Steve Migdol

Author Archives: Steve Migdol

“Go For Broke” Nisei Soldiers Commemorative Stamp

The United States Postal Service, USPS, issued the “Go For Broke” Nisei Soldiers Commemorative Stamp honoring the legacy of Nisei Soldiers of World War II on Thursday, June 3, 2021 – the First Date of Issue (FDOI). The City of Los Angeles is the First City of Issue.  It has been a long journey for the Stamp Our Story Founders and their supporters, but the stamp is finally a reality!

Stamp Our Story was founded in 2005 by three Nisei women, all of whom were incarcerated during the war.  They are Californians, Fusa Takahashi, 93, Aiko O. King, 93, and the late Chizuko Ohira. Mrs. Takahashi’s husband, Kazuo, served in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS).  Mrs. Ohira’s husband, Ted, served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (442nd RCT) H Company, and hailed from Makaweli, Kaua`i.

“In the past, our founders have each expressed their wish that the stamp bring people and organizations together to remember and to honor what the Go For Broke (GFB) Soldiers accomplished, and to be reminded of their American legacy that impacts us all today,” said Stamp Our Story Co-Chair Wayne Osako who joined the campaign Founders in 2006. As children, Wayne’s parents were incarcerated in the Heart Mountain and Jerome incarceration camps even while relatives served in the 100th Battalion (100th Bn) and the 442nd RCT, MIS, and Women’s Army Corps (WAC).

The image on the stamp is veteran Shiroku “Whitey” Yamamoto, Antitank Company, from Hawai`i island.  Whitey is no longer with us, but seeing his image on this stamp fills our hearts with great aloha and pride.

Across the country, in Portland, Houston, Minidoka, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and more, special commemoration ceremonies took place.  Stamp Our Story – Hawai`i, in collaboration with USPS hosted a live-stream event from the 100th Battalion Veterans Clubhouse on June 4, 2021.  Dr. Lynn Heirakuji, NVL President and Co-Chair for the event served as emcee.  Eileen Veach, Hawai`i District Manager, USPS, Governor David Ige and First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, Major General Suzanne Vares-Lum, U.S. Army  (Ret.), Nisei veteran, Dr. Shinye Gima, MIS, and Rachel Radona, granddaughter of the late Masaharu Suzuki, Antitank Company, 442nd RCT, all spoke. 

To learn more on the evolution of Stamp Our Story, and for links to purchase stamps and to view recordings of the events that took place in Hawai`i and across the country, click here:  https://niseistamp.org

We are posting Certificates, Special Messages and Proclamations received here: 

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New Book: “Facing the Mountain”

Join Densho on May 11 for the official launch of Facing the Mountain, a new book about WWII Japanese American incarceration and the 442nd RCT by Daniel James Brown, NY Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat. The virtual event will feature a conversation between Brown and Densho Executive Director Tom Ikeda, who has conducted oral histories with many
of the men highlighted in the book. Facing the Mountain grew out of conversations Brown had with Ikeda in 2015.

Facing the Mountain is an unforgettable chronicle of wartime America and the battlefields of Europe. Based on Brown’s extensive interviews with the families of the protagonists as well as deep archival research, it portrays the kaleidoscopic journey of four Japanese American families and their sons. While some fought on battlefields as members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, others fought to defend the constitutional rights of a community. Regardless of where their battles played out, these individuals were exemplifying American patriotism under extreme duress by striving, resisting, standing on principle, and enduring.

Facing the Mountain by Daniel James Brown

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Member Submitted Photos

From time to time we receive submissions of photos from members and other people interested in the history of the 442nd. This page features some of those photos.


Below are photos submitted by Terry Okura from his father Hiroshi’s training with the 522nd. They are from Camp Shelby and from the Louisiana maneuvers.

