E-newsletter

The Way Ahead for the Sons & Daughters

The Way Ahead for the Sons & Daughters Part II and Supporting the Legacy of the 442nd RCT
By S&D officers, July 2017

In the March 2017 issue of the E-Newsletter we informed our members of the relationship of our chapter to our parent 442nd Veterans Club and the decision to form a non-profit Sons & Daughters organization in the event the Veterans Club was to fold and the chapter would also cease as an organization. This is a short summary of some key events since March.

First, after communications sent to all S&D members via email; two telephone conferences; and discussions at the April and May monthly meetings, the S&D chapter formed a separate, non-profit organization with the same name (only with the addition of “Inc.”) by adopting bylaws for the organization, filing articles of incorporation with the State of Hawaii, and applying for tax-exempt status to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Tax-exempt status has since been granted by the IRS to our organization via letter dated June 2, 2017.

Second, the 442nd Veterans Club is still in existence, with a potential substantial change to come. By a vote at a special meeting called by the Board of Directors of the Club on June 26, 2017, the Club members, by majority vote, approved the transfer of substantially all or part of its assets and liabilities to the 442nd Legacy Center, subject to the approval of the Board of Directors of the 442nd Legacy Center. As noted in the March E-Newsletter, the sole purpose of the Legacy Center is to plan and build (and operate) a legacy center dedicated to the 442nd RCT.

Third, the S&D chapter had requested in writing a postponement of the Veterans Club June 26, 2017 special meeting and vote for various reasons, including questioning the limited information provided to Veterans Club members prior to the special meeting and vote as well as to provide time to ensure that all eligible Club members were contacted, including eligible S&D members who inherited Club membership from their 442nd fathers. The special meeting was not postponed and the vote resulted in approval of the transfer of the Veterans Club’s assets and liabilities.

Fourth and in summary, the S&D chapter and non-profit organization will continue to support the 442nd Veterans Club and the 442nd Legacy Center. It is our fathers who were the 442nd RCT. We can do no less. Other sections of this E-Newsletter will feature a few of the activities the S&D are currently engaged in to uphold the 442nd RCT legacy.

The Way Ahead for the Sons & Daughters
March 2017
The Sons & Daughters of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was established as a chapter under the 442nd Veterans Club of Honolulu in May 1993. Nearly 25 years have gone by and our chapter is thriving, still supporting our beloved Veterans. But with each passing year the number of Veterans dwindles; all too soon they will be gone. But their valor and sacrifices must not fade — and herein lies the future for the 442nd Sons & Daughters – assuring the enduring legacy of the men of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

In the last two years the leadership of the Veterans Club has put into place a plan to transition to the coming era when Taps and a rifle volley have saluted the calling home of the last Veteran. Under this plan the Veterans Club has formed a new organization, the 442nd RCT Legacy Center, and announced that the 442nd Veterans Club will be retired and cease to exist. When this happens, all the chapters of the 442nd Veterans Club will also cease to exist, which includes our Sons & Daughters chapter.

But we each know in our heart and soul that the end of our current organization does not diminish, does not end, our responsibility, our obligation, our kuleana to keep the memory of our fathers, grandfathers, uncles . . . our ancestors, their legendary valor and valiant sacrifices shining bright, a beacon for the generations to come.

So after much discussion in the last few monthly meetings, we determined in February to work toward transitioning our Sons & Daughters chapter into an independent nonprofit Hawaii corporation. We will not disappear with the end of the 442nd Veterans Club, but will be reborn with the mission to preserve, perpetuate, and share the legacy of the men who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in World War II and forever changed our lives for the better – Okage Sama De.

Very soon we will be sending the proposed Bylaws of our new organization to the S&D members for review and a vote, the specifics of which are in final preparation. Please keep up with this important matter via this e-newsletter and the S&D emails we will be sending to the members.

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Nisei Veterans Memorial Center (Maui) and Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans (California)

Introducing/Reacquainting with the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center (NVMC) on Maui and the Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans (FFNV) of California

Maui Nisei Veterans Memorial Center
The next time you visit Maui, please take a few minutes to visit the Education Center at the Maui Nisei Veterans Memorial Center. It is at One Go For Broke Road, which is accessed from Kahului Beach Road as you head from Kahului towards Wailuku along Kahului harbor. Look for the building complex on the hill on the left side. The Education Center is the first building on the left as you approach the complex. Visitor parking is available just in front of the building. Admission is free.
NVMC Wall of Honor
Before you enter the building, you can peruse the Wall of Honor which lists the names of all Maui Nisei soldiers that lost their lives in combat in Europe during World War II. If you know someone on the Wall of Honor, the Education Center may have information on the Veteran. The Center also has stories about the Nisei Veterans who returned to Hawaii and their lives after the war.

