Japanese American Chronology

purpose of this chronology is to provide an integrated and comprehensive history of Japanese Americans.  It attempts to detail the social, political and military history of Japanese Americans.  Integrated into the timeline will be major historical events, both national and international.  It will cover primarily the period of the late 19th Century to present.  The principal emphasis will be the period of World War II and its aftermath. 

We will also document the post-war accomplishments of the Japanese American civil rights movements, including the redress and reparations movement that culminated in House Resolution 442, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

This document is intended to serve as the basis for an illustrated timeline, with links to photographs and more detailed history.  This project is in collaboration with Japanese American historical and veterans groups.

This document is a work in progress.  Much more material will be added.

Comments, corrections and additions are welcomed.

Special thanks to Amy Fiske.


January 1778

British explorer Captain James Cook lands in Hawai’i, in Waimea harbor, Kauai.  He was the first European to establish relations with Hawai’i.  He dubs Hawai’i the Sandwich Islands.


September 17, 1787

Creation of the United States Constitution.


June 21, 1788

The United States Constitution is ratified.


September 13, 1788

The Continental Congress passes resolution to put the new Constitution into operation.


September 25, 1789

The Bill of Rights, consisting of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, is created.  These would guarantee a number of personal freedoms.  These include freedom of religion, freedom of speech, a free press, freedom to associate, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom from warrants without probable cause, guarantee of a speedy trial by a jury of peers.


March 26, 1790

The U.S. Naturalization Act of 1790 restricts naturalization for American citizenship to “free White persons.”  Under the law, Japanese immigrants cannot become citizens until 1952.  It states, “any alien, being a free white person who shall have resided within the limits and under the jurisdiction of the United States for a term of two years, may be admitted to become a citizen thereof.”


December 15, 1791

Bill of Rights is ratified.



Three shipwrecked Japanese sailors are picked up at sea by the Russian ship Nadegida and are let off in Hawai’i.  One of them is a 60-year old named Tsudayu.  He later writes an account of his experiences in Hawai’i entitled Hawaii Kenbun Roku.


March 30, 1820

The first New England Protestant missionaries arrive in Hawai’i on the brig Thaddeus.  They were sent by the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM).



W. C. Wyllie, Foreign Minister of the kingdom of Hawaii, owner of a large sugar plantation on Kauai, suggests importing Japanese laborers.



Sugar cane becomes a mainstay of the economy in Hawai’i.  It requires intensive use of field labor.



The Masters and Servants law is passed by the Hawai’ian government.  It provides legal basis for shipping and control of contract laborers into the Islands.  It gives the laborers almost no recourse and they are treated as virtual slave laborers.  The act remains in effect for 50 years.



Japan is an isolated pre-industrial and feudal country.  It is controlled by the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Daimyo.


November 3, 1852

Matsuhito Meiji is born in Gosho in Kyoto, Japan.  He is to become Emperor Meiji, the 122nd emperor of Japan.


July 8, 1853

Commodore Mathew Perry, U. S. Navy enters Tokyo Bay, opening diplomatic and trade relations with the United States.  This event begins the era of transformation of Japan into an industrial, military and political power.



Commodore Perry successfully concludes trade treaty between the United States and Japan.



Direct shipping between San Francisco, California, and Japan begins.



Japan and the United States establish diplomatic relations.  Embassies are opened in Washington and in Tokyo, Japan.


March 6, 1860

The ship Powhattan lands in Honolulu.  Three Japanese Shogunate envoys, Lords Shimmi, Muragaki, and Oguri, are welcomed as national guests of the Hawai’ian kingdom.  They are granted an audience with King Kamehameha IV.  The king requests a treaty of amity with Japan.



The Hawaiian Immigration Bureau is established to regulate workers to Hawaii.


January 30, 1867

Emperor Kōmei of Japan dies.  He was the 121st Emperor of Japan and reigned from 1846-1867.


February 3, 1867

Beginning of Emperor Meiji’s reign in Japan.



Beginning of the Meiji Restoration (1868-1912), the reign of the Japanese Emperor Meiji.  Beginning of era of modernization and industrialization of Japan.  Japanese citizens are allowed to emigrate.


June 19, 1868

First Japanese contract laborers arrive in Hawai’i, including 148 men and 5 women.  92 stayed after their contracts expired.  They arrived on the British sailing ship HMS Scioto.  These first immigrants from Japan are called “Gannen-Mono” or First Year Men, referring to the first year of Emperor Meiji’s reign.


September 12, 1868

Emperor Meiji’s enthronement.



First Japanese colony on the U. S. mainland established, the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony, near Sacramento, California.



A Treaty of Friendship and Commerce is signed between Japan and Hawai’i.


January 1, 1873

The phrase, “persons of African nativity or descent,” is added to the Immigration Act of 1790.


January 2, 1874

Hawai’ian foreign minister Charles R. Bishop writes to the American consul in Japan to negotiate terms to allow Japanese laborers and their families to come to Hawai’i.


January 30, 1875

The Treaty of Reciprocity between the United States of America and the Hawai’ian kingdom is signed.  It allows for free access to the United States for sugar grown in the kingdom of Hawai’i.



Hawai’ian government negotiates with Japan to allow contract laborers to work on sugar cane plantations.



The U.S. Naturalization Act of 1790 allowed only aliens “being a free White person” to become citizens.  A revision of the statue prohibits Chinese immigrants from becoming citizens.



U.S. Census counts 148 Japanese in the United States.


February 13, 1881

David Kalākaua becomes king of Hawai’i.  He supports Japanese immigration to Hawai’i.


March 10, 1881

As part of a world tour, King Kalākaua of Hawai’i meets with Emperor Meiji of Japan.  He requests that Japan allow people to immigrate to the kingdom of Hawai’i.  He suggests that Japanese immigrants “can readily assimilate into our economy and… are suited to work at cultivating sugar cane.”


January 1, 1882

Chinese Exclusion Act passed by Congress, ending Chinese immigration.  It is enforced between 1882 and 1892.  This will cause labor shortages in mainland U.S. agriculture.



Japan grants passports for contract laborers in Hawai’i.


April 23, 1884

Japanese Foreign Minister Inouye writes to the Hawai’ian government: “It might be possible that some informal arrangement could be made whereby immigrants can be sent to Hawaii for certain periods of time.  I will attempt to work something out along this line for the sake of your nation.”


December 1884

The Japanese Foreign Ministry begins recruiting contract laborers for Hawai’i.  Due to dire economic circumstances in Japan, many Japanese apply to emigrate to Hawai’i.  The Japanese government anticipates approximately 600 applicants, but the total number exceeds 28,000.



Japanese begin to immigrate to Hawai’i.  Between 1885 and 1894, 28,691 immigrate.  Japanese women are encouraged to immigrate by the Hawai’ian government.  Also, there is immigration to the U.S. mainland.  By 1890, there are 2,270 Japanese living in the mainland U.S.


January 20, 1885

The first Japanese immigrants bound for Hawai’i board the ship City of Tokyo, in Yokohama.  They include 600 men, 158 women, 58 boys, 37 girls and 56 male servants.


February 8, 1885

The first Japanese immigrants arrive in Honolulu aboard the ship City of Tokyo.  The Pacific Commercial Advertiser describes the arrival of the Kanyaku Imin as “the most important event that has happened in Hawaii for many years.”  A Japanese observer wrote: “They were warmly welcomed by the Hawaiians and Caucasians who had gathered to greet them.  King Kalakaua visited the Japanese at their quarters to personally welcome them to Hawaii and directed that they be entertained with hula shows.  The people of Hawaii, both natives and whites, were very generous to the newcomers.  Complete strangers came up to them on the streets and offered them gifts of hats and clothing.”


March 1885

Japanese contract workers on the Paia plantation, on the island of Maui, refuse to work when a plantation supervisor beats up a Japanese laborer.  A plantation court is held and the Japanese laborers are accused of disturbing the peace and fined $5 each.  Sixteen Japanese laborers on Papaikou plantation, on the island of Hawaii, go on strike after being forced to work overtime without pay.


March 11, 1885

Japan’s consul general in Hawai’i, Jiro Nakamura, reported: “The signing of labor contracts between our voluntary emigrants and the President of the Bureau of Immigration has been completed and job placements have been concluded.  Our people started to leave for their respective job sites on the 16th of last month and all had left by the 23rd.  It is still too premature to make a detailed report on working conditions, but as reported earlier, our people are being treated very kindly by the people of Hawaii.”


June 17, 1885

The second immigrant vessel from Japan, the Yamashiro Maru, arrives in Honolulu.  On board is Special Commissioner Katsunosuke Inouye, son of Foreign Minister Inouye.  He was detailed to look into possible mistreatment of Japanese immigrants. 


September 2, 1885

Anti-Chinese riot in Rock Springs, Wyoming.



Japan legalizes emigration to Hawai’i.



85,716 Japanese have immigrated to the U.S. and Hawai’i.



Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 is renewed by Congress.



Japan defeats China in war.

Hawai’ian government prohibits use of contract workers.

United States and Japan negotiate Treaty of 1894, allowing mutual free entry.  Treaty allows for legislation against excessive immigration of workers.


June 27, 1894

Decision by a U.S. District Court rules that Japanese immigrants to the United States cannot become citizens because they are not “a free white person.”



Alaska Gold Rush creates labor shortage in North West United States. Japanese workers are recruited for work on railroads.



Spanish American War.  America becomes a Pacific power.  Hawai’i forcibly annexed as a U.S. territory.  There are 60,000 Japanese residing in the new Territory, comprising 40% of the population.  They can now leave for the mainland U.S. without passports.

U.S. invades and acquires Philippine Islands.  It remains until 1946.



After annexation, Hawai’i planters recruit and bring in 26,103 contract laborers.



Territory of Hawai’i is established.  The contract labor system is abolished under the Organic Act.

The 1900 census shows 24,326 Japanese Americans in the Continental United States.  41% of them live in California.  61,111 Japanese Americans live in the Territory of Hawai’i.

American Federation of Labor (AF of L) asks Congress to enact Chinese Exclusion Act to include all “Mongolian” labor.

California Democratic Party adopts anti-Japanese policy in its platform.


March 1900

San Francisco Mayor James D. Phelan starts rumor of “Bubonic Plague” as an excuse to isolate Japanese and Chinese neighborhoods in the City.  The Japanese community, sensing political motives, protests and organizes the “Japanese Association of America.”


May 1900

San Francisco school board declares its intention to remove Japanese students to one Oriental school.


May 7, 1900

Local labor groups organize anti-Japanese protests in San Francisco.  It is sponsored by the San Francisco Labor Council.  The main speaker, Dr. Ross, a professor of sociology at Stanford, declares of Japanese that they are unassimilable, work for low wages, have very low standards of living and lack correct political feeling for U.S. democratic institutions.


May 8, 1900

The San Francisco Call quotes Dr. Ross: “Should the worst come to the worst it would be better for us to turn our guns on every vessel bringing Japanese to our shores rather than to permit them to land.”


August 1900

Due to U.S. protests, Japan voluntarily agrees to limit Japanese emigration to America.  As a result, Japanese immigration to the U.S. decreases by 50% in 1901.  This does not limit emigration to Hawai’i.



Period of little restriction on Japanese emigration to the Continental United States.  127,000 Japanese have entered the U.S.



At a convention of the Chinese Exclusion League, a resolution is passed to propose the Congress prevent further Japanese immigration to the U.S.


January 8, 1901

California Governor Henry T. Gage, in a message to the State legislature, states that there is a “Japanese problem.”


April 29, 1901

Michinomiya Hirohito is born in Tokyo, Japan.  He is to be the longest-reigning monarch in Japanese history.  Hirohito means “abundant benevolence.”  He is the grandson of Emperor Meiji.



Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 is made permanent.



At its convention, the American Federation of Labor calls for Congress to end Japanese immigration.



War between Russia and Japan.  Early in the conflict, opinion is strongly pro-Japanese.  Later, this shifts to anti-Japanese.


February 1905

The San Francisco Chronicle publishes a series of anti-Japanese articles.  It states, “The Asiatic can never be other than Asiatic…”


March 1905

California State Legislature passes anti-Japanese resolutions to limit further immigration.


May 1905

Members from 67 groups meet in San Francisco to organize the Japanese Exclusion League.  By 1908, the League has more than 100,000 members and 238 affiliated groups, including many labor unions.  Many members are European emigrants themselves.  Its purpose is racial and economical.


September 1905

Japan defeats Russia in unprecedented and stunning victory.  This causes anti-Japanese emigration groups to increase their efforts.  Talk of “Yellow peril” and “Yellow menace” is used to incite fear at local, state, and national levels.


December 11, 1906

San Francisco school board orders segregation of all Asian students from 72 primary schools, including 93 Japanese, 25 of whom are U.S. citizens.  This action promulgates an international diplomatic incident between the United States and Japan.  President Theodore Roosevelt writes, “I am being horribly bothered…”



Japanese immigration to United States is at its peak, yet it represents only 3% of total immigration to the U.S.


February 1907

Japan and the United States negotiate agreement, in which Japan will not issue further workers’ passports for the U.S. mainland.  This greatly limits Japanese immigration.

Under pressure from President Theodore Roosevelt, the San Francisco School Board withdraws order to segregate schools.  Roosevelt agrees to initiate legislation in Congress to limit Japanese immigration to U.S.  Congress passes law restricting Japanese immigration.


March 14, 1907

In order to appease racist elements in the United States, President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 589 barring Japanese immigration from Hawai’i, Mexico, and Canada.  This order is not revoked until October 1948.


December 1907

President Theodore Roosevelt sends much of the U.S. Navy on an international cruise to demonstrate U.S. is now a world power.  The United States now has the second largest navy in the world. Japan ranks fifth in naval power.



Due to tensions between America and Japan, the U.S. Army and Navy decide to make Pearl Harbor the principal naval base in the Pacific.

In Hawai’i, after 1894 prohibition of use of contract laborers, 125,000 Japanese emigrate from Japan as independent laborers.  They are free to organize labor unions.


January 1, 1908

The United States and Japan agree to stop male Japanese citizens from migrating to the U.S.  It is called the “Gentleman’s Agreement.”  However, loopholes in the agreement allowed for 118,000 immigrants, including “picture brides,” to enter the U.S. between 1908 and 1924.


November 30, 1908

U.S. and Japan sign Root-Takahira Agreement.  It is an executive agreement that Japan and the U.S. would maintain the “existing status quo” in the Pacific, respecting each other’s territorial possessions.



There are 238 California groups affiliated with the Asiatic Exclusion League.  202 of them are labor organizations.  The Oriental Exclusion League of California is the largest, claiming 110,000 members.


February 1909

California State Senate makes statement that within “ten years,” Japanese would “outnumber Whites.”



Republican, democratic and socialist parties adopt anti-immigration and exclusion planks in their election campaign platforms.

The 1910 census shows 72,157 Japanese Americans in the Continental United States and 79,675 in the Territory of Hawai’i.  25% of Japanese in Hawai’i are native born.  In California, 39,000 Japanese Americans were working in agriculture, 6,000 were independent farmers.


July 4, 1911

Russia and Japan sign a treaty delineating Spheres of Influence in the Far East.  This agreement weakens U.S. prestige in the region.


July 30, 1912

Emperor Meiji, the 122nd emperor of Japan, dies.  End of the Meiji Era.  During his reign, Japan has become an industrialized world power.



U.S. Army greatly expands its garrison on the Island of Oahu, Hawai’i.  War Department establishes the Hawai’ian Department as an independent command.


January 1, 1913

California State Legislature passes the Alien Land Law of 1913 (the Webb-Heney Act).  It bars aliens ineligible for citizenship from purchasing land and limits aliens from obtaining land leases for more than three years.  It is largely aimed at Japanese farmers.  Similar state laws are enacted in Oregon, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Idaho, Montana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Minnesota.



U.S. enters war in Europe on the side of the Allies (Great Britain, France, Russia and Japan).  U.S. citizenship is promised to aliens who serve in the armed forces.  Issei volunteer for service, but are later denied citizenship after U.S. courts review the law.

Japanese-language schools are condemned as un-American by the Hawaii Territorial legislature.


August 1917

Nisei are selected to serve in a segregated Company D of the 1st Regiment of the Hawaiian Territorial National Guard.  They are federalized in June 1918.

596 Nisei are registered by the Selective Service Board of Hawaii.


November 11, 1918

First World War ends.  Japan has fought on the side of the Allies.



Supporting the war effort, Issei farmers in California produce $55 million in crops.



The American Legion, a prominent and influential veterans organization, adopts a strong anti-Asian policy at its first national convention.  It later supports the Exclusion Act of 1924.


Fall 1919

U.S. Justice Department makes countrywide mass arrests of political and labor activists.  Those arrested who are aliens are deported on January 2, 1920.  More than 2,700 individuals are arrested in 33 U.S. cities.



Racist and anti-immigrant elements in California form the Japanese Exclusion League of California, organized by newspaper owner and publisher V. S. McCatchy and State Senator FJ. M. Inman.

The California State Farm Bureau and the California State Grange begin anti-Japanese programs.

United States Bureau of Education recommends abolition of Japanese Language School.  Between 1920 and 1925, a series of legislative actions tries to regulate or eliminate them.  The U.S. Supreme Court declares these laws unconstitutional.

The 1920 census shows 111,010 Japanese Americans in the Continental United States and 109,274 in the Territory of Hawai’i.

Issei farmers in California produce 10% of total agricultural output for the state.

January 1, 1920

California State legislature enacts Second Alien Land Law. It seeks to prohibit further transfer or leasing of lands to Japanese nationals (Issei).  Its effect was to reduce the number of acres held by Issei.  Similar anti-alien land legislation was adopted by Washington, Oregon, and Arizona.  Japanese American families put their property in the names of the Nisei citizen children.


July 19, 1921

58 Japanese Issei laborers in Turlock, California, are forced out at gunpoint by white racists.


November 13, 1922

In the case of Takeo Ozawa v. U.S., the U.S. Supreme Court rules that U.S. citizenship is limited to “free White persons and aliens of African ancestry.”  As a result, Japanese cannot become naturalized citizens.  However, under the Constitution, their children born on U.S. soil become citizens.


December 13, 1922

Four-Power Treaty between U.S., Britain, France, and Japan is signed. Each country agrees to respect each other’s rights over Pacific island possessions.



Oregon passes legislation barring aliens from leasing or owning land.


June 1923

Tama Teramoto leaves Japan for Hawai’i.  She is the last of the picture brides to leave Japan before the new immigration law of 1924 ends the practice.  She arrives in Honolulu, Hawai’i, on the Korea Maru on June 26, 1923.


October 24, 1923

Political leaders and prominent individuals meet at the San Francisco City Hall to lobby for the proposed Federal Immigration Act.  Among them are newspaper publisher V. S. McClatchy, Congressman Albert Johnson of Washington, Chairman of the House Committee on Immigration.  The groups promoting this agenda include the American Legion, the Federation of Labor, the Grange, the Native Sons of the Golden West, and the Oriental Exclusion League.  It forms a new umbrella group called the California Joint Immigration Committee.  It becomes an effective anti-Japanese lobbying organization.  It influences the passage of Alien Land Laws in various states.  By the end of 1923, the group has obtained the endorsement of almost every Congressman in the Western United States.



The racist and exclusionist Joint Immigrationist Committee continues to promote its agenda of anti-Japanese propaganda.

Expatriation and Citizenship Act passes in Japan.  It modifies the Jus Sanguinis principle.  It requires Japanese American Nisei to register at the Japanese Consulate to obtain Japanese citizenship.  However, after the 1930s, only twenty percent of Japanese Americans have dual citizenship.


January 1, 1924

The Immigration Act of 1924, the National Origins Act, denies admission to the U.S. for all immigrants ineligible for citizenship.  It effectively bars all immigration from Japan.  This Act is lobbied by anti-Japanese groups predominantly from the West Coast.


August 1924         

The anti-Japanese California Joint Immigration Committee absorbs the old Japanese Exclusion League of California.  It maintains its ultra-racist goal and objectives.


December 26, 1926

Hirohito becomes the 124th emperor (Emperor Shōwa) of Japan. He takes an unusually active role in politics.  At the beginning of his reign, Japan is a world power having the ninth-largest economy in the world.



Nisei from Hawai’i begin holding annual “New American conferences” in Honolulu.  They are organized by Community leader Reverend Takie Okamura.  They are held to promote understanding and good relations between Nisei and the Haole community, and to encourage assimilation for Americans of Japanese ancestry into the wider community.


January 1, 1928

First journal for Japanese Americans published entirely in English is founded.  Its publisher is Jimmie Sakamoto.


October 19, 1928

The New American Citizens League is founded in San Francisco by Nisei community leader Sabura Kido.


October 13, 1929

First Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) newspaper, Nikkei Shimin (“Japanese American Citizen”) is published.  Its publisher is the New American Citizens League of San Francisco.  Iwao Kawakami is its editor.  It is renamed Pacific Citizen in early 1930.


October 24-29, 1929

Stock market in New York crashes.  It results in the limiting of international trade.  This sets off a major depression in the U.S. and throughout the world.



The 1930 census shows 138,834 Japanese Americans in the Continental United States and 139,631 in the Territory of Hawai’i.

By the 1930’s, half of all Nisei are members of Christian churches, mostly Protestant denominations.

The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is founded.  Its membership is restricted to American citizens.


September 18, 1931

Japan invades and occupies Manchuria.  An unofficial war between Japan and China begins.



Japan creates puppet state of Manchukuo in occupied areas of Manchuria.

U.S. national income is reduced by half since 1929.  Eleven million Americans are unemployed, approximately 20-25% of the working population.

Four separate U.S. cabinet departments participate “in providing a cooperative and clandestine surveillance of the entire Japanese community.”


January 7, 1932

Secretary of State Stimson sends notes to Japan and China.  They declare that the United States does not “intend to recognize any treaty or agreement…which may impair…the Sovereignty, the independence, or the territorial and administrative integrity of the Republic of China…or the open door policy…”  On March 11, the League of Nations in Geneva adopts this policy, known as the Stimson Doctrine.


November 8, 1932

Franklin Delano Roosevelt is elected President of the United States.



The California Council on Oriental Relations, which is supported by numerous clergy and teachers, begins campaign to implement an immigration quota from Japan to the United States.  They do not succeed.  In addition, they try to overcome prejudices and racial stereotypes against Japanese Americans.


August 1934

A U.S. State Department report declares the Japanese government “has agents in every large city in this country and on the West Coast.  These people, who pass as civilians and laborers, are being drilled in military maneuvers… when war breaks out, the entire Japanese population on the West Coast will rise and commit sabotage.”



Italy invades Ethiopia.


August 1935

U.S. Congress enacts First Neutrality Act.  It establishes strict limitations on providing arms to belligerent nations.



United States Congress passes Second Neutrality Act.


August 10, 1936

President Roosevelt sends a memo to the chief of Naval Operations (ONI).  It states, “One obvious thought occurs to me—that every Japanese citizen or non-citizen on the island of Oahu who meets these Japanese ships or has any connection with their officers or men should be secretly but definitely identified and his or her name placed on a special list of those who would be the first to be placed in a concentration camp in the event of trouble.”


November 3, 1936

Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected to a second term as President of the United States.


November 17, 1936

Germany, Japan and Italy sign Anti-Comintern Pact, against the Soviet Union.



There are 1,076 foreign-language publications in the United States.  Only 19 are Japanese.

A joint committee of U.S. Senators and Congressmen hold hearings in Hawai’i to determine possibility of statehood.  They write, “Public schools of Hawai’i are foundations of good citizenship.  As part of the curriculum, they inculcate the basic principles of American democracy in the young children who pass through them.  With so many children of alien parentage among them a definite program of Americanization is necessary.”  It also writes that Hawai’i’s Japanese Americans are similar to first generation Americans of European heritage in “an appreciation of the material benefits received; a high concept of the freedom enjoyed; an earnest endeavor to comply with the standards of the new culture…  The Americanization of the Japanese of Hawai’i has perhaps made greater progress than it has with many immigrant groups of longer residence in America living in mainland communities.”

Lieutenant Charles D. Herron is appointed Commanding General of the Hawaiian Department of the U.S. Army.  He is supportive of enlisting Nisei in the Army.


May 1, 1937

President Roosevelt signs “permanent” neutrality act.


July 7, 1937

Marco Polo Bridge incident near Peking, China. Chinese and Japanese troops clash.


October 5, 1937

In a speech, President Roosevelt says, “The peace, the freedom and the security of 90 percent of the population of the world is being jeopardized by the remaining 10 percent.”


November 3-24, 1937

Meeting of the nine powers in Brussels to discuss Sino-Japanese war.


December 1937

Nanking (Nanjing), China, is captured and occupied by Japanese Army.  Between 250,000 and 300,000 Chinese soldiers and civilians are killed.


December 11, 1937

Italy withdraws from the League of Nations.


March 1938

Nation of Czechoslovakia is disassembled by Nazi Germany.


March 13, 1938

Germany annexes Austria.  It is now declared a province of Germany.


March 22, 1938

Japanese government passes National Mobilization Act.


May 17, 1938

U.S. Congress passes the Naval Expansion Act of 1938.  It authorizes a 23% increase in the size of the Navy.


May 26, 1938

U.S. Congress creates House committee to investigate un-American activities (HUAC).  It is chaired by Congressman Martin Dies.


September 27, 1938

League of Nations declares Japan an aggressor nation in China.


September 29, 1938

In a meeting in Munich, Hitler, Mussolini, Chamberlain (England), and Daladier (France) arrange for Germany to annex Sudetenland territory in Czechoslovakia.  The Czech government is forced to accept the agreement.


October 1, 1938

Under the Munich Agreement, Germany occupies the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia.


October 10, 1938

FBI head J. Edgar Hoover sends memo to staff authorizing them to gather information on “subversive activities.”  Hoover will compile a list of 2,500 possible subversives.


November 4, 1938

Japan repudiates nine-powers treaty guaranteeing China’s territorial integrity.  It declares a “new order” in Asia.


November 9-10, 1938

Major persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany is begun.  Called “Kristallnacht” (night of broken glass), more than 20,000 Jews are arrested and sent to concentration camps.


March 15, 1939

German Army occupies Czech territory of Bohemia and Moravia.  It is declared a “Reich Protectorate.”  France and England do nothing.


March 31, 1939

Britain and France promise to support Poland in the event of “action which…the Polish government…considers it vital to resist with national forces.”


April 15, 1939

President Roosevelt sends message to Hitler and Italy seeking guarantee that they will not “attack or invade the territories” of 31 nations, including Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Russia, Poland and others.


