From World War II to Harvard: the Nisei Soldier who served and taught America

On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes raided the U.S. Naval Base Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The substantial shock assault thrusted America into World War II. Adhering to the assault, governing administration suspicion arose all over Americans of Japanese descent. A couple of months afterwards, on March 29, 1942, Lieutenant Typical John L. DeWitt of the Western Defense Command issued General public Proclamation No. 4, which pressured the evacuation and detention of West Coastline people of Japanese American ancestry. Roughly one hundred twenty,000 Japanese Americans ended up despatched to focus camps in the United States among 1942 and 1945.

Irrespective of the escalating racism against Japanese Americans pursuing Executive Get 9066 and General public Proclamation No. 4, numerous Nisei, or next-generation Japanese Americans, joined to battle with Allied forces in 1943. The 442nd Regimental Overcome Crew was an all-Japanese American device activated approximately a calendar year soon after President Franklin Roosevelt signed EO9066. The device bundled volunteers from Hawaii and other folks from focus camps, where their families remained imprisoned.

The 442nd turned the most adorned device for its dimension and duration of services in the U.S. Army during World War II. Of the 18,000 or so guys that served in the 442nd, the device gained 21 Medals of Honor, nine,486 Purple Hearts, 560 Silver Stars, and numerous more decorations. Irrespective of racism and their families imprisoned, the 442nd fought for their ideals of flexibility and left a legacy that is unmatched.

Among them was Susumu Ito, a Nisei from Stockton, California. He was drafted into the navy in 1940. After the assault on Pearl Harbor, Ito’s family members was despatched to an American focus camp in the swamplands of Rohwer, Arkansas.

He was assigned to be a ahead observer with the 522nd Area Artillery Battalion, part of the 442nd. Ito participated in the famed rescue of the “Lost Battalion” in Oct 1944. Users of the 1st battalion, 141st Infantry, 36th Division had been reduce off and surrounded by Germans in the Vosges Mountains in France. Ito’s corporation effected the rescue of the Missing Battalion. His corporation misplaced all but 8 users during this motion, but Ito survived the fight devoid of personal injury.

“Looking back, it wasn’t an effortless outing, but having appear by it intact, it was an practical experience that can’t be neglected or simply duplicated.”

Ito was awarded the Bronze Star for his heroic actions and afterwards gained the Congressional Gold Medal, the greatest civilian U.S. medal, with other users of the 442nd.

Adhering to the war, at age 26, Ito pursued a faculty degree financed by his GI Invoice rewards. He went on to generate a PhD in biology from Cornell College. For the duration of a time when it was regarded a milestone for a Nisei to be a higher university teacher, he turned a professor of cell biology and anatomy at Harvard Clinical School in 1961, where his investigation centered on ultrastructural scientific studies of the gastrointestinal process.

Ito passed away in 2015 at the age of ninety six. We honor his services and his commitment to education.

If you would like to understand more about the 442nd Regimental Overcome Crew or carry their tales to your classroom, take a look at the Go For Broke Countrywide Instruction Center’s site for education products.

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