Other RCT Veteran Related 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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Mystery Photos

From time to time, we receive photos with unknown soldiers in them. If you recognize any of these people, please let us know and we can attach the photos with their bios.

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Event Changes Due to COVID-19

As is the case with most public gatherings at the moment, several Nisei-related events are cancelled or postponed. Among them:

  • Our monthly meetings have gone virtual but remain on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30pm HST. All current members will receive an email link a few days before providing information on how to login and join by telephone or video.
  • The 77th Anniversary of the 442nd RCT Annual Banquet is postponed until 22 May 2021. Click here for more details.
  • Lastly, reposting a message from the National Veterans Association:

Dear Friends,
The National Veterans Network along with its Advisory Board is closely monitoring the changing situation and global effect of COVID-19. We hope our Veterans, veteran families, supporters and friends continue to stay safe and healthy during this challenging time.
Despite this time of uncertainty, we are inspired by the Japanese American World War II Nisei Soldiers who demonstrated perseverance, courage and strength in time of adversity. Please be rest assured the mission of NVN continues as we work with our partners to preserve, educate and advocate for the legacy of the Japanese American WWII Nisei Soldiers.  
In particular, we look forward to the opening of the National Museum of the United States Army this year when the Nisei Soldier exhibit and Army & Society exhibit will open to the public. Many of you supported the development of the Nisei Soldier exhibit with sponsorships, donations and in-kind support and for that, we are very thankful and grateful. As a result, these exhibits will be opened to a projected 750,000 visitors annually who will learn about the Nisei Soldier experience for the first time. As preparations are underway to open the Museum, we were most inspired when learning of the impact that exhibit’s war time Nisei objects had on a group of Museum professionals.
 

The exhibit objects are meaningful, powerful, and effective in presenting acomplex, multi-level story about heroism, sacrifice, and being American.

We are also getting ready to announce our Nisei Soldier Curriculum for elementary and middle schools that is a result of a close collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. With input from an amazing group of teachers from Washington DC, Virginia, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the final curriculum is near completion. It will be shared with teachers nationwide and we cannot wait to share it with you in the months to come.
With the Nisei Soldier spirit as our inspiration, NVN continues to make national impact and advance our mission because of all of you. We are grateful to all of you. Please stay safe and healthy. 

Sincerely, Christine Sato-Yamazaki Executive Director

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“Los Angeles City Limits”

Several months ago, a young man named Matteo Mengoni reached out to our organization with a fascinating photo and story. Matteo is a student at the University of Florence, Italy, and is from Mantignano-Ugnano, at the confluence of the rivers Arno and Greve.

The Bridge of Mantignano: “Los Angeles City Limits Aug ’44. Co. G 442.”

Matteo observed writing below the old bridge of Mantignano that reads “Los Angeles City Limits – Co. G 442, Aug ’44”. Curious about the story behind this, Matteo began doing some research and found that Company G of the 442nd made a crossing of the Arno at that time, led by PFC Joe M. Nishimoto, who was later awarded the Silver Star posthumously.

Matteo says that there are now plans to destroy this bridge, which has fallen into disuse and disrepair. He and his friend Maurizio are trying to educate their community on the history of that bridge in an effort to save it. To that end, he gave a presentation last April to during an event organized by his district’s municipality to celebrate the anniversary of the Liberation of Florence. The presentation can be viewed, in Italian, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGCkSGyRLig. He also provided a PDF of information and photos, which can be viewed here.

Grazie, Matteo, for writing to us, and for your work to preserve such incredible history!

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George Company Reunion – Saturday April 25, 2020

Aloha!! Everyone,

Yes, we are having another George Company and Friends Reunion for 2020. We will be having a luncheon buffet at the HAPPA RESTAURANT in Gardena, California (1641 W Redondo Beach Blvd #8, Gardena, CA 90247 )…adjacent to the New Gardena Hotel. Our luncheon will start at 11:00AM. The delicious buffet costs $50.00.

If you would like to relax and stay overnight at the New Gardena Hotel, a non-smoking single room is $99.00 and a non-smoking double is $108 plus 11.39% tax. Parking is free and a breakfast buffet is included in the cost. If you would like me to make your hotel reservations, please let me know and I will be glad to do that.

You will get to meet other sons and daughters and families from Hawaii, the mainland from 100th, 442nd and MIS. This event is a real fun get together.

