Edward Kazuyoshi Nakagawa
Technician 4th Grade
442nd Regimental Combat Team
522nd Field Artillery Battalion, Service Battery
Edward Kazuyoshi Nakagawa was born on August 5, 1920, in Waialua, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii. He was the only child of Wakichi and Shimo (Koyanagi) Nakagawa. His parents arrived from Niigata Prefecture, Japan, in 1891 and 1918 respectively, and worked at the Waialua Sugar Mill. They lived at Mill Camp No. 9, House No. 17, in Waialua.
In the 1940 Federal Census Edward was living with his parents in Waialua and working as a mechanic in an automobile garage.
Nakagawa signed his World War II Draft Registration card on February 14, 1942, Local Board No. 11 at the Waialua Fire Station. At the time, he was living with his family; his point of contact was James Koyanagi of Waialua, and he was employed by Hawaiian Constructors for the U.S. Engineers Department at Kahuku Airfield on Oahu. He was 5’6” tall and weighed 142 pounds.
In September 1942, his father, Wakichi, was among the Waialua Plantation workers who joined the Victory Unit. This group was founded to demonstrate patriotism and loyalty to the United States. Among their duties was to help raise donations during community fund drives, such as the Red Cross.
On March 23, 1943, Edward enlisted in the U.S. Army. His civil occupation was listed as “Semiskilled mechanic and repairman.” He was sent to Boom Town, the tent city at Schofield Barracks where all the recent volunteers were housed. On March 28, they were given an aloha farewell ceremony by the community at Iolani Palace. On April 4, they left on the S.S. Lurline for San Francisco.
After arriving on the mainland, Edward and the rest of the new soldiers were sent by train to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for training, arriving on April 18. He was assigned to Service Battery, 522nd Field Artillery, along with seven other men from Waialua. After a year of basic and specialized training and military exercises, they left on April 22, 1944, by train for Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia. On May 2, the 522nd left Hampton Roads on the USAT Johns Hopkins in a convoy of over 100 troop ships, arriving into Brindisi and Bari, Italy, on May 28. They went by train to Naples, arriving on May 29, where they met up with the rest of the 442nd. After a week in a bivouac area in the nearby town of Bagnoli, they left on the LST 526 for Anzio, arriving on June 7.
The 442nd entered combat on June 26 near Suvereto in the Rome-Arno Campaign, ultimately driving the German Army north of the Arno River. Edward was present for all the action seen by the 442nd in Italy.
Then the 442nd was selected to join the battle in France. On September 10, 1944, the 522nd Battalion left Rosignano, Italy, on the S.S. Richard K. Call for the overnight trip to Qualiano, where they were in another bivouac area until September 21. Following six days in the staging area at Bagnoli near Naples, they left on the U.S.S. Thurston for France on September 27.
Once they arrived in Marseilles, they were in a bivouac area in nearby Septemes until October 9, when they were transported north to participate in the Rhineland-Vosges Campaign. In October-November, the 522nd Field Artillery helped to liberate the important road junction of Bruyères, followed by Biffontaine, and the famous “Rescue of the Lost Battalion” – the 1st Battalion of the 141st (Texas) Infantry Regiment that had advanced beyond its support, become surrounded by the enemy, and was unable to extricate itself.
Following the Vosges, Edward went with the 442nd to participate in the Rhineland-Maritime Alps Campaign in southern France. They were in the area of Nice, Menton, and Sospel beginning on November 21. Service Battery was stationed and housed in Ville Franche, near Nice, in the estate known as La Leopolda, the winter home of King Leopold of Belgium.
On March 9, 1945, the 522nd Field Artillery was detached from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and attached to General Alexander Patch’s Seventh Army to add fire power for its assault on the Siegfried Line in Germany, and final battles to defeat the Nazis.
The 522nd Field Artillery left Menton, France, and convoyed north. They crossed the Saar River into Germany at Kleinbittersdorf on March 12, 1945. The fast-moving 522nd gave constant chase to the retreating enemy across southern Germany toward the Austrian border. They fired over 15,000 rounds of artillery fire, made 52 displacements, and covered 617 miles. The war ended with the unconditional surrender on May 8 of all Nazi forces while the 522nd was in Schaftlach, south of Munich.
The Battalion moved from Schaftlach on May 9, north to the area of Donauworth. Service Battery was assigned to the town of Baumenheim for the balance of the occupation. The 522nd was deactivated on October 5, 1945, and men with more than 70 “points” began preparing for the long journey home.
Tec/4 Nakagawa arrived at Pier 39-B in Honolulu at 8:00 a.m. on January 15, 1945, with 431 other returning veterans on the S.S. Mexico Victory. He was discharged from the Army at a separation center on Oahu on January 17, 1946.
For his wartime service, Tec/4 Edward Kazuyoshi Nakagawa was awarded the following: Good Conduct Medal; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four bronze stars; World War II Victory Medal; and Army of Occupation Medal. He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on October 5, 2010, along with the other veterans of the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team. This is the highest Congressional Civilian Medal.
After the war, Edward married Janice Hatsue Yoneshige. They lived in Honolulu and over the years raised a family of one son and one daughter. He was employed in the Office of the Director of the Port of Honolulu, prior to becoming a salesman at Aloha Motors and later at Pacific Oldsmobile.
Edward Kazuyoshi Nakagawa died on July 28, 2010, in Honolulu. He was inurned in the Columbarium at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, Site CT3-J, Row 200, Site 214. His survivors included his two children and two grandchildren. His wife died in 1995, and is inurned with him at Punchbowl.