Other RCT Veteran Related News

Update to the Battle to Restore Civil Rights for Veteran Noboru Kawamoto

Joint Statement by the State of Hawaii and Counsel for Plantiffs Noboru and Elaine Kawamoto

HONOLULU, HAWAII (September 6, 2016) – As a result of meetings and discussions between Plaintiffs’ counsel, Jeffrey S. Portnoy and John P. Duchemin, and Defendants’ counsel, Deputy Attorneys General, Andrew L. Salenger, Dana A. Barbata and Caron M. Inagaki, Plaintiffs Noboru Kawamoto and Elaine Kawamoto have been reunited in his nursing care home pending determination by the Court of the constitutionality of certain Hawaii state statutes and administrative rules applicable to community care foster family homes.

Plaintiff Noboru Kawamoto is 95, a World War II veteran and member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and his wife, Plaintiff Elaine Kawamoto, is 89. This temporary accommodation is limited to these Plaintiffs and the impact of the laws as applied to them only. Counsel expect to file motions seeking summary adjudication of this lawsuit by United States District Court Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi to resolve this case.

Please note that there will be no further comment to the press at this time. Thank you.

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Cades Schutte LLP

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CAMP ‘US, FRANCE

Microcoft Word Doc

 

 

 

 

 

The Bruyeres, Vallons des Vosges Community of Communes

The Bruyeres Vallons des Vosges Office of tourisme

and the Peace and Freedom Trail Association- Go for Broke French Club

are delighted to present to you a new website dedicated to the Camp’US project:

Click here

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The National Order of the Legion of Honor

 

January 14, 15, 16, 2015 – Hawaii

France honors veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd RCT in three separate ceremonies held on the Big Island, Maui and Oahu. Some 57 veterans received the French Legion of Honor decree, the highest decoration bestowed by France, in recognition of those who risked their lives during World War II to liberate France.

Legion of Honor (2)

Click to view KITV news clip

Click to view West Hawaii newspaper article

Click to view Rafu Shimpo news article

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The Generals Messenger

June Morimatsu and Milton Kaneshiro

 THE GENERAL’S MESSENGER

Written by June Morimatsu

Daughter of 442nd RCT veteran, Ralph Tomei of M Company

 

We graduated from Farrington High School in 1971, during the era of the war in Vietnam.  For some of the boys in our graduating class the future held the very real prospect of being drafted into the military.

When my friend, Milton Kaneshiro, was faced with the dilemma of a low lottery number and waiting for the inevitable draft notice, or, enlisting and choosing where he would be stationed, Milton chose to enlist and was guaranteed eighteen months at the Army base in Stuttgart, Germany.  As the center for the European high command, Stuttgart Army Base had more than twenty generals.

Now, this 20 year old Kalihi boy was by no means a model soldier.  By Milton’s own admission, he was a “rebel” in uniform and for that reason he wasn’t well-liked by his superiors.  One of the sticking points was Milton’s refusal to take down a sign he posted at the entrance to the barracks he shared with three other soldiers.  The sign read:  “Please Remove Footwear Before Entering”

The roommate sharing half of the barracks with Milton complied with the sign, but Milton’s other two roommates and his superiors simply ignored it and labeled him a “troublemaker”.  Although Milton’s superiors kept chiding him to take his sign down, he held his ground, saying that they were going to do whatever they wanted to do, regardless of the sign; he was only asking that they respect his Japanese culture; and, if they wanted it taken down, they would have to take it down themselves.  For some reason no one bothered to take the sign down, and so it remained posted.

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Scott Fujita of the NFL visits the GFB Monument

Fujita

Los Angeles – November 25, 2013. Scott Fujita, recently retired from the National Football League, after playing 11 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, The New Orleans Saints, the Dallas Cowboys and the Cleveland Browns. He is the adopted son of Rodney and Helen Fujita of California. His grandfather, Nagao Fujita, was a member of the 442nd RCT.

Scott was at the Go For Broke Monument where a Japanese TV station was doing a story about him. Also there were veterans Hiro Nishikubo and Don Seki, Tracey Matsuyama, Dickie Wilson and Takanori Nishi.

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Go For Broke Exhibit at JANM

Eric Saul

Los Angeles – November 10, 2013. The Japanese American Museum in Los Angeles celebrated to opening of a new exhibit entitled, “Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts.” The exhibit is part of an extensive collection held by writer and military historian, Eric Saul.

Saul was present at the ceremony and delivered the following speech:

Go For Broke:

Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts

I think we all felt that we had an obligation to do the best we could and make a good record.  So that when we came back we can come back with our heads high and say, ‘Look, we did as much as anybody else for this country and we proved our loyalty; and now we would like to take our place in the community just like anybody else and not as a segregated group of people.’ And I think it worked.

– Nisei solder, Camp Shelby, Mississippi

Hawaii is our home; the United States our country…  We know but one loyalty and that is to the Stars and Stripes.

