Chris Green

Author Archives: Chris Green

Veterans Day onboard the USS Missouri

USS Tsukiyama

November 11, 2013 – Honolulu, Hawaii. The Battleship Missouri Memorial hosted a ceremony to recognize the 70th Anniversary of the Nisei Veterans of World War II. The event was held on deck of the Missouri and was attended by veterans, families and friends.

Veteran Ted Tsukiyama, 442nd RCT and MIS, gave the following speech:

ANSWERING THE CALL

Pearl Harbor Attack

            7:55 a.m., December 7, 1941, that fateful moment in history when the first Japanese bombs rained down upon Pearl Harbor and drastically transformed the lives of everyone in Hawaii, and most particularly those of Japanese ancestry. No one who was here can ever forget that day. I remember it well.

I couldn’t sleep that unforgettable Sunday morning by the constant rumbling of thunder that would not cease. The sky above Pearl Harbor was black with smoke, punctuated by puffs of white aerial bursts. “They’re sure making this maneuver look real,” I thought. Turning on the radio, I heard the KGU announcer screaming, “Take cover! Get off the streets! We are being attacked by Japanese enemy planes. This is the real McCoy! Take cover!  Those words pierced my very core like a piece of shrapnel.

I heard but could not comprehend. I was assailed by swirling succession of feelings and passions. First I was stunned by utter surprise and shock. I was benumbed with disbelief and then denial….”this is just a bad dream, it can’t be really happening.” There was indignant condemnation…..”You stupid damned fools, don’t you know who you are attacking?”  Then strangely, there was a twinge of guilt and shame for being the same race as the enemy but quickly supplanted by a dark foreboding and concern for innocent people like my parents who had nothing to do with the bombing and for the suffering that was sure to follow. But the final and lasting emotion was anger, outrage and hatred for our attackers and a vow that “I’m going to get you bastards!”, feelings that would last and would not diminish for the rest of the war.

Meanwhile the radio announcer Webley Edwards was frantically calling for all soldiers, sailors and marines to report to their battle stations, when suddenly I heard him say “All members of the University ROTC, report to your campus unit immediately.” I jumped into my ROTC uniform and rushed up to the ROTC armory at the UH campus within the first hour of the attack. The several hundred ROTC cadets arriving on campus were greeted with the sight of ROTC staff Sgt. Ward and Sgt. Hogan feverishly inserting firing pins in the World War I vintage Springfield .03 caliber rifles and issuing us a clip of five bullets. It should be noted that 60% to 75% of the ROTC corps was made up of cadets of Japanese ancestry, yet throughout it all there was no registration or signups, no swearing in nor any kind of formality. No one questioned us. There was absolutely no hesitancy, doubts or distrust in mustering us in. We were ordinary ROTC cadets responding to the call to defend our country, just like any other American soldier or sailor reporting to their battle stations in time of war. I reported to my ROTC unit, Company B, lst Battalion commanded by Captain Nolle Smith, for which I served as First Sergeant.

Read more »

Comments Off on Veterans Day onboard the USS Missouri

Ceremony At Biffontaine

October 19, 2013 – Biffontaine, France

Over 300 gathered, including sons and daughters, family and friends of the 442, to celebrate the 69th anniversary of the liberation of the town of Biffontaine. The ceremony took place in the foothills of the Vosges Mountains, at the place call Terminal 6, where the battle of the Lost Battalion took place.

Mr. Valentin, Deputy Mayor of Biffontaine, gave the follow speech:

Dear officials,  Ladies and Gentlemen, My dear friends,

Today, the town of BIFFONTAINE, surrounded with the committee of Terminal No. 6,  is honored by your visit and thank you warmly. At the dawn of the 70th anniversary of the liberation, we are here to prove that forgetting does not exist between our two countries.

In this little area in the Vosges, humble as we are in front of that stone monument, we all bow before our heroes’ courage, in respect and silence.

Today we’re thinking of those young people who came from a beautiful faraway country and who gave their youth and life to our country. They sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Remembering that shows to their families and to you all, my friends, that their supreme sacrifice was not vain.

That sacrifice gave France back its place in the world and helped to fight against the murderous madness of Nazism.

In front of that monument, erected on a site where fierce fightings occurred, we must remember that Freedom is never fully achieved. It is still fragile and it is our duty, to all of us, from the youngest to the eldest, to ensure that freedom and peace remain.

Those thousands of dead people, whose memory will remain etched in our hearts, must be recognized as they should be and that memory must hang over our forests.

