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  • 01 Mar 2021 2:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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!]

    Jeff Morita

    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.


  • 01 Mar 2021 1:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Royce Eiko Higa in uniform. Photo: Higa Family.


    Royce Eiko Higa, June 1, 2019, Hawaii Convention Center.

    Sergeant Royce Eiko Higa was assigned to A “Able” Battery, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  As a light artillery cannoneer, Higa served courageously and gallantly in the Northern Apennines; (France) Rhineland-Vosges and Rhineland-Maritime Alps; and Central Europe (Alsace-Lorraine) Campaigns.  Royce Higa and the 522nd FAB were later separated from their parent 442nd RCT and in Southern Germany known to have rescued and liberated many imprisoned Jewish people from a Dachau sub-camp, and yet others on their "death march."  For his honorable service, SGT Higa received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three Bronze Stars (AKA:  Campaign or Battle stars); World War II Victory Medal; Expert Badge with Rifle and Heavy Machine-gun Bars; and the Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II.  Mr. Higa, 100 years old, lives in Honolulu, Hawaii.

  • 01 Mar 2021 1:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    Hidenobu Hiyane in uniform. Photo: Hiyane Family.


    Hidenobu Hiyane, June 1, 2019, Hawaii Convention Center.

    Technician Fourth Class (Tec/4) Hidenobu Hiyane was assigned to Headquarters Company, 100th Infantry Battalion. He is an ‘original’ 100th member serving in the U.S. Army before December 7, 1941. In the European Theater of Operation, Hiyane was later assigned to Headquarters Company, 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Hiyane excelled in electronics and was assigned to the communications platoon.  Hiyane served courageously and gallantly in the Central Pacific (Hawaii); Naples-Foggia; Rome-Arno; and (France) Rhineland-Vosges and Rhineland-Maritime Alps Campaigns. For his honorable service, Tech/4 Hiyane received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal; Bronze Star Medal; American Defense Service Medal with clasp; Army Good Conduct Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars (AKA:  Campaign or Battle stars); World War II Victory Medal; Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB); Expert Badge with Rifle Bar; and the Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II. Mr. Hiyane, 102 years old, resides in Pearl City, Hawaii.

  • 01 Mar 2021 1:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    George K. Oide in uniform. Photo: Oide Family.


    George K. Oide,  December 2018. Photo: Oide Family.

    Private George Kenichi Oide was assigned to the Headquarters Battery, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. As an artillery forward observer, Oide served courageously and gallantly in the Rome-Arno; Northern Apennines; (France) Rhineland-Vosges and Rhineland Maritime Alps; and Central Europe Allied Offensive Campaigns. George Oide and the 522nd FAB were later separated from their parent 442nd RCT and in Southern Germany later known to have rescued and liberated many imprisoned Jewish people from a Dachau sub-camp and yet others on their "death march." For his honorable service, PVT Oide received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars (AKA:  Campaign or Battle stars); World War II Victory Medal; Army of Occupation Medal with Germany Bar; Sharpshooter Badge with Carbine bar; Marksman Badge with Rifle bar; and the Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II. On January 27, 2021, Mr. Oide passed away just short of his 98th birthday in Honolulu, Hawaii.

  • 01 Mar 2021 1:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    Clinton Ikuzo Shiraishi in uniform. Photo: Shiraishi Family.


    Clinton Ikuzo Shiraishi, June 1, 2019, Hawaii Convention Center.

    Private First Class Clinton Ikuzo Shiraishi was also assigned to the Headquarters Battery, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Shiraishi served courageously and gallantly in the Rome-Arno; Northern Apennines; (France) Rhineland-Vosges and Rhineland Maritime Alps; and Central Europe Allied Offensive Campaigns. Clinton Shiraishi and the 522nd FAB were later separated from their parent 442nd RCT and in Southern France later known to have rescued and liberated many imprisoned Jewish people from a Dachau sub-camp, and yet others on their "death march."  For his honorable service, PFC Shiraishi received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal; Purple Heart Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; American Campaign Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars (AKA:  Campaign or Battle stars); World War II Victory Medal; Sharpshooter Badge with Carbine Bar; Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar; and the Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II. Mr. Shiraishi is 99 years old and resides in Lihue, Kauai.

  • 01 Mar 2021 1:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Harry Koichi Tokushige.  Photo: Tokushige Family.


    Harry Koichi Tokushige, June 1, 2019, Hawaii Convention Center

    Private First Class (PFC) Harry Koichi Tokushige was assigned to A “Able” Battery, 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  As a light artillery cannoneer, Tokushige served courageously and gallantly in the Rome-Arno; Northern Apennines; (France) Rhineland-Vosges and Rhineland-Maritime Alps; and Central Europe (Alsace-Lorraine) Campaigns.  Harry Tokushige and the 522nd FAB were later separated from their parent 442nd RCT and in Southern Germany known to have rescued and liberated many imprisoned Jewish people from a Dachau sub-camp, and yet others on their "death march."  For his honorable service, PFC Tokushige received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal; Army Good Conduct Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars (AKA:  Campaign or Battle stars); World War II Victory Medal; Expert Badge with Light Machine-gun and Pistol Bars, Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar; and the Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II.  Mr. Tokushige, 96 years old, lives in Honolulu, Hawaii.

