From time to time, we receive photos with unknown soldiers in them. If you recognize any of these people, please let us know and we can attach the photos with their bios.
Can you identify these men? We need help in identifying the two men whose photos are shown here and whose last name is not known. While in training in Camp Shelby, they each sent their photo to their friend Dottie (Miss Dorothy Aiko Terada) in Honolulu sometime in 1943-1944. Dottie’s address was “Mishima Fender Shop, South Hotel Street, Honolulu.”
Each of the men sent a gift with their photo:
Private Yoshio Tengan sent a Camp Shelby silk banner/pillow case and signed his photo “Always, Yoshio” – but we have the box that the banner came in and his return address gives his full name
Corporal Joe ____ sent a Camp Shelby “Friendship” banner and signed his photo “Aloha, Joe”
Sergeant Roy ____ sent a “Sweetheart” silk banner with the US flag and eagle on it and signed his photo “To Dottie — Love, Roy”
Yoshio Tengan was in Company E or F and was killed in France in November 1944. We don’t know if the three men knew each other. Dottie and Yoshio were from the Big Island and had moved to Honolulu by the time the gifts were sent.
The image below comes from a photocopy submitted by the family of S/Sgt Frank Fujihara. The back of the photo indicates that this is F Company, 2nd Platoon, 2nd Squad and that the photo was taken in Marseille, France in March 1945. S/Sgt Fujihara is at the center of the photo but we do not know the who the other soldiers are. Additionally, S/Sgt Fujihara’s family would like to know if there are any prints of the original photo in existence.
To All 442nd RCT Veterans’ Families (updated 4 May 2019)
S&D member Jeff Morita of Mililani is generously assisting any surviving veteran of the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd RCT who served in France prior to May 8, 1945 to apply for the Legion of Honor, France’s highest military & civil decoration. Jeff’s public service applies to not only Hawaii, but to any surviving World War II AJA veteran located on the US Mainland, Alaska, overseas, and those who may have served with the same France criteria in other military units as well. The decoration is presented to those still living, although once the application has been received by the French government and French Knighthood is approved the decoration may be presented to the veteran’s immediate family should the veteran pass away.
The following veterans have been awarded their Légion d’honneur decorations:
FURUKAWA, Hayao George (G.Co/442); Honolulu — conferred April 19
NIKAIDO, Tsuyoshi Thomas (D.Co/100); Honolulu
The following veterans have been approved as French Chevaliers (Knights) as of April 3, 2019:
FUJITA, Yoshiyuki Joel (Hq.Co/442); Kaneohe
HANDA, Isao Ace (Hq.Co 3rd Bn/442); Fremont, California
HIGA, Royce Eiko (A.Btry/522); Honolulu
HIYANE, Hidenobu (Hq.Co/100); Pearl City
MURAOKA, Ikito (Med.Det/100); Lihue
OIDE, George Kenichi (Hq.Btry/522); Honolulu
SHIRAISHI, Clinton Ikuzo (Hq.Btry/522); Lihue
TOKUSHIGE, Koichi Harry (A.Btry/522); Honolulu
WATANABE, Paul Sanji (232nd Engr.Co/442); Honolulu
Currently, Jeff has submitted applications which are under review by the French government for the following veterans:
Takashi Aragaki, I Co., 442nd (owned Sputnik’s Restaurant in Hilo) Hiromi Fujimura, B Co, 100th & H Co, 442nd (corrected) Kenneth Ray Higashi (South Dakota), D Co., 100th/442nd Masatsu Kawamoto, I Co., 442nd (lives in Hawi) Don Matsuda, A Co., 100th (former Club 100 President) Stanley Toshiyuki Matsuura, L Co., 442nd Hajime Miyamoto, Med. Detachment, Hq., 442nd Hideo Nakayama, L Co., 442nd Seichi Joseph Oshiro, L Co., 442nd Shigeru Oshita, Hq. Co., 100th/442nd (passed away after application was filed) Kenny M. Shimabukuro, K Co., 442nd Takashi “Bolo” Shirakata, 206th AGFB/442nd Minoru Tamashiro, Hq. 3rd Bn, 442nd William Yoshio Thompson, Hq. 3rd Bn, 442nd Harold Watase, I Co., 442nd
Jeff is currently working on applications or awaiting information from family members of several veterans who are potential LoH nominees, including:
DOI, Jimmy (94) (G.Co/442); Decatur, Georgia NAKASONE, Harold Seisuke (98) (Cannon.Co/442); Honolulu NOMURA, Katsuto Richard (96) (Anti-Tank.Co/442); Waipahu
All those with a family member who has not received this prestigious award please contact Jeffrey directly at email@example.com or call our S&D chapter member Bill Wright at 425-922-9229.
The French Government approved the French Legion of Honor and French Knighthood for the following 442nd Veterans, and each veteran/family has been presented with the honors. CONGRATULATIONS to the Veterans and their Families.
