John Egelhof sent in a letter written by his father, PFC Joe Egelhof, while recovering from frozen feet in a field hospital during the Battle of the Bulge. PFC Egelhof was a BAR rifleman and paratrooper with Co. D, 517th Parachute Infantry Regimental Combat Team. In it, he speaks highly of the 442nd RCT. We present it here in abridged form. Thank you, John, for sending it in!
France, Jan. 29, 1945
Dear Win: Just a short letter as I am all “written out” from that book I wrote you last nite. Ate one breakfast, two dinners and two suppers today. I certainly have a lot of fun swapping stories with the other boys here at the hospital. They are from armored, mechanized cavalry, line infantry, artillery and every other branch of the service, and many of us took part in the same missions…
…The esprit de corps among the parachute infantry troops is terrific. It goes without question that once a trooper gets into a fight all present must join in. Nevertheless, the fine art of bitching is also cultivated to an unbelievable degree, and it is commonplace to hear the most vicious of arguments going on between neighboring foxholes about an error in the division of 10 in 1 rations while the rest of the platoon cringes in anticipation of renewal of enemy mortar fire…
Everyone believes that he is being persecuted by everyone else and goes around with a perpetual look of pouting discontent. In order to keep the esprit de corps from developing into an overbearing attitude, we are continually reminded that the only difference between us and the regular infantry is that we go into battle via parachute. Nevertheless some of the boys have a determined attitude that there is something wrong with anyone who doesn’t jump out of a plane, which is a most inconvenient and perilous attitude as the disparity in numbers between the parachute troops and the rest of the world indicates.
However, they will conceive passionate adorations for other units which happen to impress them favorably. Our favorite outfit at this time is a certain armored division – I wish I could tell you its number because it is the best in the world. Before that we admired one of the all-Japanese outfits, who in addition to being the finest soldiers in the army are also the friendliest and most generous to stranded troops of other outfits.
Well, they just brought in some hot chocolate to drink now so I guess I will quit to enjoy it. What a place! I wish the other fellows could have a few days apiece here –
Love – Joe
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La Légion d’honneur medal conferment ceremony by the French government for six American Japanese veterans of World War II on June 1, 2019 was trés magnifique! The audience, Governor David Ige, Mrs. Dawn Amano-Ige, both, whose fathers served with the 100th Infantry Battalion, many members of the Consular Corps of Hawaii and a large contingent of family and friends of the veterans, was very pleased to witness the rare historic knighthood and medal pinning, by Consul General Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens of San Francisco, bestowed on our six courageous heroes seated on stage.
The new Chevaliers are: Mr. Royce Eiko Higa, 98, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, A Battery, Mr. Hidenobu Hiyane, 100, Headquarters Company, 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate), Mr. George Kenichi Oide, 96, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, Headquarters Battery, Mr. Clinton Ikuzo Shiraishi, 98, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, Headquarters Battery, Mr. Koichi Harry Tokushige, 95, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, A Battery, Mr. Paul Sanji Watanabe, 97, 232nd Combat Engineer Company.
We are very grateful for their good health and longevity!
Inspiring speeches from Honorary Consul Guillaume Maman in Hawaii, Governor Ige and Consul General Lebrun-Damiens, highlighted the valor, sacrifice and honor of the six Chevaliers.
With their superb organizational skills the following have made the celebration memorable, heartwarming and possible ~ Theresa Tilley Maman, emcee and lovely wife of Honorary Consul Maman, Lynn Heirakuji, committee chairwoman and retired Pentagon deputy assistant secretary, daughter of the late Walter Heirakuji, 442nd RCT veteran and Jeff Morita, retired US Army Sergeant First Class and GG-13 Department of the Army Civilian and a nephew of James Morita, 442nd RCT, F Company veteran. Jeff has personally taken up the mission to research, verify and submit nominations to the French government for veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442 Regimental Combat Team who were “boots on the ground” combat experienced in France to be awarded this coveted medal, which is France’s highest order of merit for military and civil service, established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte. Mae Isonaga and Grace Tsubata Fujii were also committee planners.