  • 01 Mar 2021 1:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    Paul Sanji Watanabe, June 1, 2019, Hawaii Convention Center


    Paul S. Watanabe's Chevalier dans l’Ordre national de la Légion d’honneur (Knight in the National Order of the French Legion of Honor) Certificate

    Private First Class Paul Sanji Watanabe was assigned to 232nd Engineer Company, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. As an assault infantry pioneer (combat engineer), Watanabe served courageously and gallantly in the Rome-Arno; and (France) Rhineland-Vosges and Rhineland-Maritime Alps Campaigns. PFC Watanabe was combat wounded twice in France. For his honorable service, PFC Watanabe received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal; Purple Heart Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster (2nd award); Army Good Conduct Medal; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with two Bronze Stars (AKA:  Campaign or Battle stars); World War II Victory Medal; Marksman Badge with Rifle Bar; and the Honorable Service Lapel Button-World War II.  Mr. Watanabe, 98 years old, resides in Honolulu, Hawaii.

    Jeff Morita, a retired U.S. Army Veteran and Department of the Army Civilian, totaling 40 years of proud and devoted service to the U.S. meticulously researched and submitted nominations for the above six (6) 100th/442nd Veterans. To date, Jeff has submitted 55 nominations of which the Government of France has inducted 35.  The remaining 20 nominations are pending in Paris, France. The French Chevalier nominee must be living at the time of the nomination, and served “boots on the ground” in France prior to May 8, 1945.  Jeff offers his pro bono / public service to all interested jeff_kine_57@icloud.com.



  • 01 Mar 2021 1:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    A link for suggestions on practical steps to take while you wait your turn for the vaccine: 

    https://www.myhealth.va.gov/mhv-portal-web/ss20210125-waiting-for-the-covid-19-vaccine .


  • 01 Feb 2021 2:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    422nd RCT Color Guard in Vosges, France in November 1944.  Photo: U.S. Signal Corps.


    Press Release of 1st Division Museum at Cantigny Park

    Wheaton, Ill.  The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park continues its acclaimed Date with History series with a virtual program about Japanese American soldiers who fought hard for America in World War II. Filmmaker and historian Neil Yamamoto will present “Go for Broke! The 442nd Regimental Combat Team” via Zoom on Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 7:00 pm Central Time ( 8:00 pm ET/ 5:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm HT). The program is free, but registration is required at https://www.fdmuseum.org/event/go-for-broke-the-442nd-regimental-combat-team/

    The presentation will explain the formation, training and combat exploits of the Varsity Victory Volunteers, 100th Infantry Battalion, and 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. These units, comprised of Japanese Americans in Hawaii and mainland internment camps, served with the utmost distinction during the war and were the most decorated unit of their size and length of service in the history of the United States Armed Forces. Today, the 100th Battalion/442nd Infantry Regiment remains the only infantry unit in the United States Army Reserve. 

    Yamamoto, a fifth generation Japanese American, specializes in Japanese American history and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team specifically. His grandfather and uncles served in the unit during World War II. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Northern Colorado and created the educational curriculum for two 442nd Regimental Combat Team projects—“Journey of Heroes,” a comic book detailing the formation, combat exploits and legacy of the 442nd, and “Go For Broke: An Origins Story.” The latter is a Hawaii-produced feature film about the formation of the Varsity Victory Volunteers and 442nd Regimental Combat Team.


    Fimmaker Neil Yamamoto. Photo: Laura Sears.

    The First Division Museum, part of Robert R. McCormick Foundations, promotes public learning about America’s military heritage and affairs through the history of the “Big Red One”—the famed 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. The museum’s main exhibit hall, First in War, transports visitors to the trenches of World War I, the beaches of World War II and the jungles of Vietnam. Outside, tanks are displayed from every era, along with artillery pieces and a personnel carrier. The Robert R. McCormick Research Center, open to the public, houses the museum’s library, archival and photo collections.

    The First Division Museum reopens for the 2021 season on Friday, February 5, and will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in February. For more information, visit FDMuseum.org.


  • 01 Feb 2021 2:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    R to L:  Ms. Megumi Koike of Public Affairs Office;  Minister Kenichiro Mukai, Head of Chancery, Management & Coordination; Dr. Cynthia Macri, JAVA Board Member; Minister Tsukada; Gerald Yamada, JAVA President; and Howard High, JAVA Vice President.       


    Tamaki Tsukada returned to the Japanese Embassy as the new Deputy Chief of Mission last November.  He was stationed at the Japanese Embassy several years ago.  He is renewing relationships with organizations that he worked with before.  On Friday, January 29th, 2021, members of JAVA were invited to lunch at Minister Tsukada’ s residence.  


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