Henry Sadami Ishida


Henry Sadami Ishida was born March 14, 1921, in Waialua, Oahu, T.H. His parents, Takazo and Umeno (Ishida) Ishida arrived in Hawaii from Hirabayashi, Niigata Prefecuture, Japan, in 1906 and 1913, respectively. There were three sons and one daughter in the Ishida family.

In the 1940 Federal Census, he was living with his family at Mill Camp No. 9 in Waialua and employed as a mechanic in the plantation garage.

Ishida signed his WWII Draft Registration card on February 15, 1942, Local Board No. 11, at the Fire Station in Waialua. He was living with his family at House #11, Ranch Camp, Waialua. He was employed by Waialua Agricultural Company and his point of contact was his eldest brother Takaji Ishida. He was 5’7”, 128 lbs.

On March 23, 1943, Henry (also known as “Sanda”) enlisted in the U.S. Army and was inducted at Schofield Barracks. His civilian occupation was listed as “fireman, fire department.” Ishida was among the group of new soldiers given a community farewell at Iolani Palace on March 28. On April 4 he was on the S.S. Lurline with the other men as they headed for San Francisco, the first leg of their journey to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for training.

Once at Camp Shelby, he was assigned to Headquarters Battery of the 522nd Field Artillery. Upon learning that his friends from Waialua were in Service Battery, Sanda requested a transfer and it was granted. While at Camp Shelby he played on the 522nd baseball team.

After training, Ishida left with the 442nd for Hampton Roads, Virginia, where they boarded the troop transport SS Johns Hopkins headed for the theater of war. The 522nd landed on the east coast of Italy and headed to Naples to join up with the rest of the 442nd.

Sanda served in all the campaigns of the 522nd: Rome-Arno (Italy); Rhineland-Vosges and Rhineland-Maritime Alps (France), and Central Europe (Germany). He suffered from trench foot in the Vosges during the cold and wet weather encountered there in the fall of 1944.

When the 522nd was in Germany the last few months of the war, they chased the retreating German army across the country, and the 522nd became a roving artillery unit known for its shooting speed, pinpoint accuracy, and quickness in setting up and taking down for movement to the next place. Sanda was one of the Service Battery drivers who carried supplies, ammunition, and rations. One day he was in a group of trucks carrying ammo on a road near the Black Forest searching for an ammo depot when the lead vehicles were hit by the Germans. Ishida said it was a “bloody mess” with one officer and four others killed. The dead men were placed in his truck and he drove them to their headquarters.

Later, elements of the 522nd liberated one of the sub-camps of Dachau concentration camp and were in the area where the former inmates were roaming in search of food. He remembers sharing his rations with some of the just-released prisoners and the striped pajama-like clothes they wore.

During the occupation following the end of the war, he was with Service Battery in Baumenheim, one of the villages near Donauworth where the 522nd was performing occupation duties. Ishida was once again on the 522nd baseball team. He went with other soldiers on a pass to Berchtesgaden and Hitler’s retreat, Eagle’s Nest. Sanda still has the piece of marble from one of the building’s mantels that he got there.

Ishida arrived back in Honolulu on the troop ship USAT Mexico on January 15, 1946, with hundreds of returning war veterans and was discharged from the Army on January 18, 1946.

For his wartime service, Sanda was awarded the following medals: American Campaign Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Congressional Gold Medal, and French Legion of Honor Medal.

Minoru Hirozawa, also from Service Battery of the 522nd, introduced him to his sister, Doris Michie Hirozawa. They married in 1949 and the wartime friends became brothers-in-law. Henry and Doris raised one daughter. He was employed by the U.S. Army as a draftsman at Fort Shafter in Honolulu.

Ishida is a member of the 442nd Veterans Club and the DAV (Disabled American Veterans). As of this writing (2021), Henry lives in Hawaii and recently celebrated his 100th birthday.

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