Jack Masaichi Furukawa

Jack Masaichi Furukawa, Private, Company A, 100th Battalion, 442nd RCT

Masaichi Furukawa was born on December 2, 1910, at Camp 9, Puunene, Maui, T.H.  His parents were Kamekichi and Kame (Asara) Furukawa, who arrived in 1899 from Hiroshima Prefecture.  There were three sons and one daughter in the Furukawa family.

Jack signed his WWII Draft Registration card on October 26, 1940, at Local Board No. 2 in the Bank of Hawaii Building in Wailuku, Maui.  His father was his point of contact and he was residing with his family in House No. 1313, Ah Fong Camp, Puunene.  His employer was Mr. W.C. Taylor of the HC&S Company, and he was 5’5”, 148 lbs.  He was a cane cutter on the sugar plantation.

Furukawa was inducted into the U.S. Army on March 25, 1943.  His civilian occupation was given as “baker.”  Given this date, he would have been with the rest of the 442nd as they left Honolulu on April 4 for San Francisco.  After training at Camp Shelby, he was in one of the three groups of replacements sent from Camp Shelby in early 1944 to replenish the ranks of the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) that was in combat.  Their ranks had been severely diminished due to battle casualties.

During his time in Italy in August 1944, he was admitted to the hospital, but soon returned to duty.  The exact date was not given; however, the battalion was in training near Vada for the first half of August before moving out to the front lines on the Arno River near Pisa.  The rest of August saw fighting in this area.

Our research turned up no further details on his military service in Italy or France.  After the war, Jack arrived back in Honolulu on January 22, 1946, on the SS Columbia from San Francisco.  The notation by his name on the ship manifest was “Army-sponsored.”

For his wartime service, Jack was awarded the Bronze Star, Distinguished Unit Badge, and Combat Infantryman Badge.

He settled in Honolulu and over the years worked for the YWCA and Honolulu Iron Works as a watchman, janitor, and maintenance man.  Jack played in the AJA Senior Baseball League for Punchbowl and was considered an excellent hitter.  In 1966 at the age of 55 he married Mildred Hatsuko Arakawa Seki (the widow of Edward Bunyei Seki), and they lived in Moiliili.  Mildred had two daughters and one son from her first marriage.

Jack M. Furukawa died on October 1, 1995.  He was inurned in the Columbarium at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Section Ct3-J, Row 100, Site 132.  He was survived by his wife, three stepchildren, eight grandchildren, and 10 great-great-grandchildren.  His wife died in 2019 and was inurned next to him at Punchbowl.

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