The 442nd Veterans Club held it’s December Board of Directors meeting on Monday, December 5, 2011. The lunch meeting was held at the Maple Gardens Restaurant in Honolulu. In addition to normal business matters, the meeting also recognized the incoming officers for 2012. President Bill Thompson has elected to step down from his position after five years of superb leardership and representation of the Club. A job well done. Everyone at the luncheon expressed much appreciation for his efforts.
The new officers of the Club were sworn into their respective offices by George Nakasato, Chairman of the 442nd RCT Foundation. The officers for 2012 are:
Ron Oba: President
Wes Deguchi: 1st Vice President
Joe Oshiro: 2nd Vice President
Wade Wasano: 3rd Vice President
Takashi Shirakata: Treasurer
Esther Umeda: Secretary
(Photograph by Wayne Iha)?> ?>
A national ceremony for the presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal was held in Washington DC on Novemebr 2, 2011. Over 2,500 veterans and family members attended the three day event. The veteran organizations of Hawaii will be holding it’s own celebaration honoring the Nisei of World War II. The two day event will include a parade, luncheon and ceremony at the National Cemetery of the Pacific. For more information, go to the following website:
On Sunday, June 26, 2011, the Kona Japanese Civic Association held its annual general membership meeting in Kealakekua, Kona. The all day affair featured various cultural exhibits as well as lots of food to eat. Over 400 gathered for this festive event. This year, the KJCA paid tribute to the World War II veterans living in Kona. The exhibits included a display regarding the Congressional Gold Medal Award. Several of the veterans participated in the event.
Here are the names of the remaining WWII veterans living in Kona:
Sunao Kadooka, 100th Infantry Battalion (4th from left in photo above)
Mitsuo Oura, 100th Infantry Battalion (3rd from left in photo above)
Yasunori Deguchi, 442nd RCT (2nd from left in photo above)
Katsutoshi Matsumura, 442nd RCT (1st from left in photo above)
Takeshi Kudo, 442nd RCT
Fumikichi Matsuoka, 442nd RCT
Herbert Okano, 442nd RCT
Hidetaka Sato, 442nd RCT
Mitsugi Inaba, MIS
Sumio Nakashima, MIS
Francis Sogi, MIS
The Washington Post recently printed images of the design finalists, with the final design to be determined later this summer by the US Mint.
In May, the proposed medal designs were reviewed by both the Commission of Fine Arts and the Citizen Coinage Advisory Commission. After giving the opportunity to present the two obverse and two reverse design preferences of the NVN, the committee members individually responded to the proposed designs. All were very respectful and many spoke about how special and emotional this medal award is since it will eternally tell the story of a group of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who overcame adversity and prejudice to prove their loyalty and patriotism to America.
Both commissions recommended a design to the U.S. Mint that was the preferred design of more than ninety percent of 100th, 442nd and MIS veterans nationwide. Their recommendation is as follows:
Obverse design: Color Guards in front, soldiers lined together in front of the American flag. Inscriptions include, “Nisei Soldiers of World War II” and “Go For Broke”.
Reverse design: Three insignias with a ribbon around it that spells out the MIS, 100th, and 442nd, with the inscription of the years of services, “1941-1946”.
This final medal design will be submitted to the Secretary of Treasury this month for approval. When approved, production of the Congressional Gold Medal will begin. For the latest news and information on how families can order their Congressional Gold Medal replica, please visit the National Veterans Network website at www.nationalveteransnetwork.com.?> ?>
Technical Sergeant Shinyei Rocky Matayoshi, 442nd RCT, Company G, was awarded today the Army’s Distinguished Service Cross at the Hall of Heroes, Pentagon. This is the 29th DSC awarded to the 100th Battalion/442nd RCT.
In addition to the DSC, Matayoshi’s awards include the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, the Purple Heart Medal, the Distinguished Unit Citation and the Combat Infantryman’s Badge.?> ?>
The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii held their 26th Annual Military Recognition Luncheon on May 19th at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. The program included a tribute to 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion. Five veterans from the 442nd and five from the 100th were among those honored at this luncheon. Representing the 442nd were Bill Thompson, Robert Uyeda, Joe Oshiro, Ed Yamasaki, and Takashi Shirakata. General David Bramlett, US Army (Ret.), spoke about the 100th/442nd and introduced each veteran.
Additional photos from the event can be found on the Hawaii Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii Facebook page.?> ?>
Aratani and Terasaki Foundations Donate $50,000 Each
May 9, 2011 The National Veterans Network (NVN) has begun a fundraising campaign to support a two-day celebration event in Washington, DC in late fall 2011. The celebration commemorates and takes place around the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service members from World War II (WWII), three groups composed entirely of Japanese American soldiers. The funds raised during this campaign will. help to underwrite the expenses for both the veterans and the events that will recognize their service at a memorial service and a national gala dinner.
As the May 2011 National Asian Pacific American Heritage Month kicks off, it’s especially important to remember those who served in the US Armed Forces. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the U.S. segregated 120,000 Japanese Americans and placed them in internment camps. Yet, even with families and friends living in these camps and suffering under wrongful suspicion, more than 20,000 Japanese Americans served loyally in the U.S. military.
The 442nd RCT Foundation continues to focus its financial resources to supporting the 442nd Veterans Club Archives. Especially in light of the declining contributions in recent years, the Foundation’s board of directors has consciuosly established the 442 Archives and the collection efforts of the 442nd-related documents from the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) by the Japanese American Veterans Association (JAVA) as its top funding priorities.