May 22, 1939

Germany and Italy sign military alliance, called the Pact of Steel.


August 1939

The German Army begins massing its forces along the Polish border.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opens an office in Honolulu, Hawai’i.  Robert C. Shivers is appointed the Agent-in-Charge.  He orders his office “to make a thorough appraisal of all factors which had a bearing on the internal security of the Islands.”  He works with Colonel George Bicknell, head of the U.S. Army Counter-Espionage Division.  They work with Nisei community leaders.


August 23, 1939

Russian-German Non-Aggression Pact is signed in Moscow.


August 25, 1939

Great Britain signs a treaty of alliance with Poland.  England agrees to come to the aid of Poland in the event it is attacked.

Poland’s armed forces are fully mobilized.

Canada pledges it will go to war with Germany if England declares war.


September 1939-December 1940

Battle of the Atlantic begins.  German Navy initiates major attacks on Allied shipping to prevent vital war supplies from reaching England and crippling its economy.  Hundreds of Allied ships are lost.

British Expeditionary Forces begin deploying in France.  They continue to arrive until April 1940.


September 1-2, 1939

Germany invades Poland, Great Britain and France declare war on Germany.


September 3, 1939

President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares, “This nation will remain a neutral nation, but I cannot ask that every American remain neutral in thought as well….  Even a neutral nation cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience.”


September 5, 1939

United States proclaims its neutrality.  It calls for strict embargo of “arms, ammunition, or implements of war to all warring nations.”


September 8, 1939

President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a limited national emergency.


September 12,1939

President Franklin D. Roosevelt urges Congress to repeal arms embargo.


September 17-28, 1939

Soviet Union invades Poland.  Poland falls with the capture of Warsaw on September 27, 1939.


September 26, 1939

Hitler orders his military and naval commanders to prepare for an invasion of countries in Western Europe.  He declares his intention to “destroy France and bring England to her knees.”


October 1939-April 1940

Period called the Phony War (also called Sitzkreig).  After the surrender of Poland in the beginning of October 1939 and Hitler’s spring offensive against the low countries and France, there was little activity on the Western Front.


November 4, 1939

United States amends Neutrality Act of 1939, by act of Congress. It permits U.S. to allow arms sales to belligerents, but they cannot be delivered by U.S. ships.Congress.  It permits U.S. to allow arms sales to belligerents, but they cannot be delivered by U.S. ships.


November 30, 1939

The Soviet Union (USSR) invades Finland.


December 5, 1939

Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt appointed commander of the Western Defense Command, headquartered at the Presidio of San Francisco, California.


December 12, 1939

The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations.



The 1940 census shows 126,947 Japanese Americans in the Continental United States; 64% are native born.  (70% are living in California, making up only 1.6% of the California population.) 157,905 Japanese Americans live in the Territory of Hawai’i; 75% are native born.  Japanese Americans comprise approximately 37% of the Hawai’ian population.  Americans of Japanese ancestry outnumber Caucasians on Oahu by three to one. 

There are 100,911 foreign-born persons of Italian origin in California; 51,923, or 51.4%, are aliens.  There are 18,000 more Italian than Japanese aliens.  They live in strategic areas along the coast, many in the San Francisco Bay Area. After Pearl Harbor, there were no demands for internment of resident alien Italians.

Japanese Americans grew $2.7 million worth of produce in Oregon, $4 million in Washington State, and $32 million in California.

January 26, 1940

The U.S.-Japanese Commercial Treaty of 1911 is abrogated.  This will result in embargoes of strategic material, such as oil and metal, vital to Japan.

 March 30, 1940

Japanese-controlled government in China is established in Nanking (now Nanjing).


April 1940

FBI office in Honolulu, Hawai’i, organizes an AJA Advisory Group to aid in determining loyalty of AJA’s to the U.S. in the event of war with Japan.  Another group is organized in June 1940.


April 7, 1940

Italy invades Albania.


April 9, 1940

Germany invades and occupies Denmark and Norway.


Summer 1940

The U.S. Army implements plans to implement martial law in the Territory of Hawai’i in the event of an invasion.


May 10, 1940

Hitler orders the German invasion of the low countries Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and France.

British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain resigns in favor of Winston Churchill.


May 15, 1940

Netherlands surrenders to Germany.

French Premier Renaud calls Winston Churchill: “We are beaten; we have lost the battle.”


May 16, 1940

President Roosevelt asks Congress to authorize increase in annual production of war planes from 2,100 to 50,000.


May 18, 1940

In a national address, Charles Lindberg calls on America to stay out of the war.


May 26-June 3, 1940    

British forces successfully evacuate Dunkirk, France, and escape capture by the German Army.  338,226 British, French and Belgian soldiers are rescue by sea.  It becomes known as the Miracle of Dunkirk.


May 28, 1940

Netherlands surrenders to Germany.

FDR announces establishment of the National Defense Advisory Commission (NDAC) to plan military and civilian defense.


June 4, 1940

Churchill speech in the House of Commons states that the English people “will not flag or fail.  We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be… until in God’s good time, the New World, with all its powers and might, steps forth to rescue and liberation of the Old.”

FDR tells Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, “There is no use endangering ourselves unless we can achieve some results for the Allies.”


June 10, 1940

Under Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, Italy enters the war against the Allies.

FDR declares, in a speech, “Our prayers and our hopes to those beyond the seas who are maintaining with magnificent valor their battle for freedom.”  He promises to “extend to the opponents of force the material resources of the nation.”


June 14, 1940

Paris is declared an open city and is occupied by the German Army.

FDR signs Eleven Percent Naval Expansion Act.


Jun 16, 1940        

President of France Reynaud resigns.  He is succeeded by Marshal Philippe Pétain, who signs armistice with Germany.


June 18, 1940

Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov writes to the German Ambassador in France, “The warmest congratulations of the Soviet government on the splendid successes of the German Wehrmacht.


June 19, 1940

The Japanese government demands of the French government that it be allowed to establish a military mission in French Indochina.


June 20, 1940

FDR reorganizes his cabinet.

Frank Knox, publisher of the Chicago Daily News, is appointed Secretary of the Navy.

Henry L. Stimson, former Secretary of State and War, is appointed Secretary of War.

John J. McCloy, a prominent lawyer, is appointed Special Assistant to the President, later Assistant Secretary of War.  After war starts, he is put in charge of Japanese American questions.


June 22, 1940

France surrenders to the German Army.  All of Western Europe, except Spain and Portugal, is under German occupation.

FDR meets with military chiefs.  They believe Great Britain will not survive.


June 25, 1940

Britain arrests and detains 10,000 Italians as “enemy aliens” and 50,000 Germans and Austrians, many of whom are refugees from Nazi Germany.  14,000 are placed in internment camps.


June 27, 1940

Soviet Army invades Romania.


June 29, 1940

U.S. Congress enacts Alien Registration Act (Smith Act).  All aliens are required to register with the Department of Justice on August 27, 1940.  They are fingerprinted and fill out a questionnaire.  Aliens must reregister every year.  4,921,452 aliens register.  40,000 Issei register.  Frank Murphy, Robert Jackson and Solicitor General Francis Biddle oppose the bill.


July 2, 1940

U.S. Congress passes Export Control Act.  Under this Act, FDR will embargo sale of strategic materials to Japan.


July 10, 1940-June 1941

The first period of the Battle of Britain begins.  Great Britain defeats German Luftwaffe in sustained air war over England.  It is the first major victory of the Allies.


July 14, 1940

FDR signs Two-Ocean Navy Expansion Act, a 70% increase to the U.S. Navy.


July 15, 1940

FDR is nominated for an unprecedented third term as President of the U.S.  Henry A. Wallace is nominated as Vice Presidential candidate.


July 22, 1940

Prince Fumimaro Konoye is appointed Prime Minister of Japan.


July 26, 1940

U.S. embargoes aviation fuel and strategic metals shipments to Japan.


August 1-7, 1940

Soviet Army invades and occupies Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.


August 26, 1940

Senator Robert Wagner of New York proposes amendment to the proposed Burke-Wadsworth Bill to establish a peacetime draft.  His proposed amendment would guarantee African American equal access to all branches of the Armed Forces and prohibit discrimination on the basis of color or race.  Senator Lester Hill of Alabama writes in opposition: “The War Department is very much opposed to this amendment.  One reason is that they cite the situation with reference to Japanese-born Americans [sic] in Hawaii and they say: The population of Hawaii, totaling about 400,000, includes approximately 153,000 persons of Japanese racial origin.  About three-fourths of these are American citizens by birth.  A large number of these are, no doubt, loyal Americans, but it is well known that others are not loyal Americans.  A law that would require acceptance of enlistment without regard to race of American-born Japanese who are otherwise qualified would seriously cripple the military forces of the United States in what might be a very critical area in the event of any trouble in the Pacific.”


August 27, 1940

U.S. Congress authorizes a call up of the National Guard for one year.


September 3, 1940

President Roosevelt announces “Lend-Lease” agreement with Britain.  It lends 50 old U.S. destroyers to England in exchange for leases for British strategic naval bases in the New World.


September 7, 1940

Japan, Germany and Italy sign Three Power Act, enacting a 10-year military and economic alliance.  Japan becomes member of the Axis.


September 7-November 1940

German Luftwaffe begins sustained heavy bombing of London and other British cities.


September 16, 1940

The Selective Training and Service Act is approved.  It is the first peacetime draft in the United States.


September 26, 1940

President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares embargo of steel, aimed at Japan.  The Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. describes it as an “unfriendly act.”


October  7, 1940  

Germany Army occupies Romania to secure vital oil fields.


October 12, 1940

In Japan, an ultra-nationalistic group called the Imperial Rule Society is formed.


October 15, 1940

Hawai’i’s Territorial National Guard is federalized and becomes part of the Regular Army.  The units are the 298th and 299th Infantry Regiments, stationed at Schofield Barracks on Oahu.


October 19, 1940

Lieutenant General Charles D. Heron, Commander of the U.S. Army’s Hawaii Department is quoted in Collier’s magazine, “The Army is not worried about the Japanese in Hawaii.  Among them there may be a small hostile alien group, but we can handle the situation.  It seems people who know least about Hawaii and live farthest away are most disturbed over this matter.  People who know the Islands are not worried about possible sabotage.  I say this sincerely after many years of service here.  I am sold on the patriotism and Americanization of the Hawaiian people as a whole.”


October 23, 1940

In a meeting with Hitler, Spain’s leader, Francisco Franco, declines to enter the war.


October 24, 1940

French head of state Marshal Pétain signs agreement with Germany stating, “The Axis powers and France have an identical interest in seeing the defeat of England accomplished as soon as possible.  Consequently, the French government will support, within the limits of its ability, the measures which the Axis Powers may take to this end.”


October 28-December 1940    

Italian Army invades Greece.  Greek put up fierce defense, preventing an “easy” victory for Mussolini.


November 5, 1940

Franklin Roosevelt elected to unprecedented third term as U.S. President.


November 20, 1940

Hungary joins Axis Powers.


December 1940

Hung Wai Ching, a Chinese American in Honolulu, begins efforts to fight growing distrust and antagonism directed at the AJA community.  He sets up a committee “to preserve Hawai’i’s traditional pattern of race relationships.”  FBI Honolulu office agent-in-charge Robert Shivers becomes chairman.


December 9, 1940

Selective Service (draft) begins in Territory of Hawai’i.  In 12 months, 3,000 men are inducted.  Nearly 1,500 are Nisei, many of whom volunteer for service.  They are integrated into the 298th and 299th Infantry Regiments.  General Charles Heron writes, “In the training camp they were remarkably diligent and obedient to orders.  When 4 o’clock came, after a long hard day, and others turned to rest or recreation, the Japanese kept right on at drill or study.  There were no malingerers among them and they were quick to learn.”  Half of the Reserve Officer Training Candidates (ROTC) from high school and college are Nisei.

December 29, 1940

FDR declares in a radio address to the U.S.: "We must be the great arsenal of Democracy." He stated that those fighting Hitler "do not ask us to do their fighting... they ask us for the implements of war... we must get these weapons to them... so that we and our children will be saved the agony and suffering of war which others have had to endure."



Northern California Committee on Fair Play for Citizens and Aliens of Japanese Ancestry is founded to promote understanding toward Japanese Americans.

Oahu Citizens Committee for Home Defense is formed by a group of Nisei who are working with FBI Agent-in-Charge, field office head Robert Shivers.  Its mission is to educate the community on the loyalty of AJA’s.


January 1941

President Roosevelt establishes a Fair Employment Practices Commission to regulate contractors with the federal government.  It seeks to protect African Americans working in defense industries.


January 6, 1941

In annual message to Congress, President Roosevelt declares “Four Freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, worship, freedom from want, and from fear.”  He also asks Congress for a “swift and driving increase in armament production.”


January 22, 1941

British Army captures Tobruk in North Africa.


February 6, 1941

Germans begin to secretly move troops to the Soviet border.

Kichisabura Nomora, the new Japanese Ambassador, arrives in Washington.  He states, “There is no question whatsoever outstanding between the two countries which cannot be settled in an amicable and satisfactory manner…”


March 1941

U.S. Army appoints Nisei linguists Richard Sakakida and Arthur Komori as secret counterintelligence agents to collect information on the prewar Japanese in Manila, Philippines Islands.  Sakakida is captured on Corregidor after the U.S. surrender.

General Walter Short, U.S. Army Commander, Hawai’i, asks for legal foundation for President to declare martial law in the Territory in the event of an emergency.


March 1, 1941

The U.S. Senate creates the Committee to Investigate the National Defense Program.  It is headed by Senator Harry S. Truman.


March 11, 1941

To aid England during the war, the Lend-Lease Act is approved by President Roosevelt and $7 billion is authorized by Congress.


March 23, 1941

Hawai’i’s territorial delegate to the U.S. Congress Samuel Wilder King writes, in an editorial to the Honolulu Advertiser newspaper, “I have felt and said repeatedly that those who believe they [the Nisei] can return any loyalty towards Japan after having been born and brought up in an American environment, belittle the value of our American institutions and the great benefits our American democracy offers to the individual.  I have not the slightest doubt that the overwhelming majority of our citizens of Japanese ancestry are loyal to the United States, and are making every effort to make themselves completely American.”


April 1941

U.S. War Department declares Island of Oahu the strongest fortress in the world.


April 6, 1941

Germany invades Yugoslavia and Greece.  Yugoslavia surrenders on April 17; Greece surrenders on April 23.


April 13, 1941

Mutual non-aggression pact between Japan and Russia is signed.


May 1, 1941

U.S. begins to sell War Savings Bonds and Stamps.


May 20, 1941

Battle for Crete begins.


May 27, 1941

Due to the war in Europe and Asia, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares an unlimited national emergency.


Summer 1941

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Army assure the community of Americans of Japanese ancestry in Hawai’i that if a war breaks out, it will be treated fairly.


June 1941

Battle of Britain ends.  England is victorious.  Hitler calls off plans for invasion of the United Kingdom.

FDR appoints Francis Biddle as Acting Attorney General of the United States.

The Nisei group, Oahu Citizens Committee for Home Defense, organizes a mass patriotic rally to demonstrate loyalty of AJA community.  The keynote speaker is the Hawai’ian Department’s Chief of Staff for Military Intelligence, who pledges fair treatment for AJA’s in the event of war.

In a speech, General Heron’s representative remarked of Nisei serving in the 298th and 299th Infantry Regiments, “No group of selectees is doing more work with more intelligence, enthusiasm, and efficiency than the young men of Japanese ancestry.”


June 9, 1941

FDR tasks the Navy and War Department to prepare comprehensive war plans.  It will be called the “Victory Plan.”

U.S. government sends in more than 2,000 soldiers to end a strike at the North American Aviation plant in California.


June 12, 1941

In Moscow, England and USSR sign mutual aid agreement to support each other in the present war against Germany.


June 16, 1941

President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders the closing of German and Italian consulates in the United States.


June 22, 1941

Germany invades Soviet Union (Operation Barbarosa).  More than three million German and Axis troops participate.


June 24, 1941

President Franklin D. Roosevelt promises aid to the Soviet Union.


Fall 1941

U.S. Army officers Major Carlisle C. Dusenbury, G-2, and Lieutenant Colonel Wallace More begin plans to establish Japanese Language School as part of intelligence operations.  The plans are approved by Colonel Rufus S. Bratton and the Training and Operations Division (G-3) of the Army.  The Fourth Army is tasked with establishing the school on the West Coast.


September 1941

U.S. Senate confirms Francis Biddle’s appointment as head of the Justice Department.


September 6,1941

Japanese government officials meet in Imperial Conference to discuss proposed “Southern Operation”—a plan to attack U.S. and British bases.


September 8, 1941

The German siege of Leningrad begins.  It lasts 900 days.


September 28, 1941

Anglo-American Mission by U.S. and Great Britain meet in Moscow to discuss aid to USSR.


October 1941

Curtis Munson submits report to the U.S. Sate Department on Japanese Americans in Hawaii.  He writes that he believes, in the event of war with Japan, “in fairness to them it is only right to say that we believe the big majority anyhow would be neutral or even actively loyal.”  On AJA’s serving in the Army, he writes, “Due to the preponderance of Japanese in the population of the Islands, a much greater proportion of Japanese have been called to the draft than the mainland.  As on the mainland they are inclined to enlist before being drafted.  The Army is extremely high in its praise of them as recruits.”


October 2, 1941

German Army advances on Moscow.


October 27, 1941

FDR asks Congress for authorization to arm American Merchant Marine ships, and to allow them to pass through war zones.


October 31, 1941

U.S. destroyer Reuben James is sunk by German U-boat.  It is the first American war ship sunk in the war.


November 1, 1941

The Military Intelligence Language School (MISLS) is established on the Presidio of San Francisco in an old airplane maintenance shed at Crissy Field.  Lieutenant Colonel John Weckerling is appointed commanding officer.  Nisei private John F. Aiso is commissioned a Major, to direct academic training.  PFC Arthur Kaneko and civilians Shigeya Kihara and Akira Oshida are appointed instructors.  Tetsuo Imagawa later becomes a teacher.  There are 60 students in the first class.


November 5, 1941

Japanese Prime Minister and Minister of War Hideki Tojo states at an Imperial Conference, “We must be prepared to go to war, with the time for military action tentatively set as December 1, while at the same time doing our best to solve the problem [with the U.S. and Europe] by diplomacy.”

A report by the Joint Board of the U.S. Armed Forces states that “war between the United States and Japan should be avoided.”


November 7, 1941

A report on Japanese Americans on the West Coast, prepared by Curtis B. Munson, is forwarded to President Roosevelt and the War Department.  Munson does not believe that Japanese Americans are a security threat to the United States.  His report states, in part: “For the most part the local Japanese are loyal to the United States or, at worst, hope that by remaining quiet they can avoid concentration camps or irresponsible mobs.  We do not believe that they would be at least any more disloyal than any other racial group in the United States with whom we went to war.”


November 18, 1941

A resolution of hostility against the U.S. is approved by the Japanese Diet.


November 25, 1941

U.S. government reiterates demand that Japan remove forces from China.

Japanese Naval Task Force departs for Hawai’i.

In a ceremony in Berlin, Germany, Italy and Japan renew Anti-Comintern Pact.


December 5, 1941

Soviet Army stops German advance on Moscow on the outskirts of the capital.  Soviets launch a major counterattack in the Battle of Moscow.


December 6,1941

Great Britain declares war on Finland, Romania and Hungary.


December 7, 1941

Japanese Imperial Navy conducts surprise attack against the U.S. forces at Pearl Harbor and other installations on the Island of Oahu, Hawai’i.  Eighteen U.S. ships are sunk or heavily damaged; 200 aircraft destroyed; 2,403 are killed; 1,178 are wounded.

Japan simultaneously attacks the Malay Peninsula, Hong Kong, Wake and Midway Island, and the Philippines.

President Roosevelt signs Proclamation Number 2525, authorizing the U.S. Attorney General to arrest suspects in Hawai’i and on the mainland, to include enemy aliens deemed dangerous to the public health or safety of the United States.  The FBI immediately begins arresting Japanese Issei community leaders, businessmen, Japanese language instructors and Buddhist clergymen.

Hawai’i Territorial Guard (HTG) is established.  Many Nisei from the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) are activated for this unit.

Nisei soldiers of the 298th and 299th Infantry man defensive positions and patrol areas along beaches on Oahu.

Martial Law is declared in the Territory of Hawai’i “during the emergency and until the danger is removed.”  The Territorial Governor enacts the Hawai’i Defense Act.  The writ of habeas corpus is suspended.  Army orders mandatory curfew, rations gasoline, closes civil courts, which are replaced with Provost Martial Courts.  Grand juries and trials by jury are suspended.  Mail is censored and telephone calls can be monitored.  Army imposes censorship of radio broadcasts and newspapers.  No act of sabotage, espionage or any activity of the sort occurred in Hawai’i.  This remains true throughout the entire war.

The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) sends telegram to President Roosevelt:  “In this solemn hour we pledge our fullest cooperation to you, Mr. President, and to our country.” They further state:  “There cannot be any question.  There must be no doubt.  We, in our hearts, know we are Americans—loyal to America.  We must prove that to all of you.”


December 7, 1941-January 1942

Numerous church, civic and civil rights organizations write to federal government officials opposing actions against Japanese Americans.  They include Congregational churches in Los Angeles, New York Unit of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Baptist Home Missions Society of New York, groups in the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Berkeley chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the League for Industrial Democracy, and the San Francisco chapter of the American Friends Service Committee.

There are 4,670 Japanese Americans serving in the U.S. Army, most are draftees.  They still receive draft notices and report for induction.  Some Nisei are released from service.


December 8, 1941

U.S. Congress declares war on Japan.

The Malayan campaign begins.  Japan invades Thailand.

Japanese planes bomb Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines.

U.S. Department of the Treasury seizes all Japanese bank accounts and businesses.  They are taken over by the Alien Property Custodian, Department of Justice.

The Honolulu Advertiser runs banner headline, “Saboteurs Land Here.”

Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, Commander of the U.S. Fourth Army, stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco, declares, “I tell you that Japanese planes were over this community.  Death and destruction are likely to come to this city at any minute.”  This never occurred.

FBI head in Hawai’i, Robert Shivers, in Honolulu, reports to FBI head J. Edgar Hoover that there is no evidence of fifth column activities and that Commanding General Short had absolutely no report of sabotage.

In Hawai’i, 370 Issei are arrested and taken into custody by the FBI, aided by the Honolulu police, and Army and Naval Intelligence.  They are mostly Buddhist and Shinto priests, language school teachers and fishermen.

Congressman John Coffee of Washington enters statement of support for Japanese Americans into the Congressional Record.  It says:  “It is my fervent hope and prayer that residents of the United Sates of Japanese extraction will not be made the victim of pogroms directed by self-proclaimed patriots and by hysterical self-anointed heroes… As one who has lived as a neighbor to Japanese-Americans, I have found these people, on the whole, to be law-abiding, industrious and unobtrusive.  Let us not make a mockery of our Bill of Rights by mistreating these folks.”

The Brawley News in the Imperial Valley, California, writes:  “Americans should remain calm and considerate.  In this community we have many Japanese neighbors and citizens and nothing should occur to cause embarrassment to those whose loyalty to their adopted country remains steadfast during this time of crisis.”

The Colusa Sun-Herald in California writes: “Japanese residents…no more wished this war than did the people of the United States.  Let’s not forget that there are thousands of loyal American-born Japanese…  Let’s not repeat our mistakes of the last war.”


December 8-12, 1941

The Los Angeles Times publishes pledges of loyalty by Japanese Americans, and their statements condemning the attack on Pearl Harbor.  The Los Angeles Examiner prints six articles on loyalty by Japanese American groups and individuals (December 8-15).


December 9, 1941

Banner headline in Los Angeles Times: “Enemy Planes Sighted over California Coast.”

Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox visits Pearl Harbor attack site.

Many Japanese American language schools are ordered closed.

In Hawai’i, aliens have to turn in firearms, cameras, and short wave radio receivers.

The San Francisco Chronicle writes: “The roundup of Japanese citizens in various parts of the country…is not a call for volunteer spy hunters to go into action.  Neither is it a reason to lift an eyebrow at a Japanese, whether American-born or not…  There is no excuse to wound the sensibilities of any persons in America by showing suspicion or prejudice.”

The International Institute offers assistance to Japanese Americans.


December 10, 1941

U.S. Pacific territory of Guam defended by the U.S. Navy and Marines surrenders to Japanese forces.

Japanese planes sink British battleship Prince of Wales off the coast of Malaya.

Fourth Army Headquarters in San Francisco declares, “The main Japanese battle fleet is 164 miles off San Francisco.  General alert of all units.”  It is false.

Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes announces that Civil Rule in Hawai’i will be restored soon.

In Hawai’i and on the mainland, the FBI has Japanese, German and Italian aliens arrested.  FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reports that 1,291 Japanese have been taken into custody, including 367 in Hawai’i and 924 on the mainland U.S.  857 Germans and 147 Italians have also been arrested.

The Hanford Journal in Hanford, California, writes: “Be fair to the naturalized citizens and aliens who are in our midst…  Until proven otherwise, they are just as loyal and ready to carry their burden as the native born American.”

The San Francisco News writes: “In California we have many citizens of Japanese parentage.  A large proportion of them are native-born Americans.  They must not be made to suffer for the sins of a government or a nation for whom they have no sympathy or allegiance.”


December 11, 1941

Germany and Italy declare war on the United States.

Church and community leaders in Los Angeles meet to discuss ways to help Japanese Americans who lost their jobs or whose businesses were forced to close due to Department of Justice actions against them.  The Church Federation forms a “Church Emergency Defense Committee.”


December 12, 1941

Congress passes plan for censorship, principally of the U.S. mails.  President Roosevelt implements the plan.

President Roosevelt appoints Alien Property Custodian in the Department of Justice.  $27.5 million in business and real estate owned by Japanese Issei is seized.  The Treasury Department freezes all deposits held in Japanese banks.

The San Luis Obispo Independent in California is the first paper to call for mass internment of Japanese Americans.  There are seven subsequent editorials calling for the same.


December 13, 1941

Major General Joseph W. Stilwell, in charge of U.S. Army in Southern California, criticizes the Western Defense Command intelligence, stating:  “Common sense is thrown to the winds and any absurdity is believed…  The [Fourth] Army G-2 is just another amateur, like all the rest of the staff.  RULE: the higher the headquarters the more important is calm.  Nothing should go out unconfirmed.  Nothing is ever as bad as it seems at first.”

