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War and Internment

Here is an article that reflects on the Japanese-American Internment.

Hawaii Hochi writer Iwao Kosaka in front of an old mess hall at Tule Lake in 1988. Story and image courtesy of the Hawai`i Herald.

WAR AND INTERNMENT
Karleen C. Chinen
The Hawai`i Herald (October 1, 2010)

The World War II exploits of the Varsity Victory Volunteers, 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion are the stuff of legends and are even more gripping when retold because of the extra burden of race that the Nisei soldiers carried with them into battle. They fought not only fascism and totalitarianism, but hatred and prejudice in their own country.

But knowing that the eyes of America were on them, the Nisei soldiers fought bravely against the armies of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan.
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Speech on 70th Anniversary of the 100th Infantry Battalion

Thank you to Judge Thomas K. Kaulukukui, Jr. for allowing us to post the speech he gave at the 100th Infantry Battalion’s 70th Anniversary Banquet on July 8, 2012 at the Honolulu Country Club.

Good Morning to All.
I humbly offer all honor and respect to the Great Spirit who has made this day and who has given us a humble part in it; and to the sands of your birth, wherever that may be; to the memory of our ancestors; to the elders who are present; and to the leaders and other guests in attendance; and most of all, I bow in respect to the veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, and to their descendants and other family members here today, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the 100th Battalion.

I was invited to offer my thoughts on the contributions of the 100th Battalion to the community. I was born in 1945, so I am a member of the “baby boomer” generation—the generation after the 100th Battalion veterans. This is the vantage point of my perspective. Most of you already know the specifics of some or most of the contributions of these veterans, but I humbly offer my own brief but broad perspectives on this topic. I have entitled my remarks “The Essence (S-sense) of the 100th Battalion’s Contributions to the Community.”  I say “S-sense” because I will speak of 3 Ss. Read more »

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*** Go For Broke Bulletin ***

The Go For Broke Bulletin of the 442nd Veterans Club: Volume 64, No. 3, April – June 2012.

Click to view GFB Bulletin – June 2012

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The 100th Infantry Battalion

June 5th, 2012 marks the 70th Anniversary of the formation of the 100th  Infantry Battalion.  Here is an article from The Hawaii Herald archives published on the 50th Anniversary (1992).

History/Roland Kotani From: “The Japanese in Hawaii: A Century of Struggle”
THE 100TH INFANTRY BATTALION
America’s “Purple Heart Battalion”
The Hawaii Herald (June 19, 1992)

The following historical profile on the 100th Infantry Battalion is excerpted from the chapter titled, “The Nisei Soldier” in Roland Kotani’s 1985 book, “The Japanese in Hawaii: A Century of Struggle.” The book was published by the Hawaii Hochi, Ltd. And was designated the official booklet of the Oahu Kanyaku Imin Centennial Committee.

On the barren Italian hillside, Masayuki “Sparky” Matsunaga huddled behind a terrace wall and prayed for the dawn. He could barely move his wounded leg. But the darkness seemed to be lifting from the corpse-strewn battlefield.

The young man from Hanapepe wondered if he’d ever be able to do anything about his Kauai High School teacher’s advise that he should become a politician. His father had always said, “Kuro ga ate fukai jinsei ga wakaru,” “Deeper understanding of human values comes only through personal suffering.” As he pulled his jacket close around himself, Masayuki though he’d become a compassionate politician with a definite understanding of human suffering-if he survived this war.

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100th’s 70th Anniversary Celebration

The 100th Infantry Battalion held it’s 70th Anniversary celeration at the Honolulu Country Club on Sunday, July 8, 2012. About 350 people attended the milestone event, including a large group from Maui. The luncheon centered around the event’s theme, “For Continued Service, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow”. Veterans from the 442 joined in the celebration.

Here are a few photos of the event, compliments of Wayne Iha, Clyde Sugimoto and Pat Thompson.

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Pacific Aviation Museum Event

Honolulu, Hawaii- Veterans, family and friends gathered at the Pacific Aviation Museum on Ford Island for a day of fun and education. The event was sponored by the 442 Sons & daughters and was held on Saturday, July 14, 2012. Approximately 100 people attended. The group participated in specially arranged tours of the museum organized by Laughlin Tanaka, who works as a curator at the museum. The event also included lunch, a brief program and gifts for everyone.

Congratulations to the 442 SD PAM Committee on a job well done! Everyone enjoyed to event. In addition to Laughlin, other committee members include: Gail Nishimura, Debbie & Mark Oshiro, Shirley Igarashi, Karen Kikukawa, Karlton Tomomitsu and Irvin Yoshino.

The following photos of the event were taken by Wayne Iha, Clyde Sugimoto and Pat Thompson.

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CGMA Kona Event

KONA, Hawaii — A Congressional Gold Medal Award Ceremony honoring the World War II Nisei veterans was held June 15, 2012 at Kekuaokalani Gym in Kona.  More than 700 veterans, family members and friends attended the event. Major General Robert G. F. Lee (retired) made the presentation to the veterans. In addition, replica gold medals were given family members in honor of those who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd RCT and the MIS.

The Rafu Shimpo, Los Angeles Japanese Daily Newspaper, published a great article on the event, titled, “Big Island Salute”.  Click here to read the article

The following photographs were taken by Akinori Imai:

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Some Thoughts on the Congressional Gold Medal

Here is an article by Edgar Hamasu  reflecting on the recent Congressional Gold Medal events. It was published in the Hawaii Pacific Press.

