In partnership with the Japanese American Veterans Association, the Pan Pacific American Leaders and Mentors Organization, and the DC Chapter of JACL, we will honor Japanese American veterans of WWII at the Memorial. Open to the public.
Also, check your local PBS station to find out when they are showing Lucy Ostrander’s film Proof of Loyalty: Kazuo Yamane and the Nisei Soldiers of Hawaii. On WETA in Washington, DC, it will be shown at 6 pm.
The film highlights the 100th Battalion and MIS veteran Kazuo Yamane. Following McKinley High School in Honolulu, Yamane graduated from Waseda University in Tokyo and returned to Hawaii in 1940. He was conscripted and was one of the 1,432 Nisei who were shipped to Camp McCoy, WI, to form the 100th Infantry Battalion. He was then transferred to the MIS and following Japanese language training was assigned to the Pentagon and other stateside posts.
During his assignment at Camp Ritchie, MD, with a Japanese translation unit called PACMIRS, bags of documents were received from the Battle of Saipan all marked “no military significance”. Yamane spotted a document entitled “File of Proceedings of 1944 Liaison Conference of Chiefs of Ordnance Departments” which recorded detailed munitions inventory and storage locations in Japan. The information was used by the Air Force to pinpoint bombing targets. Towards war’s end, Yamane and a small team of linguists were sent to SHAEF headquarters in France to join a British force to raid the Embassy of Japan. This operation did not materialize.
Ostrander previously produced a film on Roy Matsumoto, a Merrill’s Marauder who saved his battalion from being overrun in Burma.