The San Francisco News writes: “To subject these people [Japanese Americans] to illegal search and seizure, to arrest without warrant, to confinement without trial, is to violate the principles of Democracy as set forth in our Constitution.”

The Contra Costa Gazette in Martinez, California, editorialized: “They [Japanese Americans] are as indignant as their fairer brothers over the cowardly assault of the Japanese warlords on American possessions.”


December 15, 1941

Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox returns to Washington, DC, after trip to Hawai’i.  He tells press:  “I think the most effective fifth column work of the entire war was done in Hawaii with the possible exception of Norway.”  This statement unjustifiably blames the Japanese American community in Hawai’i for the military disaster at Pearl Harbor.  It is completely untrue.


December 16, 1941

Congressman H. Jerry Vorhis of California submits favorable article of a 22 year old Nisei joining the U.S. Army to the Congressional Record.  It is entitled, “He’s of Jap descent, but a fightin’ American.”

The San Francisco Chronicle editorializes: “All of us, except Red Indians, are either immigrants or the children of immigrants…  American fair play cannot indict any racial group among us for the sins of a few of its members.”


December 17, 1941

General Walter Short is relieved of command of the Hawai’i Department and is replaced by General Delos C. Emmons.  Admiral Husband Kimmel, of the Navy at Pearl Harbor, is also relieved.

FBI Director Hoover states that most individuals of foreign extraction in Hawai’i are law abiding.  He further recommends registering all enemy aliens in the United States, and recommends that the FBI be given authority to apprehend any citizen or alien “as to whom there may be reasonable belief that such a person has been or is engaged in giving aid or comfort to the enemies of the United States.”


December 18, 1941

In Hawai’i, the Morale Committee is established within the Office of the Military Governor.  Its co-chairmen are YMCA administrator Hung Wai Ching, YMCA leader Charles Loomis, and Japanese American school principal Shigeo Yoshida.  It works under the direct supervision of Colonel Kendall Fielder, U.S. Army Intelligence, and Robert Shivers, of the FBI.  It serves as a liaison group between government officials and ancestry groups.


December 19, 1941

FDR signs Executive Order 8985, creating Office of Censorship.

At a cabinet meeting, Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox again accuses Japanese Americans of fifth column activities at Pearl Harbor and asks Secretary of War Stimson to remove all Issei and intern them on an island other than Oahu.  This is one of the first U.S. government calls for mass imprisonment of Japanese Americans.

FBI Director Hoover disputes Knox’s unwarranted allegations against the Japanese American community.  Hoover writes to Attorney General Francis Biddle, “It is very definitely the opinion of the intelligence officers of the various services in Hawaii that there is no such widespread activity similar to that which occurred in Norway.  In fact, it is believed a great majority of the population in Hawaii of foreign extraction is law-abiding and is not indulging in any such activities.”


December 20, 1941

In a report to the government after Pearl Harbor, Curtis Munson writes, “In Honolulu your observer noted that the seagoing Navy was inclined to consider everybody with slant eyes bad… Your observer suspects that Secretary Knox’s comparison to the Fifth Column in Norway stems from either of two things: First, a very busy man being caught by the coattails by a reporter; and second, from the unknowing ‘eat ‘em up alive’ element amongst whom of necessity he was largely exposed in his hurried visit to determine responsibility.”

The Buddhist Mission of North America states: “The suddenness and the unwarranted and inhumane attack upon these United States of America leave us, the Buddhists in America, with but one decision: the condemnation of that attack…  The loyalty to the United States which we have pledged at all times must now be placed into instant action for the defense of the United States of America.”


December 21, 1941

Japan signs treaty with Thailand.

General Delos Emmons, Commander of the Hawaiian Department, pledges to the AJA community in Hawai’i that they will be treated fairly.  He states on radio broadcast that “there is no intention or desire on the part of the federal authorities to operate mass concentration camps.  No person, be he citizen or alien, need worry, provided he is not connected with subversive elements.”


December 22, 1941

Battle of the Philippines.  Japanese Army lands at Lingayen Gulf.

Attorney General Biddle creates the Enemy Alien Control Unit as a new Department Division.  Edward Ennis is appointed its head.  It is tasked with handling aliens picked up in “ABC” raids.

The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce urges all Japanese in the U.S. be put “under absolute federal control.”  This is the beginning of a major lobbying effort to call for the mass removal of Japanese Americans.

The San Francisco Chronicle editorializes:  “What we are urging all Americans to recognize [is] the loyalty to America of fellow-citizens and fellow-residents of Japanese antecedents.”


December 23, 1941

After 11 days of fighting, Japanese capture Wake Island.

The President’s Committee on Fair Employment Practice offers aid to the Japanese American community.


December 25, 1941

Hong Kong surrenders to Japanese forces.


December 26, 1941

Philippine government declares Manila an open city.


December 27, 1941

General MacArthur evacuates Manila in the Philippines and withdraws his army to the Bataan Peninsula.  He sets up headquarters on Corregidor.

On Oahu, Hawai’i, the Army orders mandatory fingerprinting of all civilians over 6 years of age.


December 29, 1941

President Roosevelt approves plan to return civilian rule to Hawai’i.

The Northern California Committee of Fair Play for Citizens and Aliens of Japanese Ancestry reports in press release: “Californians have kept their heads.  There have been few if any serious denials of civil rights to either aliens or citizens of the Japanese race, on account of the war.  The American tradition of fair-play has been observed.”


January 1942

Japanese siege of U.S. forces on Bataan and Corregidor begins.  12,500 American and 67,500 Filipino troops defend the Islands.

Germans sink 106 Allied ships in the Atlantic.

Congressman Ed V. Izac presses for removal of Japanese Americans.  He states that “the Army was only slightly more willing than the Justice Department to evacuate the Japs.  Evacuation would never have taken place if the united Pacific Coast delegations had not applied pressure—not only upon the Attorney-General and the Secretary of War—but also on the President himself.”

William Cecil, Director of the California Department of Agriculture, openly opposes proposal to remove Japanese Americans from the West Coast.

Congressman John Coffee of Washington disapproves of the proposed forced removal, stating that “The War Department was not at all anxious to take over evacuation.  It would not have taken action without the strong remonstrance of the congressional delegation.  The War Department need prodding and the ‘flag-wavers’ supplied it.”


January 1, 1942

Declaration by the United Nations is issued by 26 Allied countries against Axis belligerent nations.

U.S. Attorney General Biddle enacts order to forbid travel by all suspected “enemy aliens.”

U.S. Department of Justice opposes mass raids on Japanese American homes as recommended by the Army, but allows multiple spot searches without a warrant.

Assistant Chief of Staff, Army Air Corps, writes in memo: “In time of peace there should be no discrimination because of race or creed.  In time of war this government must protect itself from possible enemies.”


January 2, 1942

Japanese Fourteenth Army begins to occupy Manila.  The U.S. Naval base in Cavite is captured.

U.S. military commanders recommend transferring Japanese American soldiers serving on the West Coast to inland posts.


January 3, 1942

Chiang Kai-shek is appointed Commander in Chief of Allied Forces in China.

General John L. DeWitt, Commander, Western Defense Command and Fourth Army, headquartered at the Presidio of San Francisco, requests permission for military commanders to designate restricted areas.  The Justice Department wanted to retain authority to designate areas that would restrict civilians. DeWitt becomes the chief proponent and advocate for forced removal and imprisonment of Japanese Americans.

The California Growers Protective Association promotes mass forced removal of Japanese Americans.  It writes to California Attorney General Earl Warren: “We trust that your office will make a sincere effort to eliminate as many of these undesirable aliens from the land of California as is possible at this time.  Let me assure you that our entire organization…is behind you squarely in any action you see fit to take on this matter.”


January 4, 1942

Justice Department agrees to let General DeWitt designate civilian restricted areas, but specifies that these areas would be limited.  The areas would exclude only “aliens” and not U.S. citizens.

General DeWitt tells James Rowe, the Assistant U.S. Attorney General, “I have little confidence that the enemy aliens are law abiding or loyal in any sense of the word.  Some of them, yes; many, no.  Particularly the Japanese, I have no confidence in their loyalty whatsoever.  I am speaking now of the native born Japanese—117,000—and 42,000 in California alone.”

A popular newspaper columnist writes in a syndicated column: “It would be extremely foolish to doubt the continued existence of enemy agents among the large Japanese alien population.”


January 4-9, 1942

British and Indian forces give up the defense of the Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.


January 5-20, 1942

Radio commentator John B. Hughes, of the Mutual Broadcasting Company, begins series of anti-Japanese American commentaries.  He spreads undocumented rumors of spying and fifth column activity by Japanese Americans.


January 6, 1942

U.S. Congressman Leland Ford of Los Angeles calls for forced removal of Japanese Americans from their farms.  He telegrams the U.S. Secretary of State: “Some complications…might arise…where land might be operated by native-born Japanese…  Nevertheless these are war times and I do not believe we could be any too strict in our consideration of the Japanese in the face of the treacherous way in which they do things, not only to this country, but in the accomplishment of any end they may have in view.”

Hawai’ian delegate to Congress Samuel W. King repudiates claims against Japanese Americans in Hawai’i taking part in espionage or sabotage during or after Pearl Harbor attack.


January 7-23, 1942

80,000 U.S. and Filipino troops fall back to defensive positions in Central-Northern Bataan.

Japanese forces occupy the capital of British North Borneo.


January 8, 1942

Military commanders want to broaden exclusion from restricted military areas to “enemy aliens.”   According to Major Carter Garver, Acting Assistant Adjutant General of the Army:  “Admiral C. S. Freeman, Commandant 13th Naval District, recommended that all enemy aliens be evacuated from the states of Washington and Oregon; that all American [sic] born of Japanese racial origin who cannot show actual severance of all allegiance to the Japanese government be classified as enemy aliens, and lastly that no pass or temporary permit to enter these states be issued to enemy aliens.”


January 10, 1942

Secretary of the Navy Knox asks General Delos Emmons his opinion on a proposed removal of Japanese American civilians on Oahu.  Emmons replies it would not be practicable but might even be dangerous.  Removing Japanese Americans would severely deplete labor resources and dissipate military and war efforts.


January 10-17, 1942

Two Japanese task forces land throughout Dutch East Indies.


January 12, 1942

Japanese Twenty-Fifth Army captures capital of Malaysia.


January 14, 1942

President Roosevelt orders re-registration of suspected “enemy” aliens on the West Coast.


January 15, 1942

Allies establish the ABDA (American-British-Dutch-Australian) Command to check Japanese advance into the Dutch East Indies.


January 15-20, 1942

Japanese Fifteenth Army crosses Thai border into Burma.


January 16, 1942

The San Diego Union editorializes that there is “no way of ever knowing the degree of loyalty that would be displayed by our so called American citizens of Japanese ancestry.”


January 17, 1942

The California Newspaper Publishers’ Association passes resolution calling for mass removal of Japanese Americans on the Pacific Coast.


January 19, 1942

Japanese 5th and 8th Division advance on Singapore to within 100 miles.

The American Legion, in a national convention in Washington,  DC, adopts a resolution “calling for immediate action” by the government in removing and imprisoning all enemy aliens and nationals in combat zones such as the West Coast.  This was principally directed at Japanese Americans.


January 20, 1942

Supreme Court Justice Owen J. Roberts, author of the Roberts Commission on the Pearl Harbor attack, tells Secretary of War Henry Stimson that in his opinion, Japanese in Hawai’i pose major security risk to the island.  This is not reflected in his report.

The San Diego Union writes editorial demanding mass forced removal of Japanese Americans.  It writes 14 additional editorials through March 16.

Christian Science Monitor staff correspondent refutes claims of disloyalty by Americans of Japanese ancestry during and after the Pearl Harbor attack.


January 21, 1942

317 Nisei serving in the Hawai’ian Territorial Guard (HTG) are dismissed without explanation.  Many are former ROTC cadets from the University of Hawai’i.


January 22, 1942

Japanese Army lands additional soldiers in Subic Bay, headed for the U.S. and Filipino defenders of Bataan.


January 23, 1942

Japanese Army captures Rabaul, New Britain, New Ireland and Kieta, on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.

The Roberts Commission investigation on the attack on Pearl Harbor is issued.  There is no mention of espionage, sabotage or fifth column activities by Japanese Americans.  General Walter Short testifies:  I do not believe that since I came here that there has been any act of sabotage of any importance at all…”  FBI agent in charge of Hawai’i testifies also that there have been no acts of sabotage.

Congressman Leland Ford writes to the U.S. Attorney General demanding “that all Japanese, whether citizens or not, be placed in inland concentration camps.  As justification for this, I submit that if an American born Japanese, who is a citizen, is really patriotic and wishes to make his contribution to the safety and welfare of this country, right here is his opportunity to do so, namely, that by permitting himself to be placed in a concentration camp, he would be making his sacrifice and he should be willing to do it if he is patriotic and is working for us.” Attorney General Biddle replies on January 24: “Unless the writ of habeas corpus is suspended, I do not know any way in which Japanese born in this country, and therefore American citizens, could be interned.”  On January 27, he says, “This Department has not deemed it advisable at this time to attempt to remove all persons of the Japanese race into the interior of the country.”

The Los Angeles Times editorializes: “Many of our Japanese, whether born here or not, are fully loyal and deserve sympathy rather than suspicion.  Others, in both categories, hold to a foreign allegiance and are dangerous, at least potentially.  To be sure it would sometimes stump an expert to tell which is which and mistakes, if made, should be made on the side of caution.”


January 24, 1942

Japanese convoy off the coast of Borneo is badly damaged by U.S. Navy destroyers.

The California Farm Bureau Federation, a non-governmental organization representing local farmers and growers, recommends that “all Japs, both citizen and alien,” be placed “under federal supervision.”


January 24-31, 1942

Japanese forces in the Dutch East Indies continue their advance.


January 26, 1942

U.S. and Philippine forces continue to retreat into Bataan Peninsula.

Lieutenant Commander K. D. Ringle, of the Office of Naval Intelligence based in Southern California, submits “Report on Japanese Question.”  Ringle reports that most Japanese Americans are loyal to the United States and he does not support their evacuation and internment.  He writes, “In short, the entire ‘Japanese problem’ has been magnified out of its true proportion, largely because of the physical characteristics of the people; …it is no more serious than the problems of the German, Italian, and Communistic portions of the United States population, and, finally… it should be handled on the basis of the individual, regardless of citizenship, and not on a racial basis.”

In Hawai’i, the Morale Section in the Office of Civilian Defense becomes the Morale Section of the Office of the Military Governor.


January 27, 1942

The City and County of Los Angeles discharge all Japanese and Japanese Americans in the civil service.

Congressmen Alfred J. Elliot and John Z. Anderson call for mass incarceration of Japanese Americans.


January 28, 1942

The Los Angeles Times editorializes: “The rigors of war demand proper detention of Japanese and their immediate removal from the most acute danger spots.”


January 29, 1942

Attorney General Francis Biddle issues the first of a series of orders establishing strategic areas along the West Coast.  It will require the removal of suspected “enemy aliens” from these designated areas.


January 30, 1942

Japanese Army in Burma continues its advance on Rangoon.

Pacific Coast delegation of U.S. Congress passes resolution calling for the War Department to remove “all enemy aliens and their families” and for voluntary resettlement” for “dual citizens.”  It is targeted at Japanese Americans.

Popular newspaper columnist Henry McLemore writes in the San Francisco Examiner, calling for mass removal and internment of Japanese Americans on the West Coast “to a point deep in the Interior” and not a “nice part of the interior either… Herd ‘em up, pack ‘em off and give ‘em the inside room in the badlands.  Let ‘em be pinched, hurt, hungry and dead up against it…  Personally, I hate the Japanese.  And that goes for all of them.”


January 31, 1942

Attorney General Biddle establishes 59 new prohibited areas in California.  They are to be cleared of suspected “enemy aliens” by February 15, 1942.


February 1942- December 1943

Between 700 and 900 Hawai’i Japanese are sent to Department of Justice camps on the mainland.  These include Nisei who are U.S. citizens.


February 1942

Rangoon, Burma, is captured by the Japanese.

On the advice of community leaders and friends, 160 former Nisei members of the Hawai’i Territorial Guard (HTG) volunteer for civilian duty in an engineering unit called the Varsity Victory Volunteers (VVV).  They serve for 11 months.  They receive no pay.  This is an important factor in the Army recommendation to create the 100th Infantry Battalion in Hawai’i.

In O’ahu, a Japanese American subcommittee of the Morale Committee is organized as the Emergency Service Committee.  Subcommittees are organized on Kaua’i, Maui, and Lanai.

General DeWitt recommends exclusion of Nisei from the West Coast.  He writes to Secretary of War Stimson, “In the war in which we are now engaged racial affinities are not severed by migration.  The Japanese race is an enemy race and while many second and third generation Japanese born on United States soil, possessed of United States citizenship, have become ‘Americanized,’ the racial strains are undiluted.”

The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce calls for “the movement of Japanese to an area beyond fifty miles from the Pacific Coast and the Mexican border, and the employment of Japanese thus removed to the fullest extent possible.”

The Kern County [California] Group, an agricultural organization, writes to U.S. Congressman A. J. Elliot, stating: “The sooner the Japs are removed from the Pacific Coast the better, as White farmers can produce anything better than the Japanese.” 

The following organizations call for forced removal of the Japanese community on the West Coast:  the Lions, Elks, American Legion, United Spanish War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans of the World War, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the California Joint Immigration Committee, the Native Sons and Daughters of the Gold West, and the Western Growers Protective Association.


February-March 1942

More than 35 cities and counties on the Pacific Coast call for mass removal of Japanese Americans.  Some call for forbidding Japanese Americans from ever returning.

The following Chambers of Commerce from West Coast cities and counties call for forced removal and internment of Japanese Americans:  San Luis Obispo, Colton, Pasadena, San Benito County, Ventura, Ivanhoe, Laguna Beach, Fresno County and Kern County in California; Astoria, Tacoma, and Olympia in Washington; Hood River in Oregon; Twin Falls, Idaho; and Espanola, New Mexico.

Numerous labor unions along the West Coast urge forced removal, including carpenters, building trades, textile workers, butchers, retail clerks, electricians, hotel and restaurant workers.  Most are affiliated with the American Federation of Labor.


February-May 1942

Allied Armies in Southeast Asia are forced to the border of India by the Japanese Army.


February 1, 1942

Lieutenant General Joseph Stilwell is appointed Commander-in Chief of U.S. Forces in China-Burma-India (CBI).

Two U.S. Naval task forces, including the aircraft carriers USS Yorktown and USS Enterprise, raid Japanese bases in the Gilbert and Marshal Islands.

In a memo to the Attorney General, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover criticizes the Army’s West Coast intelligence operation, calling it untrained and disorganized, mentioning occurrences of “hysteria and lack of judgment.”

The Justice Department drafts a press release to be issued with the War Department.  It states: “The Army has surveyed and recommended 88 prohibited areas in California.  Further areas have been studied by the Army and are being recommended in California, Washington, Oregon and the other West Coast states.  The Attorney General designated these areas immediately upon the recommendation of the War Department to be evacuated of all alien enemies, Japanese, German and Italians…  The Federal Bureau of Investigation has charge of the investigation of the [sic] subversive activities.  To date there has been no substantial evidence of planned sabotage by any alien.”

War Department asks General Delos Emmons for his views on possible removal of Japanese Americans from Hawai’i to the West Coast.  In addition, it seeks Emmons’ advice on discharging, releasing or transferring Nisei serving in the military on Hawai’i.  Emmons informs them that he has already discharged the AJA’s in the Territorial Guard.  He recommends retaining Nisei in former National Guard regiments. 

The San Francisco Chronicle editorializes against mass forced removal: “It is not necessary to imitate Hitler by herding whole populations, the guilty and the innocent together, into even humane concentration camps.”


February 2, 1942

U.S. Navy PT-Boats and aircraft prevent Japanese landing on Southwest Bataan.

FBI Director Hoover writes memo for Attorney General Francis Biddle regarding proposed mass forced removal of Japanese Americans.  He declares that exclusion of Japanese Americans is not based on factual analysis and that motivation for forced removal is caused by political pressure and not security reasons. Hoover writes, “Public hysteria and in some instances, the comments of the press and radio announcers, have resulted in a tremendous amount of pressure being brought to bear on Governor Olson and Earl Warren, Attorney General of the State, and on the military authorities…”

The Pacific League in Southern California urges government to keep West Coast Japanese in the agricultural industry and not to force wholesale forced removal and imprisonment.

Frank Smothers, of the Chicago Daily News, writes articles refuting claims of disloyalty by Americans of Japanese ancestry in Hawai’i.  He states, “The highest military authorities say they have found no indications of sabotage in connection with December 7.”


February 3, 1942

Japanese planes attack Dutch naval base at Surabaya, on Java.

General DeWitt, without evidence, erroneous reports that “regular communications are going out from Japanese spies in those regions [West Coast] to submarines off the Coast assisting in attacks by the latter which have been made upon practically every ship that has gone out.”  After meeting with California Governor Olson, General DeWitt writes in a memorandum: “The General consensus of opinion as agreed to by all present at this conference was that, due to the above facts, the removal of all male adult Japanese, that is over 18 years of age, whether native or American born, alien enemy or Japanese, from that area of California defined as a combat zone [should be achieved].”

FBI officials report that Los Angeles papers are reporting that “approximately one hundred sheriffs and district attorneys throughout the State of California have recommended and demanded that all Japanese aliens be moved from all territories of the State of California.”

California junior U.S. Senator Sheridan Downey, in a national radio address, describes the loyalty of Japanese Americans and states that “the great majority of our aliens are harmless people.”

The San Diego Union editorializes on mass removal: “We are confronted on both sides by enemies who have devoted their entire careers to…treachery, deceit, and sabotage.  We can afford to be neither soft-headed nor soft-hearted in dealing with them or their agents.”


February 4, 1942

The Australian-New Zealand Naval Command is created, to be headed by Admiral H. F. Leary.

An Allied Naval force heading for Borneo is attacked by Japanese planes.

The U.S. Attorney General’s office establishes curfew zones in California.

Colonel Karl R. Bendetsen, Assistant Chief of Staff for Civil Affairs, and Director of the Wartime Civil Control Administration (WCCA), of the Western Defense Command, states in a memo: “By far the vast majority of those who have studied the Oriental assert that a substantial majority of Nisei bear allegiance to Japan, are well controlled and disciplined by the enemy, and at the proper time will engage in organized sabotage, particularly, should a raid along the Pacific Coast be attempted by the Japanese.”  Colonel Bendetsen is the principal action officer and architect of the forced removal and imprisonment of Japanese Americans for the U.S. Army.

In a meeting with pro-evacuation U.S. Senators and Congressmen from the Western United States and senior military leaders regarding West Coast defenses, documented by committee chair Senator Holman, Admiral Harold Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, “expressed the opinion that it would be impossible for the enemy to engage in a sustained attack on the Pacific Coast that the present time.”  Edward Ennis of the Alien Enemy Control Unit of the Justice Department later observed: “The congressional hotheads ignored the opinion.  They said Army and Navy authorities were jackasses, that they had been proved wrong at Pearl Harbor, that there was no reason to accept their testimony, and that the California congressmen were not going to wait for another Pearl Harbor in Los Angeles.”

California State Personnel Board institutes dismissal action against Japanese American employees of the state.  This is protested by the Northern California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the San Francisco chapter of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).  San Francisco Chronicle publishes editorial against firings.


February 4-5, 1942

British military commanders in Singapore refuse to surrender to the Japanese.


February 5, 1942

United States declares war on Thailand.

U.S. Senator Sheridan Downey, of California, opposes the California Congressional delegation’s resolution for the mass removal of Japanese Americans.  He is the only one to do so.

U.S. Army Colonel Karl R. Bendetsen, of the Western Defense Command, states to pro-evacuation U.S. Congressmen and Senators: “Military judgment on the West Coast on whether or not this evacuation should take place was positively in the affirmative” and “the Army was unable to determine whether Japanese were loyal or disloyal and the Army would be pleased to have them evacuated, but the question of providing protection was more far-reaching than appeared on the surface.”


February 6, 1942

California Governor Culbert Olson meets with Nisei community leaders to ask for voluntary evacuation of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.  They agree to cooperate.


February 7, 1942

Attorney General Biddle meets with President Roosevelt: “I discussed at length with him the Japanese stating exactly what we had done, that we believe mass evacuation at this time inadvisable, that the F.B.I. was not staffed to perform it; that this was an Army job not, in our opinion, advisable; that there were no reasons for mass evacuation and that I thought the Army should be directed to prepare a detailed plan of evacuation in case of an emergency caused by an air raid or attempted landing on the West Coast.  I emphasized the danger of the hysteria, which we were beginning to control.”

The administrator of the Adjustment and Conservation Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture states in Congressional testimony that “The Production of vegetables by Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans in California amounted to between 30 and 40 percent of the total California production.”  This California produce represents 22 percent of the United States total.

The anti-Japanese California Joint Immigration Committee meets to promote mass imprisonment.  The organization’s executive secretary and prominent newspaper publisher, H. J. McClatchy, remarks:  “I know that the Committee has received more active and more general support in the last month than it has received in the last thirty years of its existence, and what we want, we ought to get now.”  He adds, “So far as the individual Nisei is concerned, he has been educated as a Jap and he is a Jap…”  A member, Charles M. Goethe, adds: “It strikes me that we could get a lot of good educational material…if it was handled right.  This is our time to get things done that we have been trying to get done for a quarter of a century.”

At the meeting of the Joint Immigration Committee, California State Attorney Earl Warren calls for mass forced removal of the Japanese population from the West Coast, stating: “I think we ought to urge the military command in this area to do the things that are obviously essential to the security of this state.”

Leon Happel, of the American Legion, states: “It all goes back to the racial problem.  We have absorbed the Italians and the Germans, but we can never absorb the Japanese; they are always Japanese.”


February 8, 1942

The Western Growers Protective Association officially adopts a resolution to lobby for the mass forced removal of Japanese Americans.


February 9, 1942

War Department orders General Emmons to suspend all Americans of Japanese ancestry working for the Army in Hawai’i.  Emmons replies that they are an essential labor force and disagrees with the order.  He states that “the Japanese Question” is delicate and dangerous and that it “should be handled by those in direct contact with the situation.”  The War Department cancels the order.

The San Francisco Chronicle opposes mass forced removal of Japanese Americans on legal and Constitutional grounds.  It editorializes: “There shall be no discrimination by reason of race.”