Legion of Honor medals awarded in 2018: Charles Toyoji Ijima, 232nd Combat Engineer Co., 442nd (Oahu, HI) Norman Noboru Kamada, F Co., 442nd (Rocklin, CA) Kenneth Yoichi Sugai, G Co., 442nd (Oahu, HI)
Legion of Honor medals awarded in 2017: James Morita, F Co/2nd Bn, 442nd Masayoshi Nakamura, I Co/3rd Bn, 442nd Tetsuo Tateishi, A Co/100th Bn Harold Zenyei Afuso, H Co/3rd Bn, 442nd, and Futao Terashima, I Co/3rd Bn, 442nd
Photo above: Mr. Guillaume Maman, French Honorary Consul in Hawaii, decorating Mr. Kenneth Yoichi Sugai (97), G “George” Company, 2nd Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team with the French Legion of Honor – Chevalier in June 2018 as his daughter Gwen looks on. Mr. Sugai was a Browning Automatic Rifleman (BAR) and wounded twice in the Vosges Mountains near Bruyeres, France during World War II. Jeff Morita who nominated Mr. Sugai offers his public service to any current surviving 100th/442nd veteran for this prestigious foreign honor. Photo courtesy of Mrs. Theresa Maman.
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Friends, family and the community celebrated the life of Mr. Ted Tsukiyama on March 23, 2019. He was born in Honolulu on December 13, 1920, then went with his mother and sister to his mother’s home of Kagawa, Japan at the age of 4 or 5, returning to Kaimuki about a year later.
He graduated from Roosevelt High School, then went to the University of Hawaii. At UH, he was an ROTC cadet until just after the Pearl Harbor attack, at which time Japanese-Americans were dismissed. He joined the Varsity Victory Volunteers, then the 442nd Regimental Combat Team when it was formed. He later transferred into the Military Intelligence Service, where he served as an interpreter in Burma.
After the war, he was the first Japanese-American to attend Yale Law School, and became an attorney in Honolulu. He played an important role in preserving the history of the 442nd RCT and recorded his memoirs in his book “My Life’s Journey: A Memoir.” He and his wife Fuku had 3 children – Sandy, Paul and Tim.
He was laid to rest at Punchbowl National Memorial Cemetery on March 25, 2019. Videos of the celebration of life and inurnment are available on YouTube.
In Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Establishment of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, we offer these selected facts and resources, many perhaps well known to you already with others less so, related to the brave and honorable men of the 442nd. Any errors are inadvertent and the responsibility of the E-/web editor.
◊ U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall approves formation of Nisei combat team on January 1, 1943. The combat team is formally authorized by President Roosevelt on Feb. 1.
◊ The call for volunteers is issued on January 28, 1943 by the War Department, with a proclamation in Hawaii and by posters, press and other means on the U.S. mainland and later by recruiting teams, and the 442nd is activated on February 1 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.
◊ Volunteers for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in the Territory of Hawaii are given an aloha ceremony on March 28, 1943 at Iolani Palace while on the mainland, officers and enlisted men had already begun reporting to Camp Shelby in small groups and individually from February 1.
◊ Volunteers from Hawaii depart on April 4, 1943 for Camp Shelby, arriving 2,686 strong on April 13.
◊ The 442nd RCT begins basic training on May 10, 1943.
◊ The 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate), who had arrived at Camp Shelby in January 1943 from Camp McCoy (Wisconsin), leave Camp Shelby on August 11 and ship out for North Africa on August 21, 1943 where the Battalion joins the 34th Division.
◊ Basic training ends for the 442nd RCT on August 23, 1943 and platoon and company level training begins in October followed by battalion training in November.
◊ Ten officers and 165 enlisted men from the 442nd RCT are transferred to be replacements for the 100th Inf Bn in January 1944 with another 20 officers and 210 enlisted men transferred in February.
◊ The 442nd RCT is reviewed by Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall on March 4, 1944.
◊ Another 10 officers and 155 enlisted men are transferred to be replacements for the 100th Inf Bn in (month).
◊ The 442nd RCT (short one infantry battalion) leave Camp Shelby on April 22-23, 1944 and board Liberty ships on May 1. On May 2 the 442nd ship out from Virginia via convoy for Naples, Italy. The remainder of 1st Battalion stay at Camp Shelby to later become the 171st that trains replacement personnel for the 442nd for the duration of the war.
◊ The 442nd, minus most of 2nd Battalion whose ships had detoured to Oran (Algeria), arrive at Naples on May 28, 1944. Most of 2nd Battalion join the rest of the 442nd, who were on the move, on June 17 near Tarquinia, Italy.
◊ The 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) becomes part of the 442nd RCT on June 11, 1944 and is redesignated the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry on Aug 10, 1944 (instead of being designated the 1st Battalion).
◊ The 442nd RCT enters combat on June 26, 1944 near Belvedere, Italy as part of the 34th Infantry Division.
