Joe M. Nishimoto was born an American citizen to Japanese parents in Fresno, California on February 21, 1919. He was interned like most Japanese-Americans in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was at the Jerome War Relocation Center in Arkansas when his brother-in-law arranged for his release and move to Columbus, Ohio.
Nishimoto was living in Columbus when he was drafted into the United States Army on October 4, 1943. He volunteered for service in the all-Nisei (2nd generation Japanese-American) 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Continue reading Private First Class Joe M. Nishimoto, USA (November 7, 1944)
James K. Okubo was born on May 30, 1920 in Anacortes, Washington. With the internment of Japanese-Americans in the wake of Pearl Harbor, he was sent with his family to the Tule Lake War Relocation Center in California and later to the Heart Mountain War Relocation Center in Wyoming. It was from the latter that he was drafted into the United States Army on May 22, 1943 just before his 23rd birthday.
Okubo volunteered for the all-Nisei (2nd generation Japanese-American) 442nd Regimental Combat Team and was trained as a combat medic. On three days in the fall of 1944, he showed such valor in combat caring for his wounded comrades that he was later awarded the Medal of Honor.
Continue reading Technician 5th Grade James K. Okubo, USA (November 4, 1944)
On October 24, 1944, the 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry Regiment – part of the 36th Infantry Division – was cut off and surrounded by the Nazis in France’s Vosges Mountains. Two attempts were made to break through to the unit known as the “Lost Battalion”. Those attempts failed.
On October 26, the all-Nisei (second-generation Japanese-American) 442nd Regimental Combat Team was ordered to break through to the Lost Battalion. Over five days of intense fighting, the 442nd finally saved about 230 of 1-141’s soldiers, and suffered at least 800 casualties in the process.
Two of the 442nd’s soldiers earned the Medal of Honor for their heroism during the battle.
Continue reading Privates Barney F. Hajiro & George T. Sakato and the “Lost Battalion” (October 29, 1944)
Robert Toshio Kuroda was born in Aiea, Hawaii on the island of Oahu on November 8, 1922. His parents were Japanese immigrants, making him a Nisei, or second-generation (native born) Japanese-American. He graduated from vocational school and was an electrician, but found it difficult to find work with World War II raging and prejudices against people of Japanese descent. He was drafted on March 23, 1943 and volunteered for the United States Army‘s all-Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Continue reading Staff Sergeant Robert T. Kuroda, USA (October 20, 1944)
Masato Nakae was born in Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii on December 20, 1917. He was drafted into the United States Army on February 8, 1942 and volunteered for duty with the all-Nisei (second-generation Japanese-American) 100th Infantry Battalion, later part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Continue reading Private Masato Nakae, USA (August 19, 1944)
Kazuo Otani was born an American citizen to Japanese immigrant parents in Visalia, California on June 2, 1918. He was drafted into the United States Army on February 16, 1942. Not long afterwards, his family was interned in the Gila River War Relocation Center in Arizona.
Otani served with the 2nd Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an all-Nisei unit made up of second-generation Japanese-Americans.
Continue reading Staff Sergeant Kazuo Otani, USA (July 15, 1944)
Seventy years ago today on July 7, 1944, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team – predominately comprised of Nisei (2nd generation, born-citizen Japanese-Americans) – continued the fight for Hill 140 near Castellina, Italy. Two of the regiment’s soldiers had already exhibited heroism worthy of the Medal of Honor.
On this day, Private First Class Kaoru Moto and Technical Sergeant Ted T. Tanouye would join them.
Continue reading PFC Kaoru Moto & TSG Ted T. Tanouye, USA (July 7, 1944)
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, attached to the 34th Infantry Division during World War II, was one of the most decorated units for valor in the history of the United States.
On July 4, 1944 two Privates First Class of the regiment went above and beyond the normal call of duty in the face of our Nazi German enemies and received our Nation’s highest honor.
Continue reading Privates First Class William K. Nakamura & Frank H. Ono, USA (July 4, 1944)
Kiyoshi K. Muranaga was born in Los Angeles, California on February 16, 1922 to Japanese immigrant parents. An American citizen by birth, he was living in Gardena, California when he was interred with his family in the Granada War Relocation Center in Colorado.
Records indicate he was drafted into the United States Army on May 29, 1943 and he was trained as a mortarman and placed in Company F, 2nd Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, an all-Nisei (second generation Japanese-American) unit. Continue reading Private First Class Kiyoshi K. Muranaga, USA (June 26, 1944)
In the late 1990s, the United States Army began a review of the service records of Japanese-Americans who had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for valor during World War II to determine if any of them had been denied the Medal of Honor due to racial prejudice.
Two of the soldiers whose decorations were found to be insufficient and thus upgraded to our nation’s highest honor were Yeiki Kobashigawa and Shinyei Nakamine, who fought as part of the all-Nisei (born Japanese-Americans and citizens, sons of Japanese immigrants) 100th Infantry Battalion attached to the 34th Infantry Division in Italy on June 2-3, 1944.
Continue reading TSG Yeiki Kobashigawa and PVT Shinyei Nakamine, USA (June 2-3, 1944)