442 Sons & Daughters Events-Meetings-News

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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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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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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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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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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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.

 

Download (PDF, 225KB)

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Assistance for One-Time “Free” Replacement of Military Awards & Decorations

PUBLIC SERVICE ASSISTANCE FOR A ONE-TIME “FREE” REPLACEMENT OF MILITARY AWARDS AND DECORATIONS

Veterans of the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion; 100th Infantry Battalion; 442nd Regimental Combat Team; Military Intelligence Service; and all other AJA World War II male/female veterans assigned to military unit(s) outside of the previously identified units.

Honor and perpetuate the AJA World War II Veteran’s legacy and request a one-time “gratuitous” replacement of his/her authorized military awards and decorations through the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), and the Awards and Decorations Branch (ADB), US Army Human Resources Command (USAHRC).

Jeff Morita, a retired US Army Sergeant First Class and GG-13, Department of the Army Civilian and member of the Sons & Daughters is pleased to offer his public service assistance for this not widely known “FREE” benefit program. The two (2) separate, yet loosely interlinked request programs are available to surviving veterans, or posthumously to their primary next-of-kin (NOK). US Army regulatory policy governing the military awards and decorations program is very explicit with regard to NOK eligibility and issuance of awards and decorations. Posthumous awards are issued only to the service member’s primary NOK starting sequentially with the surviving (but not remarried) spouse, eldest child, father or mother, eldest brother or sister, or eldest grandchild.

Previous requests have resulted in replacements of the following military awards and decorations:

– Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
– Silver Star Medal (SSM)
– Legion of Merit (LOM)
– * Bronze Star Medal (BSM)
– Purple Heart Medal (PHM)
– Army Good Conduct Medal (AGCM)
– American Defense Service Medal
– American Campaign Medal
– Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
– European-African-Middle Eastern (EAME) Campaign Medal
– World War II Victory Medal
– World War II Occupation Medal (with potential Germany or Japan bar)
– Army Meritorious Unit Commendation (ribbon)
– Presidential Unit Citation (ribbon) (previously known as the Distinguished Unit Badge)
– * Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB)
– * Combat Medical Badge (CMB)
– Expert; or Sharpshooter; or Marksman Badge (with appropriate qualification bar, e.g., carbine, rifle, machine gun, etc.)
– Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II (pin)
– Cold War Certificate
– Bronze “V” Device (affixed to service medal or ribbon for an award of heroism or valor other than meritorious service or achievement)
– Bronze Arrowhead (affixed to service medal or ribbon for amphibious assault landing, combat parachute jump, helicopter or combat glider landing)
– Bronze/Silver Campaign/Service Star (affixed to service medal or ribbon for subsequent award[s])
– Bronze/Silver Oak Leaf Cluster (affixed to service medal or ribbon for subsequent award[s])

* World War II veterans awarded the CIB or CMB are eligible to receive a BSM for World War II Service. Not many veterans, or their primary NOK, are aware of this policy extended only to eligible World War II veterans.

NOTE:  The NPRC request will engrave the full name of the veteran on the reverse of each verified DSC, SSM, LOM, BSM, PHM, or AGCM service medal.

For assistance with the process for a one-time “fee free” replacement of military awards and decorations, or for more information contact Jeff Morita at — jeff_kine_57@icloud.com

Examples of ADB, USAHRC results of Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart Medal certificates for Corporal Yoshio James Morita, F “Fox” Company, 2nd Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team (Jeff’s uncle). Official US Army certificates are not available through the NPRC request.

image1

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13th Annual Joint Memorial Service

The 13th Annual Joint Memorial Service (JMS), honoring Japanese American Soldiers in World War II, will be held at 9:30 am on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.

The theme for this celebration is: “Remembering their sacrifice by challenging ourselves.”

Tom Coffman, author of books on the history and political development of Hawai’i, will be our keynote speaker.

Nisei veterans and their personal care attendants who would like to arrange for transportation to attend this ceremony should call 949-7997 (Mon-Thu) by September 14, 2018.

We hope that all Nisei veterans who can join us will take advantage of this free service.

For further information about the JMS, please contact Larry Enomoto, (808) 255-8971, JMS Co-Chair.

