Nisei – part 2

306th HQ Intelligence Detachment, XXIV Corps, Leyte, Philippines, November 1, 1944. Front row, l to r: George Shimotori, Saburo Okamura, Thomas Sasaki, Francis Yamamoto Herbert Nishihara, Warren Tsuneishi. Back row, l to r: Hiroshi Itow, Joe Nishihara, Lt. Richard Kleeman, TSgt George Takabayashi, Lloyd Shimasato.
(Signal Corps photo)

When the first graduates were sent to the Pacific and landed in Australia, they were part of the Americal troops. Many were sent to help with the fighting on Iwo Jima, which MacArthur felt was taking far too long to complete. Some stayed and worked with the Australian troops and others went to British or Canadian units. (Canada also had their own S-20 Japanese Language School in Vancouver, British Columbia to train interpreters.) Only the U.S. Navy rejected the linguists. Admiral Halsey did in fact understand their importance and requested some MIS’ers for his fleet, but as a whole, Nimitz and the rest of the navy wanted to continue using their own intelligence personnel. (A very serious mistake in Leyte Gulf.)

It was difficult to locate the Nisei that worked G-2 specifically for the 11th Airborne and when because the men were rarely ever put on the official rosters. A MISer could train with the 11th Airborne on New Guinea and by December he was in Burma or up in the Aleutians. They were as difficult to track as the 11th A/B themselves. One Nisei found himself stuck at the Panama Canal, not at all certain what he was supposed to do there.

Nisei at work in Manila, P.I.

But, I did manage to locate a fair number of fellow paratroopers from Smitty’s division: Clarence Ohta and John Nakahara jumped with the 11th on Luzon. George Kojima, Koshi Ando and James Harada were with the 503d Regiment. Harry Akune jumped on Corregidor without any training, injured his ankle and went to work translating immediately. He was later at Atsugi airfield with MacArthur. After the service he went back to college. There was also: Robert Kimura and Mitsuo Usui; Takeshi “Jim” Fujisaka (lived in Fresno, CA and passed away 7 Sept. 1996); Tetsuo Koga; Norman Kihuta (with the 511th G-2 was discharged 6 Jan. 1946); Mike Miyatake went back to his customs job after his discharge; Akira Abe took his parachute training, flew to New Guinea and continued with the 11th A/B throughout Leyte and Luzon. Jiro Tukimura and Eddie Tamada were also noted in the records.

Nisei, saving lives by flushing out the caves.

In February of 1943, the Taiyo Maru, a Japanese transport ship, was sunk and a lifeboat washed up on Goodenough Island, north of New Guinea;s eastern tip. On that boat was a document that included a list of 40,000 Imperial Army officers from Hideki Tojo on down. These papers, once translated, gave the rank of each officer, unit assigned, the order of battle and the amount of men in each of these units. This information along with documents previously acquired and translated established the exact location of all Japanese units. This work alone was worth the time and effort of forming the MIS.

Click on images to enlarge.

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SHOUT OUT !!!

James South, 99 year old veteran, is about to turn 100 on 7 October.  He has asked for one thing for this occasion — to receive 100 birthday cards!!  Help him have his wish come true……

James South, 5800 North Park Drive, Watauga, TX  76148

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Military Humor – 

“Thank you, sir — all we needed was somebody blowin’ his horn.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – 

Alvie Boles (100) – Rosedale, OK; US Army, WWII. Purple Heart

William Davis – Topeka, KS; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, P-51

Dorothy Doerr – St Clair, MO; Civilian, “Rosie” at Curtiss Wright Aircraft, WWII

Robert Engel – E. Greenbush, NY; US Army, 11th Airborne Division

Harold Hayward (101) – Lower Hutt, NZ; RNZ Air Force # 74142, WWII, Wing Commander

Herschel Mattes – Pittsburgh, PA/Avon, CT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO, pilot, 1st Lt., 525 FS/86th Fighter Group, KIA

W. Ray Painter (100) – Augusta, GA; US Army, WWII

John Runkle Jr. – Washington D.C.; US Navy, WWII, APO / Korea

Henry C. Smith – Manistee, MI; US Army, WWII, CBI; Sgt., Merrill’s Marauders, Silver Star

Maurice ‘Migs’ Turner – Winnipeg, CAN;  RCNVR, WWII, Sub-Lt., HMCS Guelph / NATO / RC Coast Guard

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on September 26, 2019, in Home Front, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 77 Comments.