We are gathered here today to talk about a group of men.  Men who fought for their country and for their community.  They were fighting two wars: a war against prejudice and racism at home and a war to literally save the world from tyranny.  It has now been more than 70 years since the first Nisei committed themselves to the fight for democracy.

Many of these Nisei have passed from this world and are no longer here with us to tell us their story.  Some of you Nisei are in the audience today, and I will be addressing my remarks today to you.

You were among the 1,550 brave young men who, in the words of President Harry S. Truman, “fought not only the enemy, but fought prejudice, and won.” 

Who were you?  First of all, you were Americans.  You happened to be of Japanese Ancestry.  You were called Nisei.  You were second generation, born in the United States.  Most were born in the 1920s.

Where were you from?  You were from Hawaii, Ohau, Maui, Kawai.  You were also from California, Oregon and Washington.  You grew up on Honolulu, Los Angeles, Boyle Heights, the Paloma District, Fresno, Seattle, Portland and in hundreds of small farming towns in the Western United States.  You lived in the Little Tokyos and Nihonmachis of the big cities on the West Coast.  In Hawaii, you grew up on plantations, where you toiled in the hot sun, helping to harvest and process the sugar cane.

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Opening Day at Building 640

Art Ishimoto

San Francisco- November 11, 2013. The MIS Historic Learning Center held its opening day ceremonies after 25 years in the making. It began operations as the first MIS language school in 1941, a month before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Many dignitaries, veterans, and family members attended the ceremony.

Maj. Gen. Arthur Ishimoto (Ret), a MIS veteran, delivered the following keynote speech:

 

Building 640, The Presidio, San Francisco, California

I was a member of the Military Intelligence Service during World War II.  This building has a connection to all of us who served in the MIS.  We began our long journey from here to prove we’re Americans.

But first, let me remind you of our shameful and ugly history so that you can fully understand why so much blood was spilled by my generation.

Our lives changed dramatically on December 7, 1941.

We nisei were suspected of being disloyal and were classified as “enemy aliens” (4-C).  With one stroke of a pen, 70,000 nisei lost their citizenship. One hundred and twelve thousand  Japanese residents from the West Coast were sent to internment camps.  From April 1942 to October 1943, 17,000 so-called “enemy aliens” lived in the stables at Santa Ana racetrack under deplorable condition.

In 1943, we were allowed to enlist in the Army.  Even while in the Army, we were called Japs. When we returned home from the battlefields with Purple Hearts,  we were met with signs that read, “No Japs allowed”. We were refused service at barber shops, restaurants and other places.

We looked like the enemy, but  we were Americans at heart. What price is freedom, we wondered?

Most internees accepted their confinement, surrendered and said, “Shikata ga nai,  meaning “it can’t be helped, there is nothing we can do”.  Oh yes, we did.  More than  33,000 of us served in the military during World War II..  That was more than 13 percent of the total Japanese  population in the U.S.  and   greater than the national average.

In Japanese culture, there were values we depended on. Gaman is one.  It means “endure, tolerate, persevere”.  My judo sensei yelled in the dojo many times, “Ganbare   “don’t give up, hang in there.”

We suffered racial adversity since that December day. We had to gaman and ganbare. These two values were our guiding principle that navigated us through a sea of racial prejudice, hatred and distrust. 

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A “Very Special” Trip

442 Kashiwas in parade442 Genro Kashiwa pit stop

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is an article from the Hawai‘i Herald’s special edition honoring the 70th Anniversary of the 442nd RCT.
First photo: Genro Kashiwa (far left) and his L Company buddy Howie Hanamura walk in the parade in Bruyeres with tour group leader Dorothy Matsuda (Photo by Karleen C. Chinen).

Second photo:  In Italy, 11 of the 14 veterans in our group stopped to take a group photo with Mount Folgorito (first peak on the left) in the background (Photo by Muriel Kashiwa).

Stories and images are courtesy of the Hawai‘i Herald.

 

A “Very Special” Trip
Steps Retraced in Journey to Bruyeres and Biffontaine
Karleen Chinen
The Hawai‘i Herald (March 15, 2013)

Genro Kashiwa was not in the best of health when he boarded the plane for our trip to Europe last fall. Eight days earlier, he was in a hospital bed, recovering from a bleeding colon.

But the recently retired lawyer insisted on making this pilgrimage — his first since the war.

Genro, his wife Muriel and I became fast friends on the trip. From early in our journey, I often observed him studying maps and writing in canary-colored legal tablets. When we talked, his comments usually had more to do with the mechanics of a battle — the strategy, the structure — or the humorous moments he recalled. Getting Genro to talk about how he felt was somewhat challenging.

But with each passing day, that stoic Nisei exterior melted away. As I listened to him at the end of our days in the Vosges mountains, I realized how therapeutic this journey has been for him.

Read more »

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Eric Saul on Solly Ganor and the Holocaust

solly

On September 5, 2013, Eric Saul wrote:

 

Dear Friends,

I wanted to take out a few moments and send you some material that I thought might be of interest to you.