◊ The Anti-Tank Company is detached from the 442nd from July 13-Oct 24, 1944 during which time the men become “glider troops.”
◊ The 442nd RCT take part in the Vosges Campaign (including the liberation of Bruyeres and Biffontaine) and the fighting to rescue the “Lost Battalion” in October and November 1944.
◊ The 100th is detached from the 442nd from Nov 10-28, 1944 and make their way to Menton in Southern France.
◊ The 442nd (less the 522nd FAB) help break the Gothic Line in the Po Valley Campaign in March 1945.
◊ The 522nd FAB is detached from the 442nd on March 15 and pursue German troops into Germany along with other American units. The 522nd encounter those who had been held in Nazi death camps and sub-camps near Dachau.
◊ The war in Europe ends on May 8, 1945. Men of the 442nd start being sent back to the U.S. and then on home to their families.
◊ Members of the 442nd RCT march to the White House Lawn on July 16, 1946 and the RCT is presented a seventh Presidential Unit Citation by President Truman.
◊ The 442nd RCT is deactivated in August 1946 but is reactivated in July 1947 as part of the Army Reserve.
◊ The Album, 442nd Combat Team 1943 created by the 442nd (includes photos of each company at Camp Shelby in 1943) and Americans: The Story of The 442d Combat Team by Orville C. Shirey are available online via Peter Wakamatsu’s website at https://www.the442.org/home.html (accessed 2.8.2018)
◊ A selection of photograph’s from the 442nd 10th Anniversary gathering courtesy of the family of Kazutoshi Fujino, Easy Co., is available on the S&D website at this link.
Mornings are not emotion-choked events for me, but today was different. It began as usual, chowing down on breakfast while clicking away at the spam that piled into my email inbox overnight — delete, delete, delete.
Suddenly my finger paused and asked me to look again. An email to the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT was in my spam inbox. Something about the sender’s address and the subject line tripped a breaker in my head. So I paused and looked again, and decided this was not spam. It told a short story and invited me to click on a link to view a video. Clicking on links in emails from strangers is a major no-no in the wild, wild Internet world. But the story was too compelling, and so I clicked the link.
Soon there were tears rolling down my cheeks, tears of sadness from memories invoked, tears of gratitude for the beautiful gift from the young and old who made this video for us, tears of joy for the reassurance that the sacrifices of our fathers/grandfathers/uncles/cousins will not drift away in the winds of time and be lost forever.
Many will view and appreciate the video — few will experience the deeply felt emotions that soon well up as the video progresses. You are most probably among those few. Here’s the story that introduces the video, in the words of the organizer of the project that produced the video.
Mahalo nui, Bill Wright, Education Chairman, Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT of Hawaii
Aloha, My name is Marion Kieffer Rys, organizer and coordinator of the project, “Memories and Perspective,” at L’Accueil de la Vologne, the retirement home in Granges-Aumontzey, situated 10 km from Bruyères and 11 km from Biffontaine in the Vosges Mountains of France.
Today we would like to introduce you to Aloha, a song written and created by the residents of our retirement home and the 4th and 5th grade elementary school students from our town, Biffontaine, and La Chapelle-devant-Bruyères. This grassroots project began in our retirement home, thanks to the three residents who visited Hawaii in 1976 to celebrate the Sister City relationship between Bruyères and Honolulu.
Through the residents of our retirement home, I learned what had happened during World War II, the liberation of Bruyères and Biffontaine by the Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland USA. I was intrigued by the story, which is becoming unknown to the general public. I felt that it was absolutely needed to give value locally to honoring the Japanese American soldiers. This extraordinary history needed to be revived for the majority of our population. It was important to highlight our residents’ knowledge and transmit directly to the younger generations, from kindergarten to high school.
Everyone in the retirement home was involved in the project, as well as professionals in education, and many children participated and were inspired. The project involved many aspects, such as a historical exhibition on the liberation of Bruyères and the Battle of Biffontaine, elders visiting the local schools to transmit their knowledge on the Japanese Americans during the war, a Hawaiian-inspired luncheon, conferences, and storytelling. These activities can be seen in the video.
The final part of the project was the creation of the song Aloha under the supervision of musician Jack Simard and arrangement by Yannic Villenave.
As the ending of the project, it was very important for us to be able to creatively express gratitude to the Japanese American soldiers.
In the first part of the song Lucette Lievaux explains what the word Aloha means, and speaks about the Japanese American soldiers and how we should never forget them. She did this spontaneously, without writing. The words came naturally because her encounter with the Japanese American soldiers and visiting Hawaii have always been important to her.
The first spoken verse was written and read by Jacqueline Gérard, who was in Bruyères during the war when she was a child. She wrote this passage based on her own experiences, hiding in the basement feeling scared, and being liberated by the Japanese American soldiers. She is very thankful toward Japanese Americans and still thinks of them with fond memories. We would like to share our Aloha through this video as a symbol of our appreciation.