Kevin Morita, choir director at Kapolei Middle School, son of Jeff Morita, performed beautiful ukulele prelude music. The 100th/442 Color Guard presented the colors. Sandy Tsukiyama, daughter of the late Ted Tsukiyama, 522nd FAB/MIS veteran, performed a magnificent acapella rendition of the three anthems of La Marseillaise, The Star Spangled Banner and Hawai‘i Pono‘ï. The Hawaii Convention Center was a beautiful blessed venue! The hosted reception was delicious and perfect!
Volunteer greeters, escorts and guides, mostly 100/442 descendants, were Phyllis Hironaka, Barbara Uno-Harada, Gayle (Nagata) Kawahakui, Jeanne Omaye, Byrnes Yamashita, Karl Okemura, Dane Sakaida, Laurie (Ishida) Oue, Mary Ann (Katahara) Tanabe, Bill Tam and 5 members of the US Army Pacific Command. Photographers were Ann (Nosaka) Kabasawa, Clyde Sugimoto, Pat Thomson and Mari Hughes, who recorded the event for the veterans, families and publication.
Guillaume and Theresa Maman are an amazing team! It’s always joyful to be in their company! Assisting them is fun, rewarding and not work at all. If they ever said, “Stand in the middle of the street,” I’d have no questions.
To Monsieur Lebrun-Damiens et Monsieur Maman, we are looking forward to another celebratory La Légion d’honneur medal conferment ceremony in anticipation of the next Nisei Chevalier approvals from France! Vive La France et Merci Beaucoup!
Proud to be a descendant and supporter of the WWII AJA Veterans Grace Tsubata Fujii Sons and Daughters of the 442nd Regimental Combat Tea m
A new app that shows a virtual tour of Fort DeRussy is available in the Apple App Store. Designed by LCDR Bradshaw, the app shows various landmarks within Fort DeRussy in Waikiki, including the Brothers in Valor Memorial. This monument honors the members of the 4 Japanese-American military units in WWII – 100th Battalion, 442nd RCT, MIS, and 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion. For now, it is only available for iPhone users. Click here to go to the app store or simply search the app store for “derussy”.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
PUBLIC SERVICE ASSISTANCE FOR A ONE-TIME “FREE” REPLACEMENT OF MILITARY AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Veterans of the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion; 100th Infantry Battalion; 442nd Regimental Combat Team; Military Intelligence Service; and all other AJA World War II male/female veterans assigned to military unit(s) outside of the previously identified units.
Honor and perpetuate the AJA World War II Veteran’s legacy and request a one-time “gratuitous” replacement of his/her authorized military awards and decorations through the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), and the Awards and Decorations Branch (ADB), US Army Human Resources Command (USAHRC).
Jeff Morita, a retired US Army Sergeant First Class and GG-13, Department of the Army Civilian and member of the Sons & Daughters is pleased to offer his public service assistance for this not widely known “FREE” benefit program. The two (2) separate, yet loosely interlinked request programs are available to surviving veterans, or posthumously to their primary next-of-kin (NOK). US Army regulatory policy governing the military awards and decorations program is very explicit with regard to NOK eligibility and issuance of awards and decorations. Posthumous awards are issued only to the service member’s primary NOK starting sequentially with the surviving (but not remarried) spouse, eldest child, father or mother, eldest brother or sister, or eldest grandchild.
Previous requests have resulted in replacements of the following military awards and decorations:
– Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
– Silver Star Medal (SSM)
– Legion of Merit (LOM)
– * Bronze Star Medal (BSM)
– Purple Heart Medal (PHM)
– Army Good Conduct Medal (AGCM)
– American Defense Service Medal
– American Campaign Medal
– Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
– European-African-Middle Eastern (EAME) Campaign Medal
– World War II Victory Medal
– World War II Occupation Medal (with potential Germany or Japan bar)
– Army Meritorious Unit Commendation (ribbon)
– Presidential Unit Citation (ribbon) (previously known as the Distinguished Unit Badge)
– * Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB)
– * Combat Medical Badge (CMB)
– Expert; or Sharpshooter; or Marksman Badge (with appropriate qualification bar, e.g., carbine, rifle, machine gun, etc.)
– Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II (pin)
– Cold War Certificate
– Bronze “V” Device (affixed to service medal or ribbon for an award of heroism or valor other than meritorious service or achievement)
– Bronze Arrowhead (affixed to service medal or ribbon for amphibious assault landing, combat parachute jump, helicopter or combat glider landing)
– Bronze/Silver Campaign/Service Star (affixed to service medal or ribbon for subsequent award[s])
– Bronze/Silver Oak Leaf Cluster (affixed to service medal or ribbon for subsequent award[s])
* World War II veterans awarded the CIB or CMB are eligible to receive a BSM for World War II Service. Not many veterans, or their primary NOK, are aware of this policy extended only to eligible World War II veterans.
NOTE: The NPRC request will engrave the full name of the veteran on the reverse of each verified DSC, SSM, LOM, BSM, PHM, or AGCM service medal.
For assistance with the process for a one-time “fee free” replacement of military awards and decorations, or for more information contact Jeff Morita at — email@example.com
Examples of ADB, USAHRC results of Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart Medal certificates for Corporal Yoshio James Morita, F “Fox” Company, 2nd Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team (Jeff’s uncle). Official US Army certificates are not available through the NPRC request.
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The 13th Annual Joint Memorial Service (JMS), honoring Japanese American Soldiers in World War II, will be held at 9:30 am on Sunday, September 30, 2018 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.
The theme for this celebration is: “Remembering their sacrifice by challenging ourselves.”
Tom Coffman, author of books on the history and political development of Hawai’i, will be our keynote speaker.
Nisei veterans and their personal care attendants who would like to arrange for transportation to attend this ceremony should call 949-7997 (Mon-Thu) by September 14, 2018.
We hope that all Nisei veterans who can join us will take advantage of this free service.
For further information about the JMS, please contact Larry Enomoto, (808) 255-8971, JMS Co-Chair.
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On June 25, 2018, the California State Senate will be passing a resolution honoring the 75th anniversary of the formation of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The Go For Broke National Education Center wishes to extend an invitation to our veterans, families and friends in Hawaii in hopes that some can join us in Sacramento for this event.
Helping People Interested in 442nd RCT Veterans through our S&D website
Contributed by S&D Secretary Juanita Wright Allen
Our S&D website is located at 442sd.org. Not only does it have a wealth of information for members and the general public, everything from our activities to a full roster of 442nd soldiers to interesting articles, it also serves as a portal through which those interested in the 442nd and those with specific questions can contact us.
The variety of queries is astonishing. The following are my Top 5 interesting queries – in descending order:
5. About McKinley High School. Jordan, an Eagle Scout in Honolulu, asked if we have a list of all McKinley (high school on Oahu) graduates who served in the 442nd in WWII. He was installing a native plant memorial garden at the school and wanted to memorialize these graduates. I directed him to the school as I could find nothing in the newspapers of that time.
4. Can You Decipher Radio Messages? A query from Riccardo in northern Italy doing research on the 442nd’s liberation of his town. He was reading a transcript of radio communications during the battle and wanted to know what all the military terms meant. Our member Bill Wright read the reports, deciphered the terms and then spent days reading more reports “just for fun.”
3. But My Father Was in the 442nd. We have had two of these types of queries. WWII veteran M. Valentine’s son wrote that his father was in the 522 as a “full track driver” for 26 months. “Hmmm,” Bill Wright (whose father was an officer in the 522) thought, “that doesn’t sound right.” After some digging, it was revealed that the unit was not our 522 Field Artillery, much to the son’s regret. Another just came in for veteran K. Searles, who his nephew says was an EOD (explosive ordnance disposal) specialist with the 232nd Engineers. Bill is checking into this now. It’s not likely as there were no Caucasian enlisted men in the 442nd and by extension the 232nd. But it’s very nice that so many want to be part of the 442nd.
2. The Mysterious Dog Tags. A man in Texas asked if we could locate a R. Kim, whose WWII dog tags he had dug up in his back yard while gardening. His theory was that perhaps Kim had something to do with the rescue of Texas’ Lost Battalion. After some tracking I found that Dr. Kim was in the MIS, he is still alive and well and lives 20 miles from where his dog tags were found. He has no earthly idea how his dog tags ended up there. He likely has them back by now.