February 10, 1942

The Congressional Subcommittee on Alien Nationality and Sabotage (the Wallgren Committee) passes resolution calling for complete removal of Japanese Americans from the Pacific Coast.  The resolution is presented to a combined Congressional delegation on February 12.  The resolution is unanimously adopted on February 13.  It calls for “the immediate evacuation of all persons of Japanese lineage and all others, aliens and citizens alike, whose presence shall be deemed dangerous or inimical to the defense of the United States from all strategic areas.”  The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce is active in lobbying, writing and adopting this resolution.  Among those who are members of the Congressional Committee are: U.S. Senators Holman and Wallgren, U.S. Congressmen Angell, Costello, Englebright, Welch and Lea.

Secretary of War Stimson writes in his diary, “The second generation Japanese [Nisei] can only be evacuated either as part of a total evacuation, giving access to the areas only by permits, or by frankly trying to put them out on the ground that their racial characteristics are such that we cannot understand or trust even the citizen Japanese.  This latter is the fact but I am afraid it will make a tremendous hole in our constitutional system to apply it.”


February 11, 1942

General DeWitt meets with California Attorney General Earl Warren, Thomas C. Clark, coordinator of the Justice Department’s Alien Control program and Fletcher Bowron, mayor of Los Angeles, to discuss possible mass removal of Japanese Americans.  Bowron and Warren strongly support forced removal.  Bowron tells DeWitt “that action was necessary immediately and told him that the responsibility would be clearly placed if the Japs sabotaged the West Coast.”  After the meeting, “Clark told mayor Bowron that the General had decided to move all Japanese from Coastal areas.  The General told Clark: Arrange the machinery and do it rapidly; I am not going to be a second General Short.”

Secretary of War Stimson records in his diary: “I then had a conference in regard to the west coast situation with McCloy and General Clark who has been out there.  This is a stiff proposition.  General DeWitt is asking for some very drastic steps, to wit: the moving and relocating of some 120,000 people including citizens of Japanese descent.”


February 12, 1942

U.S. Army officers suggest that the Joint Chiefs of Staff  establish a “concentration camp” on Molokai or the mainland for Japanese Americans because it is “essential that the most dangerous group, approximately 20,000 persons… be evacuated as soon as possible” and that “eventually all Japanese residents will be concentrated into one locality and kept under surveillance.”

Walter Lippmann, dean of American political commentators, writes syndicated newspaper column advocating mass forced removal:  “This is in substance the system of policing which necessarily prevails in a war zone.  By this system the constitutional and international questions about aliens and citizens do not arise at the very place where they confuse the issues and prevent the taking of thorough measures of security.”


February 13, 1942

The Joint Immigration Committee releases statement to the press: “Neither fear, timidity, nor cost should delay action, JAPANESE SHOULD BE REMOVED NOW!”


February 14, 1942

Japanese forces invade Sumatra.

Commanding General of the Western Defense Command (WDC) General John L. DeWitt sends memorandum to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson recommending the removal of “Japanese and other subversive persons” from areas along the West Coast of the United States.  In his recommendation, DeWitt states: “In the war in which we are now engaged racial affinities are not severed by migration.  The Japanese race is an enemy race and while many second and third generation Japanese born on United States soil, possessed of United States citizenship, have become ‘Americanized,’ the racial strains are undiluted.  To conclude otherwise is to expect that children born of white parents on Japanese soil sever all racial affinity and become loyal Japanese subjects, ready to fight and, if necessary, to die for Japan in a war against the nation of their parents.  That Japan is allied with Germany and Italy in this struggle is no ground for assuming that any Japanese, barred from assimilation by convention as he is, though born and raised in the United States, will not turn against this nation, when the final test of loyalty comes.  It, therefore, follows that along the vital Pacific Coast over 112,000 potential enemies, of Japanese extraction, are at large today.  There are indications that these are organized and ready for concerted action at a favorable opportunity.  The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken.”

Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox requests that action be taken with regard to the Hawai’ian Japanese with the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Roosevelt.  Roosevelt writes: “Like you, I have long felt that most of the Japanese should be removed from Oahu to one of the other Islands.  This involves much planning, much temporary construction and careful supervision of them when they get to the new location.  I do not worry about the constitutional question—first, because of my recent order [Executive Order 9066, signed February 19, 1942] and, second, because Hawaii is under martial law.  The whole matter is one of immediate and present war emergency.  I think you and Stimson can agree and then go ahead and do it as a military project.”

U.S. Army War Plans Division recommends to General Delos Emmons, in Hawai’i, that he “be authorized to evacuate all enemy aliens and all citizens of Japanese extraction selected by him with their families, subject to the availability of shipping and facilities for their internment or surveillance on the mainland.”  100,000 persons of Japanese ancestry were planned for internment on the U.S. mainland.

The Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issues statement opposing mass evacuation and stating that wartime suspicions about the loyalty of Japanese Americans “should not be used as a pretext to justify the wholesale eviction of thousands of American citizens from their homes solely because of the racial origin.”


February 15, 1942

British surrender to Japanese Army at Singapore.  62,000 British, Australian and Indian soldiers are taken prisoner.  It is considered among England’s worst Far East defeats.


February 16, 1942

By this date, the FBI has arrested and detained 2,192 Issei Japanese Americans, community leaders, newspaper publishers, businessmen, teachers, and Buddhist religious leaders.  They are held by the U.S. Department of Justice.  1,393 Germans and 264 Italians are also being held.

Political newspaper columnist Westbrook Pegler writes: “The Japanese in California should be under guard to the last man and woman right now and to hell with habeas corpus until the danger is over.  Do you get what he [Mr. Lippmann] says?...  The enemy has been scouting our coast…the Japs ashore are communicating with the enemy offshore and…on the basis of ‘what is known to be taking place’ there are signs that a well-organized blow is being withheld only until it can do the most damage…  We are so dumb and considerate of the minute constitutional rights and even of the political feelings and influence of people whom we have every reason to anticipate with preventive action!”


February 17, 1942

General Allen W. Gullion, the U.S. Army Provost Marshal General, drafts Executive Order 9066 for President Roosevelt’s signature.

Attorney General Francis Biddle sends President Roosevelt a memorandum opposing forced removal.  He writes:  “For several weeks there have been increasing demands for evacuation of all Japanese, aliens and citizens alike, from the West Coast states.  A great many of the West Coast people distrust the Japanese, various special interests would welcome their removal from good farm land and the elimination of their competition, some of the local California radio and press have demanded evacuation, the West Coast Congressional Delegation re asking the same thing…  My last advice from the War Department is that there is no evidence of imminent attack and from the F.B.I. that there is no evidence of planned sabotage…  To evacuate the 93,000 Japanese in California over night would materially disrupt agricultural production in which they play a large part and the farm labor now is so limited that they could not be quickly replaced.  Their hurried evacuation would require thousands of troops, tie up transportation and raise very difficult questions of resettlement.  Under the Constitution 60,000 of these Japanese are American citizens.”

Congressman Leland Ford, of California, speaks to Attorney General Biddle.  He later recalls the conversation: “I phoned the Attorney General’s office and told them to stop fucking around.  I gave them twenty four hours notice that unless they would issue a mass evacuation notice I would drag the whole matter out on the floor of the House and of the Senate and give the bastards everything we could with both barrels.  I told them they had given us the run around long enough… and that if they would not take immediate action, we would clean the god damned office out in one sweep.  I cussed at the Attorney General and his staff himself just like I’m cussing to you now and he knew damn well I meant business.”

American Legion posts in California send resolutions demanding that “immediate steps be taken to see that all enemy aliens be placed in concentration camps” to General DeWitt, Secretary of War Stimson and California Congressmen.  American Legion posts in Oregon call for “Whole-hearted and concerted action…toward the removal of enemy aliens and citizens of enemy alien extraction from all areas along the coast…”  Copies of these resolutions are sent to officials all over the country.

The Western Growers Protective Association writes in favor of forced removal to pro-removal U.S. Congressman Leland Ford: “We the people on the Pacific Coast feel that time is the essence of this matter and the evacuation of the Japanese should be accomplished at the earliest possible moment.”


February 18, 1942

British Allied Forces begin to evacuate Rangoon, Burma.

Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson, Attorney General Francis Biddle, Edward Ennis, James Rowe, Tom Clark, of the Justice Department, Robert Patterson and John J. McCloy, Under Secretaries of War, General Allen W. Gullion, Provost Marshal of the U.S. Army, and Colonel Carl R. Bendetsen, of the Western Defense Command, meet to finalize Executive Order 9066.  Stimson writes: “This marks a long step forward towards a solution of a very dangerous and vexing problem.  But I have no illusions as to the magnitude of the task that lies before us and the wails which will go up in relation to some of the actions which will be taken under it.”  Biddle writes: “Rowe and Ennis argued strongly against [the Executive Order].  But the decision had been made by the President.  It was, he said, a matter of military judgment.  I did not think I should oppose it any further.  The Department of Justice, as I had made it clear to him from the beginning, was opposed to and would have nothing to do with the evacuation.”

The following statements in favor of forced removal are made on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.  Congressman Harry R. Sheppard:  “I serve notice upon the Attorney-General that if something is not done rapidly to correct the hazards that everyone who has any degree of intelligence knows exist on the Pacific Coast with regard to the Japanese question, I am going to introduce a resolution to investigate the activities of his office for the protection of the white citizens of my State.”  Congressman John Costello:  “Practically no step has been taken out there on the [Pacific] Coast to remove the Japanese American-born citizen, and there is where the crux of the whole question lies.  The Department of Justice, I feel, has, to a great extent, tended to block and interfere with the program dealing with the moving of the citizens…  The alien problem is simple to handle, but the real threat to the entire Pacific coast comes from the citizen of Japanese ancestry…”


February 19, 1942

Japanese forces land in Timor, in Indonesia.

Sea battle in the Badoeng Strait (east of Bali), with U.S. and Dutch Navies against the Japanese Imperial Navy.

Port Darwin, Australia, is bombed by Japanese carrier forces.  Seventeen ships are sunk, 172 people are killed.

President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066.  It authorizes the Secretary of War and military commanders to establish “military areas… with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion.”  The President, his cabinet, and the West Coast Congressional delegation, understand that it is written and implemented to forcibly remove Japanese Americans from the West Coast.  On May 5, 1942, there is a subsequent discussion of using Executive Order 9066 against Italians or Germans.  President Roosevelt writes Secretary of War Stimson that enemy alien control is “primarily a civilian matter except of course in the case of the Japanese mass evacuation on the Pacific Coast.”  Executive Order 9066 is justified under the doctrine of “military necessity,” which is later proven not to be justified, as there is no evidence of sabotage, espionage or “fifth column activity” ever committed by Japanese Americans.

In Los Angeles, a Japanese American umbrella organization, the United Citizens Federation, meets to plan opposition to mass evacuation.  These groups include the JACL, Christian and Buddhist churches, American Legion posts, and the Citizen League Anti-Axis Committee.  It is attended by at least a thousand persons.


After February 19, 1942

After the signing and implementation of Executive Order 9066, the following groups helped to support the Japanese American community on the West Coast: the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the American Association of University Women, the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, the Northern California Chapter of the Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).


February 20, 1942

Japanese forces invade Bali.

President Emanuel Quezon of the Philippines and officials are evacuated from Luzon by U.S. submarine.

Secretary of War Stimson authorizes General DeWitt to organize and implement the forced removal and detention of Japanese Americans on the West Coast.

Attorney General Biddle sends memorandum to President Roosevelt, at his request, legally and constitutionally justifying Executive Order 9066:  “This authority gives very broad powers to the Secretary of War and the Military Commanders.  These powers are broad enough to permit them to exclude any particular individual from military areas.  They could also evacuate groups of persons based on a reasonable classification. The order is not limited to aliens but includes citizens so that it can be exercised with respect to Japanese, irrespective of their citizenship.  The decision of safety of the nation in time of war is necessarily for the Military authorities.  Authority over the movement of persons, whether citizens or noncitizens, may be exercised in time of war…  The President is authorized in acting under the general war powers without further legislation…”

The Northern California Committee on Fair Play for Citizens of Japanese Ancestry meets and votes to change its name to Committee on National Security and Fair Play.  It demands that “the removal of aliens and citizens be kept at a minimum, consistent with military necessity and national security.”


February 20-March 7, 1942

Forty new stories and editorials appear in newspapers demanding mass forced removal of Japanese from the West Coast.


February 21, 1942

British resistance to the Japanese advance on Rangoon, Burma, ceases.

The San Francisco Chronicle editorializes: “We have to be tough, even if civil rights do take a beating for a time.”


February 22, 1942

War Department sends draft of legislation to the Justice Department to impose mandatory federal imprisonment for violating Executive Order 9066.

The JACL national office in San Francisco issues the following statement to Japanese Americans:  “Do not become overly alarmed or panicky at this news.  This may be the solution to many of our difficulties… such matters as these are better left to federal authorities than to local officials.  Let us hope for the best and be prepared to cooperate with the government in this near-martial law step… This rule is to apply to all nationalities… it is not a matter of discrimination as much as it is a matter of military expediency.  The final test is, of course, in its application.”


February 23, 1942

The San Francisco Chronicle editorializes: “There is regret for the hardship put upon a people in the mass…  The hardship, however, is not put upon these by the United States.  It is put upon them by Japan, by the Japanese Government, by the thousands of Japanese in Hawaii who clicked into rehearsed action the instant the first bomb dropped on Pearl Harbor and who knew the time and were ready for it to drop.”


February 24, 1942

U.S. Naval task force led by USS Enterprise bombs Japanese garrison on Wake Island.


February 27-28, 1942

Major U.S. Naval defeat in the Battle of the Java Sea.  Thirteen American ships are lost.  Japanese Navy gains control of the approaches to the Netherlands’ East Indies.


February 27, 1942

Possible Japanese American internment in Hawai’i is discussed at a Presidential cabinet meeting.  Secretary of War Stimson writes, “Removal of the Japs from Oahu.  Knox brought this up and urged vigorously the remedy of the situation out there.  I told them that the Army concurred in this but that for the reasons given in Marshall’s memorandum [that is, the latest War Plans recommendation] it would probably be necessary to send them to the United States.  The President was staggered by this and was rather plainly in favor of placing them on the Island of Malikau [Molokai] in a big cantonment guarded by the Army.  This was the plan urged by Knox.  I pointed out the difficulties of this so far as I could.  The matter was left unsettled.”


Late February-March 1942

The House Select Committee Investigating National Defense Migration, also known as the Tolan Committee, holds Congressional hearings on the exclusion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.  It noted “the fundamental fact that place of birth and technical noncitizenship alone provide no decisive criteria for assessing the alinement [sic] of loyalties in this world-wide conflict.”  It concluded that “surely some more workable method exists for determining the loyalty and reliability of these people than the uprooting of 50 trustworthy persons to remove one dangerous individual.”  Further, it stated that “the Nation must decide and Congress must gravely consider, as a matter of national policy, the extent to which citizenship, in and of itself, is a guaranty of equal rights and privileges during time of war.”

The following individuals and groups testify at Tolan Hearings in opposition to mass forced removal and detention: Mayor Harry P. Cain, of Tacoma, Washington, Mr. Louis Goldblatt, Secretary of the California State Industrial Union Council of San Francisco, Professor J. F. Steiner, University of Washington, Robert O’Brien, University of Washington, Dr. W. P. Reagor, President of the California Council of Churches, Reverend Gordon K. Chapman, Presbyterian Church, Reverend Frank Herron Smith, Methodist Japanese Missions to the West Coast, the Friends Church, and the Seattle Council of Churches.


Early March 1942

Japanese Army invades Burma, prompting a massive, 900-mile long British military retreat to India.  General Stilwell, commander of two Chinese Armies in Burma, also retreats to India.


March 1942

The Alameda County, California, Bureau calls for mass forced removal of Japanese Americans. 

San Bernardino County, California, adopts resolution stating: “It is for the best interests of the people in California, to the United States and to our boys in the service who are fighting that we may be safe at home, that every possible step be taken to remove all Japanese from the Pacific Coast Area for the duration of the war.”

Larry Tagiri, a Nisei journalist, is hired by the JACL to edit its newspaper, Pacific Citizen, in Salt Lake City.


March-April 1942

The Wartime Civil Control Administration (WCCA), a branch of the Western Defense Command (WDC), of the U.S. Army is tasked with the forced removal and detention of Japanese Americans in temporary “assembly centers.”  The agency registers Japanese Americans at Civil Control stations.  This comes as a disaster to the Nikkei community.  The WCCA utilizes parks, fairgrounds and racetracks as assembly centers.  They are established in California at Fresno, Marysville, Merced, Manzanar, Pinedale, Pomona, Salinas, Santa Anita, Stockton, Tanforan, Tulare, Turlock; in the Northwest in Portland, Oregon, and Puyallup, Washington; in Arizona in Cave Creek and Mayer.  It takes only 28 days to remove and detain more than 112,000 people.


Early March 1942

Assistant Secretary of War John McCloy meets with Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) leaders at an emergency National Council meeting.  He discusses the Army evacuation program with them.  He meets with them socially and states off the record of his ambivalence about the Army position toward Japanese Americans.


March 1-8, 1942

Japanese Navy sinks nine Allied warships, and ten merchant ships are sunk in the Dutch East Indies.


March 1, 1942

Japanese troops conduct amphibious landing on Java, in the Dutch East Indies.  It takes the strategic naval base at Surabaya.

Church groups and individuals organize in sympathy for the Japanese American community.  Among them were leaders of the Pacific School of Religion, the Presbyterian Japanese Missions, Japanese Conference of the Methodist Church, Home Missions Council of North America, and the American Friends Service Committee.  They write to the Provost Marshal General of the Western Defense Command in opposition to mass removal and detention: “Citizens of Japanese ancestry are likely to feel deeply resentful if they, as full-fledged American citizens, are evacuated as a whole, because of their racial connection.  On the other hand, they will as a rule, cheerfully abide by the findings of the authorities if evacuation or internment is based on impartial investigation… The indiscriminate evacuation of ‘Nisei’ is almost certain to drive some of them into disloyalty during the war.”


March 2, 1942

General DeWitt issues Proclamation No. 1 designating areas in the western half of California, Oregon, and Washington, and the southern third of Arizona, as military areas.  He stipulates that all persons of Japanese descent will be removed.

The Contra Costa Gazette editorializes:  “The evacuation can take place none too soon as these people are a distinct menace to the safety of the country.  Occasionally some misguided but well-intentioned individual will make the statement there are some loyal Japanese.  But there are none such.  A Jap is a Jap and will never be anything else, whether he is born in California or Tokyo.”


March 3, 1942

The JACL national headquarters in San Francisco issues statement that reads, in part: “The greater our cooperation with the government, it can be expected that the greater will be the cooperation with us in the solution of our problems.”


March 4, 1942

USS Enterprise aircraft bomb Japanese installations on Marcus Island.

The JACL national headquarters in San Francisco issues statement that indicates, in part, that it would “continue to cooperate wholeheartedly in all matters integral to national security…  Stressing our complete loyalty to the United States, we trust that the classification of Americans of Japanese lineage in the same category as ‘enemy aliens’ was impelled by motives of military necessity and that no racial discrimination is implied.”


March 6, 1942

American Legion commander demands the “immediate removal of all Japanese from the West Coast” and declares that they are “a menace to the safety of our country.”


March 8, 1942

Japanese Fifteenth Army captures port city of Rangoon in Burma.  The British garrison narrowly escapes.

The State Tribune of Wyoming writes in an editorial, “It is utterly unequitable and unfair to subject Wyoming to the bureaucratic dictum that it shall support and find employment for Japanese brought here from Pacific Coast defense zones.”


March 9, 1942

Joint Chiefs of Staff unanimously recommend mass removal of Americans of Japanese ancestry from Hawai’i to the Continental United States with “the most dangerous group” comprised of 20,000 persons.

Secretary of War Stimson sends draft of proposed legislation to enforce provisions of Executive Order 9066.  The bill is immediately introduced into Congress.

The Pacific Coast Committee on National Security and Fair Play submits proposal in opposition to mass forced removal and detention, entitled “Selective Evacuation of Japanese American Citizens, to General John DeWitt.  It calls for hearings to determine loyalty of Japanese American citizens on an individual basis.  It is sponsored and endorsed in part by the presidents of the University of California, Stanford, Mills College, and the Pacific School of Religion, the Mayor of Berkeley, California, and other prominent citizens.  On March 10, the Committee is informed by military officials that “no hearing boards in advance of evacuation [are] acceptable by the Army for either citizens or alien Japanese.”


March 10, 1942

Allied Army on Java surrenders to the Japanese.

Lt. General Joseph W. Stilwell is made Chief of Staff of the Allied Armies in China.

USS Enterprise and USS Lexington conduct major air attacks on Japanese shipping around New Guinea.  By March 18, two Japanese heavy cruisers are sunk, along with other ships sunk or badly damaged.

Civilian Rule is restored in Hawai’i.  Martial Law remains in place as well as the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus.  Civilian courts are restored.

The National commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars calls for mass forced removal and detention of Japanese Americans.


March 11, 1942

President Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur to leave the Philippines.  General Jonathan Wainwright is now in command.

General DeWitt establishes the Wartime Civil Control Administration (WCCA).  Colonel Karl R. Bendetsen is designated Director.  He will write the operational orders and supervises the forced detention of Japanese Americans.

Admiral Stark, of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sends recommendation to President Roosevelt, “that such Japanese (either U.S. citizens or aliens) as are considered by appropriate authority in the Hawaiian Islands to constitute a source of danger be transported to the U.S. mainland and placed under guard in concentration camps.”


March 12, 1942

The San Gabriel Sun in the metropolitan Los Angeles area editorializes, in opposition to the forced removal and imprisonment:  “We do not question the wisdom of the military authorities in their plans for exclusion…  But we voice the regret that it has been found necessary…to abandon at home some of that democracy for which we are fighting so desperately abroad.  It is getting more and more unpopular to say it—and we may yet be lynched for repeating it—but we still stake our reputation on the essential loyalty of the American-born citizens of Japanese descent.  And that goes also for the vast majority of the law-abiding Japanese aliens who have lived in our midst for upwards of thirty and forty years.”


March 13, 1942

In regard to the proposal to remove and detain Americans of Japanese ancestry in Hawai’i, President Roosevelt approves Admiral Stark’s recommendation.  As documented by Milton Eisenhower, the approval was made “on the basis of an explanation made to him which pointed out that evacuation would necessarily be a slow process and that what was intended, first, was to get rid of about 20,000 potentially dangerous Japanese.”

The Associated Farmers in California call for forced removal of “all enemy aliens and all potential fifth columnists.”


March 14, 1942

First convoy with 30,000 American soldiers arrives in Australia.

W. A. Gabrielson, Honolulu Chief of Police, sends official report to the Tolan Committee:  “…advise you there were no acts of sabotage committee in city and county of Honolulu December 7 nor have there been any acts of sabotage reported to police department since that date.”

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asks President Roosevelt to modify the forced removal of Japanese Americans, “without such a wholesale invasion of the civil rights and without creating a precedent so opposed to democratic principle.”


March 16, 1942

The U.S. Army’s Wartime Civil Control Administration (WCCA) designates 934 prohibited military area zones in Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Montana. 


March 18, 1942

President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9102 establishing the War Relocation Authority (WRA).  Milton S. Eisenhower, brother of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, is appointed Director. The WRA is to assist the U.S. Army in the evacuation of Japanese Americans under the provisions of E.O. 9066.  It will supervise and operate the camps throughout the war.


March 20, 1942

The Monterey Park Progress states in an editorial that Japanese are “tricky and treacherous and that there is “scarcely a community along the Pacific Coast from Canada to Mexico but has its positive evidence of the fact that we are but inviting dire trouble by continuing to harbor those yellow creatures in our midst…  That there is a vast difference between the background of the European alien and the background of the Jap; the one is Christian, the other a heathen.”


March 21, 1942

U.S. and Filipino forces begin to occupy strategic harbor defense positions on the island of Corregidor, in Manila Bay.  The garrison is 15,000 strong.

President Roosevelt signs Public Law 503.  It makes it violation of Federal law to disregard an order issued by a military commander, under the authority of E.O. 9066.


March 22, 1942

Americans of Japanese ancestry are removed from Los Angeles to the U.S. Army detention center in Manzanar, California. 


March 23, 1942

General DeWitt issues Civilian Exclusion Order No. 1.  It orders the removal of all Japanese Americans from Bainbridge Island in the Puget Sound by March 30.

Assistant Secretary of War McCloy visits Hawai’i on inspection trip.  He is informed by Army and Navy commanders that they are against the large scale removal of Americans of Japanese ancestry to the mainland or other islands in Hawai’i.  He agrees with them.  During this trip, he also meets with community leaders in Honolulu who oppose any proposed evacuation.


March 24, 1942

U.S. Army orders the curfew for all aliens and Japanese Americans in Military Area 1, to take effect on March 27.

Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox writes Congressman John H. Tolan: “There is very little, if any, sabotage by the Japanese residents of Oahu during the attack of Pearl Harbor.”


March 26, 1942

Admiral Ernest J. King is appointed U.S. Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in addition to his position as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet.


March 27, 1942

General DeWitt issues Proclamation No. 4 ending voluntary movement of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.

General Emmons states that only 1,550 Americans of Japanese ancestry may be removed from Hawai’i, although it might be “advisable to raise the estimate to much larger figures.”

Brigadier General James K. Wharton, Director of Military Personnel, notes recommendation to end “induction or enlistment of men of Japanese extraction.”  He recommends that Japanese Americans be “absorbed and dispersed in small units throughout the interior of the United States” and that “those whose loyalty is seriously doubted be placed in service units.”


March 27-28, 1942

Honolulu newspaper quotes Undersecretary of War John J. McCloy as stating that mass removal of Americans of Japanese ancestry in Hawai’i is impractical and is not to be done.


March 28, 1942

Nisei attorney Minoru Yasui has himself arrested by Portland police to test the legality of the curfew law by the U.S. Army, “Military Order Number 3.”


March 30, 1942

Under agreement with British, the U.S. will take command of operations in the Pacific Theater.  Admiral Chester Nimitz will command the Pacific Oceans Areas, North, Central and South Pacific, and General MacArthur will command the Southwest Pacific.

Secretary of War Stimson writes statement to Congressman John Tolan: “Reference is made to your letter of March 19, 1942, requesting a statement regarding sabotage activities in Hawaii.  The War Department has received no information of sabotage committed by Japanese during the attack on Pearl Harbor.”

Induction and enlistment of Nisei in the U.S. Army is stopped.


