Moriso Teraoka was born in 1924 in the plantation town of Wainaku, on the island of Hawaii. After Pearl Harbor was attacked in December 1941, one of his brothers was discharged from the Army and sent to the Tule Lake internment camp because he had been educated in Japan.
In 1943 Teraoka walked to Hilo and volunteered to join the newly created 442nd Regimental Combat Team which was sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi for basic training. He became a member of the mortar squad in the 1st Battalion. Much to his disappointment, the 1st Battalion was renamed and held back to train new recruits when the regiment was assigned to combat duty in Italy. The following year he joined the 100th Infantry Battalion in southern France.
After the war, he began his 38 year career at Pearl Harbor Naval Base as an apprentice machinist, ending it as Nuclear Ship Superintendent. In his retirement years he took culinary and creative writing classes and over the course of 20 years designed and created a cactus and succulent garden at the Kapiolani Community College.
More photographs and an extensive history of Teraoka can be found at