JMS

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Volunteer Project between the S&D and the Archives & Manuscripts Dept of Hamilton Library, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Volunteer project between the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT and the Archives & Manuscripts Department of Hamilton Library, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Contributed by S&D member Jon Ishihara

Since August of last year, a dedicated group of Sons & Daughters members have been giving their time and effort each week for a volunteer project at Hamilton Library of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

image of Steve scanning documentsThe volunteer project is to digitize the holdings in the Archives & Manuscripts Department of Hamilton Library that were donated to the Library by the 442nd Veterans Club years back and which consists of thousands of documents from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and other material such as the memoirs of Love Company, 3rd Battalion. After digitization, the material will be available to all with Internet access via the Archives & Manuscripts Department’s web pages for perusal and research. Currently, the bulk of the material must be accessed in person by visiting Hamilton Library on the Manoa campus.

The results of this volunteer project will differ from 442nd Regimental Combat Team-related NARA documents currently available online via the Archives & Manuscripts Department and other websites such as the Japanese American Veterans Association (https://java.wildapricot.org/) and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team Legacy website (the442.org) in that the digitization by the Sons & Daughters and the Archives & Manuscripts Department involves creating files by use of optical character recognition (OCR) software that are searchable within the documents themselves. Additionally, the JAVA website and the442.org website each appears to have some of the same documents as the Archives & Manuscripts Department but also different documents in their respective collections. Therefore, it seems safe to state that all three collections are useful to those interested in information about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

image of Mae doing OCR work

In brief, this story has its roots in the work led by veterans such as Ted Tsukiyama in Hawaii and dedicated persons on the mainland to seek out material in the NARA collections (in Washington, D.C. and Maryland) related to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the incarceration of Japanese Americans and their Issei parents and family members after the Pearl Harbor attack, the Military Intelligence Service and the WWII period. Copies of the material compiled were donated to the University of Hawaii Library by the 442nd Veterans Club/442nd RCT Foundation where it resides in the Archives & Manuscripts Department.

Our S&D volunteers are re-scanning the thousands of documents to meet accessibility standards, are using OCR software to create the searchable files and are compiling the “metadata” on each document that will be used for identification and discovery. Scanning is the most straightforward task. The OCR step involves checking that each word in a document is correctly recognized by the OCR software and can mean retyping an entire document if the document is of too poor quality to be “read” by the software. Creating the metadata involves inputting a document title, author, date, etc. and also reading the entire document in order to summarize the contents in one or a few sentences. This is a time-consuming effort and to date, approximately 24 of 35 boxes of the NARA documents at the Archives & Manuscripts Department have been scanned. However, our S&D volunteers feel this project is a concrete way to help keep the legacy of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team alive into the future. Each of us is also learning much more about the 442nd RCT and the WWII period than we imagined prior to starting the project.

This is a true win-win situation as the goal of both the Sons & Daughters and Hamilton Library is to make this material related to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team publicly accessible online. The Sons & Daughters volunteers are the manpower and heart of this project and the Archives & Manuscripts Department provides the guidance, equipment and facilities for the digitization. Mahalo Nui Loa to our Sons & Daughters volunteers Juanita Wright Allen, Lynn Heirakuji, Jon Ishihara, Mae Isonaga, Gayle Kawahakui, Steve Migdol, Tracy Sakai, Caitlin Shishido, Laughlin Tanaka, Janice Trubitt and Bill Wright who each volunteer several hours per week for this large undertaking. Mahalo Nui Loa also to Leilani Dawson and the staff at the Archives & Manuscripts Department of Hamilton Library for the training and support of our volunteers. We look forward to seeing the material online.

image of Caitlin receiving a lei from Leilani in appreciation

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Thank you from the 75th Anniversary Banquet planning committee

Thank you from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team 75th Anniversary Banquet planning committee

Contributed by S&D member Mae Isonaga (and 442nd Legacy Center director)

Mahalo to the Sons and Daughters of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (S&D) for helping make the 442nd RCT’s 75th Anniversary Banquet, “Remembering – With Pride and Gratitude”, a success.  The monetary support and the hours of hard work by the S&D are greatly appreciated by the Banquet Committee.  The monetary donation helped pay registration and parking fees for veterans and their wives and for widows of veterans.  There were 47 veterans registered and 50 wives and widows.  Close to 600 people attended the March 18th, 2018 banquet at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.