Spring 1942

Due to Executive Order 9066 and the forced removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast, the U.S. Army closes the Fourth Army Language School at the Presidio of San Francisco.  It is ordered moved to Camp Savage, Minnesota, in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

U.S. War Department seeks to terminate Japanese American civilian employees.


April 1942

Japanese bomb Ceylon.

Agricultural interests advocate for Japanese Americans to be released from camps to work in farm labor, particularly harvesting sugar beets.


April 1, 1942

Japanese conduct two new landings in New Guinea, at Hollandia and Sorong.


April 2, 1942

U.S. B-17 bombers attack Japanese Navy in the Andaman Islands.


April 3, 1942

Japanese Americans living in Los Angeles are sent to the Santa Anita assembly center, a race track.  Families are forced to live in dirty horse stalls.

About a possible forced removal of Americans of Japanese ancestry from Hawai’i, John J. McCloy writes: “There are also some grave legal difficulties in placing American citizens, even of Japanese ancestry, in concentration camps.”


April 5, 1942

Japanese Army mounts major new offensive against USAFFE forces in Bataan.


April 6, 1942

Japanese land on Bougainville, in the Solomon Islands, and on the Admiralty Islands.

Mike Masaoka, National Secretary of the JACL, writes to the War Relocation Authority head, Milton Eisenhower, “We have not contested the right of the military to order this movement, even though it meant leaving all that we hold dear and sacred, because we believe that cooperation on our part will mean a reciprocal cooperation on the part of the government.”


April 7, 1942

War Relocation Authority (WRA) sets up meeting with governors and representatives from 10 Western states to discuss accepting Japanese Americans.  Most refuse on grounds of suspected disloyalty of Japanese Americans.

Secretary of War Stimson writes his thoughts about forced removal of Americans of Japanese ancestry from Hawai’i: “As the thing stands at present, a number of them have been arrested in Hawaii without very much evidence of disloyalty, have been shipped to the United States, and are interned there.  McCloy and I are both agreed that this was contrary to law; that while we have a perfect right to move them away from defenses for the purpose of protecting our war effort, that does not carry with it the right to imprison them without convincing evidence.”


April 9, 1942

Major General Edward King surrenders U.S. and Philippine forces to the Japanese on Bataan.  78,000 U.S. and Filipino soldiers are taken prisoner.  General Wainwright moves to Corregidor with 2,000 soldiers.


April 10, 1942

Japanese land 12,000 soldiers on Cebu Island in the Philippines.


April 13, 1942

Austin Griffiths files a writ of habeas corpus in Seattle federal court on behalf of Nisei Mary Asaba Ventura, challenging General DeWitt’s military curfew order.


April 15, 1942

Philip M. Glick, solicitor of the War Relocation Authority (WRA), sends memorandum to Milton Eisenhower, head of the WRA, defending the constitutional legality of the internment of Japanese Americans.  He wrote, “Citizens may be detained, or other restraints placed upon them, to whatever extent is necessary to the national safety in wartime.  The war power to that extent overrides the constitutional guarantees in the Bill of Rights.”


April 16, 1942

4,000 Japanese troops invade the island of Panay in the Philippines.

The San Joaquin Valley Associated Farmers advocates for “the removal of enemy aliens and potential fifth columnists as soon as possible from all of California.”


April 18, 1942

Lieutenant Colonel James “Jimmy” Doolittle leads flight of 16 U.S. B-25 bombers from the U. S. carrier Hornet on a raid over four Japanese cities.


April 19, 1942

Allies in Burma retreat to Meiktila, a strategic position on the northern Burma rail line.


April 20, 1942

Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox continues to demand the forced removal of Americans of Japanese ancestry from Oahu.  He calls for “taking all of the Japs out of Oahu and putting them in a concentration camp on some other island.”  President Roosevelt agrees with Knox at a cabinet meeting on April 24.

James Rowe, Jr., Department of Justice, writes to Congressman John Tolan “relative to the question as to whether there has been any sabotage in Hawaii.  Mr. John Edgar Hoover, Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has advised me there was no sabotage committed there prior to December 7, on December 7, or subsequent to that time.”


April 24, 1942

Secretary of War Stimson tells President Roosevelt of the “really difficult Constitutional question” of “the President’s own attempt to imprison by internment some of the leaders of the Japanese in Hawaii, against whom we however have nothing but very grave suspicions.”


April 25, 1942

U.S. forces capture Free French colony of New Caledonia.  The island capital, Nouméa, will become a strategic U.S. Naval base.


April 28, 1942

Japanese Americans from the Seattle area are sent to the assembly center at the Puyallup fairgrounds.

Meeting of Department of War and Navy heads in Washington, DC.  All agree, except Navy Secretary Knox, that General Emmons should be authorized to forcibly remove ten or fifteen thousand adult Americans of Japanese ancestry to the mainland.


April 29, 1942

Japanese forces of the 56th Division capture Lashio, Burma.  The Burma Road is blocked.  Chinese Nationalist forces must now be supplied by air.

Opposing mass removal and detention of Americans of Japanese ancestry from Hawai’i, General Delos Emmons writes to Undersecretary of War John J. McCloy, “The feeling that an invasion is imminent is not the belief of most of the responsible people…  There have been no known acts of sabotage committed in Hawaii.  I talked with Mr. Taylor at great length several weeks ago at which time he promised to furnish evidence of subversive or disloyal acts on the part of Japanese residents to me personally or to my G-2.  Since that time he has, on several occasions, furnished information about individuals and groups which turned out to be based on rumors or imagination.  He has furnished absolutely no information of value.  Mr. Taylor is a conscientious, but highly emotional, violently anti-Japanese lawyer who distrusts the FBI, Naval Intelligence and the Army Intelligence…  I do not believe that he is sufficiently informed on the Japanese question to express an official opinion.”


April 30, 1942

Major Japanese aircraft carrier force is sent for operations against Port Moresby, New Guinea.

The Postwar World Council sends letter to President Roosevelt opposing mass removal and detention.  It states, in part: “We have seen no adequate evidence to convince us that an order giving complete power to the Secretary of War r to the commander of each military area to exclude from designated areas all citizens, or to restrict their actions in any way he sees fit, is either constitutional or democratic.  Enforcing this on the Japanese alone approximates the totalitarian theory of justice practiced by the Nazis in their treatment of the Jews.”  The letter is signed by the following prominent Americans:  Alfred M. Bingham, John Dewey, Harry Emerson Fosdick, James Wood Johnson, Right Reverend Monsignor Luigi G. Ligutti, Reinhold Niebuhr, Clarence E. Pickett, Harold Rugg, Norman Thomas, and Oswald Garrison Villard.


May 1942

Attorney General Francis Biddle submits memorandum for President Roosevelt regarding contraband control program:  “I do not regret having made this decision since I feel that every possible step must be taken to protect this country from the Fifth Column, even if necessary at the cost of some of our constitutional rights.  I am sorry to say, however, that so far as I am aware searches without warrants conducted on the West Coast were without utility in tracking down Japanese.  No Japanese saboteurs were uncovered in this manner and no illegal radio transmitter was found at all.”

U.S. Office of Government Reports states, “There exists definite suspicion and antagonism towards Japanese in Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington.”

Wartime labor force shortages in agriculture are so acute that pressure is exerted on the War Relocation Authority (WRA) to release Nisei evacuees for farm work, especially in sugar beets.  As a result, a program of agricultural leave from Japanese American internment camps is instituted.

First class of 45 Military Intelligence Service (MIS) Nisei is graduated at the Language School at the Presidio of San Francisco.  35 are sent to Guadalcanal and Alaska.


May 1, 1942

President Roosevelt continues to advocate for a general removal of Americans of Japanese ancestry from Oahu, Hawai’i.  He suggests to General Emmons to draft an alternative plan.  On June 20, General Emmons drafts a proposed plan for a voluntary evacuation.  Emmons continues to oppose mass evacuation.


May 1-3, 1942

Advancing Japanese forces capture Mandalay, in Burma.


May 3, 1942

Japanese forces land on the Island of Tulagi, in the Solomon Islands, just north of Guadalcanal.  It becomes a major Japanese air base.


May 4, 1942

Japanese forces take port of Akyab in Burma.


May 6, 1942

U.S. and Philippine forces on Corregidor fall to Japanese Army.

In China, General Chiang Kai-shek begins major offensive.


May 7-9, 1942

Japanese naval defeat in the Battle of Coral Sea, in the Southwest Pacific.  U.S. halts Japanese invasion of Port Moresby, and protects sea lanes to Australia.  It is the first major aircraft carrier battle of the war.


May 8, 1942

The Japanese Fifteenth Army captures city of Myitkyina, in northern Burma.  It is a crucial air base and rail supply terminus in Burma.

First Japanese American detainees arrive at the Colorado River camp (Poston), near Parker, Arizona.


May 9, 1942

The Saturday Evening Post publishes article by the Grower-Shipper Vegetable Association:  “We’re charged with wanting to get rid of the Japs for selfish reasons.  We might as well be honest.  We do.  It’s a question of whether the white man lives on the Pacific Coast or the brown man.  They came into this valley to work, and they stayed to take over…  If all the Japs were removed tomorrow, we’d never miss them in two weeks, because the white farmers can take over and produce everything the Jap grows.  And we don’t want them back when the war ends, either.”


May 10, 1942

U.S. forces on Corregidor surrender to Japanese.  12,000 U.S. and Filipino soldiers are taken prisoner.


May 12, 1942

General Delos Emmons recommends to the War Department that Nisei soldiers serving in Hawai’i be organized into a segregated battalion and transferred to the mainland.


May 14, 1942

U.S. Naval Intelligence code breakers warn of Japanese plan to attack U.S. fleet at Midway.


May 15, 1942

Governor Sprague, of Oregon, agrees to allow Japanese American detainees to work in sugar beet areas.


May 16, 1942

Nisei Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi, from Seattle, challenges E.O. 9066 by refusing to register for evacuation.  He reports to the FBI office in Seattle and submits himself for arrest.  He is charged with violating the curfew order.


May 19, 1942

Western Defense Command (WDC) issues Civilian Restriction Order No. 1.  It establishes temporary detention centers in eight Western states and designates them as military areas.  Japanese Americans are forbidden to leave these areas without approval of the WDC.


May 20, 1942

Japanese Army completes the occupation of Burma.  They sustain 7,000 casualties.  The Allies have lost 13,463 killed.


May 22, 1942

Mexico declares war on the Axis powers.

Governor Chase Clark, of Idaho, refuses to accept Japanese Americans into his state for resettlement, stating:  “The Japs live like rats, breed like rats, act like rats.  I don’t want them coming into Idaho, and I don’t want them taking seats in our university.”


May 24, 1942

After a 150-mile long withdrawal from Burma, General Joseph Stilwell arrives in New Delhi, India, with a force of U.S. soldiers and civilians.


May 27, 1942

First group of Japanese Americans arrive at the Tule Lake camp in Northern California.


May 28, 1942

Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall approves General Delos Emmons’ recommendation to organize a special, segregated battalion, made up of AJA’s from Hawai’i, for transfer to the mainland.  It is authorized to be formed and trained as an infantry combat unit.  On May 29, Emmons informs General Marshall that the battalion’s strength will be approximately 29 officers and 1,300 soldiers.


May 29, 1942

In Hawai’i, Lieutenant Colonel Farrant L. Turner is selected to command the newly-authorized Hawaiian Provisional Battalion. He is chosen by Brigadier General J. Lawton Collins, Chief of Staff of the Hawaiian Department.  Turner chooses Captain James W. Lovell as his deputy commander.  It is to be made up of a Headquarters (HQ) Company and A, B, C, and D Companies.  The company commanders are to be: Captain Alex E. McKenzie, HQ Company; Philip B. Peck, Able Company; Clarence R. Johnson, Baker Company; Charles A. Brenamen, Charlie Company; and John A. Johnson, Dog Company.  All the Haole officers are kama’ainas.  Four Nisei AJA’s are selected for HQ staff: Captain John M. Tanimura; Captain Taro Suzuki; Captain Issac A. Kawasaki, MD; First Lieutenant Katsumi Kometani.  Other Nisei officers are First Lieutenant Mitsuyoshi Fukuda; First Lieutenant Jack Mizuha; First Lieutenant Richard Mizuta; First Lieutenant Sakae Takahashi.


May 30, 1942

Nisei Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu is arrested by police in San Leandro, California, for refusing to report for evacuation in violation of U.S. Army Exclusion Order No. 34.


May 30-31, 1942

British Air Force conducts first thousand-bomber raid on the German city of Cologne.



Colonel (later Major General) Charles A. Willoughby founds Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) in Melbourne, Australia.  Colonel Sidney F. Mashbir is appointed first commanding officer.  More than 3,000 Nisei will serve in ATIS.  They process more than 350,000 captured Japanese documents and process 10,000 Japanese prisoners.


June 1942

In North Africa, Rommel’s Afrika Korp advances to within 70 miles of the Nile River.

U.S. War Department states that all Japanese are ineligible for induction into the Armed Forces.


June 1, 1942

The first official Military Intelligence Service Language School (MISLS) at Camp Savage, Minnesota, is established with 200 students and 18 teachers.  It is commanded by Colonel Kai E. Rasmussen.  The classes are six months of intensive technical instruction.


June 2, 1942

United States and China sign Lend-Lease Agreement.  U.S. will supply Chinese Army through India.

General DeWitt issues Public Proclamation No. 6. It forbids Japanese Americans from moving from the non-restricted Eastern half of California and announces that they will be sent from these areas to internment camps.


June 3-6, 1942

Battle of Midway, in Central Pacific, results in the first major defeat for the Japanese Navy.  U.S. Naval forces destroy four irreplaceable Japanese aircraft carriers and 275 airplanes.  The tide of the war in the Pacific shifts to the United States.  Nisei MIS contribute vital intelligence to this victory.


June 5, 1942

Japanese Army occupies Attu and Kiska in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands.  Thirty MIS Nisei fight in the campaign to retake Attu.

Large convoy of British soldiers and equipment arrive safely to India.  It is the beginning of a strategic buildup for the defense of India.

War Relocation Authority (WRA) decides on final locations for internment centers.  They are located in inhospitable remote areas.  Six sites are in arid deserts, two are in areas prone to severe winters and dust storms, and two are in swampland with harsh drainage problems.  These sites are:

Topaz, Utah                                                 7,287
Poston, Arizona                                         15,530
(Gila) River, Arizona                                12,355
Amache, Colorado                                      6,170
Heart Mountain, Wyoming                      9,292
Denson, Arkansas                                       7,767
Manzanar, California                                 8,716
Hunt (Amache), Idaho                               7,548
Rohwer, Arkansas                                       7,616
Newell (Tule Lake), California                13,422
            Total                                                 95,703

The Hawaii Provisional Infantry Battalion sails from the mainland aboard troop transport ship S. S. Maui.  When it lands in Oakland, it is renamed the “100th Infantry Battalion.”  The recruits from Hawai’i will soon call the unit “One Puka Puka.”  It is sent by train to Camp McCoy, Wisconsin.

The Hawaiian Infantry Battalion arrives in Oakland, California. They board trains for assignment.


June 8, 1942

The WCCA completes forced removal of more than 100,000 Japanese Americans from their residences in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, and parts of Arizona, to assembly centers.  There has been no resistance nor active protests by the Nikkei community, despite the short notice and the extreme emotional and economic hardship.  Secretary of War Stimson remarks: “Great credit is due our Japanese population for the manner in which they responded to and complied with the orders of exclusion.”


Jun 10, 1942

Army Ground Forces (AGF) orders 2nd Army and Central Defense Command to train and organize the 100th Infantry Battalion.  Orders state: “Every effort must be made to maintain morale and esprit de corps in the unit at a high level.  So far as possible, officers and men must be made to feel that their unit is an honored element of the Army and that it is being trained with a view to its ultimate employment in combat.”


June 12, 1942

Trial of Minoru Yasui begins in Portland, Oregon, federal court. This is the first challenge to General DeWitt’s orders.


June 13, 1942

U.S. Office of War Information is created by Executive Order.  Elmer Davis will head the new organization.


June 16, 1942

The 100th Infantry Battalion arrives at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin.

ACLU National Board of Directors votes in referendum not to have the organization challenge the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066.


June 17, 1942

Dillon S. Myer replaces Milton Eisenhower as Director of the War Relocation Authority.

Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson writes to Selective Service Director Major General Lewis B. Hershey, “Except as may be specifically authorized in exceptional cases, the War Department will not accept for services in the Armed Forces Japanese, or persons of Japanese extraction, regardless of citizenship status or other factors.”  All Japanese Americans are reclassified 4-C or “non-acceptable alien.”


June 18, 1942

Postwar World Council meets to help Japanese Americans and continue its strong opposition to Executive Order 9066.  It adopts a formal resolution demanding that “every legitimate measure be taken to obtain for Americans of Japanese ancestry an exemption from… wholesale evacuation.”  Organizations attending the meeting include:  “Young Men’s and Women’s Christian Associations, American Committee for the Protection of Foreign Born, Asia Magazine, Family Welfare Association of America, Youth Committee for Democracy, Common Council for American Unity, Workers Defense League, League for Industrial Democracy, Union for Democratic Action, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, National Council for Jewish Women, Fellowship of Reconciliation, Socialist Party, American Association of Social Workers, American Civil Liberties Union, American Friends Service Committee, Council for Democracy, Community Church, and American Committee for Christian Refugees.”


June 21, 1942

Port city of Tobruk is captured by Rommel’s Afrika Korps.

HQ 2nd Army sends telegram to Pentagon: “Provided other arms and equipment furnish without delay, recent inspection 100th Inf. Bn. indicates said command can be placed in highly efficient state combat training at early date.”


June 22, 1942

ACLU National Board instructs the West Coast branches that “local committees are not there to sponsor cases in which the position is taken that the government has no constitutional right to remove citizens from military areas.”


July 1, 1942

Beginning of the First Battle of El Alamein in North Africa.  The Afrika Korps advance is stopped.

Military Commander of the Hawaiian Department, General Delos Emmons, declares Americans of Japanese ancestry to be “highly satisfactory” and downgrades original assessment, to remove only 5,000 persons.

U.S. Army authorizes Assistant Chief of Staff G-2 to study and submit report to consider military utilization of U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry.


July 15, 1942

Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshal and Admiral E. J. King inform President Franklin D. Roosevelt that they will support a plan to limit the removal of Americans of Japanese ancestry from Hawai’i to 15,000 individuals.


July 17, 1942

President Roosevelt authorizes removal of up to 15,000 persons from Hawai’i to the U.S. mainland who are “considered as potentially dangerous to national security.”


July 20, 1942

The Gila River camp in Arizona receives first group of detainees from the Turlock temporary Army detention camp in California.

The War Relocation Authority (WRA) adopts its first leave policy for Japanese Americans.


July 21, 1942

Three Japanese destroyers are sunk by U.S. submarines around Kiska, Alaska.


July 22, 1942

14,000 Japanese of the Eighteenth Army land at Buna, New Guinea, in a campaign to capture Port Moresby.  Nisei linguists Phil Ishio, James Tamura and others contribute to the eventual Allied victory in January 1943.


July 29, 1942

Japanese Army captures Kokoda in Papua, New Guinea.


July 31, 1942

U.S. aircraft bomb Japanese air bases on Tulagi and Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands.


August 1942

Further pressure is placed on WRA director Dillon Myer to release Nisei to work in the sugar beet industry.


August 1, 1942

The 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) Table of Organization is composed of one infantry battalion with two additional rifle companies, a medical section, a service section, and a transportation platoon.


August 7, 1942

19,000 U.S. Marines of the 1st Marine Division land in Guadalcanal.  The battle is fought for six months, resulting in a U.S. victory.  It is the first U.S. ground offensive in the war.  7,100 U.S. Marines are killed or wounded.

Captain John Burdon, Military Intelligence Service (MIS) officer (first MIS class, Presidio of San Francisco) is appointed Language Officer.  He convinces senior officials of the value of MIS Nisei.


August 8, 1942

Henderson Field is captured on Guadalcanal.  Japanese begin major air and naval attacks on U.S. Marine positions.


August 8-9, 1942

U.S. and Japanese naval forces clash in the Battle of Savo Island off of Guadalcanal.  Four Allied cruisers are sunk with 1,000 sailors lost.  Japanese lose no ships.


August 10, 1942

First group of Japanese American detainees arrives at the Minidoka camp, near Twin Falls, Idaho, from the Army temporary detention camp at Puyallup, Washington.


August 12, 1942

The Battle for Stalingrad begins.

Japanese Army begins major offensive against Chinese Nationalist troops in Shantung Provence, China.

First group of Japanese American detainees arrives at the Heart Mountain camp, near Cody, Wyoming, from the Army temporary detention camp at Pomona, California.


August 17, 1942

Western Defense Command (WDC) announces that it has completed the removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.


August 20, 1942

German Army crosses the Don River in the offensive campaign to capture Stalingrad.


August 20-24, 1942

U.S. air base Henderson Field, on Guadalcanal, receives its first land-based fighter aircraft.


August 23-25, 1942

Carrier sea battle in the Eastern Solomon Islands between U.S. and Japanese Navy.  Japanese aircraft carrier Ryujo is sunk and the USS Enterprise is damaged.


August 24, 1942

Formal adoption of agreement between the U.S. and Mexico to use Mexican laborers in American agriculture.  During the war, 200,000 braceros work in U.S.


August 25, 1942

Japanese Army occupies Nauru Island in the Gilberts.


August 27, 1942

Arrival of first group of Japanese American detainees to the Granada camp, near La Mar, Colorado.  They are sent from the Army temporary detention facility in Merced, California.


August 28, 1942

U.S. Army Air Corps intercepts a Japanese troop convoy bound for Guadalcanal.  A Japanese destroyer is sunk and two are heavily damaged.


August 30, 1942

U.S. Army and Naval forces occupy Adak Island in the Aleutian Islands.


August 31, 1942

Aircraft carrier USS Saratoga is heavily damaged by a Japanese torpedo.


September 1942

The official magazine of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Crisis, publishes article highly critical of the mass internment of the Japanese population, writing that “hapless citizens… deprived of their constitutional rights and constitutional protection” had the “misfortune to include among their ancestors persons of a non-white country.…  It is the ‘non-white’ which must be emphasized.  American citizens of German, Italian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, or Roumanian ancestry have not been legally discriminated against.  It is only our citizens of Japanese ancestry who have been put into concentration camps.  They are not ‘white.’  They are ‘not to be trusted.’”


September 8, 1942

The trial of Fred Korematsu begins.


September 11, 1942

Arrival of the first group of Japanese American detainees to the Central Utah (Topaz) camp near Delta, Utah.  They are sent from the Tanforan temporary detention facility in South San Francisco, California.


September 12-14, 1942

A Japanese force of 6,000 launches an attack against Henderson Field on Guadalcanal.  In two days of heavy fighting, U.S. Marines repel the attack.


September 14, 1942

Board of Officers of the Office of the Army Chief of Staff recommends against further use of Japanese Americans in the Army, with the exception of Nisei in the Military Intelligence Service (MIS).


September 15, 1942

Aircraft carrier USS Wasp and a U.S. destroyer are sunk by a Japanese submarine, near Guadalcanal.


September 18, 1942

Arrival of Japanese American detainees at the Rohwer camp near McGhee, Arkansas.  They are from the Army temporary detention facility at Stockton, in Northern California.


September 23-31, 1942

Japanese forces on New Guinea retreat from the capital of Port Moresby.


September 24-27, 1942

Japanese forces land on Maiana, Kuria, and Beru Islands in the Gilberts.


September 26, 1942

Secretary of War Stimson directs all services to discharge all Japanese Americans from the Enlisted Reserve Corps for reason of their ancestry.


September 29, 1942

The War Relocation Authority (WRA) announces a more liberal work release program in agriculture.  By late 1942, 9,000 Japanese American detainees are working in the agricultural industries in the Western U.S.  In 1942, they harvest 915,000 tons of sugar beets, producing 265,000,000 pounds of sugar, vital for the war effort.  California, however, refuses to accept Japanese American labor.


October 1942

War Relocation Authority Agricultural Seasonal Leave Program is declared very successful.  It becomes a major policy of the WRA.


October 1, 1942

War Relocation Authority (WRA) establishes guidelines and rules allowing internees various types of leaves from camps for work in agriculture.


October 2, 1942

General Delos Emmons proposes a very limited removal plan, initially limited to only 3,000 persons from Hawai’i.  They will be persons not contributing to the war effort or a drain on the war effort, not necessarily Americans of Japanese ancestry.

Elmer Davis, Director of the Office of War Information (OWI), writes letter to President Roosevelt recommending enlistment of Japanese Americans in the Armed Forces.  Further, he asks Roosevelt to issue a “public statement…in behalf of loyal American citizens.”


October 6, 1942

Arrival of the first group of Japanese American detainees to the Jerome camp, near Dermont, Arkansas, from the Army temporary detention camp in Fresno, California.


Mid-October 1942

Due to wartime pressure in agriculture, approximately 10,000 Japanese Americans are allowed to leave camps for seasonal work.

Secretary of War Stimson sends informal note to General George C. Marshal: “I am inclined strongly to agree with the view of McCloy and Davis.  I don’t think you can proscribe a lot of American citizens because of their racial origin.  We have gone to the full limit in evacuating them—that’s enough.”


October 11-12, 1942

U.S. Navy defeats the Japanese fleet in the Battle of Cape Esperance.

U.S. cruisers intercept and rout Japanese supply convoy bound for Guadalcanal.


October 12, 1942

Attorney General Francis Biddle declares that effective October 19, 1942, 600,000 unnaturalized Italians in the United States would no longer be considered “enemy aliens.”

Secretary of War Henry Stimson designates General Delos Emmons of Hawai’i as Military Commander under Executive Order 9066, able to exclude individuals from areas in Hawai’i as he may choose.


October 13, 1942

Milton S. Eisenhower, Office of War Information (OWI) Associate Director, writes Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy recommending Japanese Americans be allowed to serve in the Armed Forces.


October 15, 1942

Assistant Secretary of War John J. McCloy sends memorandum to Secretary of War Stimson indicating that Japanese Americans should be permitted to “enlist in special units of the Army and Navy.”  He stated, “I believe the propaganda value of such a step would be great and I believe they would make great troops.”


October 17, 1942

Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox writes to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “A very large number of Japanese sympathizers, if not actual Japanese agents, [are] still at large in the population of Oahu, who, in the event of an attack upon these islands, would unquestionably cooperate with our enemies.”


October 23, 1942

Rommel’s Afrika Korps is defeated by British forces in decisive engagement in the Second Battle of El Alamein.  The German Army is forced to retreat from Egypt.