In order that our descendants can remember, it is up to us to pass on the History and to preach again and again for a lasting peace between all peoples.

A country must remember the past to build the future.

Before we temporarily leave each other, I’d like to pay my last respect to Jean BIANCHETTI who died on August 10th. He was, with George HENRY, the founder of the monument Terminal No. 6. I wish to express here my gratitude to his family.

I wish you all a great day in BIFFONTAINE.

 

Comments Off on Ceremony At Biffontaine

A “Very Special” Trip

442 Kashiwas in parade442 Genro Kashiwa pit stop

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Read more »

Comments Off on A “Very Special” Trip

Eric Saul on Solly Ganor and the Holocaust

solly

On September 5, 2013, Eric Saul wrote:

 

Dear Friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more »

Comments Off on Eric Saul on Solly Ganor and the Holocaust

442 Movie Night 2013

 

DSC_3937 (1024x678)

Honolulu- 100th Infantry Battalion Clubhouse. On Saturday, August 31, 2013, the Sons & Daughters of the 442 hosted a dinner and movie night.  Family and friends of the 100th, 442, MIS and 1399 were invited to attend. A documentary of the late Senator Inouye, “Journey to Washington”, was the feature presentation. It was a fun filled evening with lots of food and lots of opportunities to meet new and old acquaintances.

Click below to view photos of the event, compliments of Clyde Sugimoto and Pat Thompson.

Read more »

Comments Off on 442 Movie Night 2013

Partners in the Journey

442 Wives PilgrimageHere is an article from the Hawai‘i Herald’s special edition honoring the 70th Anniversary of the 442nd RCT. 

 

Photo of the Veterans and their wives with the city of Florence, Italy in background.

 

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

PARTNERS IN THE JOURNEY
A Very Special Journey for the Wives, Too

Karleen Chinen
The Hawai‘i Herald (March 15, 2013)

When we began our journey to Europe, my focus was on the veterans with whom I would be traveling for the next 20 days. This trip belonged to them. I was there to walk with them and record their memories and impressions.

But what moved me as we bussed from historic landmarks to tiny little towns where these men had fought a half-century ago as young men barely out of teens, was the impact the trip had on their wives. They were not disinterested tag-alongs on this journey. Not once did I hear any of the women say, “Yeah, yeah, you go with the boys. I’m going shopping.” Not once. These wives were active partners in this journey back in time and it turned out to be as meaningful for them as it was for their husbands.

Read more »

Comments Off on Partners in the Journey

Eric Saul Speaks To The Veterans

IMAG0587

Honolulu – August 4, 2013. Eric Saul, notable WWII military historian and advocate of the Nisei veterans spoke at a luncheon hosted by the MIS veteran’s organization. A crowd of about 80 veterans, family members and friends gathered for this special presentation. Here is a copy of Eric’s speech:

Nisei Soldier’s Legacy 

Speech by Eric Saul

You Japanese Americans had been part of the United States of America since 1885. This year marks the 128year anniversary of Japanese immigration.

            It has now been 72 years since the Japanese language school was founded at the Presidio of San Francisco in November 1941.  It has been 71 years since the 100th Infantry Battalion was created here in Hawai’i.  And it has been 70 years since the 442nd was created on February 1, 1943.

Many of your comrades have left us.  But your legacy of honor, duty and country lives on and will live on forever.  It will live on in the success of Japanese in America, and in the success of your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren…and forever.

Today, there are more than 700,000 Japanese Americans. This number is small and is only about one half of one percent of the U.S. population.

            Because of the size of your community, your story has often been overlooked or sometimes forgotten. Yet, your story is important and, in many ways, unique.

Your parents’ immigration to the United States was the first time in Japanese history that Japanese had ever been allowed to legally leave the country.

Read more »

Comments Off on Eric Saul Speaks To The Veterans

Go For Broke Bulletin – June 2013

The Go For Broke Bulletin is a quarterly publication of the 442nd Veterans Club.  Here is the latest publication: Volume 65, No. 3, April – June  2013.

Download (PDF, 1.57MB)

Comments Off on Go For Broke Bulletin – June 2013

Four Special Stones

442-Chappy young442 Chappy Kishaba VosgesHere is an article from the Hawai`i Herald’s special edition honoring the 70th Anniversary of the 442nd RCT.

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

Minoru “Chappy” Kishaba as an 18-year-old 442nd RCT volunteer — Photo Courtesy Kishaba family (left).  Chappy Kishaba at a ceremony in the forest outside of Biffontaine — Photo by Karleen C. Chinen (right).

