 (1024x682)

 

 

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Photos of the 442nd RCT 73rd Anniversary Banquet held on April 10, 2016 (3 of 3)

These are candids and a mix of the shots at this year’s banquet.

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Photos from the 442nd RCT 73rd Anniversary Banquet held on April 10, 2016 (2 of 3)

These are group photos.

NDF0136 (800x532) NDF0093 (800x532) DSC_9349 (800x531)

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Photos from the 442nd RCT 73rd Anniversary Banquet held on April 10, 2016 (1 of 3)

Thank you to all the photographers of the 442 S&D and friends.

This is the first of series of post with photographs – of a great banquet in honor of our fathers, uncles, grandfathers, heroes.

 

1 - program 2 - favors (534x800)

 

 

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International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 142 joins the 442 Sons & Daughters in support of HB600

ILWU Local 142 informed the 442nd Sons & Daughters on 4 April that they are adding their support for passing HB600, a Bill submitted to the Hawaii State Legislature 15 months ago.   This Bill will fix the current law that has the unintended, but real, effect of denying the right of a married/civil union couple to live together in the same Community Care Foster Family Home.  Couples that have their costs paid by taxpayers through the Medicaid program are not affected by the current wording of the law.  But couples who cannot qualify for taxpayer-funded Medicaid support are denied the right to live together, until they become so poor they need taxpayer support.  Fixing this injustice to our elderly Kupuna is the target of HB600.

442nd RCT veteran and ILWU pensioner Noboru and Elaine Kawamoto are the latest victims of this faulty law.  The problem was first encountered by a retired Hawaii State judge and his wife.  The Legislature corrected the law in 2009, but the fix was allowed to lapse.  HB600 should fix this problem once and for all.

For more details see

http://442sd.org/restore-elder-civil-rights-malama-pono-ke-kupuna/

 

 

More information on ILWU Local 142 can be seen at:

ILWU Local 142 An Injury to One is an Injury To All

http://www.ilwulocal142.org/blog/index.php

 

The ILWU Story in Hawaii

http://www.ilwu19.com/history/the_ilwu_story/organization_in_hawaii.htm

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Letter from the Sons & Daughters to our Senators and Representatives

On 14 March 2016, we the Sons &  Daughters hand delivered a letter to all the Hawaii State Senators and Representatives.  The letter requested their support for passage of HB600 so that our 100/442nd RCT veteran Noboru Kawamoto can be reunited with his wife Elaine.  One of these letters is presented on this page so you can read what we pleaded with our Legislators to make happen.

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Sons & Daughters join the battle to restore the civil rights of Noboru & Elaine Kawamoto so they can be reunited

Please see this page for information.

 

IMG_0428 (800x600)

Representative Tulsi Gabbard meets 100/442nd RCT veteran Noboru Kawamoto.

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FAQs about Noboru & Elaine Kawamoto Petition Drive – Passage of HB600

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