| 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
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.
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.
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.
For any questions and to attend, please contact Ms. Erin Sato of the Go For Broke NEC.
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 email@example.com.
ALL ARE WELCOME TO COME AND HAVE FUN!!!!
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: http://proofofloyalty.com/
There is no admission fee for the exhibit.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or write him at: 2136 Airport Way #2 Fairbanks, AK 99701.
It was a very interesting afternoon. To see and talk to many veterans and their families was really something that I will remember for a long time. There were so many people who came out to honor the veterans and the slide show that was playing in the background was an additional highlight. It was nice to see my uncle’s picture when it popped up.
Most of the veterans posed for the official picture, I think this was a big challenge for the photographers. But the photo came out really nice!
The mistress of ceremonies, Leslie Wilcox, kept the program moving smoothly. I was really impressed with the speakers, starting with Governor David Ige, followed by former Governor George Ariyoshi, and our keynote speaker Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., Commander, U.S. Pacific Command. When I first heard that Gov. Ariyoshi was with the MIS, I was really surprised. Thought he was too young to be in the war! (Although he didn’t go into the service until 1944 and is about four years younger than my uncle, who was also in the MIS).
I enjoyed the speakers and each brought a slightly different perspective to how the war affected their families and their own lives. Gov. Ige’s father was part of the 100th Infantry Battalion, already noted was Gov. Ariyoshi’s service in the MIS, and Admiral Harris’ mother was from Japan & he was raised in Tennessee. Seems that Gov. Ariyoshi and my uncle had the similar “notice” from Uncle Sam…one day my uncle was in 522B at Camp Shelby and the next day he was headed to Fort Snelling in Minnesota! Gov. Ariyoshi thought he was getting out of the service but was sent to Fort Snelling instead. (Note: my uncle now lives in Tennessee!)
One of my tablemates at the tribute was a Leilehua grad like me and we were impressed with the Leilehua High School Honors Chorus – nice to see our alma mater represented! Good job!
Overall, I enjoyed the day, seeing old friends and meeting new ones. The speeches were inspiring and makes me want to try and be a better person and live up to what my parents tried to teach me as a person of Japanese ancestry.
Veterans, Sons & Daughters, Granddaughters and Grandsons and Family and Friends –
The 11th Annual Joint Memorial Service (JMS) which is open to the public was held on Sunday, September 25, 2016, at 10 am at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The JMS is held to honor the Japanese American Soldiers who served in WWII, specifically, those in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Military Intelligence Service, and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion. Thirty-three thousand Japanese Americans served in the U.S. Armed Forces during WWII and 800 lost their lives fighting for this country, which had initially classified them as “enemy aliens.” The wartime service of the Nisei Veterans was instrumental in helping to shift the racial mood of the country toward Japanese Americans and lay the groundwork for the admission of Hawaii to the Union. Their exemplary service also opened the doors of social, economic and political opportunity for future generations.
Mr. Matt Matsunaga, son of the late Congressman and U.S. Senator, Spark Matsunaga, will be the keynote speaker at this event. The Royal Hawaiian Band will provide musical entertainment.
Thank you to All who joined Us on Sunday, September 25.