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2020: A Year to Remember

2020 was certainly a memorable year for a number of reasons. Although several of our usual in-person events were canceled, postponed or held virtually, we as an organization still managed to accomplish so much this past year. Here are some of the highlights:

  • We designed and ordered cloth face masks with the 442nd torch logo, then began offering them for sale via word of mouth and email announcement. We provided free masks to 25 veterans, wives and widows.
  • We added new features to the website, including:
    • Online store to allow people to purchase logo items directly through our website in addition to mail order, which previously was the only purchase option.
    • Remembrances page which offers links to obituaries for recently passed veterans, as well as a list of all known AJA soldiers and non-AJA officers who give their lives during the war.
    • Transformed the former “unit organizational chart” into a searchable roster of all known soldiers of the 100th/442nd and affiliated units. This led to the creation of the “Soldier Bios Project” in which volunteers and/or family members research individual soldiers and write biographies, which will be posted online. Ultimately, the goal is to write bios for the 9000+ known soldiers.
  • We continued working on the Hamilton Library NARA archiving project. In a bit of fortuitous timing, just prior to the pandemic we were in the process of arranging for the volunteers of the project to receive copies of the Abbyy FineReader program used at the library in order to allow them to work on the OCR steps from home. The organization authorized the purchase of six copies of the program for the volunteers, and they were received the day after the island-wide lockdown began. Overall, the project is about 30% complete at this point, now 3 years in.
  • We helped fundraise to support a number of community and veteran-related organizations, including:
    • A $2500 donation to the newly-opened National Museum of the U.S. Army, which features an entire exhibit on the Nisei soldiers.
      • The Nisei veterans had been invited to attend a special preview in person, but due to the pandemic this was changed to a virtual event. We helped arrange for several veterans to view this special occasion.
    • A $500 donation to the 522B Club to be used for their donation in May to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust that the 522nd FAB encountered at Dachau in May 1945.
    • A $2000 donation ($1000 from individual members, $1000 from the organization) to the Hawaii Food Bank.
      • We had also sought volunteers to work at the food bank’s warehouse to lend a helping hand, but no volunteers came forward due to concerns about the pandemic.
  • We also supported the veterans and their families in a number of ways:
    • Organization members attended the funeral of Nancy Higa, wife of Masayuki Higa (Hqs Battery, 522nd FAB).
    • A member attended the 100th birthday celebration of Edy Hideyoshi Horikawa (M Co.) in Seattle, and we gifted Edy with a 442nd garrison cap, veteran’s shirt, and yarn lei.
    • Sent sympathy, get-well, and Christmas cards to veterans.
  • Member Jeff Morita helped 16 veterans apply for the French Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest medal for military and civil merits. Eight Nisei veterans were awarded the medal in 2020.
  • We continued the Okage Sama De JROTC awards even though the ceremonies themselves were cancelled due to the pandemic. Fourteen outstanding cadets from Oahu high schools received this prestigious award.
    • A parent wrote the following after her daughter received the award: “First and foremost, I would like to humbly thank your organization. My daughter is in the ROTC program at Kapolei High School recently received the Okage Sama De award. It was a very emotional feeling for myself and my family when I saw the medal she received. I had tears in my eyes and I was humbly proud. My grandfather’s brother was a part of the 442nd – Edward Shigeto Fuyumuro – and lost his life in 1944. We still visit him at Punchbowl regularly. I just wanted to thank you folks again for recognizing our daughter.”

The pandemic changed the way we do things, but as you can see, it didn’t stop us from our work in perpetuating the legacy of the Nisei soldiers. Their courage and heroism is still recognized by the people they helped over 75 years ago. Case in point: we received these greetings from Josiane and Bernard Hans of Bruyeres, France:
ALOHA dear friends 
We hope you are well.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2021 and good health. We wish that a better future arrives next year for more serenity.
Take good care of yourself.
Friendly thoughts from Bruyères
.”

Lastly, I’d like to leave you with some excellent words of wisdom shared by Louise (Fujioka) Liu, from her father, Pvt. Masao Fujioka (K Co., 442nd):      

“I have always been impressed by the quiet dignity that many 442nd veterans possessed. Many projected a good-natured feeling of respect, both self-respect and respect for other people. I once asked my dad why he seemed so generally good natured about everything.  He told me that in the war many of his friends had been shot and killed. He saw some as they were dying and saw some German soldiers die.  My dad was a replacement and did not expect to live and return to Hawaii.  After that, he said everything was “duck soup.” 