The Center shows exhibits from time to time to help educate the general public about the Nisei soldiers. The Military Intelligence Service exhibit that on display at the U.S. Army Museum at Fort DeRussy (Oahu) just completed a showing at the Center. The Center also shows a short video that features the Nisei soldiers from Maui.

Before you go to the NVMC, check out their website: https://www.nvmc.org/. The mission of the Maui NMVC is to ignite human potential by inspiring people to find the hero in themselves through the legacy of the Nisei Veterans. Inspiring stuff.

Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans of California
The Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans (FFNV) mission is to preserve the proud accomplishments of the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) and to honor all veterans of the RCT. The FFNV activities include presentations by guest speakers on topics related to the RCT, Nisei veterans, and World War II; an annual membership meeting; periodic community events in the Alameda/Northern California area; etc. Their website can be found at ffnv.org and contact information is on the Contact Us link of the site for those wishing to learn more about the FFNV.

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This Time in 442nd History (Mar 2017)

This Time in 442nd RCT History
The following quote is one example of many where a commander of soldiers writes of the horribleness of war (the “plague of Mankind” refers to war). “My first wish is, to see this plague to Mankind banished from the Earth; & the Sons & daughters of this World employed in more pleasing & innocent amusements than in preparing implements, & exercising them for the destruction of the human race.” George Washington in a letter to his former aide-de-camp David Humphreys, 25 July 1785, written nearly 2 years after the end of the Revolutionary War.

The 442nd RCT and the Po Valley Campaign, April-May 1945
This is a synopsis of several written accounts of the Po Valley Campaign, links are provided below. The stories that are summarized are included as examples of the honor, bravery, sacrifice and above all the courage all of our soldiers of the 442nd RCT exhibited to prove their loyalty and to pave the way for all of us. The stories illustrate also the destruction that General Washington wrote about.

Private First Class Sadao S. Munemori had joined the 100th Infantry Battalion as a replacement from the 442nd prior to the 442nd arrival in Italy. Born in Los Angeles, he was 22 going on 23 in April 1945. In the advance to the Po Valley on 5 April, Pfc. Munemori of A Company took control of his squad after his squad leader fell wounded. Against enemy fire, he destroyed two enemy machine gun placements single handedly with grenades. When returning to his position and his men, a thrown enemy grenade hit his helmet and landed in a shell hole where two A Company men had sheltered. Pfc. Munemori dove to cover the grenade with his own body to smother the blast and saved the lives of two comrades. Pfc. Sadao S. Munemori was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.

Private Joe Hayashi of K Company, born in Salinas, led his squad on 22 April to take a steep hillside above Tendola, about 50 kilometers northwest of Pfc. Munemori’s heroism. Under fire from heavy machine guns, Pvt. Hayashi crawled forward to destroy the enemy position with a grenade attack. Pvt. Hayashi noticed elements of his platoon under fire from four additional enemy positions and again used a grenade to destroy the closest one. He then crawled to another enemy position, killing four of the enemy gunners and forcing the remaining to abandon position. As he attempted to pursue the enemy soldiers, he was hit by machine pistol fire. Private Joe Hayashi would become one of the last casualties of the war for the 442nd. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, which was upgraded to the Medal of Honor 56 years later.

One day before Pvt. Hayashi fell in battle, Second Lieutenant Daniel Inouye from Honolulu and E Company led his platoon in an all-out assault of a German stronghold. He took out one machine gun nest and was wounded in the stomach, though he did not realize it until his men reached his position. With the platoon still under fire, 2nd Lt. Inouye rushed forward and silenced a second machine gun position with grenades. While his men were attacking the third machine gun nest, 2nd Lt. Inouye had dragged himself toward it unseen. As he was about to throw a live grenade towards the machine gun, a rifle grenade shot by an enemy solder tore apart his right arm with his grenade still clutched in his useless hand. Using his good arm, he extracted the live grenade from his hand and destroyed the third machine gun. He then shot the surviving German gunners using his left arm, enduring the damage to his right arm and side. Second Lieutenant Daniel Inouye was just 20 years old. His actions earned him a Distinguished Service Cross which was upgraded to a Medal of Honor that Senator Inouye accepted in June of 2000.

