Steve Migdol

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Bonne Fete Nationale!

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

To All 442nd RCT Veterans’ Families
(updated 4 May 2019)

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 military & civil 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.

The following veterans have been awarded their Légion d’honneur decorations:

AKIYAMA, Masao (A.Co/100); Salt Lake City, Utah
DOI, Yutaka Jim (A.Co/100); Saratoga, California
KURIYAMA, Akiyoshi (Hq.Co/100); Kailua — conferred Apr 28
FURUKAWA, Hayao George (G.Co/442); Honolulu — conferred April 19
NIKAIDO, Tsuyoshi Thomas (D.Co/100); Honolulu

April 19 — Mr. Hayao George Furukawa (95), Private First Class, G “George” Company, 2nd Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

April 28 — Mr. Akiyoshi Kuriyama (103), Staff Sergeant, Headquarters Company, 100th Infantry Battalion.

The following veterans have been approved as French Chevaliers (Knights) as of April 3, 2019:

FUJITA, Yoshiyuki Joel (Hq.Co/442); Kaneohe
HANDA, Isao Ace (Hq.Co 3rd Bn/442); Fremont, California
HIGA, Royce Eiko (A.Btry/522); Honolulu
HIYANE, Hidenobu (Hq.Co/100); Pearl City
MURAOKA, Ikito (Med.Det/100); Lihue
OIDE, George Kenichi (Hq.Btry/522); Honolulu
SHIRAISHI, Clinton Ikuzo (Hq.Btry/522); Lihue
TOKUSHIGE, Koichi Harry (A.Btry/522); Honolulu
WATANABE, Paul Sanji (232nd Engr.Co/442); Honolulu

Currently, Jeff has submitted applications which are under review by the French government for the following veterans:


Takashi Aragaki, I Co., 442nd (owned Sputnik’s Restaurant in Hilo)
Hiromi Fujimura, B Co, 100th & H Co, 442nd (corrected)
Kenneth Ray Higashi (South Dakota), D Co., 100th/442nd
Masatsu Kawamoto, I Co., 442nd (lives in Hawi)
Don Matsuda, A Co., 100th (former Club 100 President)
Stanley Toshiyuki Matsuura, L Co., 442nd
Hajime Miyamoto, Med. Detachment, Hq., 442nd
Hideo Nakayama, L Co., 442nd
Seichi Joseph Oshiro, L Co., 442nd
Shigeru Oshita, Hq. Co., 100th/442nd (passed away after application was filed)
Kenny M. Shimabukuro, K Co., 442nd
Takashi “Bolo” Shirakata, 206th AGFB/442nd
Minoru Tamashiro, Hq. 3rd Bn, 442nd
William Yoshio Thompson, Hq. 3rd Bn, 442nd
Harold Watase, I Co., 442nd

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

DOI, Jimmy (94) (G.Co/442); Decatur, Georgia
NAKASONE, Harold Seisuke (98) (Cannon.Co/442); Honolulu
NOMURA, Katsuto Richard (96) (Anti-Tank.Co/442); Waipahu

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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Remembering Ted Tsukiyama

Ted Tsukiyama during his VVV days

Friends, family and the community celebrated the life of Mr. Ted Tsukiyama on March 23, 2019. He was born in Honolulu on December 13, 1920, then went with his mother and sister to his mother’s home of Kagawa, Japan at the age of 4 or 5, returning to Kaimuki about a year later.

He graduated from Roosevelt High School, then went to the University of Hawaii. At UH, he was an ROTC cadet until just after the Pearl Harbor attack, at which time Japanese-Americans were dismissed. He joined the Varsity Victory Volunteers, then the 442nd Regimental Combat Team when it was formed. He later transferred into the Military Intelligence Service, where he served as an interpreter in Burma.

After the war, he was the first Japanese-American to attend Yale Law School, and became an attorney in Honolulu. He played an important role in preserving the history of the 442nd RCT and recorded his memoirs in his book “My Life’s Journey: A Memoir.” He and his wife Fuku had 3 children – Sandy, Paul and Tim.

He was laid to rest at Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery on March 25, 2019. Videos of the celebration of life and inurnment are available on YouTube.

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Join Us for the 442nd RCT 76th Anniversary Luncheon, Saturday March 16th

442nd Regimental Combat Team
76th Anniversary Luncheon
March 16, 2019 ~ Saturday
Hale Ikena, Fort Shafter, Honolulu

*10:30 AM – Veterans Group Photograph
11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

100th/442nd/MIS/1399th Nisei Veterans, Wives and Widows will be Guests; No charge

• All Others $37.00

• Deadline to submit payment & registration – Monday, March 1, 2019

There will be 442nd Go For Broke Logo Souvenir Sales

Need a ride? Call Claire, at 949-7997

Make checks payable to 442nd Legacy Center (note “76th luncheon” on your check).

Send with Completed 2 page Attached Registration Form to:

442nd Legacy Center
933 Wiliwili Street
Honolulu, HI 96826

If you have any questions, please contact the 442 Clubhouse at 949-7997,

or Mae Isonaga at 222-5680.

Note:  Hale Ikena capacity is limited therefore please submit registration with payment as soon as possible.

 

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