Seeing the Nisei Soldier Through French Eyes: The 100th/442nd in the Vosges


As a young boy growing up in the Vosges region of France, Herve Claudon was fascinated by the stories of courage and strength of the townspeople of Bruyeres during World War WII. As Herve grew older, his interest about the history of the Bruyeres region during the war also grew stronger.

The stories of courage and valor not only included the brave men and women of the French Resistance, but also of the “Hawaiians” — the name associated with the Nisei soldiers who helped liberate their town from a prolonged period of occupation by German troops.

Herve and Sylvie Claudon

Herve and Sylvie Claudon

Since the 1980s, Herve, along with his wife, Sylvie, have done extensive research about the history of the Vosges Campaign in 1944. By studying the locations and dates of troop movements for visitors, Herve has been able to organize plaques for families of the 100th Infantry Battlaion/442nd Regimental Combat Team at specific locations to commemorate the Nisei’s sacrifices.

Working with Medal of Honor recipient Joe Sakato, Herve located Hill 617, the hill Sakato charged as a diversionary tactic during the rescue of the Lost Battalion of Texas.

Herve and Sylvie interviewed the Free French in the region documenting their memories of the Nisei in the Vosges, thus preserving a valuable source of information. From local testimonies, they have connected events that took place and match them with the memories of the Nisei who visit.

The activities the Claudons have been involved with in the Vosges include the creation of the Bruyeres Tourism Office, the Walk of Liberty and Remembrance, the 100/442 Color Guard in Bruyeres, and the Bruyeres High School Project. They hosted Billy Tucci in one of their holiday homes when he was researching information for his comic book about the Lost Battalion. Herve also led a successful campaign to preserve the Lost Battalion site from a wind farm company that wanted to buy the land.

The Claudons’ continuing dedication and passion to honor and preserve the memory of the 100th/442nd in the Vosges is reflected in their involvement in their local community and gracious hosting of many of the Nisei who visit the Vosges region of France. This presentation offers a very unique perspective of the Nisei solders as seen through French eyes.

Save the date: Saturday, Oct. 24, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at NVC Memorial Hall, 1212 S. King St., Seattle, WA 98144. Refreshments will be served the conclusion of the program.

Please plan to attend this unique opportunity to hear the story of the 100th/442nd as told by Herve and Sylvie Claudon. This will be the first trip outside of France for Sylvie and only the second trip to the U.S for Herve.   Please help welcome the Claudons to the U.S. and show our appreciation for their efforts to support the Nisei soldiers and carry on their legacy.

Contact Keith Yamaguchi at (206) 390-1253 (mobile) or [email protected] if you have any questions concerning the program.



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