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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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Honoring those that serve us

"1. Theme float, sound car and pace car

Tournament of Roses 2015

Alhambra, California honored the Japanese-Americans in WWII with their “Go For Broke” display:

Go For Broke!

Go For Broke!

10857080_10152910698717488_381013185268763231_o (800x450)

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Please click on photos to enlarge!

Honoring Louis Zamperini

Mr. Zamperini was made Grand Marshall

Mr. Zamperini was made Grand Marshall

Rose Parade-7 (800x616)

 

 

 

 

For those who care!

Pasadena-Police-and-Fire-Dept-Rose-Parade-Safety-Tips

Parade Watch Logo 2015 4 web

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Marine Mounted Honor Guard

U.S. Marine Mounted Honor Guard

Helsingor Pigegarde Elsinore Girls Marching Band from Denmark playing "Anchors Away" while marching in an anchor formation.

Helsingor Pigegarde Elsinore Girls Marching Band from Denmark playing “Anchors Away” while marching in an anchor formation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You !

Stealth B-2 Flyover

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Military Humor – cut-backs are international!

defence_cuts_navy

 

 

defence_cuts_boat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Farewell Salutes – borderKenneth Bridgham – Rutledge, TN; US Army, Korea & Vietnam, Bronze Star, Purple Heart

Brian Carrothers – Vancouver, CAN; Scottish Regiment (Princess Mary’s), WWII, D-Day

Cecil Corts – Leslie, MI; US Navy, WWII20140525_104827-10 (600x800)

Gordon Douglas – Veedersburg, IN; US Army, WWII, ETO, Bronze Star, Purple Heart

Terry Lewis – Little Rock, AR; US Navy (Ret. 25 years), Vietnam

John Mcrath – Canton, GA; US Navy, WWII

Robert Thomas, Melbourne, FL; US Army Air Corps, WWII, CBI/US Air Force, Korea

Hugh Young – Vienna, VA; US Army, Korea, CIA

border

 

G-2 Intelligence/ Nisei part 2

Ben Hazzard (mustache) w/ the 306th Language Detachment

Ben Hazzard (mustache) w/ the 306th Language Detachment

In the Solomons, a think document emerged from a grounded Japanese submarine. It contained a list of the enemy’s submarines with the code names, ship types that were unknown to the Allies and air squadrons and their bases. Three Nisei enlisted men of the Army translated all the paperwork.

MIS translations included: artillery charts, the Japanese Z Plan, mine field layouts and shipping schedules. The Nisei wrote surrender instructions and even decoded the documents that resulted in the aerial ambush that killed Admiral Yamamoto. Maps were deciphered and read mail. The Nisei donned headphones in the field and listened for that all-important “one-word” signal order directed to the enemy troops.

interrogating a Japanese general

interrogating a Japanese general

The Nisei flushed the enemy out of caves and bunkers, often while they themselves were unarmed. They fought alongside their fellow soldiers, interrogated prisoners and helped to empty munitions factories on Japan before the G.I.s went in to dismantle them. They endured the racism of the American citizens, some of the soldiers, the navy and even the taunting of the Filipino people. Yet, the Higa team went on to flush 30,000 Japanese men out of the caves and tombs on Okinawa. On 19 April, at 0640 hours, General John Hodge ordered his troops to break through the Naha-Shuri-Yonabaru line. The attack was shattered and 750 Americans died. According to Hodge himself, if the work the Nisei had done was given the attention it deserved – “it would not have happened at all!”

Nisei Soldier of WWII Bronze medal

Nisei Soldier of WWII Bronze medal

reverse side of bronze medal

reverse side of bronze medal

Outside Washington D.C. at Vint Hill Farm Station, MISers translated wires from the Japanese Ambassador, Gen. Oshima, sent to Berlin (via a station in Turkey). They were thereby reading Hitler’s mail to and from Tokyo almost before he did. The Pacific Military Intelligence Research Service (PACMIRS) was situated at Camp Richie, Maryland (later known as Camp David). At PACMIRS, Kazuo Yamane received documents ignored by the Navy and was found to be the Imperial Army Ordnance Inventory. The OWI used MISers and the Nisei proved themselves in the Allied Translator and Interpreter Service (Australia) and the Southeast Asia Translator and Interrogation Center (India).

During the occupation, Nisei helped to track down many of the war criminals. Shiro Tokuno, for one, improved Japan’s agriculture in the Natural Resources Section and later in the fisheries, forestry and boat construction areas. By the end of the war, twenty million pages of documents, diaries, etc. had been examined by the linguists. MacArthur’s Chief of Staff for Military Intelligence gave credit to the MIS graduates by saying that they had shortened the war by two years, saved a possible one million lives and probably billions of dollars. With the occupation still in progress, the MISers continued to be of assistance in Korea, although most Koreans did speak Japanese.

S/Sgt, Dick Hamada, Sgt .Fumio Kido w/ Blakenship 3 Jan. 1946 for Soldier's Award

S/Sgt, Dick Hamada, Sgt .Fumio Kido w/ Blakenship 3 Jan. 1946 for Soldier’s Award

They were not without a sense of humor, as James Tsurutani showed. He would lie down on the ground for his buddies while they held a bayonet to have a picture taken to send back home with the caption, “Captured another Jap!”

Upon returning home from Japan, my father and several other troopers from the 11th A/B, including two Nisei, went to a saloon to celebrate their return to San Francisco and the good ole U.S. of A. The drinks were put up on the bar, free of charge for returning veterans, and Smitty began to distribute them. He said he stopped laughing and talking just long enough to realize that he was two drinks shy of what he ordered. He knew right off what it was all about, but he tried to control that infamous temper of his, and said something to the effect of “Hey, I think you forgot a couple over here.” The reply came back in a growl, “We don’t serve their kind in here.” Dad said he was not sorry that lost control, he told me, “I began to rant things like, ‘don’t you know what they’ve been through?’ and ‘what the hell’s wrong with you?'”

By this time, the other troopers had heard Smitty yelling and it did not take them long to figure out the scenario between my father and the bartender. No explanation was necessary. In fact, dad said the entire situation blew apart like spontaneous combustion. The drinks hit the floor and all hell broke loose. When there was not much left in the bar to destroy, they quieted down and left the established (such as it was). The men finished their celebration elsewhere. Smitty said he never knew what, if anything ever came out of the incident. He never heard of charges being filed or men reprimanded. (I’ve wondered if Norman Kihuta, who was discharged on the same date as Smitty, was there on the scene.)

back at the office...

back at the office…

There were very few pictures taken of the Nisei soldiers for two main reasons. many of them had family in Japan and some relatives fighting in the Imperial Army and Navy, therefore their picture, if recognized, could possibly cause undue harm to those families. Another reason was the greed of the press for a spectacular story, which usually meant they were covering the actions of the Marines. The fighting in the Philippines did not seem as glamorous; with the Marines they could cause much more dramatic headlines. (ergo: less print, less photos). The linguists sent to China received very little recognition because the War Department would not admit they had American troops there.

By 1977, the MIS school produced 75,000 linguists speaking fifty languages.

…………………………..Dom’ arigato gozaimashita.’…………..

(Thank you very much for what you have done.)

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Resources: “Yankee Samauri” by Joseph D. Harrington; National Archives; cia.gov; NPS.gov; nisei.hawaii.edu; niseiveterans.blogspot.

I also located a very interesting blog by CGAYLEMARIE who is researching the Japanese-Americans at Oberlin College, if this subject interests you, stop in for a look… http://cgayleguevara.wordpress.com

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