442 RCT/Nisei Veteran Events

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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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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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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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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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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CA State Senate Resolution honoring 75th Anniversary of 442nd RCT formation

To All 442nd Veterans, Families and Friends

On June 25, 2018, the California State Senate will be passing a resolution honoring the 75th anniversary of the formation of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The Go For Broke National Education Center wishes to extend an invitation to our veterans, families and friends in Hawaii in hopes that some can join us in Sacramento for this event.

Here is an informational letter on the event.

Download (PDF, 960KB)

For any questions and to attend, please contact Ms. Erin Sato of the Go For Broke NEC.

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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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Dedication of a Memorial Monument Inspired by the 442nd RCT (March 16, 2018)

Dedication of A Memorial Monument Inspired by the 442nd RCT
Contributed by S&D member Laura Hirayama

image of bronze plaque on black marble
On March 16¸ 2018 the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT held a ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl (Oahu) to dedicate a memorial monument for their fathers, uncles and friends of the 442nd RCT and all men and women who served our country in World War II.

A bronze plaque affixed onto a black granite stone was installed along the Memorial Walkway at the Cemetery with words that were inspired by the 442nd RCT:

With gratitude and pride we honor your courage and service in holding high the torch of freedom. Your enduring legacy lights the path for future generations.”

The 442nd RCT torch and “Go For Broke!” motto highlight the plaque for perpetuity.

About 35 people attended the ceremony¸ including 8 veterans who made their way up the Walkway like true dedicated soldiers. Sons & Daughters president Grace Tsubata Fujii opened the ceremony and Eileen Sakai¸ former Sons & Daughters president¸ spoke on keeping the 442nd RCT legacy alive in the present and the future. Judge Frances Wong gave the invocation¸ recognizing the fact that there were both Christian and Buddhist 442nd RCT veterans¸ and then gave a benediction that paid tribute to the spirit and legacy of the 442nd RCT veterans. Sandy Tsukiyama gave powerful renditions of the “Star Spangled Banner¸” “Hawai’i Pono’i¸” and “America the Beautiful” and Alan Miyamura moved the audience with “Amazing Grace” on his bagpipes. As lei were placed on the memorial monument¸ Stanton Haugen honored the soldiers of World War II with a haunting “Taps” on his bugle.

image of veterans at new monument 3.16.2018

Please go to see this new monument on the Memorial Walkway when you next stop at Punchbowl.

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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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Exhibit Announcement: Children’s Messages of Peace and MIS Veterans at the 100th Veterans Clubhouse

Announcement from the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans Club

An exhibit of Children’s Expressions of Peace from the Okinawa Prefectural Peace Memorial Museum is open from February 1 to March 5, 2018 at the 100th Inf Bn Veterans Clubhouse.

The exhibit will be open on weekdays only to March 5 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. It will be closed on weekends. Parking is at the Clubhouse or on the street.

The exhibit includes stunningly beautiful artwork, poetry and essays by students in Okinawa reflecting the reality of War on their homeland and their hopes for peace. This year, over 16 award winning pieces (all different from last year’s works) are on display.

Also on exhibit are profiles of three Military Intelligence Service WWII veterans with roots in Hawaii: Dr. Shinye Gima, the late Takejiro Higa and Herbert Yanamura. The displays on MIS veterans include personal photos, their memories of their wartime service and what life was like before and after the war.

There will also be showings of the 2017 documentary “Proof of Loyalty” about WWII veteran Kazuo Yamane. Mr. Yamane started off with the 100th but due to his Japanese language fluency, he was recruited for the MIS. The documentary provides one of the best historical timelines about the 100th Infantry Battalion as well as a fascinating look at Mr. Yamane’s exemplary military and civilian life. The film runs about an hour and please stop by no later than 12 noon if you’d like to see the movie so the Clubhouse can close by 1:00 pm.) For a detailed synopsis, please visit the film’s website at: https://proofofloyalty.com/

There is no admission fee for the exhibit.

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75th Anniversary Banquet “Diamond Jubilee” of the 100th Infantry Battalion

The Ebb Tides performing at the banquetThe Ebb Tides performing

The Sons and Daughters of the 442nd were well represented at the 100th Battalion’s 75th Anniversary Banquet, which was held on Sunday, July 23, 10am-2pm, at the Pomaikai Ballroom at Dole Cannery. We had two full tables – including officers Grace Fujii, Juanita Allen and Shirley Igarashi, and members Gwen and Clayton Fujie, Glenn and Edean Goya, Lynn Heirakuji, Phyllis Hironaka, Anita Nihei and Ken Akinaka. Wes Deguchi, representing the NVL, was also present. (Sorry if we missed anyone.) Also our guests Mr. and Mrs. King Lit Ching sat with us. He is the son of Hung Wai Ching, who in 1940 was part of the Hawaii Council for Interracial Unity that helped prepare the local Issei community for the impending war. King Lit is working with us, the S&D, to fundraise for Tom Coffman’s new book, How Hawaii Changed America.
S&D members Anita, Gail and GraceS&D members Anita, Gail and Grace