October 23-26, 1942

20,000 Japanese soldiers again try to retake Henderson Air Field on Guadalcanal.  The offensive fails with the Japanese taking 3,500 casualties.


October 25-26, 1942

U.S. and Japanese aircraft carriers engage in a four hour air battle over the Santa Cruz Islands, near Guadalcanal.  The U.S. sustains the loss of the carrier USS Hornet with the USS Enterprise damaged.  Two Japanese carriers are badly damaged and out of commission.


October 28, 1942

Memorandum is sent to Secretary of War Stimson calling for voluntary enlistment of Japanese Americans in the Armed Forces.  It mentions the “fundamental rights of citizens to serve their country.”  It recommends they serve in a voluntary segregated unit that would “enable the unit to manifest en masse its loyalty to the United States and this manifestation would provide the propaganda effect desired”


October 29, 1942

Secretary of War Stimson writes to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “All persons of Japanese ancestry resident in the Hawaiian Islands who are known to be hostile to the United States have been placed under restraint in internment camps either in the islands or on the mainland.  In addition, many others suspected of subversive tendencies have been so interned…. It is intended to move approximately five thousand during the next six months as shipping facilities become available.  This, General Emmons believes, will greatly simplify his problem, and considering the labor needs in the islands, is about all that he has indicated any desire to move although he has been given authority to move up to fifteen thousand.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt writes Stimson regarding General Emmons’ letter, “I think that General Emmons should be told that the only consideration is that of the safety of the Islands and that the labor situation is not only a secondary matter but should not be given any consideration whatsoever…  Military and naval safety is absolutely paramount.”


October 30, 1942

Second landing of Japanese Army on the Island of Attu, Alaska.


November 1-30, 1942

U.S. forces on Guadalcanal continue strong offensive against Japanese.


November 3, 1942

Transfer of Japanese Americans from the U.S. Army Wartime Civil Control Administration (WCCA) to the War Relocation Authority (WRA) prison camps is complete.

A detachment of 25 Nisei and officers from Company B, 100th Infantry Battalion, are sent on secret mission to Cat Island on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  It is a misguided experiment to determine if persons of Japanese ancestry have a unique scent that can be detected by Army trained dogs.  The experiment is a failure.


November 4, 1942

General Delos Emmons receives message from John J. McCloy that he wants to see the formation of a Japanese American combat unit and seeks his recommendation.  Emmons replies on November 5: “I hope project will receive approval as it will mean so much to this Territory.  Am confident these men will give an excellent account of themselves in the European theater.”


November 7, 1942

General Delos Emmons is asked to provide data on the availability of AJA’s in Hawai’i to serve in a proposed Nisei combat unit.


November 8-11, 1942

Allied invasion of German occupied North Africa, called “Operation Torch,” is commanded by General Dwight D. Eisenhower.  It is the largest amphibious landing in history up to this time.  This is a major Allied victory.  In 76 hours, the Allies take control of 1,300 miles of African coast, from Morocco to Algiers.


November 11, 1942

General Delos Emmons is asked to provide additional information on Nisei availability for service in a fighting unit.  He states that agencies in the Hawaiian Department are in favor of such a unit and they “joined in urging the desirability of the project, seeing in it, in addition to other values, the soundest possible move toward internal security.”  He recommends a call for volunteers.  He estimates the Territory could provide 10,000 Nisei men.


November 12, 1942- March 3,1943

1,200 Japanese American aliens are removed from Hawai’i to the mainland.  By the end of World War II, a total of 1,875 are forcibly removed from Hawai’i.  1,500 AJA detainees are returned to Hawai’i in July 1945.


November 12-13, 1942

Fierce naval battle between large U.S. and Japanese naval forces at Iron Bottom Sound, between Savo Island and Guadalcanal.  Japanese lose two cruisers and a battleship.  U.S. losses are one cruiser and four destroyers.


November 13, 1942

British Army, under Field Marshal Montgomery, captures Tobruk.  Rommel is caught between two large armies.


November 14, 1942

Japanese Americans conduct a community-wide strike at the Poston detention camp.  The strike is settled by agreement between the Japanese American committees and the War Relocation Authority (WRA) camp administration on November 23, 1942.


November 14-15, 1942

U.S. naval fighters sink six Japanese transport ships and two cruisers carrying reinforcements for Guadalcanal.  Battleship USS Washington sinks Japanese battleship Kirishima and a destroyer.


November 16, 1942

In a Portland federal court, Judge James A. Fee finds Minoru Yasui guilty of violating the U.S. Army curfew order.  Judge Fee declares Yasui, who is an American citizen, “an alien who committed a violation of this [curfew] act.”  On November 18, Yasui is sentenced to one year in prison and a fine of $5,000.


November 17, 1942

Colonel Moses W. Pettigrew, Far Eastern Group, Military Intelligence Service (MIS), U.S. Army, writes to Assistant Secretary of War McCloy an extensive and detailed recommendation for utilization of Japanese Americans in the Armed Services.  He states that “the tremendous psychological and moral value to be gained by the formation of a special combat unit…would obtain not only throughout the world, but upon our own American population, and would unquestionably very greatly improve the post-war conditions of the entire Japanese-American population.”  Pettigrew further recommends suspension of “all existing restrictions against the conscription and voluntary enlistment of Nisei.”  He also writes: “It is axiomatic that special units should be avoided wherever possible, since they admittedly raise special problems in organization and replacement.  The Nisei, however, represent a special case.  They have been indiscriminately lumped with their alien parents in the West Coast evacuation and have additionally been the subject of much discriminatory treatment within the United States Army…  Our present treatment, therefore, represents almost a total waste of a very considerable and potentially valuable manpower.  It further denies the whole Japanese population in America an opportunity to lay the groundwork for reacceptance into our American population after the war.”


November 18, 1942

Imprisonment of Japanese Americans continues to affect strategic wartime agricultural industries.  Colonel Burton, of the Office of Labor, War Food Administration, testifies before a Congressional committee: “On the West Coast there is a very great need for out-of-state workers, which is related to the evacuation of the Japanese, who, in normal times, are used to a large extent in agriculture.”


November 19, 1942

U.S. attack on Japanese forces at Buna, on Guadalcanal, is repulsed.


November 20, 1942

Field Marshal Montgomery’s army captures Benghazi.


November 24, 1942

Japanese forces land at Munda Point, on New Georgia Island, in the Solomon Islands.


November 30, 1942

Japanese destroyer and supply convoy is stopped by U.S. Navy cruiser force near Guadalcanal.


December 1942

Work begins on the 478-mile Ledo Road, built by U.S. military engineers and troops with native help.  It will run through India and Northern Burma to keep vital supplies available for the Allied war effort.

The second class of the Military Intelligence Language School begins at Camp Savage, Minnesota.  Nisei from the mainland camps and the 100th Infantry Battalion training in Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, are recruited for training at Camp Savage.

Only 59 families have been evacuated from Hawai’i under military orders.


December 6, 1942

Protest in Manzanar camp is held in response to arrest of detainee.


December 10, 1942

The American Legion suspends the charters of two of its posts in California, the Townsend Harris and Commodore Perry posts, made up of Issei who served in World War I.


December 16, 1942

The G-3 Division of the General Staff of the U.S. Army sends a memorandum to Chief of Staff George C. Marshall recommending organization of a Japanese American combat unit.  It states: “From a military point of view the organization of special units composed of Nationals of another country or of American citizens who trace their ancestry to that country is undesirable.  Nevertheless, in several cases other considerations have out-weighed purely military ones and such organizations have been formed, examples being the Austrian and Norwegian battalions and the two Filipino regiments.  The considerations leading to the authorization of these units are present in no less degree in the case of citizens of Japanese ancestry… It is reasonable to assume that a particularly high degree of esprit and combativeness could be developed in such an organization due to the desire of the individuals therein to demonstrate their loyalty to the United States and to repudiate the ideologies of Japan.”  The G-3 recommends the formation of a combat team, consisting of an infantry regiment, a battalion of field artillery and one company of engineers.  It states, “This combat team shall be built around the 100th Infantry Battalion, Separate—now active—and shall be composed of American citizens of Japanese ancestry whose loyalty is unquestioned.”


December 17, 1942

Allied governments issue Joint Declaration, condemning the “German policy of extermination of the Jewish race.”


December 17-31, 1942

The 14th Indian Division begins offensive in Burma.


December 19, 1942

Australian forces defeat Japanese defenders at Buna, on New Guinea.


December 24, 1942

The Japanese American Citizens League newspaper, Pacific Citizen, editorializes: “There is every reason to believe that a deliberate campaign is being conducted to keep the ‘Japanese’ issue alive in California… The function of these anti-democratic campaigns seems to be the maintenance of a public opinion which will make difficult any reassimilation of the evacuated people.  The stress and continuance of these campaigns make it increasingly evident that military necessity alone was not the only catalyst in activating evacuation.”


December 25, 1942

German Sixth Army is hopelessly trapped by Soviets in Stalingrad.


December 26-31, 1942

Fierce fighting continues on Guadalcanal.


December 27-28, 1942

Japanese military leaders order troops on New Guinea to begin retreat.


December 31, 1942

Japanese Imperial General Staff orders the withdrawal of forces from Guadalcanal.



The Allies launch major offensives in Central and Southwest Pacific.  Major U.S. victories are achieved in New Guinea, the Solomon and Gilbert Islands.

U.S. war industries are in high gear with record production.  Nine new aircraft carriers are commissioned.

Brothers under the Skin, Factories in the Field, and Prejudice: Japanese Americans: Symbol of Racial Intolerance, by Carey McWilliams, are published.


Early 1943

War Relocation Authority shifts emphasis of its policy from confinement of Japanese Americans in camps to resettlement outside of its centers.  It opens employment offices in the Midwest and East, to facilitate permanent resettlement of community.  Issei and Nisei are allowed to apply for unconditional releases from the camps.  In 1943, 19,000 Japanese Americans leave the camps; 85% of these are Nisei.


January 1943

British and U.S. Air Forces begin combined bomber offensive against Axis targets in Europe.  Massive bomber raids are conducted by the U.S. Army Air Corps in daylight raids and the Royal Air Force at night.

The California American Legion, a veterans group, passes a resolution calling for the deportation of Japanese Americans.


January 3, 1943

Undersecretary of War John J. McCloy notifies officials in the War Department that approval for the creation of a Japanese American combat unit has been given.  General DeWitt disapproves of the decision stating, “There isn’t such a thing as a loyal Japanese and it is impossible to determine their loyalty by investigation—it just can’t be done.”


January 4, 1943

War Relocation Authority (WRA) field offices open in Chicago and Salt Lake City.


January 5, 1943

Russian Army captures strategic German air base in Morozovsk.


January 6, 1943

The California State legislature convenes.  A number of anti-Japanese bills and resolutions are introduced.

The 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) is sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi, to train with the newly created 442nd RCT.


January 10, 1943

Last German Army offensive at Stalingrad begins.

Last U.S. Naval and Marine offensive begins in Guadalcanal.


January 12, 1943

U.S. forces land on Aleutian Island Amchitka.

British Eighth and U.S. Fifth Armies launch attack on Monte Cassino.  It fails.


January 14-24, 1943

Casablanca Conference between Churchill and Roosevelt to discuss strategic war policy.  They declare, “There are many roads which lead right to Tokyo.  We shall neglect none of them.”  FDR calls for “unconditional surrender” of the Axis.


January 22, 1943

General Delos Emmons is notified by the War Department that a Japanese American combat team has been authorized, to be trained in Camp Shelby, Mississippi.  He is tasked to begin recruitment in Hawai’i for this unit.


January 23, 1943

Ground fighting ends in New Guinea with the capture of Buna, a U.S. and Australian victory.  Nisei linguists contribute to this successful campaign.  13,000 Japanese have been killed in the Papuan Campaign.  There are more than 7,000 U.S. and Australian casualties.

Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson announces the approval of the formation of an all-Japanese American fighting unit, to be activated on February 1, 1943.


January 25, 1943

The San Francisco Examiner editorializes, “Bad as the situation is in Europe, the war there is between European Occidental nations, between white races.  Antagonisms, hatreds and jealousies, no matter how violent, cannot obscure the fact that the warring nations of Europe stem from common racial, cultural, linguistic and social roots.  It is a family affair, in which the possibility of ultimate agreement and constructive harmony has not been dismissed even by the most determined opponents.”


January 28, 1943

In Hawai’i, General Delos Emmons announces the creation of an all-AJA combat team and calls for volunteers.  He writes, “Once in a great while an opportunity presents itself to recognize an entire section of this community for their performance of duty.  All of the people of the Hawaiian Islands have contributed generously to our war effort.  Among these have been the Americans of Japanese descent.  Their role had not been an easy one.  Open to distrust because of their racial origin, and discriminated against in certain fields of the defense effort, they nevertheless have borne their burdens without complaint and have added materially to the strength of the Hawaiian area.  They have behaved themselves admirably under the most trying conditions, have bought great quantities of war bonds, and by the labor of their hands have added to the common defense.  Their representatives in the 100th infantry battalion, a combat unit now in training on the mainland; the Varsity Victory Volunteers, and other men of Japanese extraction in our armed forces have also established a fine record.  In view of these facts, and by War Department authority, I have been designated to offer the Americans of Japanese ancestry an additional opportunity to serve their country.  This opportunity is in the form of voluntary combat service in the armed forces.  I have been directed to induct 1,500 of them as volunteers into the Army of the United States…  The manner of response and the record these men establish as fighting soldiers will be one of the best answers to those who question the loyalty of American citizens of Japanese ancestry in Hawaii.”

Nisei newspaper reporter states in Pacific Citizen, regarding persistent attacks by anti-Japanese groups and their supporters, “These attacks that persist against us are more sinister [than evacuation], for now it is no longer possible to say that our persecutors are motivated by an honest if misguided patriotism.  There has been plenty of time now to ascertain the facts.  There is no reason after all these months for anyone to be morally honest and yet base his charges against us on misinformation.”


February 1943

After six months of intense combat, U.S. victory in Guadalcanal. Japanese soon evacuate the island.

Dillon Myer, head of the War Relocation Authority, requests no further removal of Americans of Japanese ancestry from Hawai’i.

In Hawai’i, 4,000 Nisei sign certificates of enlistment.  Soon, 10,000 AJA’s volunteer for service.  The Varsity Victory Volunteers (VVV) are disbanded so that members can enlist.  They are highly commended for their patriotism and service.


February 1-9, 1943

The remaining 11,000 Japanese soldiers on Guadalcanal are evacuated.


February 1, 1943

President Roosevelt authorizes the formation of a combat team made up of Japanese Americans.  By General Orders, Third Army, it is designated the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  2,645 Nisei volunteer from Hawai’i and 1,300 volunteer from the mainland.  Colonel Pence assumes command of the Combat Team, to be trained in Camp Shelby, Mississippi.  It is to be composed of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, the 232nd Engineer Combat Company and the 206th Army Ground Forces Band.  Lieutenant Colonel Merritt B. Booth is Executive Officer. Lieutenant Colonel Keith K. Tatom is appointed Commander of the 1st Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel James M. Hanley, 2nd Battalion, and Lieutenant Colonel Sherwood Dixon, 3rd Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Baya M. Harrison, 522nd FABN, and Captain Pershing Nakada, 232nd Combat Engineers.  Cadre of officers and men is sent from all over the United States.

President Roosevelt writes, “No loyal citizen of the United States should be denied the democratic right to exercise the responsibilities of his citizenship, regardless of his ancestry.  The principle on which this country was founded and by which it has always been governed is that Americanism is a matter of the mind and heart; Americanism is not, and never was, a matter of race or ancestry.  A good American is one who is loyal to this country and to our creed of liberty and democracy.  Every loyal American citizen should be given the opportunity to serve this country wherever his skills will make the greatest contribution—whether it be in the ranks of our armed forces, war production, agriculture, government service, or other work essential to the war effort.”


February 8, 1943

The U.S. Army and the War Relocation Authority register Japanese Americans of draft age.  They are required to answer questions on a loyalty questionnaire.


February 12, 1943

Allied forces begin the Elkon Plan.  This campaign is implemented to force the Japanese Army from New Guinea, New Britain and the Solomon Islands.


February 19-22, 1943

Battle of Kasserine Pass in Tunisia.  Allies suffer setback with heavy casualties by German Army under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.


March 1943

Nisei linguists at ATIS translate crucial captured Japanese Army document.  The document is an order of battle, which contains vital information on Japanese officers and troop locations.


March 2-4, 1943

Battle of the Bismarck Sea.  Allied victory over Japanese Navy.  Large Japanese supply convoy is sunk by Allied Air Forces near New Guinea.


March 9, 1943

In a Washington Post article, U.S. Senator Chandler states that 60% of Japanese Americans at relocation camp were disloyal.  He further is quoted: “In my mind there is no question that thousands of these fellows were armed and prepared to help Japanese troops invade the West Coast right after Pearl Harbor.”


March 9-12, 1943

The German Army retakes Kharkov.


March 10, 1943

Mandatory censorship of newspapers by Army is ended in Hawai’i.


March 11, 1943

War Relocation Authority Director Dillon Myer writes letter to Secretary of War Stimson suggesting easing of West Coast exclusion orders against Japanese Americans.  The suggestion is rejected.


March 17, 1943

U.S. Army II Corps begins offensive in Tunisia.


March 18, 1943

British troops in Burma are forced to retreat.


March 23, 1943

The Los Angeles Examiner editorializes, “The war in the Pacific is the World War, the war of Oriental races against Occidental races, for the domination of the world.”


March 26, 1943

Montgomery’s British Eight Army breaches the German Mareth Line in Tunisia.

Naval Battle of Komandorski Island (between Aleutians and the Kamchatka Peninsula), between the U.S. and Japanese Navies.


March 28, 1943

A farewell ceremony and formation for 1,686 Nisei volunteers for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team is held at the Iolani Palace, on the capital grounds in downtown Honolulu.  It is sponsored by the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce.


April 1943

Western Defense Command announces Nisei soldiers on leave can visit the West Coast.  This is strongly opposed by racist groups.


April 2, 1943

War Department tells General Emmons to cease all removal of Japanese Americans from Hawai’i to the mainland.


April 4, 1943

2,855 enlisted Nisei AJA’s from Hawai’i sail for the mainland.  Their destination is Camp Shelby in Mississippi.


April 5, 1943

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover testifies before Congressional subcommittee that no sabotage or espionage was committed at Pearl Harbor prior to December 7, on December 7, or subsequent to that time.


April 8, 1943

Supporting the creation of a Nisei combat unit, John J. McCloy writes, in a letter to General DeWitt, “The threat of a Japanese attack is far from what it was.  We are better organized to meet such an attack if it occurred.  And we know a great deal more about our Japanese population.  Furthermore, the War Department has established a combat team for volunteer American citizens of Japanese ancestry.  This program has been indorsed by the President who looks upon it as ‘a natural and logical step toward the reinstitution of the Selective Service procedures, which were temporarily disrupted by the evacuation from the West Coast.”  He further states, “I cannot help but feel that social considerations rather than military ones determine the total exclusion policy.”


April 13, 1943

General DeWitt testifies before Congressional committee:  “The danger of the Japanese was, and is now,—if they are permitted to come back—espionage and sabotage.  It makes no difference whether he is an American citizen, he is still a Japanese.  American citizenship does not necessarily determine loyalty.”  Upon further inquiry, he stated, “You needn’t worry about the Italians at all except in certain cases.  Also, the same for the Germans except in individual cases.  But we must worry about the Japanese all the time until he is wiped off the map.  Sabotage and espionage will make problems as long as he is allowed in this area—problems which I don’t want to have to worry about.”

2,686 volunteer Nisei soldiers, enlisted from the Territory of Hawai’i, arrive at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for basic training.  These are among the 10,000 who originally volunteered.  Training will last for more than one year.

Nisei from the 442nd RCT purchase $101,500 in war bonds.


April 14, 1943

Regarding allowing Nisei soldiers in the Army, General DeWitt declares, “…a Jap is a Jap.  The War Department says a Jap-American soldier is not a Jap.”


April 15, 1943

Regarding the comment, “a Jap is a Jap,” by General DeWitt, the Washington Post writes, “The General should be told that American democracy and the Constitution of the United States are too vital to be ignored and flouted by any military zealot.  The panic of Pearl Harbor is now past.  There has been ample time for the investigation of these people and the determination of their loyalty to this country on an individual basis.  Whatever excuse there once was for evacuating the holding them indiscriminately no longer exists.”


April 18, 1943

Nisei MIS linguist Harold Fudenna intercepts Japanese radio transmission, which results in the shooting down of Admiral Yamamoto’s aircraft over Bougainville, in the Pacific.


April 22, 1943

The Los Angeles Times opposes the “current soft-headed agitation for the return of the loyal Japanese” as “stupid and dangerous.  As a race the Japanese have made for themselves a record of treachery unsurpassed in history.”


May 1, 1943

U.S. Senator consistently supports anti-Japanese American legislation.  Reporter for the New Republic comments on rumor “that at an early stage of his own personal ‘Pacific-consciousness,’ Chandler received overtures from Hearst representatives, keen on strengthening their traditional yellow-scare editorial policy, who offered him nationwide publicity and backing for a national office in return for constant harping on the Japs-First and Yellow-Peril-at-Home tunes.  Regardless of the truth of the rumor, large hunks of Hearst front pages have recently been devoted to Chandler’s ‘exposés’ of Japanese relocation centers, and a Hearst correspondent in Washington, Ray Richards of the Los Angeles Examiner, is most often the one who floats Chandler’s atrocity stories about the recent methods the War Relocation Authority has used in handling our Japanese-American evacuees.”


May 3, 1943

War Department publishes directive that allows Japanese American civilians to work for the U.S. Army.


May 5, 1943

Japanese Army in Central China launch major offensive into Hunan Province.


May 6, 1943

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt visits Japanese American internment camp at Gila River, Arizona.


May 10, 1943

Basic training for the 442nd RCT at Camp Shelby formally begins.


May 11, 1943

11,000 troops of the 7th U.S. Infantry land on Attu, in the Aleutian Islands.


May 12-15, 1943

Anglo-American Trident Conference held in Washington, DC.  Churchill and FDR plan Mediterranean Campaign in Italy.


May 13, 1943

Allies defeat German and Italian Armies at Tunis and Bizerte, capturing more than 200,000 Axis prisoners.  Axis forces surrender in North Africa.  This marks the end of the African Campaign.

Referring to a few Nisei soldiers on leave, a Los Angeles newspaper headline declares, “Rep. J. P. Thomas reveals Jap army in LA.”


May 16, 1943

Royal Air Force bombs German industrial area of Ruhr, partially destroying its dams.


May 17, 1943

U.S. and Great Britain agree to cooperate in code breaking against Germany, Italy and Japan.  This will include the cipher machines Enigma of Germany and Purple of Japan.  The intelligence and information program is called Ultra.


May 18, 1943

Japanese Army advances on Chunking, China, along the Yangtze River.


May 19, 1943

Headline appears in the Los Angeles Herald Express, “Stop Freeing Interned Japs.”


May 23, 1943

War Relocation Authority Director Dillon Myer has lunch with President Roosevelt at the White House.


May 28, 1943

The Dies Committee of the U.S. Congress alleges to newspapers that 76% of Japanese Americans in a camp refuse to profess loyalty to the U.S.  It is untrue.  The Committee is later criticized by the national press for its racist anti-Japanese American campaigns.


May 29, 1943

Japanese Army offensive in China is halted.


May 30, 1943

U.S. forces capture and control Attu, in the Aleutians.


Summer 1943

Third class of Military Intelligence Service Language School is begun at Camp Savage, Minnesota.  It is organized by student proficiency and capability in Japanese language.  A Military Research and Liaison Section, under Akira Oshida, is established.  In addition, a Translation Section is established under the direction of Yutaka Munakata.  243 Nisei are recruited from Hawai’i and 250 from the 442nd RCT in Camp Shelby, Mississippi.  35 Caucasian officer candidates are also trained.


June 1943

U.S. War Department creates Pacific Order of Battle Section.  Nisei linguists Jim Matsumura, Kazuo Yamane, Seishin Kondo, and John Kenjo are assigned to this Pacific Intelligence Section in the Pentagon in Washington, DC.


June 1, 1943

General Ben Lear inspects 442nd at Camp Shelby.


June 18, 1943

With military Japanese defeats in Guadalcanal and Papua, New Guinea, Australian Prime Minister John Curtain states that there is no chance of a Japanese invasion of Australia.


June 20, 1943

442nd Executive Officer Lieutenant Colonel Booth is transferred and is replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Virgil R. Miller.

The 100th Infantry Battalion receives its regimental flag at Camp Shelby.  The battalion motto is “Remember Pearl Harbor.”  It symbol is the Hawai’ian “ape” leaf and the yellow feather helmet of Hawai’ian chieftains.


June 21, 1943

U.S. forces begin major offensive to take New Georgia.  It is called Operation Toenails.

The U.S. Supreme Court hands down decision in case of “Gordon Hirabayashi v. United States.”  He is convicted of violation of Executive Order 9066 evacuation orders.  The Court refuses to rule on constitutionality of the evacuation.  Justice Douglas states, “Detention for reasonable cause is one thing, detention on account of ancestry is another.”  The majority opinion further states, “We cannot close our eyes to the fact, demonstrated by experience, that in time of war residents having ethnic affiliations with an invading enemy may be a greater source of danger than those of a different ancestry.”


June 22, 1943

U.S. Army Air Corps begins daytime bombing in German industrial area of the Ruhr.


June 23, 1943

U.S. forces land on the Trobriand Islands.


June 29, 1943

U.S. Navy shells Bougainville and Kolombangara in the Solomon Islands.


June 30, 1943

Operation Cartwheel, a major U.S. South Pacific offensive, begins with landing of troops on Rendova Island, in New Georgia.


July 1943

New Georgia, north of Guadalcanal, surrenders to U. S. troops.

Enlisted men of the 100th are granted ten-day furloughs.  They visit towns and cities like Madison, Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC.

The U.S. Army announces that Nisei officers could command rifle companies in the 100th/442nd RCT.


July 5-6, 1943

U.S. and Japanese navies clash in Battle of Kula Gulf, in the Solomon Islands.


July 5-17, 1943

Battle of Kursk, in the USSR.  The Soviet Army, under Marshal Georgi Zhukov, repel a major German offensive on the Eastern Front.  The Germans are forced to withdraw, and begin a long retreat from the Soviet Union.  257,000 soldiers on both sides are killed, wounded or captured.


