100th Soldiers of Hawaiian Ancestry

In 2018 Ramona Ho, high school librarian at Kamehameha Schools Maui since 2003, retired after a 40-year career in education. During her tenure at Kamehameha she began to research the Hawaiian and Maui-born soldiers who had served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service during World War II.

Mrs. Ho’s retirement was the feature story of the May 15, 2018 issue of the student newspaper Ka Leo o Nā Koa. Among her many contributions, she was lauded for teaching students how to conduct research and prepare presentations and for her passion to connect students to their veteran ancestors. She continues to volunteer at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center in Kahului, Maui.

After more than ten years of research, not only of Army records but through her extensive community connections, Mrs. Ho identified eighteen men of Hawaiian ancestry who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion. She generously shared the results of her research with the 100th Education Center.

  • Alapai, Abraham, Company A
  • Diamond, Charles K., Company D – He lived with his parents in Japan for a few years.
  • Gora, Francis, Company B – He was Japanese/Hawaiian.
  • Gora, Walter C., Company A – He was Japanese/Hawaiian.
  • Kaholokula, James Kaleikapu, Company B – James’ mother was Japanese. He persuaded his cousin Edward to join him in the Hawaii National Guard and then the 100th.
  • Kaholokula, Edward B., Company B – He was Chinese/Hawaiian. He was awarded the Silver Star for his courageous actions on December 7, 1944 during an attack on Pastina, Italy.
  • Kaleialoha, Daniel, Headquarters Company
  • Kapuniai, Robert Kaniupuni, Company F – His father was Japanese and was adopted by a childless Hawaiian couple. His mother was Hawaiian.
  • Kato, William, Company B – His mother was Hawaiian.
  • Kealoha, Edward P. Jr., Company A
  • Kimura, Paul K. Jr., Company C – His father was Japanese/Hawaiian. He died at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.
  • Naganuma, Martin Mitsuyoshi, Company C – He was killed in action on October 23, 1943 near Sant’ Angelo d’Alife. His mother was Rachel Lahela Kailee Mitsuhashi Naganuma. Rachel’s father was from Shizuoka, Japan, and her Hawaiian mother, Piipiilani Kunukau Kualii, was from Maui. Rachel had three other sons, all of whom served in the 442nd and survived the war. Martin’s name does not appear in the roster of 100th veterans in “Ambassadors in Arms: The Story of Hawaii’s 100th Battalion” by Thomas Murphy (1954) but his service was verified by other sources.
  • Oba, Jessie Lehua (Kekuewa), Company C – His father was Japanese/Hawaiian and his mother was Hawaiian.
  • Padeken, William Pahumoa, Company A
  • Padeken, Michael Sandy, Company A
  • Rosa, George N., Company C – His father and mother were both part Hawaiian. He was from the island of Molokai.
  • Sakamoto, Louis Kahaulelio, Company C – He was killed in action on October 23, 1943 near Sant’ Angelo d’Alife, Italy. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for “conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action against the enemy.”
  • Waahila, Frank A., Company A