George Takashi Mukai

George Takashi Mukai was born June 4, 1923 in Hakalau, Hawaii to Masasuka and Haru Mukai. He worked as a paperboy when he was a teenager, then later worked on the Hakalau Plantation. He volunteered for the Army on March 18, 1943, shortly after the ban on Japanese-American enlistment was lifted, to prove his loyalty to the U.S. He was sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi for basic training and was assigned to the 232nd Engineers, although he later served as a rifleman in the 442nd.

Following basic training, he was sent to Italy, where he participated in the Rome-Arno Campaign, followed by the Southern France Campaign, Northern Apennines Campaign, Rhineland Campaign and Po Valley Campaign. It was during the Po Valley Campaign, on April 18, 1945, that he was struck by an artillery shell and severely wounded, losing his left leg above the knee and suffering intestinal injuries. He spent several months in hospitals, including the 32nd Field Hospital in Anzio, Italy, McGuire General Hospital in Richmond, VA, Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., and the 147th General Hospital in Honolulu, HI. For his service, he received the Purple Heart Medal, European African Middle Eastern Ribbon, 5 Battle Stars, Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon, and American Ribbon.

Following the war, he worked at Hawaii Planing Mill (HPM Building Supply) until his retirement. He was a member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, 442nd Veterans Club, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 6 (Hilo), Veterans Advisory Committee, Veterans League of Hawaii, Hawaii Island Veterans Memorial Inc., Hilo Coast United Church of Christ, Lower Kawailani Kumiai, and Swingers and Ohia golf clubs. He was married to Janet and they had four children. He died August 13, 2012 in Hilo.

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