Special mahalo to Gwen Fujie, who planned a wonderful program with many “chicken skin” moments.  She organized the heartfelt opening procession of the veterans followed by descendants of veterans carrying the 442nd guidons and photographs of veterans who are no longer with us, and the “Okage Sama De” portion of the program where descendants read snippets from letters, news pieces, reports and other material related to the actions of the 442nd.  There’s always so many moving parts to events like these and Gwen took time from her super busy schedule to contribute to the Banquet Committee in significant ways.  She arranged for the Army Band to play, invited exhibitors – the Survivors Support Group and Stacey Hayashi, ran ads on local station KIKU TV, and booked Howard Sugai and Tom Coffman on the news station KGMB “Sunrise” show with Billy V.  Gwen joined the Committee late into the planning, but despite this, her ideas and hard work made the program even better.  Her efforts are very much appreciated.

Mahalo to Juanita Wright Allen, who organized and performed the “Earl Finch Hula” with a group of excellent volunteer dancers.  It was a great way to honor Mr. Finch, who was dearly loved by “the boys.”  This hula should now be included in everyone’s music collection!

S&D President Grace Tsubata Fujii gave a “Special Mahalo” to the 442nd RCT and shared photos of the recently dedicated Memorial Monument at Punchbowl Cemetery.  Grace did a wonderful job, overcoming her untimely laryngitis!

Others who must be acknowledged: Anita Nihei for contacting the JR ROTC from Punahou, who exhibited their keen skills in the procession; Tyrone Tahara, Clayton Ito, Jon Ishihara, Shirley Igarashi, Gail Nishimura, Colleen Hirai, Laura Hirayama and Wayne Kuwata who helped with assembling the favors and name tags.  Tyrone, Clay, Jon, Wayne and Laughlin Tanaka helped with loading material in and out of the Sheraton.  Mahalo to all the descendants who were just awesome in “Okage Sama De.”  Geralyn and Willard Holck kept the procession orderly and helped with set up.  Also helping out were Claudie Deschaseaux Fisher and Francette Deschaseaux Valance, daughters of Monsieur Gerard Deschaseaux (France), who along with 442nd veteran Wilbert “Sandy” Holck, Cannon Co., established the Bruyeres/Honolulu Sister City relationship.  To Pat Murakami, Caitlin Shishido, Jayne Hirata and Drusilla and Stan Tanaka, Annie and Macky Catania and others who helped with numerous duties whose names I have neglected to mention here, mahalo to you!  And last, but not least, mahalo to the dynamic duo of Ann Kabasawa and Clyde Sugimoto, our fabulous photographers who faithfully bring their team of skilled photographers to 442nd events.  You guys are awesome!

image of dancers during the Earl Finch hula

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Las Vegas Mini-Reunion 2018 registration

The 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team/Military Intelligence Service/1399th Eng Construction Battalion Veterans & the Friends & Family of Nisei Veterans (FFNV) Las Vegas Mini-Reunion 2018

This year’s annual reunion hosted by the Friends & Family of Nisei Veterans (FFNV) will be held at the California Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in October. Some of us are again joining with Lawson Sakai’s FFNV group. It was so enjoyable and fun last year

Attend and you will be able to meet friends and families of the 100th, 442nd, MIS, 1399 and other friends from the West Coast and other areas. There will be a welcome banquet on Monday nite (15th) and and a farewell banquet luncheon on Wednesday (17th). We’ll as usual have our own Hospitality Room. We have several days of slot tournaments, shopping excursions and of course all the gambling you wish for.

A group tour is being organized from Hawaii for the dates of October 14 to October 19, 2018 (5 nights). See the Registration form below.

The payment deadline to join the tour is Tuesday, August 8th.

Any questions, call S&D member and tour organizer Ann Kabasawa at 781-8540 or e-mail at diverseinnov@gmail.com.
ALL ARE WELCOME TO COME AND HAVE FUN!!!!

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A Look Back at the 442nd RCT In Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary

A Look Back at the 442nd RCT

442 logoIn Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Establishment of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, we offer these selected facts and resources, many perhaps well known to you already with others less so, related to the brave and honorable men of the 442nd.  Any errors are inadvertent and the responsibility of the E-/web editor.