If you have any questions, please call Ann Kabasawa at (808) 781-8540 or .

Hope to see all of you there!!!

With love and warmest aloha,

Ann Kabasawa

RSVP by April 15, 2020.

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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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Letter from PFC Joe Egelhof in 1945

PFC Joe Egelhof

John Egelhof sent in a letter written by his father, PFC Joe Egelhof, while recovering from frozen feet in a field hospital during the Battle of the Bulge. PFC Egelhof was a BAR rifleman and paratrooper with Co. D, 517th Parachute Infantry Regimental Combat Team. In it, he speaks highly of the 442nd RCT. We present it here in abridged form. Thank you, John, for sending it in!

France, Jan. 29, 1945

Dear Win: Just a short letter as I am all “written out” from that book I wrote you last nite.  Ate one breakfast, two dinners and two suppers today. I certainly have a lot of fun swapping stories with the other boys here at the hospital. They are from armored, mechanized cavalry, line infantry, artillery and every other branch of the service, and many of us took part in the same missions…

…The esprit de corps among the parachute infantry troops is terrific. It goes without question that once a trooper gets into a fight all present must join in. Nevertheless, the fine art of bitching is also cultivated to an unbelievable degree, and it is commonplace to hear the most vicious of arguments going on between neighboring foxholes about an error in the division of 10 in 1 rations while the rest of the platoon cringes in anticipation of renewal of enemy mortar fire…

Everyone believes that he is being persecuted by everyone else and goes around with a perpetual look of pouting discontent. In order to keep the esprit de corps from developing into an overbearing attitude, we are continually reminded that the only difference between us and the regular infantry is that we go into battle via parachute. Nevertheless some of the boys have a determined attitude that there is something wrong with anyone who doesn’t jump out of a plane, which is a most inconvenient and perilous attitude as the disparity in numbers between the parachute troops and the rest of the world indicates.

However, they will conceive passionate adorations for other units which happen to impress them favorably. Our favorite outfit at this time is a certain armored division – I wish I could tell you its number because it is the best in the world. Before that we admired one of the all-Japanese outfits, who in addition to being the finest soldiers in the army are also the friendliest and most generous to stranded troops of other outfits. 

Well, they just brought in some hot chocolate to drink now so I guess I will quit to enjoy it. What a place! I wish the other fellows could have a few days apiece here – 

Love – Joe

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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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New iPhone App Shows Virtual Fort DeRussy Tour

A new app that shows a virtual tour of Fort DeRussy is available in the Apple App Store. Designed by LCDR Bradshaw, the app shows various landmarks within Fort DeRussy in Waikiki, including the Brothers in Valor Memorial. This monument honors the members of the 4 Japanese-American military units in WWII – 100th Battalion, 442nd RCT, MIS, and 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion. For now, it is only available for iPhone users. Click here to go to the app store or simply search the app store for “derussy”.

Screenshot from the app

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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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Remembering Ted Tsukiyama

Ted Tsukiyama during his VVV days

Friends, family and the community celebrated the life of Mr. Ted Tsukiyama on March 23, 2019. He was born in Honolulu on December 13, 1920, then went with his mother and sister to his mother’s home of Kagawa, Japan at the age of 4 or 5, returning to Kaimuki about a year later.

He graduated from Roosevelt High School, then went to the University of Hawaii. At UH, he was an ROTC cadet until just after the Pearl Harbor attack, at which time Japanese-Americans were dismissed. He joined the Varsity Victory Volunteers, then the 442nd Regimental Combat Team when it was formed. He later transferred into the Military Intelligence Service, where he served as an interpreter in Burma.

After the war, he was the first Japanese-American to attend Yale Law School, and became an attorney in Honolulu. He played an important role in preserving the history of the 442nd RCT and recorded his memoirs in his book “My Life’s Journey: A Memoir.” He and his wife Fuku had 3 children – Sandy, Paul and Tim.

He was laid to rest at Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery on March 25, 2019. Videos of the celebration of life and inurnment are available on YouTube.

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Sneak Preview of Go For Broke, a 442 Origins Story movie

Sneak Preview of the Go For Broke, A 442 Origins Story movie, Hawai’i Theater, October 8, 2017
By Gail Nishimura and Jon Ishihara

image of Go For Broke, A 442 Origins Story movie
“442nd RCT Foundation Presents a Stacey Hayashi Production” was on the printed program for this special event to provide a preview of this movie long in the making on the 442nd RCT. In attendance at the Hawai’I Theatre in Honolulu were some 442nd veterans, many 100th/442nd family members and distinguished guests. The movie preview was attended by approximately 1400 people.

