France to Recognize Nisei Vets with Legion of Honor

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French Legion of Honor medals on display at a conferral ceremony for World War II veterans held in June. (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

French Legion of Honor medals on display at a conferral ceremony for World War II veterans held in June. (MARIO G. REYES/Rafu Shimpo)

Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) announced that the government of France is awarding 11 Nisei World War II veterans from Southern California with the National Order of the Legion of Honor in the rank of Chevalier (Knight), the highest honor France bestows on its citizens and foreign nationals.

The presentations will be made by Fabrice Maiolino, deputy consul general of France in Los Angeles, at a ceremony to be held on Saturday, Nov. 9, at 10 a.m., at the Go For Broke National Monument in Little Tokyo. The public ceremony will be followed by a private reception for the honorees and their families.

GFBNEC President Don Nose considers this award an enormous honor. “We are so pleased that the French government has expedited making this prestigious award a reality for these living veterans who are so deserving,” he said.

All of the awardees previously received the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in November 2011, as members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The following 11 individuals are being honored:

Tech Sgt. Tokuji Yoshihashi, born in Pasadena in January 1923, currently resides in San Gabriel. He served with Company A of the 100th Battalion of the 442nd RCT. His significant military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and EAME Campaign medal.

Staff Sgt. Harry H. Kanada, a resident of Los Angeles, was born in Honolulu in January 1918. He served with Company K of the 100th Battalion of the 442nd RCT. His significant military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge and EAME Campaign medal.

Sgt. Hiroshi Nishikubo, a native of Clarksburg, Calif., was born in November 1921. He served with Company L of the 100th Battalion of the 442nd RCT. His significant military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, EAME Campaign medal and Distinguished Unit Badge. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

Sgt. Don S. Miyada was born in Oceanside in May 1925. He served with Company A of the 100th Battalion of the 442nd RCT. A resident of Westminster, his significant military decorations include the Combat Infantryman Badge, EAME Campaign medal and Distinguished Unit Badge.

Sgt. Fumio “Steve” Shimizu was born in Kona, Hawaii in April 1920 and currently resides in Laguna Woods. He served with Company F of the 442nd RCT. His significant military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, EAME Campaign medal and Distinguished Unit Badge.

Sgt. Takashi “Frank” Sugihara was born in Los Angeles in January 1921. He served with Cannon Company of the 442nd RCT. His significant military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, EAME Campaign medal, and Distinguished Unit Badge. He currently lives in Tustin.

Sgt. Harry H. Yoshimura was born in Torrington, Wyo. in March 1922 and now lives in Bellflower. He served with Company A of the 442nd RCT. His significant military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman Glider Badge, EAME Campaign medal and Distinguished Unit Badge.

Cpl. Noboru “Don” Seki, a resident of Long Beach, was born in Honolulu in December 1923. He served with Company L of the 100th Battalion of the 442nd RCT. His significant military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, EAME Campaign medal and Distinguished Unit Badge.

Pvt. First Class George S. Kanatani was born in Redlands, where he currently resides, in May 1918. He served with Company A of the 442nd RCT. His significant military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, EAME Campaign medal and Distinguished Unit Badge.

Pvt. First Class Makoto “James” Ogawa was born in Riverside in October 1923. He served with Company C of the 100th Battalion of the 442nd RCT. His significant military decorations include the Combat Infantryman Badge, EAME Campaign medal, Presidential Unit Citation and Distinguished Unit Badge. Ogawa resides in Gardena.

Pvt. First Class Takashi Wada was born in Sanger, Calif. in February 1919. Now living in Torrance, he served with Company L of the 442nd RCT. His significant military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, EAME Campaign medal and Distinguished Unit Badge.

For further information about the event, contact Peggy Renke at Go For Broke National Education Center at (310) 328-0907.

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  1. Tracey Seki Matsuyama on

    Thank you again for sharing this special moment of honor for our father/grandfather, Don Seki.
    We, Sons & Daughters and grandchildren of the 442nd RCT and 100th / M.I.S., just return from a special journey to Brueyeres (Sister City of Honolulu) to perpetuate the Legacy of our Nisei Veterans. We all understand the importance of this mission as “Time is of Essence!”
    Aloha,
    tracey seki matsuyama
    Kona Hawaii
    (thank you again for helping us with our Congressional Gold Medal ceremony!)

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