July 7, 1943

A new company is designated for 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  It is Company S, made up of MISLS Nisei from Camp Savage, Minnesota, who are sent to combat basic training.


July 10, 1943

Operation “Husky,” the Anglo-Allied invasion of Sicily, is launched.


July 17, 1943

Successful major Allied bombing raid on Japanese positions in and around Bougainville.


July 19, 1943

Allied Air Forces conduct 500-plane air raid on Rome.

General John L. DeWitt publishes “Final Report: Japanese Evacuation from the West Coast, 1942.”


July 22, 1943

The port of Palermo, in Sicily, is captured by Allies.


July 22-23, 1943

U.S. Army and Navy heavily bomb and shell Japanese forces on Kiska, Alaska.  The Japanese are planning to withdraw.


July 23, 1943

General Patton enters Palermo, Sicily.  He is greeted by crowds saying “Down with Mussolini!” and “Long live America!”


July 25, 1943

Italian King Victor Emmanuel and Fascist Grand Council force Mussolini to resign. He is arrested.

Italian soldiers in the field defect to Allied Forces.

Marshal Pietro Badoglio is appointed Prime Minister of Italy.


July 25-31, 1943

Beginning of major offensive by U.S. forces on the Island of Munda in New Georgia.


July 27-28, 1943

Allied firebombing of Hamburg, Germany.  45,000 people are killed, and nearly one million left homeless.


July 28, 1943

Under the cover of fog, the 5,200 Japanese soldiers on Kiska, Alaska, are withdrawn.


August 1, 1943

U.S. Army Air Corps bombs German-held Ploesti oil fields in Romania.

German forces take over Crete from Italians.


August 5, 1943

U.S. 43rd Division defeats Japanese garrison on Munda.  It will be a strategic air base for the upcoming New Georgia Campaign.


August 7-15, 1943

Major fighting between Communist and Nationalist Chinese Army forces breaks out in Shantung Province.


August 11, 1943

Quebec Conference between Roosevelt and Churchill is held.  It determines long-range Allied military strategy in the Far East.

Admiral Mountbatten is appointed head of new Southeast Asia Command (SEAC).  General Stilwell is deputy commander.

The 100th Infantry Battalion leaves Camp Shelby, Mississippi.


August 13, 1943

The 100th Infantry Battalion arrives at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.


August 14, 1943

The U.S. air base on Munda is in full operation.  It makes possible effective bombing raids against Japanese naval forces in the Solomon Islands.


August 15, 1943

34,000 U.S. troops land on Kiska Island, Alaska.  The Japanese had evacuated Kiska at the end of July.

Successful U.S. forces of the 25th Division land on Vella Levella in the Solomon Islands.


August 17, 1943

U.S. and British forces capture and secure Sicily.

Highly successful air assault by U.S. Army Air Corps on Japanese Fourth Army air base at Wewak on North Coast of New Guinea.


August 19, 1943

Major Allied ground offensive in Northern New Guinea is launched.


August 20, 1943

The 100th Infantry Battalion receives embarkation orders.


August 21, 1943

The 100th Infantry Battalion sets sail for North Africa aboard the troop ship “James Parker.”


August 23, 1943

Japanese bomb Chungking, headquarters of the Chinese Nationalist government.

End of basic training for 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  New Nisei recruits continue to arrive from the detention camps. For next week, Third Army conducts basic training proficiency test.  It is rated “excellent” in physical fitness and “very satisfactory” in other areas.


August  24, 1943

442nd RCT swim team participates in meet in New Orleans, winning numerous gold medals.


August 25, 1943

Victory of U.S. forces on New Georgia Island, in the Solomon Islands.  Operation Toenails is ended.


August 27, 1943

Landing of U.S. forces on Arundel Island in the Solomon Islands.

Landing of U.S. forces in the Ellice Islands on Nukufetau.


August 29, 1943

German Army re-occupies Copenhagen, Denmark.  King Christian X is confined in the palace.


September 1, 1943

U.S. captures Baker Island.

Highly successful U.S. naval bombing attack on Japanese military targets on Marcus Island.


September 2, 1943

100th Infantry Battalion arrives in Oran, North Africa.  They are assigned to the 34th “Red Bull” Division of the U.S. Fifth Army.  The 34th Division is composed of men from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and the Dakotas.  The 34th becomes the first division from the U.S. that goes into combat.  It is commanded by Major General Charles W. Ryder.  Its motto is, “Attack, attack, attack.”

Colonel Ray C. Fountain, commander of the 133rd Infantry of the 34th Division, briefed his officers about the Nisei of the 100th.  He said, “They are not Japanese, but Americans born in Hawaii. They aren’t asking for any special consideration and we won’t give them anything that isn’t given all the other units.  They’ll be in there taking their turn with all the rest.  And tell your men not to call them Japs, or there’ll be trouble.”


September 3, 1943

Operation “Baytown,” the British invasion of mainland Italy from Sicily.  The British Army lands at Reggio, Italy.


September 8, 1943

Unconditional surrender of the Italian forces in Italy.  German Army forces continue to fight.

The SS forces in Italy begin the deportation of Italian Jews to labor and death camps.


September 9, 1943

Operation “Avalanche” begins with Fifth U.S. Army amphibious landing in Salerno, near Naples, Italy, commanded by General Mark W. Clark.  Its objective is the capture of Naples.


September 10, 1943

German forces capture and occupy Rome, Italy.


September 12, 1943

Deposed Italian leader Benito Mussolini is freed from confinement by a German commando unit.  He is flown to Germany and meets with Hitler.

Allies capture and occupy Salamaua, New Guinea.


September 13, 1943

Chiang Kai-shek is elected President of the Chinese Republic by the Nationalist Chinese Central Executive Committee.


September 16, 1943

Allies capture and occupy Lae, New Guinea.


September 18, 1943

Allies capture and occupy Sardinia.


September 18-19, 1943

U.S. land and carrier-based raids are launched against Tarawa, Makin, Nauru and Apamama Islands in the South East Pacific.


September 19, 1943

The 100th Infantry Battalion moves to port in Oran for shipment to Italy.


September 19-22, 1943

Allies continue to advance against Japanese forces on New Guinea.


September 20, 1943

End of Japanese resistance on Vella Lavella in the Solomon  Islands.  Allied air strip is opened on September 24.


September 22, 1943

The 100th Infantry Battalion lands on the beaches of Salerno, Italy.  In their first month and a half of fighting, 78 Nisei are killed and 239 are wounded.  Eventually, they earn 900 Purple Hearts and are nicknamed the “Purple Heart Battalion.”


September 25, 1943

Soviet Army moves into Smolensk and Roslavl.

A message is sent to all units of the Fifth Army in Italy.  “There has recently arrived in this theater a battalion of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry.  These troops take particular pride in their American origin.  Your command should be so informed in order that during the stress and confusion of combat, cases of mistaken identity may be avoided.”


September 26, 1943

The 100th Infantry Battalion deploys 106 miles to Contursi-Teora-Lioni-S.


September 28, 1943

Japanese forces begin to leave Kolombangara Island, in the Solomon Islands.

The 100th Infantry Battalion enters combat at Castelvetere.  They sustain their first casualty, Sergeant Shigeo (Joe) Tanaka.  Seven are wounded.


September 29-30, 1943

The 100th Infantry Battalion moves to and takes Italian town of Montefalcione, north of Chiusano.


October 1943

District Attorney of Los Angeles, Fred Howser, testifies at a California State Senate hearing that “We are going to have large scale massacres or we might say free murder or manslaughter if Japanese Americans return to the West Coast.”

The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, representatives of the flower industry, and Native Sons of the Golden West vehemently oppose return of Japanese Americans to California.


October 1, 1943

Allied forces capture and occupy Naples, Italy.

The 100th Infantry Battalion reaches town of Montemiletto.


October 3, 1943

Japanese Army begins a major offensive in Central China.


October 4, 1943

Allies capture Corsica.

Heavy U.S. naval and aerial bombardment of Japanese-held Wake Island.


October 4-5, 1943

All Japanese forces on Kolombangara Island are withdrawn.


October 6, 1943

British General Sir William Slim is appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Eastern Command.


October 7, 1943

The 100th Infantry Battalion deploys to Montesarchio.


October 8, 1943

General Mark Clark cables General Eisenhower, commending the 100th Infantry Battalion in its first action.  In his memoir, published in 1950, he writes: “I should mention that a bright spot in this period was the performance of the 100th Battalion, which had recently been assigned to the 34th Division…  On the march to the Volturno, which was their first time in combat, they acted as an advance guard for a regimental combat team and covered a distance of almost twenty miles in twenty-four hours, despite the extreme difficulties of the mountain road.  I sent a cable to Eisenhower on October 8, stating that they had seized their objective and that they were quick to react whenever the enemy offered opposition.”


October 12, 1943

Strategic Japanese air and naval base on Rabaul is attacked by 349 U.S. Army Air Corps bombers.


October 12-14, 1943

Allied Armies under General Mark Clark cross the Volturno River, north of Naples, Italy.


October 13, 1943

The Italian government, led by Pietro Badoglio, declares war on Germany.


October 15, 1943

Orders are issued for the Allied attack on the Solomon Islands.  It is called “Operation Good Time.”


October 18, 1943

Allies begin bombing targets around Bougainville.

The 100th Infantry Battalion, attached to the 133rd Infantry Regiment, makes first crossing of the Volturno River.


October 19, 1943

Los Angeles Times headline states, “District Attorney Sees Bloodshed if Japs Return—Servicemen Vow to Kill Nips.”

The 100th Infantry Battalion holds position along the Dragoni-Alife Road.


October 19-30, 1943

U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull, British Foreign Minister Anthony Eden, and Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov meet in Moscow to establish a European Advisory Commission.


October 20, 1943

442nd Regimental Combat Team begins platoon- and company-level training and advanced tactics.

The 100th leads morning assault on heavily defended German positions east of Saint Angelo.  In this action, Private First Class Thomas Yamanaga is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.  Private Tad Shikiya, Private Satoshi Kadota, Corporal Donald Hayashi and others earned Silver Stars.


October 21, 1943

John J. McCloy and Colonel William D. Scobey, his Executive Officer, inspect 442nd RCT in Camp Shelby.  They are pleased with the training record of the Nisei.

The 100th Infantry Battalion encounters German counter-attack at western outskirts of Alife.


October 22, 1943

The 100th Infantry Battalion continues assault of German positions.  They come under attack by German Nebelwerfer rocket launchers.


October 23, 1943

The 100th Infantry Battalion secures two road junctions.  Major Lovell is wounded by rocket fire and is hospitalized.


October 24, 1943

The 100th Infantry Battalion attacks forward slopes of Hill 529.


October 25, 1943

The 100th Infantry Battalion continues its attack on Hill 529.  At noon, Germany retreats from its position on Hill 529 after 5 days of fighting.  San Angelo position is secure.  Twenty-one Nisei soldiers are killed and 67 wounded.


October 25-31, 1943

The 100th Infantry Battalion and 133rd Infantry are placed in Divisional Reserve near San Angelo.  Lieutenant Colonel Farrant Turner is hospitalized.  He is replaced by Major James J. Gillespie, 3rd Battalion commander of the 133rd Infantry Regiment.


October 26, 1943

Headquarters, Army Ground Forces in Washington, DC, sends letter of commendation to commanding generals of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Armies about the 100th Infantry Battalion in its first action.  It states: “A strong desire to be with their unit as it entered combat reduced absences due to sickness and hospitalization almost to zero.  While the Japanese-American battalion was acting as the advance guard for a regimental combat team, the battalion advanced approximately fifteen miles in twenty-four hours, operating day and night in the face of strong enemy resistance and over difficult terrain.  Although suffering casualties their advance continued on schedule.  All of its weapons were used with complete assurance.  A Japanese-American Sergeant who lost his life in this action has been recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross.”


October 27, 1943

Allied forces land in the Treasury Islands, off Bougainville’s southern coast.


November 1, 1943

U.S. Marines land at Bougainville, in the northern Solomon Islands.  It is called “Operation Cherry-Blossom.”  The objective is the Japanese-held island of Rabaul.  60,000 Japanese soldiers defend the island.

Demonstration at the Tule Lake camp.  U.S. Army takes temporary control of the camp.  It is returned to the War Relocation Authority on January 14, 1944.

Twelve Nisei from the 100th Infantry Battalion are wounded by German Messerschmitt fighter planes.


November 2,1943

Chinese attack Japanese Army along the Tarung River in Burma.


November 3, 1943

The 34th Division crosses the Volturno River against towns of Roccaravindola and Santa Maria Olivetto.  The 133rd Infantry and the 100th Infantry Battalion begin river crossing at 12:00 p.m.  On the crossing, the 100th encounters heavy enemy fire and German mines.  Thirty Nisei are wounded.  Lieutenant Kurt E. Schemel of Company C is killed.  Under heavy fire, Staff Sergeant Robert Ozaki leads his platoon in a bayonet charge, which causes German retreat.


November 3-4, 1943

At 1430 hours, E and B Companies, 100th Infantry Battalion, cross Route 85 and dig in.  At 1730 hours, Germans shell the 100th’s position and counterattack with heavy machine gun fire.


November 5,1943

John J. McCloy writes to General Delos Emmons, who replaced General DeWitt at Western Defense Command (WDC):  “The situation in California is not the same [as in Hawai’i].  You have no doubt become aware of the existence of active and powerful minority groups in California whose main interest in the war seems to take the form of a desire for permanent exclusion of all Japanese, loyal or disloyal, citizen or alien, from the West Coast or, at least, from California…  This means that considerations other than of mere military necessity enter into any proposal for removal of the present restrictions.”

Colonel Marshal orders Lieutenant Colonel Gillespie and the 100th to take Hills 590, 600, and 610.  Gillespie orders an attack on the left, near the village of Pozzilli.  It is led by Gillespie and E Company Commander Captain Alex McKenzie.  At 1600 hours, the battalion reaches the bases of the hills.


November 5-11, 1943

U.S. Navy’s Task Force 38 attacks Japanese shipping around Rabaul.


November 9, 1943

The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration is created by 44 of the Allied nations meeting in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  Its purpose is to plan for the post-war reconstruction of Europe and Asia.


November 12, 1943

Japanese withdraw planes from the Island of Rabaul.


November 13-20, 1943

In preparation of a major invasion, the U.S. Navy begins bombing and shelling Japanese positions in the Gilbert and Marshal Islands.


November 18, 1943

War Department reclassifies Japanese Americans, for service in the U.S. Army.  The reason is the excellent combat record of the 100th Infantry Battalion and training record of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.


November 20-23, 1943

U.S. 27th Infantry Division makes an amphibious landing on Makin Atoll.  The island is captured in three days.

U.S. Marine 2nd Division land on Tarawa Atoll.  It is taken on November 23.  1,000 Marines and 4,500 Japanese are killed in the fighting.


November 21, 1943

Beginning of the Central Pacific offensive under the command of U.S. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and Admiral Raymond A. Spruance.  The objective was the capture of the Solomon, Gilberts, Marshall, Mariana and Bonin Islands.


November 22-23, 1943

Lieutenant General Lesley J. McNair, Chief of U.S. Army ground forces inspects 442nd RCT at Camp Shelby.


November 22-26, 1943

FDR, Churchill and Chiang Kai-shek meet in Cairo conference to plan war in Far East.  It is known as the “Sextant Conference.”


November 24, 1943

Fifth Army in Italy issues battle plan to attack German Winter Line defenses, which blacked routes to Liri Valley, which would lead to the capture of Rome.  The U.S. II Corps is assigned assaults on Camino Hill and Mount Sammucro of the Mignano Gap.  VI and II Corps would attack German defenses of Cassino on Highway 6.  The 100th Infantry Battalion is assigned to the 133rd Infantry Regiment of the 34 Division of the VI Corps.

522nd Field Artillery Battalion is assigned to participate in war maneuvers in Louisiana.


November 25, 1943

Thanksgiving Day.  100th Infantry Battalion moves from Scapoli to Hills near Colli on the extreme right flank of the Fifth Army.  Company C climbs hill 1017, southwest of Colli.

U.S. Forces defeat Japan in the Battle of Cape St. George, New Ireland.  Five Japanese destroyers are sunk, one damaged.

Japanese forces capture Changteh, China, in the Hunan Province.

U.S. Army Air Corps bombs Formosa.


November 26, 1943

Company C, 100th Infantry Battalion, occupies Hill 920.  Companies A and B move to Hill 841.


November 28- December 2, 1943

Roosevelt, Churchill meet with Stalin in Teheran to plan war strategy.  They discuss the opening of a second front against Germany in France.


November 29, 1943

Companies A and B, 100th Inf. BN, climb northeastern side of Hill 841.  They encounter heavy machine gun and mortar fire.  The battalion unsuccessfully assaults German positions.  In the assaults, four Nisei are awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.  Private Shizuya Hayashi (A Co.), Corporal Masaru Suehiro (A Co.), Lieutenant Allan Ohata (B Co.), and Private Mikio Hasemoto (B Co.).


November 30, 1943

On the western slope of Hill 920, the 100th Infantry Battalion receives heavy machine gun, mortar and artillery fire.  They dig in.


December 1943

Allied Forces begin campaign against New Britain, South of Rabaul.


December 1, 1943

Company E, 100th Infantry Battalion, takes position on Hill 920.


December 2, 1943

Company F, 100th Infantry Battalion, takes position on Hill 920.

“Korematsu vs. United States” is decided by the Ninth Circuit Court, in San Francisco, California.  The evacuation order E. O. 9066 is upheld as constitutional.  Mr. Justice Denman of the Court dissents from the grounds of the majority ruling.


December 3, 1943

At the Teheran Conference, FDR, Churchill and Stalin issue the Declaration of the Three Powers, which states “No power on Earth can prevent our destroying the German armies by land, their U-Boats by sea and their war plants from the air.”


December 4, 1943

Six U.S. aircraft carriers heavily bomb Kwajalein and Wotje Atolls. 


December 4-6, 1943

Roosevelt and Churchill meet with President of Turkey Ismet Inönü in Cairo, to persuade him to have neutral Turkey enter the war on the side of the Allies.  Fearing a German invasion, Inönü declines.


December 5, 1943

In a meeting, 1,500 farmers in Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska protest the relocation of Japanese Americans to their areas.


December 9, 1943

U.S. opens major airfield at Torokina in Bougainville.


December 10, 1943

Los Angeles Times headline declares, “Rioting Predicted in Event Japs Return to California.”


December 13-24, 1943

442nd RCT begins advanced infantry combat training exercises at battalion and regimental levels.


December 15, 1943

U.S. forces land in southern New Britain.  They capture and occupy the airfield at Arawa.

Terry Mizutani and three other MIS men are stationed on Arawa Peninsula in Southern New Britain.

A strategic U.S. naval base is established in the Treasury Islands.

After many casualties, the 100th Infantry is relieved from its position of Hill 920.  The 100th is taken to a bivouac area in Alife.  They are there 19 days.


December 17, 1943

U.S. Congress repeals Chinese Exclusion Acts (originally enacted in 1882).


December 18, 1943

Japanese Air Force bombs Kunming, China.

Southern China is held by Chinese Nationalist Army.  Allied air bases are established here.

General Joseph Stilwell is appointed Commander of Chinese forces in Northern Burma and India.


December 21, 1943

Campaign in Northern Burma under General Joseph Stilwell is launched.  Its objective is the town of Myitkyina, with its strategic air base.


December 24, 1943

In a Christmas Eve radio broadcast, FDR advises that, “The war is now reaching the stage when we shall all have to look forward large casualty lists—dead, wounded, and missing.  War entails just that.  There is no easy road to victory.  And the end is not yet in sight.”


End of December 1943

The 34th Infantry Division is transferred to the II Corps of the Fifth Army.  They relieve the 36th Division.  The 100th is sent to Presenzano, Italy.


December 25, 1943

442nd RCT celebrates Christmas in Camp Shelby, Mississippi.  The 100th observes Christmas in Alife, Italy.


December 26, 1943

The U.S. First marine Division lands at Cape Gloucester, in New Britain.  Nisei linguist Jerry Shibata, with 10-man detachment, lands with Marines on Cape Gloucester.


December 28, 1943

Allies capture and occupy Ortuna, Italy.


December 29, 1943

Chinese Army advances toward the Tarung River, in Burma.

U.S. Marines capture important Japanese air base on Cape Gloucester.  The base is vital to the Campaigns in New Britain and New Guinea.



Born Free and Equal: Photographs of the Loyal Japanese Americans at Manzanar Relocation Center, Inyo County, California, by Ansel Adams, is published.


Early 1944

More than 60 Nisei participate in the top secret operation at Vint Hill Farms Station, near Warrenton, Virginia.  Vint Hill Farms Station was created in 1942 by the U.S. Army Signal Security Agency.  It was established to translate and analyze secret Japanese military and diplomatic codes.

MIS Nisei are also assigned to the ultra-secret “Manhattan Project” offices in New York City to translate Japanese scientific documents.

Nisei MIS men are assigned to U.S. Forces in Chungking, China.  They are George I. Nakamura, Shoso Nomura, Kiyoshi Suzukawa, and Hiro Fukuyama.


January 1944

Soviet Army launches major offensive to relieve the siege of Leningrad.  The Army will soon cross into eastern Poland.

Indian Army, under British command, resumes Burma Campaign.

American and British Air Forces coordinate efforts with the creation of the Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO).  By the end of the war, 57,000 British airmen and 64,000 American air crew are killed.  700,000 German civilians die.

The fourth class of MISLS school is inaugurated at Camp Savage, Minnesota.  It has 255 Nisei volunteers from Hawai’i.  It has 52 academic sections.  The academic term is increased to nine months.

Japanese Americans are again subject to the draft.


January 2, 1944

Major RAF bombing raid on Berlin.


January 5, 1944

100th Infantry Battalion takes position on Mount Majo.


January 8, 1944

100th Infantry Battalion takes position on Hill 1190.  They patrol the area.


January 11, 1944

At 6:00 a.m., the 100th Infantry Battalion moves to positions between Hills 1190 and 1270.  They come under heavy mortar barrage, taking casualties.  Company C commander is wounded.  Sergeant Masaharu Takeba is killed in action and is awarded the Bronze Star.


January 12, 1944

Companies A, B and C, 100th Infantry Battalion, effectively attack Germans on Hill 1270.


January 14, 1944

Four officers and 19 enlisted Nisei are reassigned to Military Intelligence and are escorted to new assignment with Captain Parker of the OSS.


January 15, 1944

U.S. forces capture the Japanese Naval base on Saipan.


January 15-22, 1944

100th Infantry Battalion occupies Italian hamlet of Saint Michele.  In eight days of fighting, 2 officers and 11 enlisted soldiers are killed.  Twenty officers and 44 enlisted men are wounded.  The German Winter Line is broken.


January 17, 1944

U.S. Army Colonel Kendall J. Fielder, Assistant Chief of Staff for Military Intelligence in Hawai’i, states: “I have been in charge of military intelligence activities here [Hawai’i] since June, 1941, and am in a position to know what has happened.  There have been no known acts of sabotage, espionage or fifth column activities committed by the Japanese in Hawaii, either on or subsequent to December 7, 1941.”  He made this statement to “kill once and for all the malicious and completely false rumors of treasonable acts by the Hawaiian Japanese during and after the attack on Pearl Harbor.”


January 19, 1944

Ten officers and 165 Nisei enlisted men are transferred to Fort Meade, in Maryland, as replacements for the 100th Infantry Battalion fighting near Cassino in Italy.


January 20, 1944

Soviet Army captures Novgorod.


January 20-22, 1944

The Texas 36th Division attacks across the Rapido River in an attempt to establish a bridgehead in San Angelo.  The attack does not succeed.


January 22, 1944

Fifth U.S. Army and British forces land at Anzio, Italy, 31 miles south of Rome.  The objective is to overcome the German defensive line known as the Gustav Line.  The VI Corps of the Allied Fifth Army with 36,000 capture towns of Anzio and Nettuno.  The Allied forces at Anzio are stalemated until May 25, 1944.

President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9417, which establishes the War Refugee Board (WRB) under the jurisdiction of the Treasury Departments.  Its purpose is “to take action for the immediate rescue from the Nazis of as many as possible of the persecuted minorities of Europe—racial, religious, or political—all civilian victims of enemy savagery.”


January 24, 1944

The 100th Infantry Battalion, part of the 133rd Regiment of the 34th Division, moves into position to cross the Rapido River.  Its objective is a part of the Cassino-Cairo Road, the hamlet of Mount Villa and Hills 56 and 213.  the assault begins at midnight.


January 25, 1944

At 5:00 a.m., Companies A and C of the 100th Infantry Battalion reach Rapido River channel.  They are met with heavy German resistance.  Major Clough, Battalion Commander, is wounded.  Later, Captain Mits Fukuda, of A Company, leads a reconnaissance patrol with Major Dewey, of the 133rd, and Major Jack Johnson.  Both Majors are badly wounded.  Dewey is killed in a mine explosion.


January 26, 1944

The 100th Infantry Battalion holds defensive position on river bank along the Rapido River.  At night, it goes into reserve at San Michele.


January 27, 1944

The German siege of Leningrad ends.  600,000 Russians have died.


January 28, 1944

442nd Regimental Combat Team participates in “D” series advanced maneuvers with 69th Infantry Division, in the De Soto National Forest in Mississippi.  They are trained in these exercises, which later prove invaluable in actual combat.  The 442nd is commended by Major General Charles H. White, Commanding General IX Corps, and 69th Division Commander Charles L. Bolte.


January 31, 1944

U. S. forces land in Marshal Islands, in Central Pacific Campaign.  It is called Operation Flintlock.


February 1944

330 Nisei from Hawai’i are recruited for training at the Military Intelligence Language School at Camp Savage, Minnesota.


February 3, 1944

Japanese Islands of Roi and Namur, in the Marshal Islands, are taken by Allied forces.


February 6, 1944

Japanese island of Kwajalein, in the Marshal Islands, is captured by Allied forces.


February 7, 1944

522nd Field Artillery Battalion returns from six weeks of advanced training in Louisiana.  It participates in the “D” series maneuvers with the 442nd.


February 8, 1944

Company C, 100th Infantry Battalion, begins assault against Castle Hill (193) and Hill 165 at Monte Cassino.  Several Nisei are killed.  Major James Lovell is wounded and put out of action. Bazooka man Masao Awakuni destroys German tank under heavy fire and receives Distinguished Service Cross.


February 9-11, 1944

The 100th Infantry Battalion digs in and holds position on Hill 165.  Headquarters men PFC Akira Ishikawa and PFC Satoshi Nakaue receive Bronze Stars for repairing wire communications under heavy fire.  Radio Technician Robert Oda and Sergeant Edward Saito also receive Bronze Stars for setting up forward radio communication.


