Past Events

Photos from Memorial Day services, 2016

442nd RCT Veterans and Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT took part again this year in Memorial Day services to honor and remember those who sacrificed for our country.

 

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Photos of the 442nd RCT 73rd Anniversary Banquet held on April 10, 2016 (3 of 3)

These are candids and a mix of the shots at this year’s banquet.

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Photos from the 442nd RCT 73rd Anniversary Banquet held on April 10, 2016 (2 of 3)

These are group photos.

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Photos from the 442nd RCT 73rd Anniversary Banquet held on April 10, 2016 (1 of 3)

Thank you to all the photographers of the 442 S&D and friends.

This is the first of series of post with photographs – of a great banquet in honor of our fathers, uncles, grandfathers, heroes.

 

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2015 442 S&D’s Family Christmas Party

A good time was had at the Family Christmas Party held in December by over a hundred 442 Sons & Daughters, members and their families and friends, including several of our cherished 442 veterans. Thank you to Ann Kabasawa for the planning and organizing, her gang of volunteers for setup, cleanup, donations, entertainment, and Santa and helpers. And thank you Sons and Daughters and S&D members and your families for making it a fun event!

Hope you enjoy the selection of photos below taken by Clyde and by Pat.

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522nd Field Artillery Battalion

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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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Under the Blood Red Sun

Movie

Click to view movie trailer

To commemorate December 7th 1941, there will be 5 Limited Engagement Screenings of the movie “Under the Blood Red Sun” screenplay & book by Graham Salisbury: the story of Tomi, a Japanese American boy and his family, living in Hawaii, during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The movie centers around the racial persecution of Tomi’s family and others at the beginning of the war.

Screening Dates & Times:

  • December 7, 2014:   4:00 & 7:00 PM
  • December 12, 2014:  7:00 PM
  • December 14, 2014:  4:00 & 7:00 PM

Place: Mid-Pacific Institute, Bakken Auditorium  (2445 Kaala St, Honolulu, HI)

Cost: $10

 
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71st Anniversary Banquet

DSC_0031The 442nd’s 71st Anniversary Banquet was held on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at the Pomaika’i Ballrooms at Dole Cannery – Iwilei, Honolulu. The theme of the event was “We Will Never Forget” as an affirmation that the legacy of the 442nd RCT will live on. The program featured a keynote speech delivered by Eric Saul, Military Historian and Curator. Here are photos taken of the event, compliments of Ann Kabasawa, Clyde Sugimoto, Pat Thompson, Wayne Iha, Lowell Tom, Hal Ing, Terry Takaki, and Stan Oka. Click below to open. Read more »

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Saul’s 71st Anniversary Speech

Eric-1

Honolulu, Hawaii – March 23, 2014. The 442nd Veterans Club held their 71st Anniversary Banquet in honor of the formation of their Unit. Over 600 veterans, family members and guests attended this memorable event, which was filled with lots of speeches and entertainment. Military historian and curator, Eric Saul delivered the keynote speech. Here is a copy of his inspiring speech:

Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts 

Speech for 442nd RCT 71st Anniversary Reunion

Honolulu, Hawai’i, March 23, 2014 

By Eric Saul

“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.”

– Nisei solder, volunteering for the U.S. Army

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, Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Big Island.  You were also from California, Oregon and Washington.  You grew up in cities like Honolulu, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Sacramento, Fresno, and San Jose.  You grew up in neighborhoods like Boyle Heights, the Palama District, and others.  You lived in hundreds of small farming towns in the Western United States.  You lived in the Little Tokyo’s and Japantown’s of the big cities on the West Coast.  Here in Hawaii, you grew up on plantations with funny-sounding names like Hanapepe, Pu’unene and Lihue, where you toiled in the hot sun, helping your parents to harvest and process the sugar cane and pineapples.

You went to schools like McKinley, Garfield, and Roosevelt High School, named after great presidents. 

You were raised to be Americans.  As American as apple pie and hot dogs.   You studied the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and American history.  Every day, you pledged allegiance to the flag.  You learned and were taught that you could aspire to anything that you dreamed.  You were proud to call yourselves Americans.  And you were proud to call yourselves Americans of Japanese Ancestry.

