Yoroku Ito

C Company

Yoroku Ito was born in Puunene, on the island of Maui, in 1922 and graduated from Maui High School in 1940. He eventually moved to Oahu.

On December 7, 1941, while working on a skylight, Yoroku noticed three planes decorated with red circles flying above towards Pearl Harbor. A radio broadcast stated that Japanese flyers had bombed Pearl Harbor.

To prove his loyalty to his country, Yoroku joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team in March 1943 and trained at Camp Shelby, Mississippi before leaving for Europe. He was one of the soldiers that were sent from the 442nd to the 100th Infantry Battalion after it had suffered many casualties in Italy. He encountered action in Italy and France where the Nisei soldiers played a major role in the liberation of France from Germany.

He returned to U.S. soil after a hand grenade had exploded and shrapnel hit his leg. Yoroku was honorably discharged in January 1946 and awarded the Purple Heart medal. In December 2011 he received a replica of the Congressional Gold Medal that was awarded to the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Japanese American soldiers who served in the Military Intelligence Service during World War II. He was presented with the French Legion of Honor award aboard the French frigate FS Prairial at Pearl Harbor in July 2014.

Yoroku married Ayako “Edith” Yamada and had three daughters and a son. He participated in Club 100 softball games and enjoyed going to the Club’s picnics and gatherings. After retiring as an electrical contractor, Yoroku spent countless hours tending to his plants and became a master of mame bonsai. He also cared for his pets, enjoyed woodworking, and did color pencil drawings of bonsai and flowers.

Yoroku passed away at age 97 in spring 2019. His children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will be forever grateful for his service to his country.