A large turnout of friends and families of former World War II veterans gathered at the Go For Broke National Education Center’s offices in Torrance to celebrate the 100th birthday of one of the West Coast’s oldest veterans.
Ocean Miyake, who currently resides in Artesia, was born on Aug. 18, 1911. Enlisting in the U.S. Army in 1942, he was a member of the 2nd Battalion, F Company, and involved in the famous rescue of the Lost Battalion in October 1944, which resulted in 814 Nisei casualties.
Miyake was born in Santa Monica and graduated from Venice High School. He attended UCLA before enlisting and serving in Italy and France. He was able to come out of his four years of military service with no injuries, even though he says that he “got knocked out” a few times. He claims that his ears became so sharp to the sound of gunfire that he could avoid injury because he heard guns go off before the ammunition landed, but he jokingly attributes his good fortune to having been blessed by the Pope while stationed in Rome.
On the occasion of his 100th birthday, Miyake received a proclamation from the City of Alhambra and Mayor Gary Yamauchi, as well as a letter from a man with whom he served. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii wrote, “You have exemplified the meaning of patriotism and a devotion to defending the principles upon which this country was founded.”
Miyake, whose wife Janet passed away in 1999, will be accompanied by his daughter Monica at a special Los Angeles event to honor the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service during Nisei Week festivities on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 2:15 p.m. at the JACCC Plaza.
The event, celebrating the passage of Senate Bill S. 1055, which awards the Congressional Gold Medal to Nisei World War II veterans, will be followed by an additional gathering of the veterans, all of whom are well into their 80s and 90s, to ride in the Nisei Week Parade starting at 5:30 pm. The public is encouraged to attend this historic tribute to the remaining veterans residing in the greater Los Angeles area.