I am aware that perhaps certain elements may not seem to correspond to the historical facts or show a lack of understanding toward the event. We did our best to be informed locally by the Association de Chemin de la Paix in Bruyères.
This song represents our deep respect to the Japanese American soldiers and what today’s children imagine they went through.
We would love this video to be shared with veterans and their families. Please kindly share the link with them.
And, if it is not too much to ask, we would be very happy to hear from you and the people who watch the video, to learn your impressions of the song and the video. This will encourage the residents in the retirement home, the children who wrote the song, and the professionals who worked on the projects.
Thank you for your kind attention and I hope to hear from you. Mahalo nui loa, Marion Kieffer Rys
From the Sons & Daughters: Our deep gratitude to Marion Kieffer Rys for this wonderful reminder of the special relationship between the people of the Bruyères region and Hawaii, which has its foundation in the battles by the 442nd RCT to liberate the towns and villages of the Vosges nearly 78 years ago in October-November 1944.
Please share this information with your family, friends, and associates. We wish to reciprocate to our brothers and sisters in the Bruyères region — please also send a note of appreciation and thanks for their Aloha to the veterans, their families, and all the citizens of Hawaii for the spirit of Aloha that guides our everyday lives.
The email address to send your note is:
> Please also copy us at:
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The 79th Anniversary Banquet was held at Hale `Ikena at Fort Shafter on Saturday, March 26, 2022 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were 102 guests in attendance, including 442nd veterans Harold Afuso (H Co) and wife Patsy, Roy Fujii (522 B Bty), Royce Higa (522 A Bty), Jack Nakamura (B Co), and Tadao Yoshimoto (E Co).
Six widows of veterans were also present, including Cynthia Doi (Mrs. Masato Doi, Antitank Company), Mildred Tahara (Mrs. Yoshiyuki “Fat” Tahara, 2nd Battalion, H Company), Laura Miho (Mrs. Katsugo Miho, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, B Battery), Muriel Kashiwa (Mrs. Genro Kashiwa, 3rd Battalion, L Company), Genny Matsumoto (Mrs. Paul Kazuo Matsumoto, 3rd Battalion, L Company), and Frances Aoyama (Mrs. Tsugio, 2nd Battalion, Headquarters Company).
The event was emceed by Karl Okemura, President of the 442nd Veterans Club, who first delivered welcoming remarks. A Guidon Processional followed, and this was the first time we had a guidon for every company and battery of the 100/442. We also had at least one soldier photo for each company or battery, representing the soldiers who were in the unit from February 1943 to the end of the war. Governor and Mrs. Ige attended and carried their fathers’ photos in the Guidon Processional.
Next, the National, State, Regimental, and Battalion Colors were presented by the Punahou Army JROTC Color Guard under the command of Cadet Staff Sergeant Luke Lee. There were seven cadets and their instructor, Lt. Col. (Ret.) Robert Takao. A current Reserve member of the 100th/442nd from Fort Shafter also attended and brought the unit’s flag. Following the presentation of the Colors, Ms. Sandy Tsukiyama led the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, then beautifully sang our National Anthem, followed by Hawai`i Pono`i. The Colors were posted, then Karl announced a moment of silence honoring all of the soldiers who lost their lives in defense of our Nation, those who died during the pandemic, and those fighting for freedom in Ukraine.
Governor Ige then spoke to the audience about the significance of the service of the 442nd. Mayor Blangiardi was unable to attend but Karl Okemura read his greetings message. Karl then introduced Ann Kabasawa, President of the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans Club, who spoke about this being the 80th anniversary of the formation of the 100th Battalion. Next, Karl introduced Mel Kaneshige, President of the 442nd Legacy Center.
Following the Invocation, offered by member Gwen Fujie, a delicious lunch buffet was served. As the guests dined, a beautiful slideshow, created by Bill Wright and Mae Isonaga, was displayed. It showed excellent photos of the soldiers and rare historical film footage from the war era. People spent time catching up with old friends, many of whom hadn’t seen each other for several years during the pandemic.
After lunch, the JROTC cadets were presented with a 442nd lapel pin and composite patch, and a Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Col. Takao. Mae Isonaga then presented two 442nd-themed birthday cakes honoring the 442nd’s anniversary. As the cake was enjoyed, S&D Education Chairman Bill Wright introduced Tom Coffman, author of the new book Inclusion: How Hawai‘i Protected Japanese Americans from Mass Internment, Transformed Itself, and Changed America. Tom provided an outstanding description of how acts of tolerance and understanding paved the way for both the formation of the 442nd and the limited use of internment in the Hawaiian Islands during the war. The full text of his speech was published in the Hawai`i Herald on August 5, 2022. Bill also spoke for several minutes about the importance of carrying on the legacy of the 442nd.
