Thomas Ibaraki

A Company (Thomas Ibaraki was originally in D Company. He was transferred to A Company and remained active with A Company after the war)

Tom Ibaraki grew up in Waikiki. He was the second of three sons of Koyata and Toshiko Ibaraki. Officially born on December 10, 1919 in Honolulu, he related that his true birthdate was November 24, 1919. Back then, midwives assisted in child births and the filing of birth certificates. Whatever birth date they submitted became your official birthday.

Tom’s parents were from Nagano Prefecture. In Honolulu, his father became a prominent businessman who was well known and highly respected in the local community.

After graduating from McKinley High School in 1938, Tom ran the Ibaraki Store  (a family-owned business at Kalakaua and Paokalani Avenues) with his brothers. He married Dorothy Fukunaga on November 12, 1949. In addition to the family store, he worked full-time in sales at McKesson & Robbins and operated the Waikiki Barber Shop together with his wife.

Drafted in November 1941, he was stationed at Schofield Barracks when Pearl Harbor was attacked. After training camp and maneuvers at Camp McCoy (Wisconsin) and Camp Shelby (Mississippi), he fought in Italy (beginning in 1943) as part of the 100th Infantry Battallion (Separate).

He chose not to speak of his war-time experiences until recently (in his nineties), and then only in confidence. What he and his fellow soldiers endured was horrific. He was honorably discharged from the Army on November 6, 1945