John Haruo Mikasa

John Haruo Mikasa, Corporal, Cannon Company, 442nd RCT

John Haruo Mikasa was born on April 18, 1924, in Lihue, Kauai, T.H.  His father was Naojiro Mikasa, who arrived to Hawaii in 1903 from Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan.  His mother, Haruyo Mimori, was born in Kipu, Kauai, T.H.  John was the fifth of their nine children.

Mikasa signed his WWII Draft Registration card on June 30, 1942, Local Board No. 2, at the Lihue Armory.  His point of contact was his parents, he was employed by the Kauai Soda Company Ltd., and he was 5’7”, 150 lbs.  When he enlisted on September 18, 1944, his civilian occupation was listed as “clerk, general office.”

After basic training, Mikasa was sent to Fort Meade, Maryland, possibly for specialized training as a radio operator.  He told his family that while at Fort Meade he contracted German measles (rubella).  This caused him to miss one of two deployments to Italy.  He was quarantined in the post stockade until a passerby on the highway asked why Japanese prisoners of war were being kept there.  Available records show that he was admitted to the Army hospital at Fort Meade in April 1945, prior to being discharged to a regional hospital.  He did not miss the second deployment and he served in Italy as a radio operator.

Among the medals Mikasa received was the World War II Victory Medal.  After his military service, he returned to Hawaii, enrolled at the University of Hawaii (UH) and joined the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program.  As he had prior service, he was placed in the advanced class.  He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in June 1950 as an artillery officer.  He graduated from UH in June 1951 with a degree in Civil Engineering.

During the Korean Conflict, which began in June 1950, Mikasa served in Korea before being released from Active Duty as a First Lieutenant.  Upon returning to Hawaii, he joined the U.S. Army Reserves, serving as an instructor with the 411th Engineers Battalion.  He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  Professionally, Mikasa worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a civil engineer and for the State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation, as a project engineer. He was a licensed Professional Engineer.

John Mikasa loved opera, classical music, a wide variety of food, traveling to far and exotic places, animals, and learning about the world around him.  He enjoyed speaking Japanese, Italian, and Korean.  He was married to his wife, Mary Fujikawa, for 67 years.  They raised a son (Miles) and two daughters (Gail and Kay). He loved spending time with his three grandsons.

Mikasa passed into eternal peace on December 9, 2019.  He was inurned at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, Section CT13H, Row 500, Site 532.

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