      After hearing that story, my own perspective on life changed. Whenever I was emotionally down about work or life, I’d think about what my dad said.  I thought about the things that he lived through, and I realized my little problems weren’t all that bad — everything is still “duck soup.”  It’s funny how someone can teach you an important life lesson just by sharing a little story with you.”

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Mystery Photos

From time to time, we receive photos with unknown soldiers in them. If you recognize any of these people, please let us know and we can attach the photos with their bios.

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Event Changes Due to COVID-19

As is the case with most public gatherings at the moment, several Nisei-related events are cancelled or postponed. Among them:

  • Our monthly meetings have gone virtual but remain on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30pm HST. All current members will receive an email link a few days before providing information on how to login and join by telephone or video.
  • The 77th Anniversary of the 442nd RCT Annual Banquet is postponed until 30 October 2021. Click here for more details.
  • Lastly, reposting a message from the National Veterans Association:

Dear Friends,
The National Veterans Network along with its Advisory Board is closely monitoring the changing situation and global effect of COVID-19. We hope our Veterans, veteran families, supporters and friends continue to stay safe and healthy during this challenging time.
Despite this time of uncertainty, we are inspired by the Japanese American World War II Nisei Soldiers who demonstrated perseverance, courage and strength in time of adversity. Please be rest assured the mission of NVN continues as we work with our partners to preserve, educate and advocate for the legacy of the Japanese American WWII Nisei Soldiers.  
In particular, we look forward to the opening of the National Museum of the United States Army this year when the Nisei Soldier exhibit and Army & Society exhibit will open to the public. Many of you supported the development of the Nisei Soldier exhibit with sponsorships, donations and in-kind support and for that, we are very thankful and grateful. As a result, these exhibits will be opened to a projected 750,000 visitors annually who will learn about the Nisei Soldier experience for the first time. As preparations are underway to open the Museum, we were most inspired when learning of the impact that exhibit’s war time Nisei objects had on a group of Museum professionals.
 

The exhibit objects are meaningful, powerful, and effective in presenting acomplex, multi-level story about heroism, sacrifice, and being American.

We are also getting ready to announce our Nisei Soldier Curriculum for elementary and middle schools that is a result of a close collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. With input from an amazing group of teachers from Washington DC, Virginia, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the final curriculum is near completion. It will be shared with teachers nationwide and we cannot wait to share it with you in the months to come.
With the Nisei Soldier spirit as our inspiration, NVN continues to make national impact and advance our mission because of all of you. We are grateful to all of you. Please stay safe and healthy. 

Sincerely, Christine Sato-Yamazaki Executive Director

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442nd RCT Annual Banquet

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team Annual Banquet has been rescheduled once again to Saturday, March 26, 2022.   It was originally planned for three different dates in 2021.  

 
When            Saturday, 26 March 2022 
Time             10:00am-1:00pm 
Where           Hale Ikena, Building 711, Morton Drive, Fort Shafter
Cost              tbd per person (WWII 442nd Veterans/spouses/widows complimentary)  
Note              There will be a slight increase over the 2020 cost of $39 due to a possible 2022 increase from Hale Ikena.  
 
Registration: Save the date for now – further information for registration will be sent in due time.
 
For planning purposes it would be really helpful to have a rough estimate of the number of attendees.  Could you please reply to this email address with a note as to whether your current expectation is that you will be attending, or will not be attending.  If it is likely you will be attending, the number of adults and children in your party would be helpful for the Banquet Planning team to know.   Please note:  If there are still Covid-19 issues that would make this date untenable, it will be rescheduled again.  

