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"I think each time I went out in no man’s land was an event." (Memoir, page 9)

   Yeiichi Kelly Kuwayama
Image of Yeiichi Kelly Kuwayama
Yeiichi Kelly Kuwayama, 1944.
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: Company E, 442nd Infantry Regiment
Service Location: European Theater; United States
Rank: Technician Four
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For over a year after Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans were not allowed to enlist in the military. But Yeiichi Kelly Kuwayama had been drafted long before December 7, 1941, so he was in a kind of limbo: part of the armed forces but not allowed to fight. Once President Roosevelt lifted the ban, the 442nd Regiment, composed of Japanese Americans from both the mainland and Hawaii, was formed, and Kuwayama became a battlefield medic with them. He witnessed brutal battles in Italy and France, including the famed rescue of the so-called Lost Battalion and the fight in which future Senator Daniel Inouye was severely wounded.

Interview (Video)
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Download: video (53 min.)
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 Memoirs
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 Official Documents
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (4 items)
First taste of combat and encounter with death. (02:48) Fighting in the Vosges Mountains in France. (01:14) Circumstances of his getting wounded; duties; his Silver Star citation. (02:44)
Back to Italy for more fighting; in the Po Valley at war’s end. (01:25)  
  
 Official Documents (5 items)
Enlisted record and report of separation Honorable Discharge certificate Citation for award of the Silver Star
Award of Foreign Decoration [March 15, 1946] Certificate from the Italian Ministry of War for participation in the Italian campaign [October 5, 1945] 
  
 
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  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
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