◊ U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall approves formation of Nisei combat team on January 1, 1943.  The combat team is formally authorized by President Roosevelt on Feb. 1.

◊ The call for volunteers is issued on January 28, 1943 by the War Department, with a proclamation in Hawaii and by posters, press and other means on the U.S. mainland and later by recruiting teams, and the 442nd is activated on February 1 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

◊ Volunteers for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in the Territory of Hawaii are given an aloha ceremony on March 28, 1943 at Iolani Palace while on the mainland, officers and enlisted men had already begun reporting to Camp Shelby in small groups and individually from February 1.

◊ We must not forget that many mainland Nisei of the 442nd volunteered from internment camps.  Read this series of articles by law professor Geoffrey R. Stone published in the Huffington Post in 2017: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/5a10b5e2e4b0e6450602eb9c (Part I), https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/it-can-happen-here-the-75th-anniversary-of-the-japanese_us_5a121186e4b023121e0e9439 (Part II) and https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/it-can-happen-here-the-75th-anniversary-of-the-japanese_us_5a135f12e4b05ec0ae8444e2 (Part II) (accessed 2.8.2018).

◊ Volunteers from Hawaii depart on April 4, 1943 for Camp Shelby, arriving 2,686 strong on April 13.

◊ The 442nd RCT begins basic training on May 10, 1943.

◊ The 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate), who had arrived at Camp Shelby in January 1943 from Camp McCoy (Wisconsin), leave Camp Shelby on August 11 and ship out for North Africa on August 21, 1943 where the Battalion joins the 34th Division.

◊ Basic training ends for the 442nd RCT on August 23, 1943 and platoon and company level training begins in October followed by battalion training in November.

◊ Ten officers and 165 enlisted men from the 442nd RCT are transferred to be replacements for the 100th Inf Bn in January 1944 with another 20 officers and 210 enlisted men transferred in February.

◊ The 442nd RCT is reviewed by Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall on March 4, 1944.

◊ Another 10 officers and 155 enlisted men are transferred to be replacements for the 100th Inf Bn in (month).

◊ The 442nd RCT (short one infantry battalion) leave Camp Shelby on April 22-23, 1944 and board Liberty ships on May 1.  On May 2 the 442nd ship out from Virginia via convoy for Naples, Italy.  The remainder of 1st Battalion stay at Camp Shelby to later become the 171st that trains replacement personnel for the 442nd for the duration of the war.

◊ The 442nd, minus most of 2nd Battalion whose ships had detoured to Oran (Algeria), arrive at Naples on May 28, 1944.  Most of 2nd Battalion join the rest of the 442nd, who were on the move, on June 17 near Tarquinia, Italy.

◊ The 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) becomes part of the 442nd RCT on June 11, 1944 and is redesignated the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry on Aug 10, 1944 (instead of being designated the 1st Battalion).

◊ The 442nd RCT enters combat on June 26, 1944 near Belvedere, Italy as part of the 34th Infantry Division.

◊ The Anti-Tank Company is detached from the 442nd from July 13-Oct 24, 1944 during which time the men become “glider troops.”

◊ The 442nd RCT take part in the Vosges Campaign (including the liberation of Bruyeres and Biffontaine) and the fighting to rescue the “Lost Battalion” in October and November 1944.

◊ The 100th is detached from the 442nd from Nov 10-28, 1944 and make their way to Menton in Southern France.

◊ The 442nd (less the 522nd FAB) help break the Gothic Line in the Po Valley Campaign in March 1945.

◊ The 522nd FAB is detached from the 442nd on March 15 and pursue German troops into Germany along with other American units.  The 522nd encounter those who had been held in Nazi death camps and sub-camps near Dachau.

◊ The war in Europe ends on May 8, 1945.  Men of the 442nd start being sent back to the U.S. and then on home to their families.

◊ Members of the 442nd RCT march to the White House Lawn on July 16, 1946 and the RCT is presented a seventh Presidential Unit Citation by President Truman.

◊ The 442nd RCT is deactivated in August 1946 but is reactivated in July 1947 as part of the Army Reserve.