After school, you most often reluctantly attended Japanese language school.  You resented having to sit in a classroom rather than playing baseball, football or basketball.

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was a brutal blow.  You were soon reminded that your faces were not like other Americans—you had the face of the enemy and all that it represented, but truly you had the heart of an American.

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Sons & Daughters Of The 442nd RCT Christmas Party

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The Sons & Daughters Of The 442nd RCT annual Christmas Party was held on December 15, 2013, Sunday morning at the Treetops Restaurant.  It was also our last monthly meeting of the year.  Sadly, it was our last get together at the Treetops Restaurant as the owner has decided to retire and close the restaurant.  Will miss the ono food that we have enjoyed for years.

All who attended had a merry time with fantastic food, creative games, singing Christmas Caroles, and the arrival of Santa for the children!  There were prizes galore, everyone went home with a bagful of goodies.

The elections of the 2014 officers was held and we would like to thank the following people for their time and service to the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT: President – Wesley Deguchi, 1st Vice-President – Byrnes Yamashita, 2nd Vice-President – Wade Wasano, Secretary – Susan Yoshitomi, and Treasurer – Shirley Igarashi.

Click on the link below to enjoy the photos of this merry event:

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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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Veterans Day onboard the USS Missouri

USS Tsukiyama

November 11, 2013 – Honolulu, Hawaii. The Battleship Missouri Memorial hosted a ceremony to recognize the 70th Anniversary of the Nisei Veterans of World War II. The event was held on deck of the Missouri and was attended by veterans, families and friends.

Veteran Ted Tsukiyama, 442nd RCT and MIS, gave the following speech:

ANSWERING THE CALL

Pearl Harbor Attack

            7:55 a.m., December 7, 1941, that fateful moment in history when the first Japanese bombs rained down upon Pearl Harbor and drastically transformed the lives of everyone in Hawaii, and most particularly those of Japanese ancestry. No one who was here can ever forget that day. I remember it well.

I couldn’t sleep that unforgettable Sunday morning by the constant rumbling of thunder that would not cease. The sky above Pearl Harbor was black with smoke, punctuated by puffs of white aerial bursts. “They’re sure making this maneuver look real,” I thought. Turning on the radio, I heard the KGU announcer screaming, “Take cover! Get off the streets! We are being attacked by Japanese enemy planes. This is the real McCoy! Take cover!  Those words pierced my very core like a piece of shrapnel.

I heard but could not comprehend. I was assailed by swirling succession of feelings and passions. First I was stunned by utter surprise and shock. I was benumbed with disbelief and then denial….”this is just a bad dream, it can’t be really happening.” There was indignant condemnation…..”You stupid damned fools, don’t you know who you are attacking?”  Then strangely, there was a twinge of guilt and shame for being the same race as the enemy but quickly supplanted by a dark foreboding and concern for innocent people like my parents who had nothing to do with the bombing and for the suffering that was sure to follow. But the final and lasting emotion was anger, outrage and hatred for our attackers and a vow that “I’m going to get you bastards!”, feelings that would last and would not diminish for the rest of the war.

Meanwhile the radio announcer Webley Edwards was frantically calling for all soldiers, sailors and marines to report to their battle stations, when suddenly I heard him say “All members of the University ROTC, report to your campus unit immediately.” I jumped into my ROTC uniform and rushed up to the ROTC armory at the UH campus within the first hour of the attack. The several hundred ROTC cadets arriving on campus were greeted with the sight of ROTC staff Sgt. Ward and Sgt. Hogan feverishly inserting firing pins in the World War I vintage Springfield .03 caliber rifles and issuing us a clip of five bullets. It should be noted that 60% to 75% of the ROTC corps was made up of cadets of Japanese ancestry, yet throughout it all there was no registration or signups, no swearing in nor any kind of formality. No one questioned us. There was absolutely no hesitancy, doubts or distrust in mustering us in. We were ordinary ROTC cadets responding to the call to defend our country, just like any other American soldier or sailor reporting to their battle stations in time of war. I reported to my ROTC unit, Company B, lst Battalion commanded by Captain Nolle Smith, for which I served as First Sergeant.

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