Albert Yutaka Oki

Headquarters Company

Albert Yutaka Oki was born in Kamuela on the island of Hawaii to immigrants from Kugamachi of Yamaguchi-ken, Japan. His parents were plantation workers in Kohala.

Graduating from McKinley High School in Honolulu in 1935, Oki attended the University of Hawaii but was drafted into the army in March 1941 before he graduated. On December 7, 1941, he was stationed at Schofield Barracks. When he and Ken Otagaki were on guard duty, they were caught napping and were held at gunpoint and searched. That experience and the questioning of their loyalty motivated Oki to join the new Hawaiian Provisional Battalion that was being formed with Nisei enlisted men. Oki became an original member of Headquarters Company in the battalion which was renamed the 100th Infantry Battalion after landing in Oakland, California. Two of his brothers died fighting for Japan. His wife’s brother, James K. Kubokawa, also in the 100th, was killed in France.

After the war, Oki used the G.I. bill to finish college at American University in Washington, D.C. Wanting to help wounded Nisei veterans, he became a service officer with the Disabled Americans Veterans and later graduated from the law school at the University of Maryland. He was hired by the Veterans Administration in Washington, D.C. and later transferred to Honolulu where he spend a good part of his career as a V.A. attorney helping veterans with their benefits. Because of his expertise and knowledge of disability benefits, he was appointed an administrative law judge with the Social Security Administration and retired from the position in 1981.