After Tom’s address, Karl spoke about the history of the Go For Broke song and invited Sandy Tsukiyama back up to lead the audience in its singing. Following the song, Karl announced that the formal program was ending but that Tom would be signing books in the front breezeway, where there were various educational displays set up and 442nd merchandise for sale. The Color Guard retired the Colors and the banquet adjourned as people said their farewells and departed to enjoy the beautiful spring day.
There will be more events coming soon. The Christmas Party will be held at Club 100, 10am on Saturday, December 3rd – stay tuned for more details. The 80th Anniversary Banquet will be on Saturday, March 25, 2023, 10am-2pm, Hale `Ikena at Ft Shafter, so save the date!
On October 17th, 2021, the people of Bruyères, France held a celebration to honor the soldiers of the 100th/442nd who liberated their town from German occupation 77 years ago. Additionally, we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Bruyères and Honolulu sister city relationship.
Merci à Josiane and Bernard Hans, who sent to us these beautiful photos!
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The United States Postal Service, USPS, issued the “Go For Broke” Nisei Soldiers Commemorative Stamp honoring the legacy of Nisei Soldiers of World War II on Thursday, June 3, 2021 – the First Date of Issue (FDOI). The City of Los Angeles is the First City of Issue. It has been a long journey for the Stamp Our Story Founders and their supporters, but the stamp is finally a reality!
Stamp Our Story was founded in 2005 by three Nisei women, all of whom were incarcerated during the war. They are Californians, Fusa Takahashi, 93, Aiko O. King, 93, and the late Chizuko Ohira. Mrs. Takahashi’s husband, Kazuo, served in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS). Mrs. Ohira’s husband, Ted, served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (442nd RCT) H Company, and hailed from Makaweli, Kaua`i.
“In the past, our founders have each expressed their wish that the stamp bring people and organizations together to remember and to honor what the Go For Broke (GFB) Soldiers accomplished, and to be reminded of their American legacy that impacts us all today,” said Stamp Our Story Co-Chair Wayne Osako who joined the campaign Founders in 2006. As children, Wayne’s parents were incarcerated in the Heart Mountain and Jerome incarceration camps even while relatives served in the 100th Battalion (100th Bn) and the 442nd RCT, MIS, and Women’s Army Corps (WAC).
The image on the stamp is veteran Shiroku “Whitey” Yamamoto, Antitank Company, from Hawai`i island. Whitey is no longer with us, but seeing his image on this stamp fills our hearts with great aloha and pride.
Across the country, in Portland, Houston, Minidoka, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and more, special commemoration ceremonies took place. Stamp Our Story – Hawai`i, in collaboration with USPS hosted a live-stream event from the 100th Battalion Veterans Clubhouse on June 4, 2021. Dr. Lynn Heirakuji, NVL President and Co-Chair for the event served as emcee. Eileen Veach, Hawai`i District Manager, USPS, Governor David Ige and First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, Major General Suzanne Vares-Lum, U.S. Army (Ret.), Nisei veteran, Dr. Shinye Gima, MIS, and Rachel Radona, granddaughter of the late Masaharu Suzuki, Antitank Company, 442nd RCT, all spoke.
To learn more on the evolution of Stamp Our Story, and for links to purchase stamps and to view recordings of the events that took place in Hawai`i and across the country, click here: https://niseistamp.org.
We are posting Certificates, Special Messages and Proclamations received here:
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Join Densho on May 11 for the official launch of Facing the Mountain, a new book about WWII Japanese American incarceration and the 442nd RCT by Daniel James Brown, NY Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat. The virtual event will feature a conversation between Brown and Densho Executive Director Tom Ikeda, who has conducted oral histories with many of the men highlighted in the book. Facing the Mountain grew out of conversations Brown had with Ikeda in 2015.
Facing the Mountain is an unforgettable chronicle of wartime America and the battlefields of Europe. Based on Brown’s extensive interviews with the families of the protagonists as well as deep archival research, it portrays the kaleidoscopic journey of four Japanese American families and their sons. While some fought on battlefields as members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, others fought to defend the constitutional rights of a community. Regardless of where their battles played out, these individuals were exemplifying American patriotism under extreme duress by striving, resisting, standing on principle, and enduring.
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2020 was certainly a memorable year for a number of reasons. Although several of our usual in-person events were canceled, postponed or held virtually, we as an organization still managed to accomplish so much this past year. Here are some of the highlights:
We designed and ordered cloth face masks with the 442nd torch logo, then began offering them for sale via word of mouth and email announcement. We provided free masks to 25 veterans, wives and widows.
We added new features to the website, including:
Online store to allow people to purchase logo items directly through our website in addition to mail order, which previously was the only purchase option.
Remembrances page which offers links to obituaries for recently passed veterans, as well as a list of all known AJA soldiers and non-AJA officers who give their lives during the war.
Transformed the former “unit organizational chart” into a searchable roster of all known soldiers of the 100th/442nd and affiliated units. This led to the creation of the “Soldier Bios Project” in which volunteers and/or family members research individual soldiers and write biographies, which will be posted online. Ultimately, the goal is to write bios for the 9000+ known soldiers.