Mitsuo “Ted” Hamasu, 100th Infantry Battalion Veteran, standing before his unit’s photo at the 100th Club House with brother Edgar Hamasu (on the right), Korean War Veteran and past President of Military Intelligence Veterans of Hawaii.

Article courtesy of the Hawaii Pacific Press (January 15, 2012). Photo courtesy of Edgar Hamasu.
 
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL
By Edgar A. Hamasu, President
MIS Veterans Club of Hawaii

Introductory Remarks. When the publisher of Hawaii Pacific Press asked me to write about the December 17th celebration, I quickly replied that I was not a WW II veteran. I served in Military Intelligence Service, but it was in the Korean War.  When the WW II began, I was only 10 years old.  I told him that my brother, Mitsuo, fought with the 100th Infantry Battalion in WW II. But the publisher asked if I would write my impression about the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) events.
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MIS: Preserving History at Building 640

Here is an article from the Hawaii Herald on the efforts to preserve the building where Japanese-American U.S. Army MIS members were trained.

Hawai‘i fundraising chair Andrew Sato (left) with Herbert Yanamura, both MIS veterans.

Stories and images are courtesy of the Hawai`i Herald.

PRESERVING HISTORY AT BUILDING 640

San Francisco Building Will Honor Wartime Work of the Military Intelligence Service

Joe Udell
The Hawai‘i Herald (November 4, 2011)

In 1991, on the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Military Intelligence Service, the National Japanese American Historical Society advocated for preserving an old warehouse structure known as Building 640 in the Presidio of San Francisco. It was in that now-historic building that the first Japanese American U.S. Army members were trained as linguists to serve in the Pacific theater.

Twenty years later, NJAHS’ vision is very close to becoming a reality. If all goes according to plan, the organization will open the MIS Historic Learning Center next November, culminating years of “arduous” work in honor of the MIS, whose service as interpreters, translators and interrogators in the Asia Pacific theater in World War II was credited by Gen. Charles Willoughby, G-2 chief in the Pacific, with saving a million lives and shortening the war with Japan by two years.
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442 Infantry Tribute

Click to watch YouTube video

 

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442SD General Membership Meeting

The Sons & Daughters of the 442 RCT held their annual General Membership Meeting on Sunday, May 20, 2012. The luncheon was held at the Treetops Restaurant in Manoa. Members were able to socialize over lunch and watch a short video presentation: “Going for Honor, Going for Broke: the 442 Story”, produced by George T. Johnston. The meeting included a brief update of the ongoing projects and events. In addition, the members also voted for the new officers for the Chapter:

  • Wes Deguchi:          President
  • Al Sadanaga:           1st Vice President
  • Wade Wasano:        2nd Vice President
  • Shirley Igarashi:       Treasurer
  • Susan Yoshitomi:     Secretary

Click below to view photos of the event, courtsey of Clyde Sugimoto.

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Varsity Victory Volunteers

Seven University of Hawaii ROTC cadets honored for their sacrifice.

Click to view KITV news video

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*** Go For Broke Bulletin ***

The Go For Broke Bulletin of the 442nd Veterans Club: Volume 64, No. 2, January – March 2012.

Click to view GFB Bulletin- March 2012

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1399th: Built to Last

Yasuo Mito

Here is an article from the Hawaii Herald on the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion.  Yasuo Mito, a member of the Battalion recalls his experiences.
Stories and images are courtesy of the Hawaii Herald.

BUILT TO LAST
Wahiawa Water Tank Built by 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion Still in Use Today

Gwen Battad Ishikawa
The Hawai‘i Herald (November 4, 2011)

The view while driving up Wahiawa Heights is almost nondescript. The rows of houses on either side of the street are occasionally broken up by pasture or farm land. Along the route are storage water tanks used to supply the water needs of nearby homes and businesses. The trees and tall grass growing in front of the tanks help them to blend in with the landscape.

What’s unique about one of these water tanks is that it was built in 1944 by soldiers in the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion — and it’s still being used. For any structure to remain standing after nearly 70 years is impressive, but even more amazing is that the water tank was constructed with the hard work and sweat of young Japanese American soldiers largely inexperienced in construction, using only hand tools and the occasional power Dewalt cutoff saw.
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Preserving the One Puka Puka Story

 

Susan Muroshige (left) and Pauline Sato at the entrance to Turner Hall in the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans clubhouse. Turner Hall is named for the 100th’s first commanding officer, Col. Farrant Turner.

Susan Muroshige and Pauline Sato

Here is an article from the Hawaii Herald on the 100th Infantry Battalion’s Education Center.

Susan Muroshige (left) and Pauline Sato at the entrance to Turner Hall in the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans clubhouse. Turner Hall is named for the 100th’s first commanding officer, Col. Farrant Turner.

Stories and images are courtesy of the Hawaii Herald. 

 

PRESERVING THE ONE PUKA PUKA STORY
State Grant Perpetuates 100th Infantry Battalion’s Pioneering Role

Joe Udell
The Hawai‘i Herald (November 4, 2011)

Thanks to a $1 million grant awarded by the state of Hawai‘i Department of Defense in 2008, the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans clubhouse is looking a lot different these days.
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