Opening the event was a group of dancers from Okinawa and Hawaii, with a lively presentation. Then Jake Shimabukuro played the national anthem on the ukulele and the 100th/442nd Reserves Guard posted the colors. Admiral Harry Harris, Commander U.S. Pacific Command, gave the keynote speech and then made a special presentation of the French Legion of Honor medal to veteran Mr. Masayoshi Nakamura. The text of Admiral Harris’s speech can be read here. Hawaii Governor David Ige then presented Stacey Hayashi with a proclamation making October 8, 2017 “Go For Broke” day.

This movie was dedicated to the late K. Mark Takai, U.S Representative from Hawai’I and a strong supporter of Stacey Hayashi and this movie. His daughter says “Go For Broke” in the movie. Stacey said Mark would leave copies of her book “Journey of Heroes” in his office for people visiting to read.

Former Senator Daniel Akaka attended and was in one of the scenes of the movie (look for him in the funeral scene.) Our own S&D member Anita Nihei was an extra and you can see and hear her a couple of times during the scene at Iolani Palace. S&D member Gwen Fujie and Anita’s son Gavin were also extras but the camera goes pretty fast at times and the crowd and recruits are big groups.

The movie itself moves quickly (90 minutes) and covers events just before and the year after Pearl Harbor. It tells of the Hawaii Territorial Guard and the formation of the Varsity Victory Volunteers (VVV). It also introduces the 298th Infantry/100th Infantry Battalion. The movie closes with the famous picture taken at Iolani Palace of the men who were inducted into the 442nd RCT in April 1943. Very touching as we get a look into the daily lives of different people before, during and after the start of the war, scnes which are based on stories from 442nd veterans.

The Hawaii Film Festival showed the film on the 12th of November at Hawai’i Theater and other venues. It was also just shown on the Big Island and Kaua’i the weekend of 17-19 November. Here is the link to the film’s description via the Hawaii Film Festival: go_for_broke_a_442_origins_story_2017

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442nd Veterans and the National Museum of the U.S. Army

Aloha Hawaii 442nd RCT Veterans, Families, and Supporters

The U.S. Army plans to open a new National Museum of the U.S. Army (NMUSA) near Washington D.C. in 2019. NMUSA will include sections recognizing the WWII Nisei Soldiers of the 442nd RCT, 100th Infantry Battalion and Military Intelligence Service. It is seeking individual Nisei Soldier stories, as well as objects and artifacts that will be made part of the exhibit. See the NMUSA website at: thenmusa.org.

nma-small-logo

The Sons & Daughters Chapter is working with the National Veterans Network to coordinate the submission of 442nd Soldier stories for consideration for use in the museum. S&D member Lynn Heirakuji is the point of contact for this project and is providing detailed information on how interested parties can submit Soldier stories, as well as donated objects and artifacts, to be considered for inclusion in the NMUSA. Attached is an Information Sheet (below) on NMUSA along with two Attachments that explains NMUSA and what it is seeking to help create the Nisei Soldier sections of the new museum. The one-year deadline for bringing these sections to completion is very tight.

This is an extremely important and rare opportunity for the compelling story of the WWII Nisei Soldiers to be told at the national level and to a broad audience.

Please review the Information Sheet and support this effort by

    nominating a WWII 442nd RCT Nisei Veteran for individual recognition

at NMUSA – the local submission deadline is October 1, 2017. If you have any related

    objects or artifacts

that you would like to permanently donate to NMUSA, please consider doing so – submission deadline is September 30, 2017.

On behalf of the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT, Lynn is coordinating the submission of 442nd RCT Hawaii Nisei Soldier stories. Mark Matsunaga and Susan Muroshige will be coordinating the nominations for the MIS and 100th Infantry Battalion Soldiers, respectively.

Please email Lynn at LHeirakuji@gmail.com if you have any questions or need help with your nomination submission. Or you can call or text Lynn at 240 351-8656.

Thanks
Lynn Heirakuji
Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT, Member
Nisei Veterans Legacy, Board Member

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Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit in Yokohama, Japan

Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit in Japan
By S&D member Byrnes Yamashita
photo of Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit in Yokohama, Japan.
The Hawaii Nikkei Legacy Exhibit at the Japanese Overseas Migration Museum, Yokohama, Japan.
Photo courtesy of Philbert Ono.