PROGRAM

  • 10:00am 442nd RCT logo item sales begin
  • 10:30am Veterans photo shoot
  • 10:50am Processional forms outside ballroom
  • 11:00am Processional enters ballroom
  • 11:15am Pledge of Allegiance, Star-Spangled BannerHawai’i Pono’i, Honoring the Fallen: A Moment of Silence, Invocation followed by opening of Hawaiian Luau Buffet 

DETAILS

  • Veteran photos. Please bring a framed photo of your Veteran(s). (8.5”x11” or smaller, please, due to space limitations) One family member will carry each photo in the Processional and place it on a table at the front of the ballroom. 
  • Processional. Will enter the ballroom in order of unit (Company or Battery). Veterans will lead their unit, as available. 
  • Questions. Contact Juanita Allen, (808) 840-0627.  
Map to Hale Ikena
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“Los Angeles City Limits”

Several months ago, a young man named Matteo Mengoni reached out to our organization with a fascinating photo and story. Matteo is a student at the University of Florence, Italy, and is from Mantignano-Ugnano, at the confluence of the rivers Arno and Greve.

The Bridge of Mantignano: “Los Angeles City Limits Aug ’44. Co. G 442.”

Matteo observed writing below the old bridge of Mantignano that reads “Los Angeles City Limits – Co. G 442, Aug ’44”. Curious about the story behind this, Matteo began doing some research and found that Company G of the 442nd made a crossing of the Arno at that time, led by PFC Joe M. Nishimoto, who was later awarded the Silver Star posthumously.

Matteo says that there are now plans to destroy this bridge, which has fallen into disuse and disrepair. He and his friend Maurizio are trying to educate their community on the history of that bridge in an effort to save it. To that end, he gave a presentation last April to during an event organized by his district’s municipality to celebrate the anniversary of the Liberation of Florence. The presentation can be viewed, in Italian, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGCkSGyRLig. He also provided a PDF of information and photos, which can be viewed here.

Grazie, Matteo, for writing to us, and for your work to preserve such incredible history!

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George Company Reunion – Saturday April 25, 2020

Aloha!! Everyone,

Yes, we are having another George Company and Friends Reunion for 2020. We will be having a luncheon buffet at the HAPPA RESTAURANT in Gardena, California (1641 W Redondo Beach Blvd #8, Gardena, CA 90247 )…adjacent to the New Gardena Hotel. Our luncheon will start at 11:00AM. The delicious buffet costs $50.00.

If you would like to relax and stay overnight at the New Gardena Hotel, a non-smoking single room is $99.00 and a non-smoking double is $108 plus 11.39% tax. Parking is free and a breakfast buffet is included in the cost. If you would like me to make your hotel reservations, please let me know and I will be glad to do that.

You will get to meet other sons and daughters and families from Hawaii, the mainland from 100th, 442nd and MIS. This event is a real fun get together.

If you have any questions, please call Ann Kabasawa at (808) 781-8540 or .

Hope to see all of you there!!!

With love and warmest aloha,

Ann Kabasawa

RSVP by April 15, 2020.

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2019: Year in Review

As we bid farewell to 2019 and look to what lies ahead in 2020, we’d like to take a moment to look back at what we accomplished in the past year.

In the Spring, the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd awarded our first-ever Okaga Sama De Award to Army JROTC students at the following high schools: Farrington, Kahuku, Kaimuki, Leilehua, McKinley, Mililani, Nanakuli, Punahou, Roosevelt, St. Louis, Waianae, and Waipahu.  The Commanding Officer of each of these programs chose a student who best represented the values of the Nisei soldiers of WWII, such as Sense of Duty, Responsibility, Sacrifice, Honor, Loyalty, Persistence, Quiet Endurance, Pride, and Sense of Shame. Each of the award recipients was given a certificate and a medal.