We continued working on the Hamilton Library NARA archiving project. In a bit of fortuitous timing, just prior to the pandemic we were in the process of arranging for the volunteers of the project to receive copies of the Abbyy FineReader program used at the library in order to allow them to work on the OCR steps from home. The organization authorized the purchase of six copies of the program for the volunteers, and they were received the day after the island-wide lockdown began. Overall, the project is about 30% complete at this point, now 3 years in.
We helped fundraise to support a number of community and veteran-related organizations, including:
A $2500 donation to the newly-opened National Museum of the U.S. Army, which features an entire exhibit on the Nisei soldiers.
The Nisei veterans had been invited to attend a special preview in person, but due to the pandemic this was changed to a virtual event. We helped arrange for several veterans to view this special occasion.
A $500 donation to the 522B Club to be used for their donation in May to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in remembrance of the victims of the Holocaust that the 522nd FAB encountered at Dachau in May 1945.
A $2000 donation ($1000 from individual members, $1000 from the organization) to the Hawaii Food Bank.
We had also sought volunteers to work at the food bank’s warehouse to lend a helping hand, but no volunteers came forward due to concerns about the pandemic.
We also supported the veterans and their families in a number of ways:
Organization members attended the funeral of Nancy Higa, wife of Masayuki Higa (Hqs Battery, 522nd FAB).
A member attended the 100th birthday celebration of Edy Hideyoshi Horikawa (M Co.) in Seattle, and we gifted Edy with a 442nd garrison cap, veteran’s shirt, and yarn lei.
Sent sympathy, get-well, and Christmas cards to veterans.
Member Jeff Morita helped 16 veterans apply for the French Légion d’Honneur, France’s highest medal for military and civil merits. Eight Nisei veterans were awarded the medal in 2020.
We continued the Okage Sama De JROTC awards even though the ceremonies themselves were cancelled due to the pandemic. Fourteen outstanding cadets from Oahu high schools received this prestigious award.
A parent wrote the following after her daughter received the award: “First and foremost, I would like to humbly thank your organization. My daughter is in the ROTC program at Kapolei High School recently received the Okage Sama De award. It was a very emotional feeling for myself and my family when I saw the medal she received. I had tears in my eyes and I was humbly proud. My grandfather’s brother was a part of the 442nd – Edward Shigeto Fuyumuro – and lost his life in 1944. We still visit him at Punchbowl regularly. I just wanted to thank you folks again for recognizing our daughter.”
The pandemic changed the way we do things, but as you can see, it didn’t stop us from our work in perpetuating the legacy of the Nisei soldiers. Their courage and heroism is still recognized by the people they helped over 75 years ago. Case in point: we received these greetings from Josiane and Bernard Hans of Bruyeres, France: “ALOHA dear friends We hope you are well. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2021 and good health. We wish that a better future arrives next year for more serenity. Take good care of yourself. Friendly thoughts from Bruyères.”
Lastly, I’d like to leave you with some excellent words of wisdom shared by Louise (Fujioka) Liu, from her father, Pvt. Masao Fujioka (K Co., 442nd):
“I have always been impressed by the quiet dignity that many 442nd veterans possessed. Many projected a good-natured feeling of respect, both self-respect and respect for other people.I once asked my dad why he seemed so generally good natured about everything. He told me that in the war many of his friends had been shot and killed. He saw some as they were dying and saw some German soldiers die. My dad was a replacement and did not expect to live and return to Hawaii. After that, he said everything was “duck soup.”
After hearing that story, my own perspective on life changed. Whenever I was emotionally down about work or life, I’d think about what my dad said. I thought about the things that he lived through, and I realized my little problems weren’t all that bad — everything is still “duck soup.” It’s funny how someone can teach you an important life lesson just by sharing a little story with you.”
As is the case with most public gatherings at the moment, several Nisei-related events are cancelled or postponed. Among them:
Our monthly meetings have gone virtual but remain on the first Thursday of each month at 6:30pm HST. All current members will receive an email link a few days before providing information on how to login and join by telephone or video.
The 77th Anniversary of the 442nd RCT Annual Banquet is postponed until 30 October 2021. Click here for more details.
Lastly, reposting a message from the National Veterans Association:
“Dear Friends, The National Veterans Network along with its Advisory Board is closely monitoring the changing situation and global effect of COVID-19. We hope our Veterans, veteran families, supporters and friends continue to stay safe and healthy during this challenging time. Despite this time of uncertainty, we are inspired by the Japanese American World War II Nisei Soldiers who demonstrated perseverance, courage and strength in time of adversity. Please be rest assured the mission of NVN continues as we work with our partners to preserve, educate and advocate for the legacy of the Japanese American WWII Nisei Soldiers. In particular, we look forward to the opening of the National Museum of the United States Army this year when the Nisei Soldier exhibit and Army & Society exhibit will open to the public. Many of you supported the development of the Nisei Soldier exhibit with sponsorships, donations and in-kind support and for that, we are very thankful and grateful. As a result, these exhibits will be opened to a projected 750,000 visitors annually who will learn about the Nisei Soldier experience for the first time. As preparations are underway to open the Museum, we were most inspired when learning of the impact that exhibit’s war time Nisei objects had on a group of Museum professionals.