The banquet was wonderful – the 100th can sure do these events up right! They had all of the veterans march in as their names were called, there was a 75th Anniversary cake, and the entertainment was spectacular. During our meal, we were entertained by The Ebb Tides playing everything from Hawaiian to Japanese to swing music. Afterwards, a young performer in full traditional attire including white face makeup, did several Japanese dances. This was followed by his luring audience members up to dance – and the first one up was our own Gwen Fujie, followed quickly by Anita Nihei. Before it was all over, they had been joined by Grace Fujii and – Japan Consul General Misawa, Hawaii Governor Ige and Honolulu Mayor Caldwell. Clearly the best way ever to end the banquet. We truly hope that the 100th continues with a 76th Anniversary Banquet in 2018.

S&D members Gwen and AnitaS&D members Gwen and Anita

S&D member Gail with 100th Infantry Bn veteran Masaharu Saito and familyS&D member Gail with 100th Infantry Bn veteran Masaharu Saito and family

table favor for the banquettable centerpiece – cute

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Third Annual Wahiawa War Memorial Ceremony July 16, 2017

The Third Annual Wahiawa War Memorial Ceremony will be held on July 16 to commemorate the 21 Wahiawa veterans who gave their lives during World War II, and recognize their families for the sacrifices they made during the war. The event, which will begin at 4 p.m. at Wahiawa District Park in the Hale Okipa building, is free and open to the public. The history of the soldiers and community members who worked to build the first city swimming pool in 1949 also will be shared.

The Wahiawa veterans killed in action were:
Masaharu Endo
Chester Fukunaga
Robert Han
Harry Hayakawa
Himeo Hiratani
Kikuichiro Ikehara
William Irwin
Kumao Iwahiro
Robert Johnson
Kiichi Koda
Mitsuharu Kuboyama
Daniel Lim
Robert McEldowney
Weldon Simpson
Richard D. Suwa
Wesley B. Swain
Robert Sweet
Yoshio Tagami
Mitsuo Tanji
Kazuo Yamashita and
Jerry Yamauchi.

The ceremony will open with the Kapolei High School Marine Corps JROTC opening color guard, Ryugen Taiko Group and a special 21-gun salute. Guest speakers include representatives from veterans’ organizations and community groups to pay tribute to veterans from the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The event also will feature a performance by the Royal Hawaiian Band. The sponsoring Wahiawa Lions Club will have a wreath and the Wahiawa Rainbow Seniors will make lei for the families to present during the ceremony. Community organizations such as the Wahiawa Community and Business Association, the Wahiawa Nikkei Civic Association, the Wahiawa-­Whitmore Neighborhood Board and Wahiawa elected officials also will present lei during the ceremony. Members of the S&D of the 442nd RCT and of the 100th Infantry Battalion Descendants will be attending the ceremony and also will present lei.

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Support the “How Hawaii Changed America” project

Support the How Hawaii Changed America project

Aloha S&D members:

In our monthly meeting of 4 May, the members voted to support the work of Tom Coffman to publish a new book on the Hawaii AJA experience in WW2. Tom is the acclaimed author of deeply researched and powerfully written books on AJA history, particularly focused on pre- and post-WW2 Hawaii. This includes Catch a Wave (required reading in many high school and college courses), I Respectfully Dissent, a biography of Edward H. Nakamura, and How Hawaii Changed America, The Movement for Racial Equality 1939-1942.

Photo of Volume 1 courtesy of Tom Coffman

Photo courtesy of Tom Coffman

This latter book was intended as Volume 1, with Volume 2 to cover 1942 thru 1945. However, Duke University Press wants the new book to combine the full time period of the Hawaii AJA experience in WW2 (1939-1945) in one single book, along with a brief summation of the resulting impacts, such as statehood for Hawaii, expanded thinking on civil rights, immigration, etc.

Because Duke is a nationally prestigious press, this opens the door to spreading knowledge across the Nation of the profound impact Hawaii and our Nisei veterans have had on improving America for all its diverse citizens. Tom is dedicating the next twelve months to get it researched, written and delivered to Duke for publication and distribution.

As many of you know, Tom is an independent researcher/writer and documentary film producer who approaches history from the grassroots up. His work is distinguished by both depth and innovation. If we the S&D are to preserve and protect the 442nd legacy, we need to support the development of such in-depth history. For this purpose we have initiated a new special project, the “How Hawaii Changed America” project to conduct and manage fund-raising efforts to support the research, writing and publication of this book. The MIS Club and Nisei Veterans Legacy (NVL) have also agreed to support a fund-raising effort in their respective memberships.

