So Glad YOU Came Today
Honolulu at Peace
Honolulu in Wartime, WWII
in site of the iconic Aloha Tower,
on the deck of French naval ship
PS Prairial during port call here,
A local man, retired attorney
Genro Kashiwa, 87,
will be awarded France's highest civilian honor:
the Legion of Honor
and rank of chevalier (knight).
He will be
the second member
of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team
to be so honored by a grateful French nation.
Nisei World War II veteran
courtesy Honolulu Star Advertiser
He asked a reporter.
"There were lot of other people
doing more heroic things."
he'll accept the award
for "his old gang."
While serving with the "Go For Broke"
442nd Regimental Combat Team
in France and Italy,
Kashiwa earned two Silver Stars,
a Bronze Star
and a Purple Heart.
The Army unit was made up mainly of
who volunteered to prove their loyalty.
Kashiwa's own father,
Ryuten Kashiwa, a minister at Oahu's
was sent to an internment camp
in Crystal City, Texas, as an enemy alien.
Mr. Kashiwa told a reporter,
that he remembers the details of battles
that happened so long ago,
"receiving the Chevalier Legion of Honor
is almost a surreal experience -
that events of over 65 years ago
are being remembered today
by the French government."
In his personal history of the French campaign,
Kashiwa said following the famous "Banzai Charge"
by fellow soldiers of the 442nd,
his company ran into a German machine gun nest
on the ridge line of a mountain in November 1944.
Kashiwa assumed command of his platoon
when its sergeant was wounded
and had to be evacuated.
According to his Silver Star citation,
Kashiwa took his platoon through a minefield,
surprised the Germans and killed three enemy soldiers, silencing the machine gun.
Two of his soldiers were wounded in the firefight. Kashiwa is credited with treating their wounds under fire and directing their evacuations.
He received his Silver Star Oak Leaf Cluster, signifying a second award of the nation's highest medal for valor, during the Italian campaign in Mount Fologorito.
In Italy in April 1945,
Kashiwa was in charge of a platoon
assigned to clear the summit of a mountain
to prevent a German counterattack.
After a personal reconnaissance,
he directed one squad to attempt to move around
the base of the summit
and take the enemy from the rear
while he led the other squad
in a frontal assault.
His squad was able to almost reach the top
before it was detected.
Catching the enemy soldiers
10 yards away from their machine guns,
Kashiwa rushed forward and cut off the Germans
from their weapons.
Kashiwa's tommy gun jammed
after firing one shot,
but the German soldiers,
apparently confused, fled.
Kashiwa grabbed a German machine gun
and fired it on the fleeing soldiers,
forcing them to seek shelter in a reinforced bunker.
Then he crawled alone to within grenade range
and threw two grenades
which forced the remaining six Germans
to surrender, the Silver Star citation said.
After the war,
Kashiwa attended University of Michigan law school
and practiced law in Honolulu
from 1951 to 2005.
Cpl. Jonathan Faircloth was 22 years old.
This young man,
a U.S. Marine
was killed Tuesday night
when his CH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter
performed an emergency landing
in the middle of
here on Oahu. Kaneohe Bay
He hailed from
are our people.
His three fellow Marines
remain hospitalized in stable condition
at the Queen’s
in Medical Center . Honolulu
Cpl. Faircloth was married last January to the sister of a fellow marine.
He and his wife Alicia lived in Kailua and enjoyed spending time outdoors
hiking and at the beach.
Jon's father recalled his last trip from Pennsylvania to Hawaii in October.
"We were very blessed in that the last time we were with Jon
we had three weeks uninterrupted with him,"
said Dean Faircloth.
He says the last time he spoke with his son by phone
was the day the helicopter went down.
"His last words were ‘I love you, dad,'"
said an emotional Faircloth.
"It was nice.
He was only 22, but he didn't waste his life.
He built something with it.
We're proud of him.
We are immensely proud."