1. Finding Sam. The all-time winner for queries – this one will never be topped. A lady in Australia was searching for her father. All she had was a lovely note signed “Sam” written to her mother as he departed Donauworth, Germany, in 1945. Sewn to the note was his 442nd patch. We knew that Sam had to be in the 522nd Field Artillery, the only 442nd unit that was in Germany. For months I researched all the men named Sam, Isamu, Osamu, or anything similar. I looked at as many 522nd photos I could find, searching for a resemblance. This is still an “open case,” and it’s heartbreaking to have not yet found Sam. He is likely long gone, and never knew a few months after he left Germany his child would be born.
photo of Sam and his fräulien during happy days in Donauworth
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Volunteer project between the Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT and the Archives & Manuscripts Department of Hamilton Library, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Contributed by S&D member Jon Ishihara
Since August of last year, a dedicated group of Sons & Daughters members have been giving their time and effort each week for a volunteer project at Hamilton Library of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
The volunteer project is to digitize the holdings in the Archives & Manuscripts Department of Hamilton Library that were donated to the Library by the 442nd Veterans Club years back and which consists of thousands of documents from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and other material such as the memoirs of Love Company, 3rd Battalion. After digitization, the material will be available to all with Internet access via the Archives & Manuscripts Department’s web pages for perusal and research. Currently, the bulk of the material must be accessed in person by visiting Hamilton Library on the Manoa campus.
The results of this volunteer project will differ from 442nd Regimental Combat Team-related NARA documents currently available online via the Archives & Manuscripts Department and other websites such as the Japanese American Veterans Association (https://java.wildapricot.org/) and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team Legacy website (the442.org) in that the digitization by the Sons & Daughters and the Archives & Manuscripts Department involves creating files by use of optical character recognition (OCR) software that are searchable within the documents themselves. Additionally, the JAVA website and the442.org website each appears to have some of the same documents as the Archives & Manuscripts Department but also different documents in their respective collections. Therefore, it seems safe to state that all three collections are useful to those interested in information about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
In brief, this story has its roots in the work led by veterans such as Ted Tsukiyama in Hawaii and dedicated persons on the mainland to seek out material in the NARA collections (in Washington, D.C. and Maryland) related to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the incarceration of Japanese Americans and their Issei parents and family members after the Pearl Harbor attack, the Military Intelligence Service and the WWII period. Copies of the material compiled were donated to the University of Hawaii Library by the 442nd Veterans Club/442nd RCT Foundation where it resides in the Archives & Manuscripts Department.
Our S&D volunteers are re-scanning the thousands of documents to meet accessibility standards, are using OCR software to create the searchable files and are compiling the “metadata” on each document that will be used for identification and discovery. Scanning is the most straightforward task. The OCR step involves checking that each word in a document is correctly recognized by the OCR software and can mean retyping an entire document if the document is of too poor quality to be “read” by the software. Creating the metadata involves inputting a document title, author, date, etc. and also reading the entire document in order to summarize the contents in one or a few sentences. This is a time-consuming effort and to date, approximately 24 of 35 boxes of the NARA documents at the Archives & Manuscripts Department have been scanned. However, our S&D volunteers feel this project is a concrete way to help keep the legacy of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team alive into the future. Each of us is also learning much more about the 442nd RCT and the WWII period than we imagined prior to starting the project.
This is a true win-win situation as the goal of both the Sons & Daughters and Hamilton Library is to make this material related to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team publicly accessible online. The Sons & Daughters volunteers are the manpower and heart of this project and the Archives & Manuscripts Department provides the guidance, equipment and facilities for the digitization. Mahalo Nui Loa to our Sons & Daughters volunteers Juanita Wright Allen, Lynn Heirakuji, Jon Ishihara, Mae Isonaga, Gayle Kawahakui, Steve Migdol, Tracy Sakai, Caitlin Shishido, Laughlin Tanaka, Janice Trubitt and Bill Wright who each volunteer several hours per week for this large undertaking. Mahalo Nui Loa also to Leilani Dawson and the staff at the Archives & Manuscripts Department of Hamilton Library for the training and support of our volunteers. We look forward to seeing the material online.
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The Aloha Luncheon for Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr. – “A Hero for our time”
Contributed by S&D member Gail Nishimura
On April 21, 2018 we along with 200 community members were able to extend our Aloha to Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr. and his wife Bruni Bradley. A luncheon planned by a committee of members from the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans, Sons & Daughters of the 442nd RCT, Military Intelligence Service Veterans Club of Hawaii, Nisei Veterans Legacy and other organizations was held at the Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki in honor of Admiral Harris’ outstanding service including in his present position as Commander of the United States Pacific Command as well as for his steadfast support of the legacy of Nisei veterans including the 442nd RCT.
