Americans of Japanese Ancestry are Fighting on the Italian Front

Author: unknown
The Free World (Italian), November 1944
Puka Puka Parades, November – December 1979, vol. 33 no. 6

Italian Magazine stating the World War II had many nationalities fighting for countries such as the Swedish, Polish, Italian and Japanese fighting for America.

Editor’s Note: The article on the opposite page is from THE FREE WORLD, a WW II Italian magazine. The Reverend Hiro Higuchi, honorary club member and wartime chaplain, was given the magazine by a soldier in 1944 who told him that there’s a story about the 100th in it. We are indebted to Mrs. Annie White of Kailua-Kona for the translation. The article tells the story of the 100th with a photo of club president Conrad Tsukayama. He was then a sergeant, and later received a battlefield commission for combat leadership. The caption reads, “Always smiling, forever in a good mood, Sergeant Conrad Tsukayama from Lanikai, Oahu, fought with the Fifth Army during the Italian campaign. He particularly distinguished himself at the Battle of Volturno.”

From the Magazine: THE FREE WORLD, November 1944

“Americans Of Japanese Ancestry Are Fighting On The Italian Front”

The present war is characterized, as far as the soldiers are concerned, by an amazing variety of national backgrounds. This fact should not surprise us when, we realize the pervading ideological tenor of the conflict, born from the confrontation of two entirely opposed concepts: democracy on one hand, dictatorship on the other. Nowadays, it is not only some countries which are waging war against each other, but all the men who cherish freedom who are bearing arms in order to defend their ideals against the people who have given in to the totalitarian oppression.

Among all the armed forces which are fighting for a free and democratic way of life, are found men whose ancestors belong to the very nations against which the free nations declared war. However, it is in the United States that this fact is particularly meaningful; its population is made up of a majority of Europeans who emigrated there one or more generations ago. The descendants of those families with a non-American ancestry still lead their lives in the old traditional way of their ancestors, however such is the power of the American spirit that all of them without any exception feel themselves to be an integral part of the United States.

This is why one can see Americans of Swedish, Polish, Dutch, Belgian or Italian ancestry, all pulling together for the cause of the United States; but what is most extraordinary, especially for whoever is not familiar with the deep feelings of the star-spangled republic citizens for their country, is the sight of Americans of Japanese ancestry fighting side by side with the allied forces.

These soldiers of Japanese ancestry can be found on all fronts. As far as the Italian front is concerned, those men have already participated and are still participating in the struggle against the German invaders. There is in Italy a full infantry battalion exclusively composed of such soldiers. Such is their spirit and courage that it was officially acknowledged by the American General Mark. W. Clark, Commander-in-chief of the Fifth Army for some time. In the report he addressed to Henry L. Stimson, War Minister for the United States, General Clark expressed himself in the following terms about the soldiers of Japanese ancestry: “These men have shown great heroism under enemy fire, and they used their arms with confidence and ability. Their will to fight is tremendous, and their morale is deserving of the highest praise.”