Katsumi Fujii

Katsumi Fujii served as a Private First Class in Headquarters Company, 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

Katsumi was born on September 16, 1916, in Berkeley, California. He was the elder of the two sons of Fusakichi and Kimino (Otsuka) Fujii. His father was from Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.

Fujii signed his WWII Draft Registration card on October 16, 1940, in Oakland. He was 5’4” and weighed 126 lbs. His father was his point-of-contact. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 10, 1941, in San Francisco. Before the war, Katsumi worked with his father who was a self-employed gardener. Available records do not state where Katsumi was stationed prior to the arrival of Nisei soldiers at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for training in April 1943. He would have shipped out with the rest of the 442nd on May 2, 1944, and fought in Italy and France during the war. There is no record of his being wounded.

Katsumi’s parents and brother Tsugio were interned at the Central Utah WRA Center on October 1, 1942. Topaz, as it was known, was located in west central Utah. Tsugio was released on November 29, 1944, to go to Detroit, Michigan. Fusakichi and Kimino were released on September 29, 1945, to return home to Oakland.

After the war Fujii continued to be a self-employed gardener in Oakland. He married Fumiko Otsuka and they had one daughter and two sons. In May 1953 Fujii was a founding member and the treasurer of the Japanese-American Citizens League, Oakland Chapter. In 1971, Fumiko died. He later married Toyoko Kanzaki, who died in 2017.

Katsumi Fujii died November 26, 1993, in Oakland. He was buried with his first wife and parents at Mountain View Cemetery, Oakland in the Outdoor Garden Mausoleum 2, Niche 26, Tier 5.

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