FOUR SPECIAL STONES
Minoru Kishaba’s Story Reveals the Essence of the Nisei Soldier

Karleen Chinen
The Hawai‘i Herald (March 15, 2013)

From the outset of our journey, one of the veterans in our group, Lahaina-born Minoru Kishaba, had struck me as an especially warm and gentle man. As we traveled through Italy, “Chappy” — a nickname that was given to him by his buddies in Anti-Tank Company because he sometimes read passages from the Bible to them — often talked about how lonely and homesick he felt during the war. “It was a very lonely feeling, especially evening, after you dig your [fox]hole and sit down and rest.”

Chappy and I finally had a chance to talk at length in Biffontaine. We had stepped outside the tent that had been set up for the luncheon banquet. None of the buildings in the town could accommodate the nearly one thousand people who had converged on this small French town to commemorate its liberation 50 years earlier. Chappy and I went outside to take a break from the festivities and get some fresh air.

Read more »

Comments Off on Four Special Stones

Go For Broke Bulletin – March 2013

The Go For Broke Bulletin is a quarterly publication of the 442nd.  Here is the current publication: Volume 65, No. 2, January – March  2013.

Download (PDF, 999KB)

Comments Off on Go For Broke Bulletin – March 2013

*** 2012 Honor Roll ***

HonorRoll

In Memorium

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

Comments Off on *** 2012 Honor Roll ***

70th Anniversary Banquet

Honolulu- On Sunday, March 24, 2013, the 442nd’s 70th Anniversary Banquet was held at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Over 1,100 veterans, families and friends attended the celebration. From the start, the program revolved around the theme, “The Legacy Lives On”, honoring the veterans and sending a clear message: the story of the 442 will live on through the efforts of the next generation. The program also included a special tribute to the late Senator Daniel Inouye, with the keynote speech delivered by Irene Hirano Inouye.

Here are photos taken of the event, compliments of Clyde Sugimoto, Pat Thompson, Wayne Iha, Lowell Thom, Hal Ing, Terry Takaki, and Stan Oka. Click below to open. Read more »

Comments Off on 70th Anniversary Banquet

70th Anniversary Saturday Picnic Photos

Just Like the Old Days!!!!

Here are photos taken during the Saturday 70th Anniversary Picnic.

DSC_0237

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more »

Comments Off on 70th Anniversary Saturday Picnic Photos

70th Anniversary Remembrance Service

Fort DeRussy, Honolulu-  Saturday, March 23, 2013.

As part of the 70th Anniversary celebration of the 442nd RCT, veterans, honored guests, family and friends gathered at Fort DeRussy to hold a remembrance service to all those who served.

Click to view KITV news video

 

 

Comments Off on 70th Anniversary Remembrance Service

Special Tour on Monday, March 25th

70th ANNIVERSARY 442ND RCT CUSTOM CHARTER TOURS

For MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013

We are offering two tours.   All are welcome to join one or both tours.

The morning tour will be going to the USS Arizona Memorial.  You will be greeted and have an orientation, including a short documentary film.  A private boat will take you to the USS Arizona Memorial followed by a museum tour with Staff Historian Amanda Carona.  The pick up time will be 6:15am at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (behind Tapa Tower) and about 6:30am at the 100th Infantry Battalion Clubhouse.  This tour is for those who are not planning to go to the State Legislature where the veterans will be honored.  You will be dropped off at the Hilton or the Clubhouse after the tour.

The second tour will be a pick up at the Hilton (behind the Tapa Tower) or the Clubhouse around 10:00am and will take you to the State Legislature where the veterans will be honored.  After the ceremony, you will be picked up and driven through the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, and then taken on a rare and exclusive tour of the “Spirit of Go For Broke” a C-17 airplane at Hickam Air Force Base.  You will also have the privilege to go on a tour of the USS Missouri, at no charge.  Special arrangements have been made for our event participants.  You will  return to the 100th Clubhouse or the Hilton Hawaiian Village by around 6:15pm.

The tour is limited to 53 people.  We encourage you to sign up as soon as possible for this very special (exclusive to our group) tours at an amazing price.  Please call Ann Kabasawa at (808) 781-8540 or e-mail at diverseinnov@gmail.com.

Morning Tour Cost:  $20.00 per person.

Afternoon Tour Cost:  $30.00 per person.

Both Tours Cost:  $48.00 per person.

For those who want lunch there will be an additional cost of $8.00 and it includes bottled water.

Click Here for Application Form

Comments Off on Special Tour on Monday, March 25th