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Hawaii War Records Depository

Japanese American Veterans Timeline

HWRD Photo

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In July 1998, Japanese American Veterans held their national convention in Honolulu. In commemoration of this and in connection with a showing of "Witness: Our Brothers' Keepers -- Japanese American and Jewish American GIs," the Hawaii War Records Depository set up exhibits in Hamilton Library on the main floor and in Special Collections. The exhibit ran from 3 July through 31 July 1998. The following is an adaptation of the Time Line and large prints exhibited on the main floor of Hamilton. Staff of the Hawaii War Records Depository express appreciation to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team Archives and Learning Center for permission to exhibit and mount here four photographs owned by them; those photographs are acknowledged in the captions accompanying each.

Additional information is available in the Japanese American Veterans Collection.

late 1941

At the time of Pearl Harbor, several Japanese Americans (also known as Americans of Japanese Ancestry or AJAs) were members of the United States Army (298th and 299th Infantry)and the Territorial Guard.

January / February 1942

AJAs in the 298th and 299th were disarmed, shipped to the Mainland and reorganized as the 100th Infantry Battalion. The Territorial Guard was temporarily dissolved and disarmed, then reactivated minus the Japanese Americans. A group of these AJAs who were largely students at the University of Hawai'i organized themselves as the Varsity Victory Volunteers and offered to help the Army in any capacity.

27 Feb. 1942
VVV Corps [given a send off]
At the University of Hawai'i
Honolulu Advertiser photograph.
HWRD no. 62.

12 June 1942

Upon arrival at Oakland, Calif., the 100th Infantry Battalion was assigned to Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, for further training.

June/July 1942

Shortly after arriving at Camp McCoy, approximately 100 men were separated from 100th and, under oath of secrecy, sent to Military Intelligence School (MIS), Camp Savage, Minnesota.


Good record of the 100th at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, and later at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, led to allowing AJAs to volunteer for military.

1 February 1943

Army created the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. In response to a call for volunteers, many came forward; some 1300 AJAs from the Mainland and 2500 AJAs from Hawai'i were accepted.
28 March 1943
AJA Volunteers in 'Iolani Palace Grounds, Honolulu
Honolulu Star Bulletin photograph.
HWRD no. 160
9 June 1943
AJA Volunteers as Interpreters, Hilo Armory, Hilo
Unknown photographer.
HWRD no. 3849

February 1943

100th Infantry Battalion sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for large-unit training and maneuvers in Mississippi and Louisiana.

July 1943

The 442nd sent to Camp Shelby to begin their training. For a short time the 100th and the 442nd were stationed together.

August 1943

100th Infantry sent overseas after traveling via railroad from Camp Shelby to New Jersey. They arrived in Oran, Algeria, and were attached to the 34th Division, known as the "Red Bull" Division.
19 August 1943
Japanese American soldiers in the Anti-tank
Company of the Combat Team ease a gun off
the bank of a stream to ferry it across on
steel cables at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.
Courtesy 442nd RCT Archives.

22 September 1943

100th Infantry landed at Salerno, Italy, and marched inland (northward). They met fierce opposition at Volturno and at Monte Cassino.
12 October 1943
Lt. John Ko, of the Japanese American Battalion,
133th [sic], on reconnaissance, preparatory
to going into battle against the Germans in Italy.
HWRD no. 1452
1 May 1944
T/Sgt Herbert Miyasaki, Pa'auile, Hawai'i,(left)
and T/Sgt Akiji Yoshima, Colusa, California,
Japanese-American interpreters with Brigadier
General Frank Merrill, commander of Infantry
troops in Burma, in Noubaum [sic], Burma.
Courtesy 442nd RCT Archives.

May / June1944

442nd ordered overseas.

10 June 1944

100th Infantry incorporated into the 442nd Regimental Combat Team while retaining its unit designation. The final 442nd RCT consisted of the 2nd, 3rd, and 100th Infantry Battalions; the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion; the 232nd Engineering Company; the 206th Army Band; Anti-Tank Company; Cannon Company; and Service Company.