An exhibit highlighting the Japanese-American experience in Hawaii from the initial waves of immigration through World War II and the post-war period with photographs and narrative text in English and Japanese opened in Yokohama this past June. Included are photos of Nisei soldiers from the 100th, 442nd, 1399th and MIS who fought in World War II to prove their loyalty to the United States. The exhibit also includes a section on prefectural roots that identifies prominent Japanese Americans from Hawaii whose ancestors were part of the flow of contract workers (kanyaku imin) who came to Hawaii beginning in 1885 to work on the sugar plantations.

The idea for this exhibit was initially conceived in 2015 by Mrs. Michiko Shigeeda, wife of the then Consul General of Japan in Honolulu, Mr. Toyoei Shigeeda, who is currently Japan’s ambassador to Lithuania. Mrs. Shigeeda felt that the Japanese people who already have a strong affinity for Hawaii would be interested in learning about the history of the Japanese Americans in Hawaii. Bishop Ryokan Ara of the Tendai Educational Foundation, who was recently named a Living Treasure of Hawaii by the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, was the spiritual inspiration for the project. Bishop Ara has worked for over 40 years to improve the understanding and relationships between the Japanese Americans in Hawaii and the Japanese people. Mr. Ryoji Koike of the Pacific Aviation Museum played a key role in coordinating with organizations and support groups in Japan.

An exhibit content committee, including three S&D members, collected photographs, wrote the narrative and designed the exhibit. The project was prepared completely through volunteer efforts with printing and other expenses funded by the Nisei Veterans Legacy (NVL) and in-kind contributions.

Titled, “The Hawaii Nikkei Legacy,” the exhibit is co-sponsored by the NVL, the Japan America Society of Hawaii and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii. (“Nikkei” refers to Japanese who have migrated to various foreign countries.) The exhibit is currently open at the Japanese Overseas Migration Museum (JOMM) in Yokohama, Japan. The JOMM is operated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency or JICA. The JICA is the rough equivalent of the USAID in the United States and one of its elements is the Association of Nikkei and Japanese Abroad, which serves as the host for the exhibit.

The exhibit is scheduled to be shown at the JOMM through September 3, 2017. It will also appear at the Hawaii Expo event at the Hikarie Building in Shibuya, Tokyo from July 15-17. Then it will be shown in Fukushima City from July 19-29 in conjunction with the City’s 110th anniversary celebration. Finally, it will be at the Imperial Bank Building in Hiroshima City from October 1-14. Anyone traveling to Japan during these time periods are encouraged to see the exhibit. The exhibit may also be shown in Hawaii in 2018 though no arrangements have been made to date.

photo of Ku'ulei Mamo Park and her band and dencers at opening ceremony
Hawaiian music performance by Kuʽulei Mamo Park (daughter of a 100th Infantry Battalion veteran, at right in photo – corrected) and her band with hula dancers at the opening ceremony for the exhibit.
Photo courtesy of Philbert Ono.

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S&D Volunteer project with Hamilton Library

S&D Volunteer project with Hamilton Library at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa

screen shot of Archives & Manuscripts Dept. web page

The S&D has initiated a volunteer project with Hamilton Library at the University of Hawai’I at Manoa to digitize archival material that was previously given to the Library by the 442nd Veterans Club.  Much of the material is only accessible currently by visiting the Manuscripts and Archives Department in person.  S&D members have volunteered to digitize the material, which will allow Hamilton Library to provide the information online to provide access to many more who may be interested in the 442nd RCT.

The volunteers are to receive training beginning in late July and the hope is to start the project in August with the goal of completing much or all of the digitization by some time next year.  The material that will be digitized includes copies of National Archives documents related to the activities of the 442nd RCT, 100th Infantry Battalion, MIS, 1399th Engineers and other Japanese Americans serving in World War II; and a set of material collected by the 442nd Veterans Club such as a copies of the memoirs of Chaplain Masao Yamada (3rd Battalion) and of the memoirs of members of Love Company.

Hamilton Library has these materials in the Japanese American Veterans Collection.  By digitizing the material, the goal of the S&D and Hamilton Library is to increase access to these important resources.
At this time (July 2017) we have had good response from our S&D members and are not actively recruiting volunteers.

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