Links to several written accounts of the Po Valley Campaign:
https://www.goforbroke.org/learn/history/combat_history/world_war_2/european_theater/north_apennines_campaigns.php
https://www.javadc.org/po_valley_campaign.htm
https://www.homeofheroes.com/moh/nisei/index8_italy.html
https://www.history.army.mil/brochures/po/72-33.htm

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S&D members march in 2016 Veterans Day Parade

Some of the S&D marching group before the parade
Sons & Daughters members march in 2016 Veterans Day Parade

On November 11, 2016 a group of Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT members and others community members marched with a group of descendants from the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans (Rural Chapter) in the annual Veterans Day Parade in Wahiawa.

Friday, November 11, 2016 was a bright and sunny day, resulting in our umbrellas being unnecessary and left in our cars. Sun screen, hats and dark glasses were more in order for the day. About a dozen members of the Sons and Daughters chapter walked in the annual Veterans Day parade up California Avenue, the main drag in the former plantation town of Wahiawa. We joined a group of descendants from the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans (Rural Chapter) at the invitation of president Stephen Saito, the Yonsei grandson of a Nisei veteran, Masaharu “Bull” Saito.

The Sons & Daughters group was coordinated by Grace Fujii, S&D Chapter President, and consisted of Bill Wright, Juanita Wright Allen, Laura Hirayama, Anita Nihei, her son Gavin and his friend Brant, Susan Yoshitomi, Laughlin Tanaka, Gail Nishimura and Byrnes Yamashita. Jeannie Ishikawa stopped by just before the start of the parade to say hello and to give us encouragement before heading off to march with her Neighborhood Board group.

We proudly carried the huge banner of the Sons & Daughters of the 442 RCT and a large poster created by S&D member Ron Takamoto, depicting the famous 442 RCT Liberty Torch with the words “GO FOR BROKE!” The tagline on the banner read “The Legacy Lives On.” Grace had a frame made of PVC pipe which made the banner very easy to carry. Our combined group was given the honor of being the 10th marching group and we gamely fell in line behind the Veterans of Foreign Wars caravan. The parade route was just a little over a mile long and slightly uphill in places. The street was lined with many people who cheered us on in a spirit of patriotism and gratitude for all of the veterans that have served our country over the years.

Besides its deep plantation roots, Wahiawa is also strongly influenced by nearby Schofield Barracks and there was a lot of spirited support for the marchers. Several members commented on how nice it was to meet the 100th Infantry Battalion descendants and expressed the desire to have more joint activities with them. Stay tuned for news of any upcoming joint activities.
Our combined marching group at Wahiawa District Park after the parade

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This Date in 442nd RCT History (Jan 2017)

photo of 442nd RCT volunteers taken 4.2.1943 in Aiea

442nd RCT volunteers in Aiea, April 2, 1943

The Call for Volunteers for the 442nd RCT, 74 Years Ago

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, our families in Hawai’i and the Mainland experienced arrests and internment; the classification of Japanese-American citizens as “enemy aliens” for military draft status; and many other prejudiced and unjustified actions and conditions.  On January 28, 1943, however, Lt. General Delos C. Emmons, military governor of Hawai’i, made the following announcement locally on behalf of the War Department:

“Once in a great while an opportunity presents itself to recognize an entire section of this community for their performance of duty.  All of the people of the Hawaiian Islands have contributed generously to our war effort.  Among these have been the Americans of Japanese descent.  Their role has not been an easy one.”

“Open to distrust because of their racial origin, and discriminated against in certain fields of the defense effort, they nevertheless have borne their burdens without complaint and have added materially to the strength of the Hawaiian area.  They have behaved themselves admirably under the most trying conditions, have bought great quantities of war bonds, and by the labor of their hands have added to the common defense.  Their representatives in the 100th Infantry Battalion, a combat unit now in training on the Mainland; the Varsity Victory Volunteers, and other men of Japanese extraction in our armed forces, have also established a fine record.”

“In view of these facts, and by the War Department authority, I have been designated to offer the Americans of Japanese ancestry an additional opportunity to serve their country.  This opportunity is in the form of voluntary combat service in the armed forces.  I have been directed to induct 1,500 of them as volunteers into the Army of the United States.  I am glad to make this statement to the Americans of Japanese extraction in the Hawaiian Islands.  This call for volunteers affords an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the faith that the Army has in their loyalty and fighting qualities. ”

“I believe the response to this call will be sincere and generous and that it will have the hearty support of the parents concerned and of the community as a whole.  The manner of response and the record these men establish as fighting soldiers will be one of the best answers to those who question the loyalty of American citizens of Japanese ancestry in Hawaii.”

photo of Lt. General Delos C. Emmons and Col. Richard Tongg, Jan. 1943

photo of Lt. General Delos C. Emmons & Col. Richard Tongg, Jan. 1943

On the Mainland, with over 110,000 Issei and Nisei living in “relocation camps”, the call for volunteers was via recruitment posters with words attributed to President Roosevelt (but drafted by War Department staff such as Elmer Davis) and the posters were supplemented by recruitment drives.

poster with Pres. Roosevelt's words on "Americanism"

image of poster with Pres. Roosevelt’s words on “Americanism”

 

Thereafter began the 442nd RCT story.