Barbara Tanabe was the mistress ceremonies and program speakers and presenters included Harry Nakayama, President of the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans; the Honorable David Ige, Governor of Hawaii; Lawrence Enomoto, President of the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) Veterans Club of Hawaii; and our own Grace Fujii, President, Sons and Daughters of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Admiral Harris also spoke and Mr. Shinye Gima, MIS veteran, led the audience in the “Harris Hurrah!”
The audience was advised that Admiral Harris and Ms. Bradley were leaving the luncheon and going directly to the airport to leave for Australia, his expected post upon his upcoming retirement from the Navy. Then a day later we found out through the news that he may be going to South Korea instead! What a surprise!
Thank you, Admiral Harris, for the years you were in Hawaii: you embraced the people here as we embraced you. Good luck in your future endeavors.
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Thank you from the 442nd Regimental Combat Team 75th Anniversary Banquet planning committee
Contributed by S&D member Mae Isonaga (and 442nd Legacy Center director)
Mahalo to the Sons and Daughters of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (S&D) for helping make the 442nd RCT’s 75th Anniversary Banquet, “Remembering – With Pride and Gratitude”, a success. The monetary support and the hours of hard work by the S&D are greatly appreciated by the Banquet Committee. The monetary donation helped pay registration and parking fees for veterans and their wives and for widows of veterans. There were 47 veterans registered and 50 wives and widows. Close to 600 people attended the March 18th, 2018 banquet at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel.
Special mahalo to Gwen Fujie, who planned a wonderful program with many “chicken skin” moments. She organized the heartfelt opening procession of the veterans followed by descendants of veterans carrying the 442nd guidons and photographs of veterans who are no longer with us, and the “Okage Sama De” portion of the program where descendants read snippets from letters, news pieces, reports and other material related to the actions of the 442nd. There’s always so many moving parts to events like these and Gwen took time from her super busy schedule to contribute to the Banquet Committee in significant ways. She arranged for the Army Band to play, invited exhibitors – the Survivors Support Group and Stacey Hayashi, ran ads on local station KIKU TV, and booked Howard Sugai and Tom Coffman on the news station KGMB “Sunrise” show with Billy V. Gwen joined the Committee late into the planning, but despite this, her ideas and hard work made the program even better. Her efforts are very much appreciated.
Mahalo to Juanita Wright Allen, who organized and performed the “Earl Finch Hula” with a group of excellent volunteer dancers. It was a great way to honor Mr. Finch, who was dearly loved by “the boys.” This hula should now be included in everyone’s music collection!
S&D President Grace Tsubata Fujii gave a “Special Mahalo” to the 442nd RCT and shared photos of the recently dedicated Memorial Monument at Punchbowl Cemetery. Grace did a wonderful job, overcoming her untimely laryngitis!
Others who must be acknowledged: Anita Nihei for contacting the JR ROTC from Punahou, who exhibited their keen skills in the procession; Tyrone Tahara, Clayton Ito, Jon Ishihara, Shirley Igarashi, Gail Nishimura, Colleen Hirai, Laura Hirayama and Wayne Kuwata who helped with assembling the favors and name tags. Tyrone, Clay, Jon, Wayne and Laughlin Tanaka helped with loading material in and out of the Sheraton. Mahalo to all the descendants who were just awesome in “Okage Sama De.” Geralyn and Willard Holck kept the procession orderly and helped with set up. Also helping out were Claudie Deschaseaux Fisher and Francette Deschaseaux Valance, daughters of Monsieur Gerard Deschaseaux (France), who along with 442nd veteran Wilbert “Sandy” Holck, Cannon Co., established the Bruyeres/Honolulu Sister City relationship. To Pat Murakami, Caitlin Shishido, Jayne Hirata and Drusilla and Stan Tanaka, Annie and Macky Catania and others who helped with numerous duties whose names I have neglected to mention here, mahalo to you! And last, but not least, mahalo to the dynamic duo of Ann Kabasawa and Clyde Sugimoto, our fabulous photographers who faithfully bring their team of skilled photographers to 442nd events. You guys are awesome!
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