442nd Regimental Combat Team
3rd Battalion, Headquarters Company
Takezo Kanda was born on November 13, 1920, in Honolulu, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii. He was the son of Taketaro and Toku (Horisawa) Kanda. He was educated at Kuhio School, Washington Intermediate School, and McKinley High School, Oahu. His father immigrated on December 19, 1906. Both parents were from Shiunji-Mura, Niigata-Ken, Japan. Taketaro was a retail merchant.
Takezo registered for the draft on February 14, 1942, at Local Board No.3, Honolulu National Guard Armory. He was 5’8 ½” and weighed 135 pounds. He was employed as a carpenter with the U.S. Army Engineers at Fort Shafter. He married Nora Y. Nakamura.
Takezo Kanda was inducted into the Army at Schofield Barracks, Oahu in March 1943, and combat trained at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. He served with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 3rd Battalion, Headquarters Company in the continental United States and Italy.
On September 1, 1944, Corporal Takezo Kanda was killed in action at Badia a Settimo near Florence, Italy during the Rome-Arno Campaign.
For his military service, Corporal Takezo Kanda was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal with 2 Oak-Leaf Clusters, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one bronze star, WWII Victory Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge. Takezo Kanda 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.
He is interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl), Section Q, Site 1189, Honolulu, Hawaii.
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.
Final proof editing by Russell K. Shoho, JA Living Legacy