Why should the S&D support this effort?
1. This book will contribute in a very big way to perpetuating the legacy of the 442nd RCT. It will tell the story of how the many ethnic divisions of Hawaii, and in particular the AJA community, responded to the crushing challenges they faced during the war years. In Tom’s own words:

This new book will breathe with the tensions and possibilities that swelled up through the war. The resulting transformation of Hawai’i from an overseas colony, ruled by a select few, to a robust multiracial state, takes on heightened meaning with the passage of time. Hawai’i has contributed to the passage of national civil rights legislation, liberalization of immigration laws, strengthening of the institutional safeguards of liberty, the increase of East-West exchange, the spread of democracy in Asia, and a general improvement of relationship between East and West, ironically between Japan and the United States.
For a time these developments merely seemed to be inevitable aspects of a great wave of progressive change. Today they stand out as signal lights against the rising storm of global tribalization, intolerance and fanaticism.

2. This story is only sketchily known in Hawaii and is unknown to our fellow Americans on the Mainland. We believe this will change the way history is understood. This is not an academic exercise. We cannot ignore the disquieting signs of a rising tide of intolerance eroding away the hard fought gains in racial equality, else the legacy of our fathers, grandfathers, uncles will cease to have meaning. Supporting the completion and publication of this book is a small task on our part, but with large benefits to preserving and protecting the legacy of the 442nd veterans and all Nisei veterans.

3. Fund-raising to support the research and writing of How Hawaii Changed America is in direct support of the following purposes of our new S&D nonprofit corporation:
• To further historical research into the contributions by the men of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and their descendants to our Nation, our Freedoms, and the indivisible unity of our People
• To educate the public concerning all aspects of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team

How much money do we need to raise, and how will it be spent?
• Tom has estimated that $35,000 will be needed for the costs of travel and research in archives on the Mainland, and monthly expenses during the next 12 months.
• The MIS Club and NVL will be assisting us in this fund-raising effort.
• Publication costs are not part of this fund-raising project. These costs will be handled by Duke University Press itself.

How can I help?
• You can send a donation by check to the Sons and Daughters of the 442nd RCT, and note on the check that it is for the How Hawaii Changed America fund. (You will be provided with a letter of appreciation and notification that your donation should be deductible as a charitable contribution on your income tax return for 2017.)
• Please mail your donation to:
Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT
Attn: Shirley Igarashi
933 Wiliwili St.
Honolulu, HI 96826
• The S&D will match your donation up to $200 per S&D member, adding more “bang for your buck,” up to a total of $5,000 of member donations.
• It would be most appreciated if you could send your donation by the end of this month (31 May).
• Please pass the word — tell your relatives and friends about this new book and the story it will tell of the Hawaii AJA WW2 experience and their contribution to a better America. Please encourage them to donate also.

Thank you.

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75th Anniversary Tour of France, July 2019

Plans for 75th Anniversary Tour of France, July 2019

Brian Yamamoto of Alaska will be leading and organizing stops on a 75th Anniversary Tour of France in July 2019. Brian and his wife Leslie were on the 2009 tour with Lawson Sakai of the 442nd RCT and Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans. Brian led a 2013 tour to Italy with 43 people and a 442nd veteran and also led a 2014 France tour with 65 people and two 442nd veterans. He is working with Nora Di Bievre on planning the 2019 trip. Nora was one of the guides for the 2014 France tour and also led the study group a year later with Stuart Hirai’s group.

Details for the 2019 tour are currently being worked out and the organizers expect an itinerary to be available in the first part of 2018. They are hoping to plan a “short 6 day tour” to encourage any veterans who may be thinking of joining. This shorter tour will only visit the Vosges and the celebrations there around Bastille Day, July 14, 2019. There will be a “long 13-14 day tour” which will visit Sospel and L’Escarene, eventually meeting up with the “short tour” in Bruyeres.

While in the Vosges, the group will visit all of the monuments which will include: 442nd RCT, Lost Battalion, Yohei Sagami Stele, Tomosu Hirahara Square, 3rd Infantry Division, 45th Infantry Division, Robert Booth, and the 405th FS. We will also visit the American Cemeteries at Epinal and Lorraine for wreath laying ceremonies. The group will place leis and flags at grave markers of the 100th/442nd soldiers buried there.

Sospel and L’Escarene are in the French Maritime Alps where the Nisei troops were after the bitter fighting in the Vosges. It became known as the “Champagne Campaign”. The long tour group will place a wreath at the plaque in Sospel where Larry Miura and Kenji Sugiwara were killed. We will spend a day in Sospel visiting with the locals during special ceremonies. The tour will spend a day in L’Escarene which is famous for the Christmas party the Nisei troops held for the children in 1944. When the tour visited in 2014, there were many adults who were children at that party.

The organizers will keep those interested informed of any developments for the tour periodically. They are expecting a large group for this historic occasion, so it would be a good idea to sign up early once the itinerary is available in 2018. There may be a limit for the tour of around 100 people.

If you have further questions, you can contact Brian Yamamoto at brianeyamamotodds@gmail.com or write him at: 2136 Airport Way #2 Fairbanks, AK 99701.

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