◊ The Album, 442nd Combat Team 1943 created by the 442nd (includes photos of each company at Camp Shelby in 1943) and Americans: The Story of The 442d Combat Team by Orville C. Shirey are available online via Peter Wakamatsu’s website at https://www.the442.org/home.html (accessed 2.8.2018)

◊ A selection of photograph’s from the 442nd 10th Anniversary gathering courtesy of the family of Kazutoshi Fujino, Easy Co., is available on the S&D website at this link.

◊ An electronic copy of the 442nd 50th Anniversary booklet, Go For Broke 1943 * 1993 (accessed 2.8.2018), is available on the Densho website in two files at https://ddrstage.densho.org/media/ddr-csujad-1/ddr-csujad-1-207-mezzanine-acdcfc588a.pdf (first file) and at https://ddrstage.densho.org/media/ddr-csujad-1/ddr-csujad-1-207-mezzanine-acea0781ac.pdf
(second file) and an electronic copy of the picture booklet recapping the 50th Anniversary events is found at https://ddrstage.densho.org/media/ddr-csujad-1/ddr-csujad-1-195-mezzanine-0f028d0279.pdf (accessed 2.22.2018).

1995 Homecoming event at Camp Shelby https://ddrstage.densho.org/media/ddr-csujad-1/ddr-csujad-1-46-mezzanine-6e161c6818.pdf (accessed 2.22.2018)

◊ Select Unit Decorations (out of a total of 7)
General Orders awarding the 442nd RCT (less the 522 FAB) a Presidential Unit Citation: https://www.442.us.com/images/GO_34-442_less_522.pdf (accessed 2.7.2018)

General Orders for one of the two Presidential Unit Citations awarded to the 100th Inf Bn: https://www.442.us.com/images/GO_360-100_Oct_44_.pdf (accessed 2.7.2018)

Extract of General Orders awarding the 2nd Bn a Distinguished Unit Citation: (Japanese American Veterans Association file accessed 2.6.2018)

General Orders awarding the 3rd Bn a Presidential Unit Citation: https://www.442.us.com/images/GO_317-3rd_Bn.pdf (accessed 2.7.2018)

General Orders awarding Fox and Love Companies 3rd Bn a Presidential Unit Citation: (Japanese American Veterans Association file accessed 2.6.2018)

General Orders awarding the 232nd Engineers (with the 111th Engineer Combat Bn) a Presidential Unit Citation: https://www.442.us.com/images/GO_425-232_Eng.pdf (accessed 2.7.2018)

Resources
442nd Veterans Club website, https://www.442.us.com

Go For Broke National Education Center website, https://www.goforbroke.org/index.php

442nd Regimental Combat Team website, https://www.the442.org

Americans: The Story of The 442d Combat Team, Orville C. Shirey, 1946. (see link above)

University of Hawaii Japanese American Veterans Collection material, https://manoa.hawaii.edu/library/research/collections/archives/manuscript-collections/japanese-american-veterans-collection/

Boyhood To War: History and Anecdotes of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Dorothy Matsuo, 1992.

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This Time in 442nd RCT History (Mar 2018)

Selection of photos from the 442nd RCT 10th Anniversary events, 1953

These photos were made available courtesy of the family of the late Kazutoshi Fujino, Easy Company.

(double click on an image to see a larger size photo; you may also be able to right click on an image to save a copy to your device. apologies for the page layout that covers the right side of larger sized photos)

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2018 George Co. and Friends Reunion

2018 442nd George Company & Friends Reunion

Aloha!! Everyone,

Yes, we are having another George Company and Friends Reunion for 2018. This year our get together will take place in Alpine (near San Diego) at the beautiful Viejas Casino and Resort. Some of us will be going to Viejas to stay from Monday, the 23rd of April and checking out on the 26th. The actual dinner will be on Tuesday, the 24th and the hospitality luncheon at the Penthouse Suite will be on Wednesday, the 25th.

Please find attached the information about the George Co. and friends Reunion. Please let everyone know……we are looking for a time of talking story and having fun together!!!

Please be aware the deadline for rooms that we are holding at that special rate is March 22nd. Deadline for the banquet is April 1, 2018.

We hope that all of you folks can come!!! Bring your family and friends!!

If you have any questions, please call Ann Kabasawa at (808) 781-8540 or e-mail her at diverseinnov@gmail.com. Hope to see all of you there!!!

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