Speaking of medals, with the kind assistance of Jeff Morita, thirteen Nisei veterans were awarded France’s highest honor, the Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honor) for their service during WWII.  Six of the medals were awarded at a ceremony at the Hawai’i Convention Center on June 1st, and others were presented at private ceremonies and at the annual Christmas party. Award recipients include:

  • Yoshiyuki Joel FUJITA (HQ Co. 442)
  • Hayao George FURUKAWA (G.Co/442)
  • Ace Isao HANDA (Hq.Co, 3rd Bn/442)
  • Royce Eiko HIGA (A.Btry/522) 
  • Hidenobu HIYANE (Hq.Co/100); 
  • Akiyoshi KURIYAMA (Hq.Co/100)
  • Ikito MURAOKA (Med.Det/100)  
  • Katsuto Richard NAKAMURA (Antitank)
  • Takahashi NOMURA (Med 442)
  • George Kenichi OIDE (Hq.Btry/522) 
  • Clinton Ikuzo SHIRAISHI (Hq.Btry/522) 
  • Koichi TOKUSHIGE (A.Btry/522)
  • Paul Sanji WATANABE (232nd Engr Co/442) 

Sadly, we also said goodbye to several Nisei heroes in 2019.  Among those we lost are:

  • Hiroshi ARISUMI (442/232nd engineers)
  • Hiroshi KAKU (Anti-tank)
  • Noburo KAWAMOTO (HQ)
  • Shinkyo KUNIYOSHI (MIS)
  • Hajime MIYAMOTO (G Company, Med.Det/442)
  • Harold NAKASONE (Cannon Co.)
  • George NISHIMURA (MIS)
  • Tadayoshi SATO (A Co, 100th)
  • Kenny SHIMABUKURO (K Co 442)
  • William Yoshio THOMPSON (HQ 442)
  • Ralph Yasunobu TOMEI  (M Co 442)
  • Ted TSUKIYAMA (522/MIS/442)
  • Harold T. UEOKA (522)

May they all rest in peace.  If anyone was omitted, please contact us and we’ll add them.

Members of the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd participated in a number of remembrance ceremonies throughout the year, including presenting wreaths at the Mayor’s annual ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl and at the Joint Memorial Service at Punchbowl on 9/29/19.  

There were also several celebratory events in 2019, including the 76th Anniversary of the 442nd Luncheon that was held at Hale Ikena at Fort Shafter on March 16th, the 100th Battalion Anniversary that was held June 22nd at the 100th Battalion Clubhouse, the Nisei Veterans Summer Special that was held at the 100th Battalion Clubhouse on July 27th, and of course the annual Christmas party held at the 100th Battalion Clubhouse on December 7th.  There was also a mini-reunion held at the California Hotel in Las Vegas from September 29th to October 4th.

On April 20th, Mayor Yves Bonjean of Bruyères, France was welcomed along with his family at a luau held at the 100th Battalion Clubhouse.  As 2019 was the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruyères and other nearby towns, a reunion tour was undertaken by members of the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd, veteran Lawson Sakai, and others interested in seeing the areas where the Nisei veterans served.  From July 5th to 16th, participants traveled through France, from Nice to the Vosges, and were welcomed by the people of Bruyères and Biffontaine for liberation & Bastille Day celebrations.

Members of the Sons & Daughters also attended the Change of Command Ceremony for the Hawai’i National Guard’s 100th Battalion/442nd Infantry Regiment on September 14th at Fort Shafter Flats. At that ceremony, the Command passed from Lt. Col. Matthew L. Cloud to Lt. Col. Mark D. Andrews.

As education is an important part of our mission, Education Committee Chairman Bill Wright gave presentations at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio in Monterey, California, and at the headquarters of the Nike Corporation.  Following his presentation at Nike, the company kindly agreed to add the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd to their list of recipients for donations from their employee giving campaign.