The exhibit objects are meaningful, powerful, and effective in presenting acomplex, multi-level story about heroism, sacrifice, and being American.
We are also getting ready to announce our Nisei Soldier Curriculum for elementary and middle schools that is a result of a close collaboration with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. With input from an amazing group of teachers from Washington DC, Virginia, San Francisco and Los Angeles, the final curriculum is near completion. It will be shared with teachers nationwide and we cannot wait to share it with you in the months to come. With the Nisei Soldier spirit as our inspiration, NVN continues to make national impact and advance our mission because of all of you. We are grateful to all of you. Please stay safe and healthy.
Sincerely, Christine Sato-YamazakiExecutive Director “
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team Annual Banquet has been rescheduled once again to Saturday, March 26, 2022. It was originally planned for three different dates in 2021.
When Saturday, 26 March 2022 Time 10:00am-1:00pm Where Hale Ikena, Building 711, Morton Drive, Fort Shafter Cost tbd per person (WWII 442nd Veterans/spouses/widows complimentary) Note There will be a slight increase over the 2020 cost of $39 due to a possible 2022 increase from Hale Ikena.
Registration: Save the date for now – further information for registration will be sent in due time.
For planning purposes it would be really helpful to have a rough estimate of the number of attendees. Could you please reply to this email address with a note as to whether your current expectation is that you will be attending, or will not be attending. If it is likely you will be attending, the number of adults and children in your party would be helpful for the Banquet Planning team to know. Please note: If there are still Covid-19 issues that would make this date untenable, it will be rescheduled again.
10:00am 442nd RCT logo item sales begin
10:30am Veterans photo shoot
10:50am Processional forms outside ballroom
11:00am Processional enters ballroom
11:15am Pledge of Allegiance, Star-Spangled Banner, Hawai’i Pono’i, Honoring the Fallen: A Moment of Silence, Invocation followed by opening of Hawaiian Luau Buffet
Veteran photos. Please bring a framed photo of your Veteran(s). (8.5”x11” or smaller, please, due to space limitations) One family member will carry each photo in the Processional and place it on a table at the front of the ballroom.
Processional. Will enter the ballroom in order of unit (Company or Battery). Veterans will lead their unit, as available.
Several months ago, a young man named Matteo Mengoni reached out to our organization with a fascinating photo and story. Matteo is a student at the University of Florence, Italy, and is from Mantignano-Ugnano, at the confluence of the rivers Arno and Greve.
Matteo observed writing below the old bridge of Mantignano that reads “Los Angeles City Limits – Co. G 442, Aug ’44”. Curious about the story behind this, Matteo began doing some research and found that Company G of the 442nd made a crossing of the Arno at that time, led by PFC Joe M. Nishimoto, who was later awarded the Silver Star posthumously.
Matteo says that there are now plans to destroy this bridge, which has fallen into disuse and disrepair. He and his friend Maurizio are trying to educate their community on the history of that bridge in an effort to save it. To that end, he gave a presentation last April to during an event organized by his district’s municipality to celebrate the anniversary of the Liberation of Florence. The presentation can be viewed, in Italian, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGCkSGyRLig. He also provided a PDF of information and photos, which can be viewed here.
Yes, we are having another George Company and Friends Reunion for 2020. We will be having a luncheon buffet at the HAPPA RESTAURANT in Gardena, California (1641 W Redondo Beach Blvd #8, Gardena, CA 90247 )…adjacent to the New Gardena Hotel. Our luncheon will start at 11:00AM. The delicious buffet costs $50.00.
If you would like to relax and stay overnight at the New Gardena Hotel, a non-smoking single room is $99.00 and a non-smoking double is $108 plus 11.39% tax. Parking is free and a breakfast buffet is included in the cost. If you would like me to make your hotel reservations, please let me know and I will be glad to do that.
You will get to meet other sons and daughters and families from Hawaii, the mainland from 100th, 442nd and MIS. This event is a real fun get together.
If you have any questions, please call Ann Kabasawa at (808) 781-8540 or .
As we bid farewell to 2019 and look to what lies ahead in 2020, we’d like to take a moment to look back at what we accomplished in the past year.
In the Spring, the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd awarded our first-ever Okaga Sama De Award to Army JROTC students at the following high schools: Farrington, Kahuku, Kaimuki, Leilehua, McKinley, Mililani, Nanakuli, Punahou, Roosevelt, St. Louis, Waianae, and Waipahu. The Commanding Officer of each of these programs chose a student who best represented the values of the Nisei soldiers of WWII, such as Sense of Duty, Responsibility, Sacrifice, Honor, Loyalty, Persistence, Quiet Endurance, Pride, and Sense of Shame. Each of the award recipients was given a certificate and a medal.