  1. GP, I just heard on Sirius 60s on 6 from DJ Phlash Phelps that James South, the veteran in your shout out received 100,000 cards for his 100th birthday last Monday. One of those cards was mine. And that’s the rest of the story, as Paul Harvey would say.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 40,000 Imperial Army officers from Hideki Tojo on down, your posts always lead to further questions gp, why was the Taiyo Maru carrying such vital information, and who had taken it on board the lifeboat, the questions from those days will never be known I think, cheers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know what you mean! It seems their hierarchy believed that each information should be available to each high ranking officer. I can only surmise that this Captain was unable to destroy his papers before sinking.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on Lest We Forget II and commented:
    Nisei – part 2

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I never cease to marvel at the mine of fascinating information and stories you share on this blog. Thank you for all your hard work.
    Best regards, Stephen.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m so sad to share that our LordBeariOfBow (Brian) has died.
    Please see the comment section of his last post for the details.
    (((HUGS)))

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s fascinating to learn about the Nisei.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Great post, thanks for the Canadian reference, I do 100 cards arrive for him.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you for honoring these men, GP.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Thanks for part 2 on this interesting topic of Nisei Americans!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. That list was quite the find. Guess we never know what is going to wash up into our lives.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. My gosh. That was quite the treasure trove that washed into their hands. To have all those names, and the order of battle — it’s just amazing. The photo of the men in front of their tent is wonderful, and like others, I laughed to see that old song in the cartoon. I sang “Marzydoats” for a couple of years before I figured out what it meant!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. You are a splendid writer and you posts have filled my soul. Thank you for sharing and giving me a heretofore perspective in my life of learning. I love that you have chosen to Share👍

    Read: http://www.sheilaclapkin.com

    >

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Thanks for the continuing education, GP!

    Liked by 3 people

  14. These guys would be a good story line for a movie.
    But maybe you say that for most anything that happened there?

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Another great blog post GP. I may have to send the birthday boy a card, seeing as we share the same bd but not the same birth year.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. This has been very interesting, GP. Well done, as always!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. So many interesting things in this post. Three centenarians and a Merrill’s Marauder. Papers that probably shortened the war by a measurable amount of time. And an admiral who didn’t need the help of people who spoke the unbelievably complex language of his enemy, despite the fact that everybody else wanted them.
    Ignoring “The Wisdom of the Crowd” is invariably a mistake. Thanks a lot for sharing all these little gems.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. GP you continue to unearth the most fascinating details. The scope of all these different aspects is astounding. Thanks for bringing to life another detail today. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. The sinking of Taiyo Maru was really worth it considering all the documents they found. Will send a card to James South.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Loved the Mairzy Dotes cartoon and information in this post. Thanks, GP.

    Liked by 3 people

  21. During the 1950s and 60s my father had a business in a small town where many Japanese families had been located during WWII. He had gained such a high esteem for the integrity imbedded within the Japanese culture he experienced in our area that his standard policy was that any Japanese adult who asked for credit got it without question. This was before credit cards. He was never disappointed.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. That last paragraph–the intel–amazing. So many victories depended at least a little on luck.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. The consequences of one washed up lifeboat!
    Love the ‘kiddlytivytoo’!

    Liked by 2 people

  24. That cartoon is hysterical.

    I found some more info on my college Prof. https://www.chieftain.com/article/20070528/SPECIAL/305289993

    The article mentions that he was an instructor for the Army, which is only part of the story. I know he was in Europe during the war. He was a pretty humble man, and the article mentions things he did that I had no clue of. I know he was the Department Head for Sociology at Adams State (then) College, and that’s how I knew him.

    The other man mentioned is from my area, but I don’t recall him. I know we had several Japanese families about but I don’t recall ever encountering them or their children. Looking back, that’s kind of strange.

    I think one of the funniest stories I ever hears came from our ranch vet, Ben Kanishi (not sure if I spelled his name right). Since he was a veterinarian, when he got drafted (during Korea), they sent him through OCS. The Army put him to work inspecting food for the military. He recalled he was in charge of inspecting shrimp. Being from the mountains of Colorado, the only place he’d ever seen shrimp was on a plate. Eventually they must have realized he didn’t know which end of a shrimp was the head or the tail, so they gave him more interesting work. Training and giving medical aid to Military Dogs.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. I haven’t studied it, but it appears they were put to a much different use than what occurred in Europe where they formed totally Japanese-American units.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Nisei were born here and many couldn’t speak Japanese, so not all went to the MIS school. The grunt soldiers sent to Europe so they would not come into contact with possible Japanese relatives.

      Liked by 2 people

  26. Super effort to locate those Nisei, gpcox. I do have a complete list of MIS’ers received from Grant Ichikawa before he passed recently. Nice find of the tent photo!

    Liked by 2 people

  27. That was some find indeed, the list of all the officers and troop dispositions. Well done to those Japanese-American soldiers.
    Great cartoons too, GP! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Excellent personnel research, GP

    Liked by 2 people

  29. This is some amazing research! Thank you. Hearing that little nursery rhyme again! My mom sang it to me and I would giggle. “Kiddly divytoo, wouldn’t you”

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Great work tracking down so many of those who served with your father’s unit and honoring their service.

    Liked by 2 people

  31. I remember my mother singing “Mairzy Doats.” Getting a BD card ready for James South!

    Liked by 2 people

  1. Pingback: Featured Blogger Report: Nisei – part 2 // Pacific Paratrooper #AceHistoryDesk reports | ' Ace Worldwide History '

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