Raymond Tsukasa Yamada
Private First Class
442nd Regimental Combat Team
3rd Battalion, Headquarters Company
Raymond Tsukasa Yamada was born on October 9, 1920, in Honolulu, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii. He was the son of Tokusaburo and Misano (Nomura) Yamada. His parents immigrated to Hawaii from Hiroshima, Japan on the Nippon Maru, arriving on May 29, 1908. His father was a self-employed painter.
He was educated at Lunalilo School and McKinley High School, Oahu. Before entering the service, he was employed as a salesman for Kodak Hawaii, Ltd., Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii. Tsukasa registered for the draft at Local Board No. 3 in Honolulu on February 15, 1942. He was 5’7” tall, weighed 135 pounds, and listed his occupation as clerk.
Private First Class Raymond Tsukasa Yamada was inducted into the Army in March 1943, in Honolulu. He was in the “tent city” with other inductees at Schofield Barracks. On March 28 they were given a community farewell at Iolani Palace. On April 4 they sailed on the S.S. Lurline to San Francisco. After a train trip across the US, they arrived at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for training. Following basic training, he was assigned to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 3rd Battalion, Headquarters Company.
For his military service Private First Class Raymond Tsukasa Yamada was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart Medal with one oak leaf Cluster, Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four bronze stars, WWII Victory Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Distinguished Unit Badge. Tsukasa was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal on October 5, 2010, along with the other veterans of the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team. This is the highest Congressional Civilian Medal.
Private First Class Raymond Tsukasa Yamada died near Mirandola, Italy, on May 23, 1945.
A memorial service was held at the Nishi Hongwanji Temple in Honolulu on June 10, 1945.
He was interred at the U.S. Military Cemetery Mirandola, 18 miles northeast of Modena, Italy. He was brought home and interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl), Honolulu, Section D, Site 91, on July 27, 1049.
Excerpts taken from In Freedom’s Cause: A Record of the Men of Hawaii Who Died in the Second World War (1949) with permission from The University of Hawaii Press.
Original Biography prepared by Americans of Japanese Ancestry World War II Memorial Alliance, and provided courtesy of Japanese American Living Legacy (http://www.jalivinglegacy.org/)