Speaking of medals, with the kind assistance of Jeff Morita, thirteen Nisei veterans were awarded France’s highest honor, the Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honor) for their service during WWII. Six of the medals were awarded at a ceremony at the Hawai’i Convention Center on June 1st, and others were presented at private ceremonies and at the annual Christmas party. Award recipients include:
Yoshiyuki Joel FUJITA (HQ Co. 442)
Hayao George FURUKAWA (G.Co/442)
Ace Isao HANDA (Hq.Co, 3rd Bn/442)
Royce Eiko HIGA (A.Btry/522)
Hidenobu HIYANE (Hq.Co/100);
Akiyoshi KURIYAMA (Hq.Co/100)
Ikito MURAOKA (Med.Det/100)
Katsuto Richard NAKAMURA (Antitank)
Takahashi NOMURA (Med 442)
George Kenichi OIDE (Hq.Btry/522)
Clinton Ikuzo SHIRAISHI (Hq.Btry/522)
Koichi TOKUSHIGE (A.Btry/522)
Paul Sanji WATANABE (232nd Engr Co/442)
Sadly, we also said goodbye to several Nisei heroes in 2019. Among those we lost are:
Hiroshi ARISUMI (442/232nd engineers)
Hiroshi KAKU (Anti-tank)
Noburo KAWAMOTO (HQ)
Shinkyo KUNIYOSHI (MIS)
Hajime MIYAMOTO (G Company, Med.Det/442)
Harold NAKASONE (Cannon Co.)
George NISHIMURA (MIS)
Tadayoshi SATO (A Co, 100th)
Kenny SHIMABUKURO (K Co 442)
William Yoshio THOMPSON (HQ 442)
Ralph Yasunobu TOMEI (M Co 442)
Ted TSUKIYAMA (522/MIS/442)
Harold T. UEOKA (522)
May they all rest in peace. If anyone was omitted, please contact us and we’ll add them.
Members of the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd participated in a number of remembrance ceremonies throughout the year, including presenting wreaths at the Mayor’s annual ceremony at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl and at the Joint Memorial Service at Punchbowl on 9/29/19.
There were also several celebratory events in 2019, including the 76th Anniversary of the 442nd Luncheon that was held at Hale Ikena at Fort Shafter on March 16th, the 100th Battalion Anniversary that was held June 22nd at the 100th Battalion Clubhouse, the Nisei Veterans Summer Special that was held at the 100th Battalion Clubhouse on July 27th, and of course the annual Christmas party held at the 100th Battalion Clubhouse on December 7th. There was also a mini-reunion held at the California Hotel in Las Vegas from September 29th to October 4th.
On April 20th, Mayor Yves Bonjean of Bruyères, France was welcomed along with his family at a luau held at the 100th Battalion Clubhouse. As 2019 was the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Bruyères and other nearby towns, a reunion tour was undertaken by members of the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd, veteran Lawson Sakai, and others interested in seeing the areas where the Nisei veterans served. From July 5th to 16th, participants traveled through France, from Nice to the Vosges, and were welcomed by the people of Bruyères and Biffontaine for liberation & Bastille Day celebrations.
Members of the Sons & Daughters also attended the Change of Command Ceremony for the Hawai’i National Guard’s 100th Battalion/442nd Infantry Regiment on September 14th at Fort Shafter Flats. At that ceremony, the Command passed from Lt. Col. Matthew L. Cloud to Lt. Col. Mark D. Andrews.
As education is an important part of our mission, Education Committee Chairman Bill Wright gave presentations at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio in Monterey, California, and at the headquarters of the Nike Corporation. Following his presentation at Nike, the company kindly agreed to add the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd to their list of recipients for donations from their employee giving campaign.
Throughout the year, volunteers from the Sons & Daughters have continued working on the digitization project to upload all of the National Archives records pertinent to the Nisei experience to the University of Hawaii’s servers. This will make the records accessible to people worldwide. The first step – scanning all of the documents – is complete. The second step – Optical Character Recognition or OCR – involves converting the image into text that can be searched, or read out loud by screen readers for people with visual impairments. This step is very time-consuming as it frequently requires the volunteers to manually re-type entire documents, which can be hundreds of pages long. This step is about 22% complete (box 8 of 36). The last step is creating metadata from the documents – reading the documents, writing a summary of what’s inside along with the author, date, etc. – and creating a searchable table with this information – is about 28% complete (box 10 of 36). If you’re interested in seeing what’s already uploaded, you may check it out here: https://evols.library.manoa.hawaii.edu/handle/10524/58537
As you see, 2019 was a very productive year for us! We look forward to what 2020 has in store for us.