French Legion of Honor Chevalier Medal
[Ed Note: Any American soldier who fought for the liberation of France during WW II is qualified to apply for the French Legion of Honor (see photo above). To obtain this prestigious medal, the Government of France (GOF} requires the submission of a very detailed application form. Many Nisei requested the form, started to complete it, but soon abandoned the effort because it was too tedious to complete. Jeff Morita, a U.S. government retiree, has worked patiently and tirelessly with the veterans to complete and mail the forms to the GOF. Thirty-five veterans of the 442nd RCT (including the 100th Battalion) received this award in specially arranged programs officiated by a GOF official. These veterans would not have received this well-deserved recognition without Jeff's initiatives. Twenty additional applications are awaiting GOF's approval. Thank you, Jeff for this achievement!]
Hawaii Convention Center, June 1, 2019. On behalf of the French Government, the Honorary Consul of France in Hawaii, Mr. Guillaume Maman, wife Theresa Maman and Consul General Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens and Staff of the Consulate General of France in San Francisco conferred individual French Chevalier (Knight) Medals to six World War II 100th/442nd Nisei Veterans. Each personally contributed to the liberation of France to include the villages of Bruyères, Belmont-Biffontaine, and the epic rescue of the lost ‘Texas’ battalion in the Vosges Mountains. Documented as one of the U.S. Army's bloodiest battles, the rescue also ranks as one of the top ten battles in U.S. Army history. Also in attendance were Hawaii State Governor David Yutaka Ige, First Lady Dawn Amano-Ige, both of whose fathers served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, and many members of the Consular Corps of Hawaii, family and friends. The Légion d’honneur is France’s highest order of merit for military and civil service and was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.