Bob Minoru Akimoto

Bob Minoru Akimoto, Private First Class, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 442nd RCT

Bob Minoru Akimoto was born on December 14, 1925, in Seattle, Washington, to Motokichi George and Niuko May (Yabuta) Akimoto.  He had one sister.  His parents arrived in Seattle from Fushiki, Toyama Prefecture in 1918.  Niuko became a U.S. citizen on December 28, 1953.

On August 16, 1942, Bob and his family were incarcerated at Minidoka WRA Center in Jerome County, Idaho, after being transferred from the Puyallup Fairgrounds Assembly Center in Tacoma.  While at Minidoka, he graduated from high school and signed his WWII Draft Registration card on December 28, 1943.  At the time he was 5’5-1/2”, 124 lbs.

Akimoto was released from Minidoka to enlist in the U.S. Army on July 19, 1944.  He was inducted on August 25 at Camp Douglas, Utah.  His parents were released to return home to Seattle on June 20, 1945.

Bob arrived in Europe as a replacement while the 442nd was in France during the Maritime Alps Campaign.  He then served with the 442nd in the Po Valley Campaign in Italy.  He was discharged at Fort Lewis, Washington, on November 2, 1946.

For his wartime service, Bob earned the Bronze Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge, and Combat Infantryman Badge.  On January 14, 2012, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and the Bronze Star Medal at a ceremony in Meany Hall, University of Washington, Seattle.

After the war, Bob attended the University of Washington and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

On August 31, 1958, he married Fusako Uyeda in Tacoma, Washington.  They raised a son and a daughter and settled in Seattle.  He worked for The Boeing Company and the U.S. Small Business Administration.  He retired in 1987.  A colleague wrote a memory of Bob, “He was always a gentleman, treating everyone with courtesy and respect…. He spoke highly of his wife and children … he had a nice sense of humor and was so pleasant.”  His hobbies included golf, photography, gardening, and watching the Washington Huskies and Seattle Mariners games.

Akimoto was a member of the Nisei Veterans Committee (NVC) of Seattle.

Bob Minoru Akimoto died on August 7, 2015, in Seattle.  He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.  He was buried at Evergreen Washelli Memorial Park in Seattle.

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