26 June 1944

442nd RCT began fighting the enemy at Belvedere, Italy.
12 July 1944
Comrades-in-arms, T/5 William Hirata,
Honolulu, 522nd F.A.Bn., 442nd Inf. Reg.,
34th Division, and Lorenzo Riba, Italian
soldier (right) 11th Pack Mule Co.,
34th Div., Fifth Army, Castrellina Sector,Italy.
HWRD no. 1440
15 July 1944
2nd Lt. Masanao Otake (who was commissioned
in battle), of Lahaina, leading his platoon
from the town of Orciano into the advance on
Leghorn, with Fifth Army, Italy.
HWRD no. 1435

Summer 1944

442nd RCT participated in the capture of Livorno, Italy, and pushes the German Army north of the Arno River.
7 August 1944
Wallace Higa of Pa'ia, Maui, James Ishimoto and
Jitsuo Kobayashi, both of Honolulu, in mortar
crew of 100th Bn. fire into the hills reported
to be active with German snipers, Fifth Army,
Montenerro, Italy. HWRD no. 1448

August 1944

Anti-Tank Co. of 442nd joined in invasion of southern France, flying in on gliders.

Autumn 1944

442nd RCT sent from Arno River line in Italy to southern France (reconnecting with Anti-Tank Co.) where they traveled up the Rhone River Valley and joined the 36th Division.
12 October 1944
S/Sgt James S. Kawashime, Honolulu,
stands guard at the 100th Inf. Bn bivouac
as the men of the 442nd Combat Team
prepare to go into the front lines, Seventh
Army, Charmois, France. HWRD no. 1436

19 October 1944

442nd captured the town of Bruyeres.

27 October 1944

After a short three-day rest, 442nd ordered to break the German encirclement of the "Lost Battalion."

prob. 1944
Two members of the Free French act as guides
for the men of the Japanese American
Combat Team in France; 2nd Lt. Arthur
McColl of Chicago stands in front of a jeep
driven by Pfc. William I. Soma of Kealia.
HWRD no. 1516

Winter 1944/45

522nd Field Artillery detached from main group of 442nd RCT and assigned action in eastern France and southern Germany.

Nov. 1944-Mar 1945

442nd RCT patrolled the French-Italian border.
prob 1944
Farmhouse at Sospel, France, photograph
attributed to Kay Ihara.
Courtesy 442nd RCT Archive.

Mar 1945

442nd returned to Italy in front of the Gothic Line.

5 April 1945

442nd conducted a surprise attack against the flank by climbing an almost vertical mountainside for several hours in the predawn. After attaining the top of the hills they captured two German outposts within slightly more than thirty minutes. The breached a line that had withstood allied attack for six months. The German rout in Northern Italy ensued.

May 1945

The 522nd Field Artillery participated in the liberation of Dachau, a short distance northwest of Munich.
27 March 1946
Mrs. Kuni Sakamoto receives the Bronze
Star Medal, posthumously awarded to her
son, Pvt. Robert I. Sakamoto, for outstanding
bravery in battle, from Chaplain H. Olds
(Col.), Chaplain, MIDPAC, with Chaplain R.G.
Pickhardt (Capt.)
HWRD no. 1534
Late April 1945
Just released Dachau prisoners in Waakirchen,
Germany, photograph by Nobuo Takamori, HQ,
522nd F.A.Battalion.
Courtesy 442nd RCT Archive.

8 May 1945

VE Day: Germany surrendered.
18 May 1945
Pfc. Genzo Toguchi and Sgt Seisaburo Taba,
both of HQ Co., 100th Bn, 442nd Infantry
Regiment, both from Honolulu, inspect a
German horse-drawn field kitchen brought to
Fifth Army Enemy Concentration Area,
Brescia, Italy.
HWRD no. 1445

August 1945

VJ Day: Japan surrendered, ending official war.
9 August 1946
Members of the 442nd Combat Team line the
rail of the transport Waterbury Victory
as it pulls into port of Honolulu.
HWRD no. 1504
9 August 1946
Crowd at 'Iolani Palace Grounds to welcome
the men of the 442nd Combat Team.
HWRD no. 1501
15 August 1946
Sgt Shigeh Fukuda, Kaneohe, of 442nd RCT, and
his girl, Miss Edna Ota, look at discharge
papers [at celebration to honor veterans],
HWRD no. 1488

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