Masato Iwasa

B Company

James Masato Iwasa was born on December 5, 1914. He passed away on May 26, 1998 at the age of 84 years old. He was interred at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

James graduated from McKinley High School in Honolulu. He enlisted in the Army and went through training at Camp McCoy in Wisconsin and Camp Shelby in Mississippi. He was assigned to B Company with the 100th Infantry Battalion.

After returning from the war in which he was wounded and received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals, James became a master journeyman plumber for the City and County of Honolulu working in the Hawaii Public School system.

James lived with his parents at the Dillingham Estate (which is now La Pietra School) on Diamond Head. His father was the caretaker/gardener for the Dillingham family and took care of a large greenhouse for orchid plants, as well as a large vegetable garden. James and Ben Dillingham grew up together, and when James’ father passed away, he was asked by Ben to take care of the orchid greenhouse. James was an expert in breeding and propagating the many varieties of orchid plants as well as the grafting of fruit trees.

When James married Lillian, they bought a home in Kaimuki. They had no children.

In his spare time in addition to gardening, James enjoyed bowling and participated on a bowling team.
After retirement, he became a tour manager and led tours to the mainland, Asia and Canada.

(Submitted by his nephew James Nogawa, July 2019)