Throughout the year, volunteers from the Sons & Daughters have continued working on the digitization project to upload all of the National Archives records pertinent to the Nisei experience to the University of Hawaii’s servers.  This will make the records accessible to people worldwide. The first step – scanning all of the documents – is complete. The second step – Optical Character Recognition or OCR – involves converting the image into text that can be searched, or read out loud by screen readers for people with visual impairments.  This step is very time-consuming as it frequently requires the volunteers to manually re-type entire documents, which can be hundreds of pages long. This step is about 22% complete (box 8 of 36). The last step is creating metadata from the documents – reading the documents, writing a summary of what’s inside along with the author, date, etc. – and creating a searchable table with this information – is about 28% complete (box 10 of 36).  If you’re interested in seeing what’s already uploaded, you may check it out here: https://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/58537

As you see, 2019 was a very productive year for us!  We look forward to what 2020 has in store for us.

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2019 Christmas Party

Please join us for our annual Christmas party on Saturday, December 7 at 11am, at the 100th Battalion Clubhouse, 520 Kamoku Street in Honolulu. Parking is available at Ala Wai School.

  • Adults – $20.00
  • Children Ages 4-11 – $10.00
  • ALL 100TH/442ND/MIS/1399 VETERANS, WIVES AND WIDOWS – FREE

LOTS OF ONOLICIOUS FOOD, GOOD FUN AND PRIZES FOR ALL!! You are welcome to bring a grab bag valued at no more than $10.00 for your child or grandchild.

We need a lot of volunteers to help. Donations are appreciated!! PLEASE COME WITH YOUR CANNED GOODS FOR THE HAWAII FOOD BANK!!

RSVP BY Friday, November 29, 2019. Click on the picture below to print form and mail back with your payment. Thanks!

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Letter from PFC Joe Egelhof in 1945

PFC Joe Egelhof

John Egelhof sent in a letter written by his father, PFC Joe Egelhof, while recovering from frozen feet in a field hospital during the Battle of the Bulge. PFC Egelhof was a BAR rifleman and paratrooper with Co. D, 517th Parachute Infantry Regimental Combat Team. In it, he speaks highly of the 442nd RCT. We present it here in abridged form. Thank you, John, for sending it in!

France, Jan. 29, 1945

Dear Win: Just a short letter as I am all “written out” from that book I wrote you last nite.  Ate one breakfast, two dinners and two suppers today. I certainly have a lot of fun swapping stories with the other boys here at the hospital. They are from armored, mechanized cavalry, line infantry, artillery and every other branch of the service, and many of us took part in the same missions…

…The esprit de corps among the parachute infantry troops is terrific. It goes without question that once a trooper gets into a fight all present must join in. Nevertheless, the fine art of bitching is also cultivated to an unbelievable degree, and it is commonplace to hear the most vicious of arguments going on between neighboring foxholes about an error in the division of 10 in 1 rations while the rest of the platoon cringes in anticipation of renewal of enemy mortar fire…

Everyone believes that he is being persecuted by everyone else and goes around with a perpetual look of pouting discontent. In order to keep the esprit de corps from developing into an overbearing attitude, we are continually reminded that the only difference between us and the regular infantry is that we go into battle via parachute. Nevertheless some of the boys have a determined attitude that there is something wrong with anyone who doesn’t jump out of a plane, which is a most inconvenient and perilous attitude as the disparity in numbers between the parachute troops and the rest of the world indicates.

However, they will conceive passionate adorations for other units which happen to impress them favorably. Our favorite outfit at this time is a certain armored division – I wish I could tell you its number because it is the best in the world. Before that we admired one of the all-Japanese outfits, who in addition to being the finest soldiers in the army are also the friendliest and most generous to stranded troops of other outfits. 

Well, they just brought in some hot chocolate to drink now so I guess I will quit to enjoy it. What a place! I wish the other fellows could have a few days apiece here – 

Love – Joe

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Join Us for the 14th Annual Joint Memorial Service

Joint Memorial Service – Sunday 9/29/19 at 9:30am at Punchbowl
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Bonne Fete Nationale!

photo
La Légion d’honneur medal conferment ceremony by the French government for six American Japanese veterans of World War II on June 1, 2019 was trés magnifique! The audience, Governor David Ige, Mrs. Dawn Amano-Ige, both, whose fathers served with the 100th Infantry Battalion, many members of the Consular Corps of Hawaii and a large contingent of family and friends of the veterans, was very pleased to witness the rare historic knighthood and medal pinning, by Consul General Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens of San Francisco, bestowed on our six courageous heroes seated on stage.