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11th Annual Joint Memorial Service

Distinguished guests and Barbara Tanabe, mistress of ceremony for this year's JMS

Distinguished guests and Barbara Tanabe, mistress of ceremony for this year’s JMS

11th Annual Joint Memorial Service – sponsored by the Nisei Veterans Legacy (NVLC)
The 11th Annual Joint Memorial Service (JMS) was held at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl on Sunday, September 25, 2016.

The JMS honors the soldiers who served in World War II in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service, and 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion. It is held annually on the last Sunday of September to commemorate September 29, 1943, the day that Shigeo “Joe” Takata of the 100th Infantry Battalion became the first AJA killed in action in World War II. This year’s service adopted the theme of the 75th anniversary commemoration of the bombing of Pearl Harbor: Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future.

The keynote speaker was attorney and former State Senator Matt Matsunaga, son of the late U.S. Senator Spark Matsunaga who served in both the 100th Infantry Battalion and the Military Intelligence Service. Matt described his father’s long-time efforts to establish the U.S. Institute of Peace, which was inspired primarily from his wartime experience.

Lynn Heirakuji, whose father Walter Heirakuji served in K Company of the 442nd RCT, was the event Chairperson and Barbara Tanabe, whose father Frank Tanabe served with the MIS, was the emcee. Mahalo to all the hardworking volunteers who made this event possible.

Next year’s JMS will be held on Sunday, September 24 and the NVLC is seeking a chairperson or co-chairpersons. Please contact Wes Deguchi at 722-4728 if you are able to serve and help continue this important legacy event to honor the Nisei soldiers of WWII.

The attendees at the JMS, including Gov. and Mrs. Ige and Admiral Harry Harris.

The attendees at the JMS, including Gov. and Mrs. Ige and Admiral Harry Harris.

To Watch the JMS on Oceanic Ch. 53

The 11th Annual JMS was filmed and will be shown on Oceanic Ch. 53 on these dates.
11/6/2016 at 6:30 pm
11/7/2016 at 08:00 am
11/9/2016 at 10:30 pm
11/13/2016 at 2:30 pm

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2016 S&D Family Christmas Party

2016 Sons and Daughters Family Christmas Party.
Photo of 442 veterans R. Kishinami, K. Ego and R. Nomura
The annual 442nd Sons & Daughters Family Christmas Party was held on Saturday, December 10, 2016 at the 100th Infantry Battalion Clubhouse with the attendance of a little over 100 individuals. It was an event filled with merriment and memories for all. We were honored by the presence of three 442nd RCT veterans – Kenji Ego, Robert Kishinami, and Richard Nomura. Ann Kabasawa continues to amaze everyone with her organizational skills in chairing this event for the past few decades. Her dedication and commitment to the organization should be applauded by us all.

Lunch included an array of dishes such as tossed salad, fruit salad, a variety of sushi, rice, noodles, spring rolls, curry stew, and sweet sour spareribs. Dessert was on display on another table, with a beautiful Christmas cake centerpiece surrounded by brownies, various kinds of mochi, cupcakes, and other home baked goodies.
the Christmas cake!

Following lunch, Gail Nishimura treated us with her challenging holiday games. I’m still figuring out whether I needed to pass the candy cane to the right or left? Next year, I need to remember to review my Christmas carols.

Santa made his grand appearance after the singing of songs with Ed Goto. Children were treated to candy sweets and Christmas gifts with a lot of “Ho Ho Hos”! It’s not Christmas without Santa and his elves (AKA Curtis Sakamoto and sons, Jason & Justin).

No one went home empty handed. During lunch and following our Santa visit, Ann called out everyone’s name to pick-up a grab bag gift, many generously donated by Carol and Mike Sullivan and much appreciated. In addition to the grab bag, several lucky people received donated gift cards before the ending of the event. If you want to join in the fun, plan to attend next year’s event. It will be posted on the 442nd Sons & Daughters website sometime in November 2017.
snowman drawing game
some of our Christmas party prize winners

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