JAVA member Jeff Morita's cousin, Ann (Morita) Shima, daughter of Corporal James Yoshio Morita, F “Fox” Company, 2nd Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team came across the above black/white photograph. Her father Jim would have been recuperating in Southern France after being severely wounded in the back by German self-propelled artillery a few days after the epic rescue of the lost ‘Texas’ battalion in the Vosges Mountains — so it is a mystery as to why he would have the photograph in the first place. On the reverse side of the photo is a handwritten note, “Christmas Day 1944 (Harrison Hamasaki)." December 1944 would place the 100th/442nd in Southern France (Maritime Alps Allied Offensive Campaign).
Claire Mitani, Secretary, 442nd Legacy Center and Veterans Club quickly identified the two Nisei soldiers as (left) Michio Takata, and (right) Henry Oyasato, both assigned to F “Fox” Company. The Morita Family would like to identify the other ‘caucasian’ officers depicted in the group photograph. Information on Harrison Hamasaki would also be welcome.
Jeff Morita related an on an interesting side note — Henry Oyasato also played an acting role in the original 1951 “Go for Broke” movie. Morita believes he portrayed Lieutenant “Ohara” who is killed by artillery shrapnel in the Vosges and has a kid brother who joins the unit a short time later. Oyasato was also a Silver Star Medal recipient for gallantry near Belmont, France; he retired as a U.S. Army Colonel is buried at Punchbowl.
If you have any ideas about who might be pictured in the photo, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reverse side of photo: Christmas Day 1944 (Harrison Hamasaki).