I just received a letter from Mr. Solly Ganor, who lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.  He is a child survivor of the Holocaust from Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania.  He survived one of the most brutal Nazi occupations in Europe.  He was a survivor of the Kovno Ghetto and several camps of the infamous Dachau Concentration Camp.  His mother and brother were murdered by the Nazis during the war.  More than 92% of the Jews of Lithuania were murdered by the Nazi occupiers.

In 1992, I started actively researching the role of the Niseis in the liberation of the sub-camps of Dachau.  At the time, I was working with a number of the 522nd veterans.  I was also working with the researchers at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC.

At that time, we had only a very sketchy understanding of what the Niseis did as part of their witnessing of the Holocaust in southern Germany in late April and early May 1945.

As part of my research, I sought out Jewish survivors who had the experience of being liberated by the Nisei soldiers at the end of the war.  My parents were living in Jerusalem at the time, and I had them place a news article in the English-speaking newspaper, the Jerusalem Post.  The article asked for Jewish survivors of Dachau to relate their experiences being liberated by Niseis.  I had several survivors contact me and relate their powerful experiences of being freed.

One of them was Solly Ganor, who was living in Herzliya, outside of Tel Aviv.  At the beginning of the war, Solly was just 11 years old.  When the Nazis occupied Lithuania in 1941, he was 13 years old.  At the time, his father was a prosperous, middle class merchant living in Kovno, Lithuania.

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*** 2012 Honor Roll ***

HonorRoll

In Memorium

The following tribute is in memory the veterans of the 100th/442nd RCT who have left us in 2012. It is with honor and gratitude that we dedicate our ongoing efforts to promote their legacy and all they stood for. Read more »

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Congressional Gold Medal at Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum hosted a previewing of the Congressional Gold Medal exhibit on March 9, 2013 for the Nisei World War II veterans.  The museum is one of only seven museums in the country to host the Congressional Gold Medal exhibit.  For your viewing, photos of the event:

 

 

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Honouliuli Tour

Click here for information about the tour: Honouliuli Tour

Honouliuli Waiver Form

SCHEDULE FOR HONOULIULI TOUR:

8:00 am       Check-in at the 100th Infantry Battalion clubhouse

Show 11-minute video on Honouliuli presented by JCCH.

(Restroom break)

8:30 am       Leave for Honouliuli via Robert’s bus

9:15 am       Arrive at Monsanto

(Restroom break)

9:30 am     Honouliuli Tour via 5 mini-buses (12-13 people in each bus)

Water bottles provided by Monsanto.

10:30 am    Return to the Monsanto building

(Restroom break)

10:45 am    Return to 100th Clubhouse via Robert’s bus

11:30 am    Arrive at 100th Clubhouse.

Please note that this tour is geared for veterans, wives, widows, and caregivers.

Due to limited seating, priority will be given to this group when registering for this event.

 

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Speech on 70th Anniversary of the 100th Infantry Battalion

Thank you to Judge Thomas K. Kaulukukui, Jr. for allowing us to post the speech he gave at the 100th Infantry Battalion’s 70th Anniversary Banquet on July 8, 2012 at the Honolulu Country Club.

Good Morning to All.
I humbly offer all honor and respect to the Great Spirit who has made this day and who has given us a humble part in it; and to the sands of your birth, wherever that may be; to the memory of our ancestors; to the elders who are present; and to the leaders and other guests in attendance; and most of all, I bow in respect to the veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, and to their descendants and other family members here today, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the 100th Battalion.

I was invited to offer my thoughts on the contributions of the 100th Battalion to the community. I was born in 1945, so I am a member of the “baby boomer” generation—the generation after the 100th Battalion veterans. This is the vantage point of my perspective. Most of you already know the specifics of some or most of the contributions of these veterans, but I humbly offer my own brief but broad perspectives on this topic. I have entitled my remarks “The Essence (S-sense) of the 100th Battalion’s Contributions to the Community.”  I say “S-sense” because I will speak of 3 Ss. Read more »

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100th’s 70th Anniversary Celebration

The 100th Infantry Battalion held it’s 70th Anniversary celeration at the Honolulu Country Club on Sunday, July 8, 2012. About 350 people attended the milestone event, including a large group from Maui. The luncheon centered around the event’s theme, “For Continued Service, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. Veterans from the 442 joined in the celebration.

Here are a few photos of the event, compliments of Wayne Iha, Clyde Sugimoto and Pat Thompson.

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CGMA Kona Event

KONA, Hawaii — A Congressional Gold Medal Award Ceremony honoring the World War II Nisei veterans was held June 15, 2012 at Kekuaokalani Gym in Kona.  More than 700 veterans, family members and friends attended the event. Major General Robert G. F. Lee (retired) made the presentation to the veterans. In addition, replica gold medals were given family members in honor of those who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd RCT and the MIS.

The Rafu Shimpo, Los Angeles Japanese Daily Newspaper, published a great article on the event, titled, “Big Island Salute”.  Click here to read the article

The following photographs were taken by Akinori Imai:

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