The new Chevaliers are:
Mr. Royce Eiko Higa, 98, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, A Battery, 
Mr. Hidenobu Hiyane, 100, Headquarters Company, 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate), 
Mr. George Kenichi Oide, 96, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, Headquarters Battery, 
Mr. Clinton Ikuzo Shiraishi, 98, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, Headquarters Battery, 
Mr. Koichi Harry Tokushige, 95, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, A Battery, 
Mr. Paul Sanji Watanabe, 97, 232nd Combat Engineer Company. 

We are very grateful for their good health and longevity!          

Inspiring speeches from Honorary Consul Guillaume Maman in Hawaii, Governor Ige and Consul General Lebrun-Damiens, highlighted the valor, sacrifice and honor of the six Chevaliers. 

With their superb organizational skills the following have made the celebration memorable, heartwarming and possible ~  Theresa Tilley Maman, emcee and lovely wife of Honorary Consul Maman, Lynn Heirakuji, committee chairwoman and retired Pentagon deputy assistant secretary, daughter of the late Walter Heirakuji, 442nd RCT veteran and Jeff Morita, retired US Army Sergeant First Class and GG-13 Department of the Army Civilian and a nephew of James Morita, 442nd RCT, F Company veteran. Jeff has personally taken up the mission to research, verify and submit nominations to the French government for veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442 Regimental Combat Team who were “boots on the ground” combat experienced in France to be awarded this coveted medal, which is France’s highest order of merit for military and civil service, established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. Mae Isonaga and Grace Tsubata Fujii were also committee planners.

Kevin Morita, choir director at Kapolei Middle School, son of Jeff Morita, performed beautiful ukulele prelude music.  The 100th/442 Color Guard presented the colors. Sandy Tsukiyama, daughter of the late Ted Tsukiyama, 522nd FAB/MIS veteran, performed a magnificent acapella rendition of the three anthems of La Marseillaise, The Star Spangled Banner and 
Hawai‘i Pono‘ï.  The Hawaii Convention Center was a beautiful blessed venue! The hosted reception was delicious and perfect!

Volunteer greeters, escorts and guides, mostly 100/442 descendants, were Phyllis Hironaka, Barbara Uno-Harada, Gayle (Nagata) Kawahakui, Jeanne Omaye, Byrnes Yamashita, Karl Okemura, Dane Sakaida, Laurie (Ishida) Oue, Mary Ann (Katahara) Tanabe, Bill Tam and 5 members of the US Army Pacific Command. Photographers were Ann (Nosaka) Kabasawa, Clyde Sugimoto, Pat Thomson and Mari Hughes, who recorded the event for the veterans, families and publication.

Guillaume and Theresa Maman are an amazing team! It’s always joyful to be in their company! Assisting them is fun, rewarding and not work at all.  If they ever said, “Stand in the middle of the street,” I’d have no questions.  

To Monsieur Lebrun-Damiens et Monsieur Maman, we are looking forward to another celebratory La Légion d’honneur medal conferment ceremony in anticipation of the next Nisei Chevalier approvals from France!  Vive La France et Merci Beaucoup!   

Proud to be a descendant and supporter of the WWII AJA Veterans
Grace Tsubata Fujii
Sons and Daughters of the 442nd Regimental Combat Tea m
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New iPhone App Shows Virtual Fort DeRussy Tour

A new app that shows a virtual tour of Fort DeRussy is available in the Apple App Store. Designed by LCDR Bradshaw, the app shows various landmarks within Fort DeRussy in Waikiki, including the Brothers in Valor Memorial. This monument honors the members of the 4 Japanese-American military units in WWII – 100th Battalion, 442nd RCT, MIS, and 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion. For now, it is only available for iPhone users. Click here to go to the app store or simply search the app store for “derussy”.

Screenshot from the app

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