Martin Minoru Iida served as a Sergeant in Company L, 3rd Battalion, 442nd RCT. He was born October 17, 1920, in Kilauea, Kauai, Hawaii. His father Joseph Shuntoro Iida, immigrated from Japan in 1885, and his mother, Rinko Yamamoto, was born in Hanalei, Kauai. Martin had two brothers and one sister.
Before the war, Martin was a pitcher with the Kilauea baseball team.
On February 16, 1942, he signed his WWII Draft Registration card at the Lihue Armory. His point of contact was his mother, Mrs. J.S. Iida; he was employed by the Kilauea Sugar Company; and he was 5’7-1/4” and 127-1/2 lbs. When he enlisted on March 22, 1943, his civilian occupation was given as semi-skilled cranemen, derrickmen, hoistmen, and shovelmen – skills that would be used on the sugar plantation.
After training at Camp Shelby, Iida arrived in Italy with the rest of the 442nd on May 28, 1944. After participating in the campaign north from Suvereto toward Livorno, he was killed on July 9, 1944, north of Castellina.
Martin Minoru Iida was buried in the wartime U.S. Military Cemetery in Follonica, Grossetto Province, southern Tuscany, which had been opened by the 46th Quartermaster Graves Registration Company only a week earlier to handle the large number of deaths as the Allies pushed north.
In preparation for the closing of Follonica Cemetery in 1951, all remains buried there were sent home or, if the family wished, moved to the larger U.S. military cemeteries at Nettuno or Florence.
On April 21, 1949, the casket with Iida’s body was among the 134 war dead that arrived at Pier 40-A in Honolulu on the U.S. transport ship Sergeant Jack Pendleton. The caskets were taken to the U.S. Army Mausoleum while final funeral preparations were made. He was buried on July 28, 1949, in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl in Section D, Site 258.
Martin Minoru Iida is credited with writing the lyrics to the song, Go For Broke, which is to the tune of Semper Paratus, the hymn of the U.S. Coast Guard. This song was sung at 442nd Veteran Reunions.