Genkichi Akamine served as a Private First Class in Company A, 100th/442nd RCT. He was born on January 28, 1917, in Waipahu, Hawaii, the only child of Genjiro and Uto Akamine who had immigrated from Okinawa in 1906 and 1913, respectively.
When he signed his WWII Draft Registration card on October 20, 1940, Genkichi was living on Fort Street and working at Kewalo Basin as a fisherman on a deep-sea sampan, his point-of-contact was his mother Uto, and he was 5’5”, 133 lbs. He enlisted in Honolulu on November 14, 1941.
Akamine served throughout the war. This famous photo of him was taken by the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Castellina, Italy, on July 15, 1944, after the battle for Livorno (Leghorn). He was listed as a sniper for the 100th Battalion. He was wounded and received a Purple Heart, although the date and place were not found in our research. He also received the Distinguished Unit Badge with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
After the war Genkichi married Margaret Sadako Kaneshiro and they lived in Halawa Housing, a government-run housing area that was popular with recently returned Nisei veterans. He was employed by the U.S. Navy as a pipefitter. Over the years, they had one son and three daughters.
On July 31, 1947, Akamine was among 252 disabled veterans who were honored as special guests at the Fort Shafter ceremony to activate the 100th/442nd as a unit of the U.S. Army Reserves. He was a member of Club 100 (100th Battalion veterans) and a life member of the Leeward Oahu Chapter No. 8, Disabled American Veterans (DAV). Genkichi’s name appears on the Go For Broke National Education Center Memorial in Los Angeles, Section 4B, Row 70.
Genkichi Akamine died on February 17, 1991, and was buried in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, Honolulu, in Section L, Site 397, with his wife Sadako.