February 12, 1944

The 100th Infantry Battalion withdraws from Hill 165 and is placed in reserve.


February 12-16, 1944

Company B, 100th Infantry Battalion, is sent in to support 3rd Battalion 133rd Infantry.


February 10, 1944

United States and Australian troops capture the Huon Peninsula in New guinea.  New Britain is now secure.


February 15, 1944

U.S. carrier planes begin bombing of Japanese naval base on Truk Atoll in the Caroline Islands.  In two days, the Japanese Naval and Air Forces are destroyed.  An invasion of Truk is avoided.


February 15-18, 1944

Allied troops fail to capture Monte Cassino.

In the fighting at the Rapido River and near Monte Cassino, the 100th Infantry Battalion have four officers and 44 soldiers killed.  Twelve officers and 122 soldiers are wounded.  The 100th total strength is reduced to 521 men.


February 15-22, 1944

Japanese Island of Eniwetok, in the Marshal Islands, is captured.  195 Marines are killed, 500 wounded.  3,500 Japanese soldiers are killed.


February 16, 1944

President Roosevelt signs Executive Order No. 9423.  It transfers the War Relocation Authority to the U.S. Department of the Interior, under the jurisdiction of Interior Secretary Harold Ickes.  Ickes is in favor of permanently closing camps and resettling Japanese Americans as soon as possible.


February 20, 1944

U.S. and British Air Forces begin a six-day, major bombing campaign on German cities.


February 21, 1944

Forty replacement officers are assigned to the 442nd RCT at Camp Shelby.


February 15, 1944

The Allies bomb the ancient monastery on Monte Cassino.  It is completely destroyed.


February 23, 1944

Operation Forager Campaign to capture the Mariana Islands begins.  They include invasions of Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Guam.


March 1944

Japanese Army launches strong counteroffensive on Bougainville, the largest of the Solomon Islands.  The attack, called the Second Battle of Bougainville, fails due to crucial intelligence collected by Nisei MIS linguists Hiroshi Matsuda and Roy Uyehata on March 23.  Both receive the Silver Star.  This action ends fighting in South Pacific.


March 1, 1944

U.S. forces invade Admiralty Islands in Southwest Pacific.


March 4, 1944

Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall reviews the 442nd RCT at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.  Colonel Pence announces that General Marshal is pleased by what he sees.


March 6, 1944

Massive bombing of Berlin by U.S. Army Air Corps.


March 10, 1944

The 100th Infantry Battalion deploys to San Giorgio, near Benevento.  It receives replacement of ten officers and 151 enlisted men, all from Camp Shelby, Mississippi.


March 14, 1944

War Departments directs the 442nd RCT to prepare for overseas assignment.


March-April 1944

Ten officers and 155 enlisted men of the 442nd RCT are transferred overseas as replacements for the 100th Infantry Battalion.

The 442nd is ordered overseas with two Rifle Battalions.  A Training Cadre Battalion remains at Camp Shelby, commanded by Sherman L. Watts.  442nd RCT Third Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Sherwood Dixon is transferred to office of the Chief of Staff.  Major Emmet L. O’Connor is assigned command of the Third Battalion.


March 15, 1944

Beginning of the Allied assault on Cassino in Central Italy, which was part of the German Gustav Line.


March 18, 1944

Hungary’s Regent Miklós Horthy agrees to a new alliance with Germany.


March 19, 1944

German Army invades and occupies Hungary.


March 20, 1944

The Admiralty and Emiran Islands, in the Bismarcks, are captured by General MacArthur’s forces.

Soviet Army enters Romania.


March 22, 1944

Japanese Army invades India from Burma.


March 31, 1944

Allies capture famous Japanese Army “Z” Plan.  It contained high level Japanese battle plans and orders.  This vital captured document, translated by MIS Nisei Yoshikazu Yamada and George Yamashiro, helped Allied forces to defeat Japanese in the Battle of the Philippine Sea and the destruction of hundreds of Japanese plans in the battle later called “The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot.”


Spring 1944

Military Intelligence Language School (MISLS) moves to larger facilities at nearby Fort Snelling, Minnesota.


April 1944

Massive Allied bombing raids on German cities and manufacturing facilities.

Red Army reclaims most of the Ukraine.

Japanese launch the Ichi-Go Campaign (Operation Number One) in China.  It seeks to strengthen Japanese occupation of China and force China out of the war.

The Hawai’i Americans of Japanese Ancestry (AJA) Morale Committee is organized.


April 10, 1944

Soviet Army captures Odessa.


April 20, 1944

Turkey declares itself “pro-Allied” rather than neutral.


April 22, 1944

U.S. forces under General MacArthur land at Aitape in Western New Guinea.  As MIS team of 10 men led by R. G. Gage and Nisei Mas Yamamoto contribute vital intelligence to this important campaign.

U.S. landing at Hollandia, Dutch New Guinea, Southwest Pacific.

442nd RCT leaves Camp Shelby by train for Camp Patrick Henry in Virginia, the staging area and port of embarkation for overseas.


May 1944

Red Army retakes Sevastopol in the Crimea.

Secretary of War Henry Stimson recommends to President Roosevelt and his cabinet to end exclusion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.


May 1, 1944

442nd RCT boards troop transport ships bound for their assignment overseas.


May 2, 1944

Convoy of Liberty Ships and destroyer escort ships leaves Chesapeake Bay.  En route, the 442nd RCT Nisei learn the destination is Naples, Italy.


May 11-18, 1944

Operation Diadem is launched by the XIII Corps of the British Eighth Army.  The town of Cassino is taken.  The Polish II Corps assaults on Monte Cassino are repulsed in fierce fighting.


May 12, 1944

U.S. Army Air Corps begins major bombing campaign against Germany’s synthetic oil production plants.


May 17, 1944

Capture by Allies of Myitkyina Airfield in Northern Burma.  Later, famed commando unit Merrill’s Marauders, is disbanded due to high casualty rates.

U.S. Forces land on the Island of Wadke in the Pacific.


May 18, 1944

End of the Allied assault on Monte Cassino in Italy.  The famed monastery is destroyed by Allied bombing.


May 19, 1944

James Forrestal is appointed Secretary of the Navy.


May 19-20, 1944

U.S. carrier planes bomb Marcus Island.


May 23, 1944

British and U.S. forces at Anzio, Italy, assault German Gustav Line and break out.


May 25, 1944

At Anzio, British and U.S. Armies link up and begin advance to Rome.


May 26, 1944

Secretary of War Stimson discusses the issue of ending the exclusion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast in a cabinet meeting.  For political reasons, the decision is delayed.  Attorney General Biddle writes: “The Secretary of War raised the question of whether it was appropriate for the War Department, at this time, to cancel the Japanese Exclusion Orders and let the Japs go home.  War, Interior, and Justice had all agreed that this could be done without danger to defense considerations but doubted the wisdom of doing it at this time before the election.”


May 27, 1944

U.S. Forces under MacArthur land on Biak Island near Geelvink Bay.


May 29, 1944

U.S. destroyers shell coastline of New Ireland.  No invasion of the island will take place.


June 1944

U.S. bombing raids from Italian bases are launched against Hungary and Romania.


June 2, 1944

Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes urges the President to end the exclusion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.  He writes, “The continued retention of these innocent people in the relocation centers would be a blot upon the history of this country.”


June 4, 1944

Rome is liberated by the Fifth U.S. Army, under General Clark. The 100th Infantry Battalion is held back and enters Rome several days later.


June 6, 1944

D-Day, Allied landings on the Normandy Coast of France, under the overall command of General Dwight D. Eisenhower.  It is called Operation “Overlord.”  Allies successfully gain foothold on beaches.  With 156,000 troops, it is the largest amphibious campaign in history.

442nd RCT leaves Naples, bound for Anzio, aboard LST and LCI military transports.


June 7, 1944

442nd RCT arrives in Anzio, Italy, harbor.  German Luftwaffe bombs supply dumps in Anzio.


June 10, 1944

The 442nd RCT is attached to the 34th Infantry Division in Italy, per General Orders #44.


June 11, 1944

The 100th Infantry is attached to the 442nd RCT to serve as its First Battalion, but it keeps the 100th Infantry Battalion name.


June 12, 1944

President Roosevelt writes of his views on ending the exclusion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.  He writes, “The more I think of this problem of suddenly ending the orders excluding Japanese Americans from the West Coast the more I think it would be a mistake to do anything drastic or sudden.”


June 13, 1944

First German “buzz bombs” (V-1’s) hit London, England.


June 14, 1944

U.S. Marines begin Iwo Jima campaign.


June 15- July 9, 1944

American Forces, comprised of the 2nd and 4th Marine Divisions and the 27th Infantry Division, begin invasion of Saipan.  The objective is to secure airfield for long-range B-29 bombers to support upcoming battle for the Philippines.


June 17, 1944

2nd Battalion 442nd RCT rejoins regiment.


June 18, 1944

Japanese Premier resigns with entire cabinet.


June 19-21, 1944

Air battle of the Philippine Sea results in major Allied victory. Three Japanese carriers are sunk with 200 airplanes.  Japanese Naval strength is greatly diminished in the Pacific.


June 22, 1944

442nd RCT arrives in bivouac area near Grosseto, Italy.

FDR signs the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944, the “GI Bill of Rights.”  It provides for major benefits for veterans, including health, medical, training and education.


June 26, 1944

U.S. Army captures the major port town of Cherbourg, France.

The 442nd RCT fights in its first engagement near Suvereto, Italy.  It soon takes the town of Belvedere.  For this engagement, it earns a Distinguished Unit Citation.  Private First Class Kiyoshi K. Muranaga is killed.  He receives the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously.  Total enemy casualties are 178 killed, 20 known wounded, 86 captured.


June 27-28, 1944

The 100th Infantry Battalion and 3rd Battalion 442nd RCT engage enemy in Sassetta, Italy, ten kilometers north of Belvedere.  3rd Battalion clears town of Castagneto.


June 30, 1944

The Jerome, Arkansas, detention camp is closed.  Its remaining prisoners are sent to other camps.


July 1944

Legal case officially challenging the exclusion order is filed in court by the widow of a Nisei sergeant of the 100th Infantry Battalion who was killed in combat.


July 1, 1944

President Roosevelt signs Public Law 78-405, which allows U.S. citizens to renounce their citizenship in time of war.


July 1-22, 1944

44 nations participate in the United Nations Monetary and Finance Conference at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.  It is to plan the postwar economic recovery.


July 2, 1944

One million Allied troops have landed in Normandy.  The Western Front is successfully opened against Germany.


July 3, 1944

Soviet Army captures Minsk.

2nd Battalion 442nd RCT takes Italian town of Molino a Ventoabbto, and two strategic hilltop positions.

The new commander of the Western Defense Command, General C. H. Bonesteel, declares, “My study of the existing situation leads me to a belief that the great improvement in the military situation on the West Coast indicates that there is no longer a military necessity for the mass exclusion of the Japanese from the West Coast as a whole.”


July 4-7, 1944

100th/442nd RCT engages enemy in fierce fighting near the Italian town of Rosignano Marittimo and Hill 140.  The following Nisei distinguish themselves during this action: Private First Class Frank K. Ono, Private First Class William K. Nakamura (KIA), Staff Sergeant George S. Ida, Staff Sergeant Kazuo Masuda (Co. F), Distinguished Service Cross, Technical Sergeant Ted T. Tanouye (Co. K), Distinguished Service Cross


July 7, 1944

Last of German resistance in Hill 140.  100th Infantry Battalion attacks enemy position in town of Castellina with 3rd Battalion in support.  For heroism during assault, Private First Class Kaoru Moto is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.


July 8, 1944

MIS Technical Sergeant Hoichi “Bob” Kubo learns of a planned Japanese suicide attack on night of July 8, 1944.  He tells the commander of the 27th Division and the attack is repulsed, resulting in a U.S. Army victory.  Later, Kubo convinces 120 Japanese civilians and soldiers to surrender, thus saving their lives.  He receives the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation’s second highest military award.  Kubo is the only Nisei MIS to receive this award.

Lieutenant Alfred A. Pursall takes command of the 3rd Battalion 442nd RCT.


July 9, 1944

Saipan falls to the U.S. Marines and soldiers.  More than 3,100 are killed, 13,400 wounded.  27,000 Japanese soldiers and civilians are killed.

100/442nd RCT fighting near Italian town of Pomaia. 100th Infantry Battalion and 3rd Battalion 442nd RCT lead assault on German positions.  A, B, I and L companies spearhead the attack.  Private First Class Kiich Koda, A Company (KIA), distinguishes himself during the battle.


July 10-12, 1944

100/442nd RCT heavy fighting near Italian town of Pastina. Sergeant Togo S. Sugiyama, leader of the H Company Machine Gun Squad (KIA), receives Distinguished Service Cross for this action.


July 11, 1944

Soviet Army enters Latvia.

FDR declares he will seek re-election in unprecedented fourth term as President.


July 13, 1944

Soviet Army takes Vilna, Lithuania.

100/442nd RCT overruns Italian town of San Luce.


July 14, 1944

100/442nd RCT liberates Italian town of Pieve di San Luce.  3rd Battalion in fierce fighting on the outskirts of Lorenzano.

The Anti-Tank Company of the 442nd RCT is assigned to Allied forces Headquarters, and to the Seventh Army.  It is later attached to the First Airborne Task Force.


July 15, 1944

100th Infantry ordered to town of Orciano, Italy, to defend 34th Division left position.  Company A engages enemy in firefight.  2nd Battalion 442nd RCT captures two hills with fire support from Cannon Company.  Staff Sergeant Kazuo Otani, of G Company, receives Distinguished Service Cross.  He is killed during the action.


July 16-17, 1944

100/442nd RCT attacks strategic hilltop town of Luciana, Italy, overlooking port of Leghorn.  3rd Battalion, K, L, and M Companies, led by Lieutenant Colonel Purcell, leads assault, supported by Cannon Company and 232nd Engineers clearing land mines.  Private First Class Harry F. Madokono, of K Company, later killed in action, receives the Distinguished Service Cross for heroism during fight.  Luciana is captured by dusk of July 17.


July 18, 1944

John J. McCloy, in a meeting with the Justice Department, questions the original decision by the Western Defense Command to evacuate Japanese Americans from the West Coast.


July 18-19, 1944

Japanese American troops of the 100th/442nd capture the strategic Italian port city of Leghorn.  The capture of Leghorn allows Allies to land troops and supplies.  100th Infantry Battalion occupies Leghorn, with Fifth Army Intelligence Unit.  They guard key installations.  3rd Battalion 442nd RCT captures Italian town of Collesalvetti.


July 19-21, 1944

FDR is nominated for a fourth term as President.  Senator Harry S. Truman is nominated for Vice President.


July 20, 1944

British and Canadian Forces capture Caen, France.

Plot by German officers to assassinate Hitler at his field headquarters fails.


July 21, 1944

U.S. Forces land on Guam, in the Mariana Islands.


July 21-22, 1944

Two patrols from 2nd Battalion 442nd RCT enter Southern outskirts of Pisa, Italy.  442nd RCT moves to Vada, Italy.


July 23, 1944

Soviet Army takes Lublin, Poland.


July 24, 1944

U.S. Forces land on Island of Tinian.  It is 1,000 miles from Japan’s main island, Honshu.  Extensive U.S. bombing raids are carried out from the Island, including the atomic bomb missions in August 1945.


July 26-31, 1944

FDR, General MacArthur, Admiral King, Admiral Nimitz and Admiral Halsey meet at Pearl Harbor in Hawai’i to plan strategy for the Pacific War.


July 27, 1944

Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, Commander of the Fifth U.S. Army, awards 100th Infantry Battalion with Presidential Unit Citation for its action in the Battle of Belvedere, Italy.  He commends 442nd RCT for its important role in the capture of Leghorn.


July 28, 1944

King George of England reviews 100/442 in a ceremony at Cecina, Italy.


July 30, 1944

General Omar Bradley’s First Army captures Auranches.


August 1944

U.S. Army advances on Brittany, France, liberating Rennes, Dinan, and Mortain.

German Army in Italy retreats north to its defensive position (Gothic Line).

Red Army launches major offensive into Romania.

Pacific Military Intelligence Research Section (PAMIRS) is created at Camp Ritchie, Maryland.  Its purpose is to analyze captured enemy documents for strategic war planning.  MIS Nisei are assigned to this unit.


August 1, 1944

Warsaw Uprising against Germans begins by the Polish Home Army.  The Battle for the Polish capital lasts two months.

General George Patton assumes command of the Third Army in France.

Japanese fighting on Tinian, in the Marianas, ceases.  9,000 Japanese have been killed.


August 2, 1944

During a mine training demonstration, nine soldiers are killed in an accidental explosion.  Two are 232nd Engineers and one is from M Company, 442nd RCT.


August 3, 1944

The Japanese Army withdraws and Myitkyina, in Burma, is re-captured by the Allies.


August 8, 1944

General Bonesteel recommends to Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall to end the mass exclusion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.  He recommends this action despite anticipated opposition from groups on the West Coast.


August 10, 1944

Japanese army on Guam ceases fighting.  The Marianas Campaign ends.  More than 10,000 Japanese and 1,744 Americans are killed.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team is reorganized and receives a new Table of Organization and Equipment (TOE).


August 11, 1944

Japanese army withdraws from India.


August 12, 1944

Florence, Italy, captured by British Army.  German troops retreat to Gothic Line.


August 13-20, 1944

Battle of the Falaise Pocket.  10,000 Germans are killed, 50,000 taken prisoner during major retreat.


August 15, 1944

Successful Allied landing on French Riviera between Cannes and Hyères (Operation Dragoon).  They are American, British, Canadian and Free French troops of the Seventh Army.

The Antitank Company of the 442nd RCT takes part in the airborne invasion of Southern France in Operation Dragoon.  The Antitank Company rejoins the 442nd on October 24, 1944.

100/442nd RCT is detached from the 34th Infantry Division.  The 100th Infantry Battalion is assigned to the IV Corps, and the 2nd and 3rd Battalions are assigned to the II Corps and 85th Infantry Division.


August 16, 1944

The 442nd RCT is moved to Castelfiorentino, Italy.  The 100th Infantry Battalion is moved to the Arno River line, near Pisa.


August 17, 1944

The 442nd RCT is attached to the 88th Infantry Division.


August 19, 1944

442nd RCT is moved to the assembly area at Giogli, Italy.  The 100th Infantry Battalion is attacked by enemy forces.  Private Masato Naka is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in this action.


August 20, 1944

442nd RCT is sent to relieve elements of the British XIII Corps on the Arno River, west of Florence, Italy.  Its assignment is to actively patrol along the front lines.


August 21, 1944

Dumbarton Oaks International Peace and Security Conferences begins in Washington, DC.  The U.S., UK, China and the Soviet Union meet to plan the creation of what will be called the United Nations.


August 22, 1944

Red Army enters Romania.


August 23, 1944

Captain Robert C. Hempstead, of M Company, leads patrol of M and L Companies, supported by Cannon Company.  The patrol is ambushed.  In an attempt to relieve his men, he is killed.  Hempstead is posthumously awarded the Silver Star.  Three Nisei are wounded.  Lieutenant Ralph Potter is wounded and taken prisoner.


August 25, 1944

Paris is liberated by the American Third Army and the 2nd French Armored Division of the Free French Forces.


August 28, 1944

A and K Company 442nd RCT patrol along the Arno River captures four German prisoners of the 71st Panzer Grenadier Regiment.


August 29, 1944

Combined E and G Company, 442 RCT, patrols capture five German soldiers.  It is learned that the German Army is withdrawing its forces to the strategic defensive area known as the Gothic Line.


August 31, 1944

U.S. Fifth Army in Italy gives order to cross the Arno River to establish invasion bridgehead.


Fall 1944

Fifth class of the Military Intelligence Language School at Fort Snelling, Minnesota.  By this time, it has trained and graduated 1,600 enlisted men, 142 officer candidates, and 53 commissioned officers.


September 1944

Allied armies retake and liberate most of France.  Allies enter and begin liberation of Belgium and Holland.

Beginning of the Battle of the Huertgen Forest, near Aachen, Germany.

U.S. forces close in on the Philippines.

Soviet army enters Bulgaria and Hungary.

Advanced ATIS (Allied Translator Intelligence Section) is established in Hollandia, New Guinea.

U.S. War Department allows non-citizen Japanese to volunteer for Army service.


September 1, 1944

Fortified patrols of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 442nd RCT, cross the Arno River, establishing a bridgehead.  Company F crosses river and occupies town of Peretola on the left.  Company K occupies the town of San Mauro.

Companies A and C, 100th Infantry Battalion, crosses the Arno River near Pisa.


September 2, 1944

U.S. Naval task force bombs and shells Japanese on Wake Island.  Wake will be bypassed.

Second and Third Battalions, 442nd RCT, send out patrols on north shore of the Arno River.


September 2-5, 1944

K Company, 442nd RCT, remains in position on north shore of the Arno River to protect Allied crossings.


September 5, 1944

USSR declares war on Bulgaria, and it accepts armistice on September 8.


September 6, 1944

442nd RCT is detached from the 88th Infantry Division and moved south to Castiglioncello, where it is reunited with the 100th Infantry Battalion.


September 6-8, 1944

U.S. Naval force attacks targets on islands of Yap, Ulithi and the Palau, in the Caroline Islands.


September 8, 1944

Germany launches first V-2 (Vengeance) rocket.


September 10, 1944

100/442 embarks from the Port of Piombino for Naples, Italy.


September 11, 1944

100/442 RCT arrives in Naples.  It is detached from the Fifth to the Seventh Army.


September 12, 1944

U.S. Army enters Germany.

Romania signs armistice agreement with the Allies.

Roosevelt, Churchill and Canadian Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King convene a conference in Quebec to discuss postwar Germany.

The 100th/442nd is assigned to the Seventh U.S. Army and sails to France.  They participate in the invasion of Southern France as part of the “Anvil” campaign.  They are attached to the 36th Infantry Division.


September 14, 1944

U.S. Army takes Aachen, Germany.


September 15, 1944

First Marine Division lands on Peleliu in the Palau Islands in the Carolines.  They secure the airfield by nightfall.  Japanese resistance is intense and there are terrible casualties on both sides.

U.S. forces land on Morotai in the eastern part of the Dutch East Indies.  There is little resistance by Japanese defenders.


September 17, 1944

Allied Armies launch Operation Market-Garden to capture strategic bridge into Germany over the Rhine River at Arnhem, Belgium.

U.S. Forces abandon air base at Kweilin.


September 18, 1944

672 Nisei 100th/442nd RCT replacements from the mainland arrive in Naples.  They are assigned to companies.


September 19, 1944

Finland signs armistice with the USSR.


September 23, 1944

U.S. Army lands on Ulithi Atoll in the Carolines.  It will serve as a forward naval base.


September 27, 1944

100th/442nd board Navy transport ships, Thurston, Dickman, Chase, Henrico, bound for Marseille, France.


September 28, 1944

Admiral E. J. King, commander-in-chief, United States Fleet, states “the military situation no longer justifies the main exclusion of persons of Japanese ancestry from the Western Defense Command.”


September 30, 1944

100th/442nd land and disembark in Marseille port.  They are attached to the 7th U.S. Army.

Peleliu is almost fully captured by the 1st Marine Division. 10,600 Japanese and 1,252 Americans are killed in extremely heavy fighting.


October 1944

Prejudice: Japanese Americans: Symbol of Racial Intolerance is published by Carey McWilliams.

War Department allows alien civilians to be employed by the U.S. Army.


October 1, 1944

German Army puts down Warsaw Uprising.  After 63 days of fighting, 15,000 insurgents and 250,000 Polish civilians are killed.  In retaliation, the Germans destroyed 80% of Warsaw.

100th/442nd move by train to staging area of Septèmes, 10 miles outside of Marseille.  They receive new machine guns, mortars, etc.


October 1-11, 1944

100th/442nd are moved by truck into assembly area of Charmois-devant-Bruyères.  They are attached to VI Corps, 36th Division, commanded by Major General John E. Dahlquist.


October 2, 1944

Major Allied offensive against Mandalay, in Burma, is launched.  It is commanded by Lord Louis Mountbatten.


October 3, 1944

British Army lands in Greece.


October 5, 1944

Final Japanese resistance is ended in the Palau Islands.  5,336 Americans have been killed, 1,707 wounded. 


October 7-14, 1944

U.S. carrier force enters Japanese sea frontier.


October 9, 1944

U.S. carrier planes attack Japanese installations in the Ryukyu Islands.


October 10, 1944

British Army and Greek partisans enter Corinth.


October 10-15, 1944

U.S. Navy conducts a major, five-day air campaign against the Island of Formosa.  More than 200 Japanese planes are destroyed.


October 11, 1944

Soviet Army enters Eastern Germany.


October 13, 1944

3rd Battalion 442nd RCT arrives in Charmois-devant-Bruyères at midnight.


October 14, 1944

British Army and Greeks liberate Athens.

Germans depose Hungarian regent Admiral Miklós Horthy.

100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team moves into position to attack and capture the French town of Bruyères.  Bruyères is an important train and road center.  The town is located in a valley surrounded by hills and densely wooded forest.  The weather is cold, foggy, with penetrating rain.


October 15, 1944

The 100th/442nd begins its Vosges Mountains campaign in Southern France.  The objective is to capture the town of Bruyères.

First day of battle for 100/442 in campaign for the town of Bruyères.  100th Infantry and 2nd Battalion lead the attack and are involved in fierce fire fights.  The 232 Combat Engineers clear mines and open roads.  The Engineers sustain several casualties during the action.  Germans effectively use mortars and military to defend their positions.  They fire into the forest, producing tree bursts that rain shrapnel onto Nisei troops.  Trenches are not effective for protection unless they are covered.  Company A, 100th Infantry Battalion, sustains 1 killed and 19 wounded during mortar barrage.  Prisoners from the German 19th SS Police Regiment and the 223 Grenadier Regiment are captured.


October 16, 1944

Second day of fighting for the capture of Bruyères.  Heavy German resistance continues.  E and F Companies occupy Hill 555, and attempt to attack Hill “B.”  A and C Companies begin attack of Hill “A.”  Heavy enemy artillery fire from German slow advance.  522nd Field Artillery provides cover, firing hundreds of rounds from their 105 Howitzers.  Lieutenant Susumo Ito, of C Battery, is the forward observer.  It halts the German assault.


October 17, 1944

E and F Companies, 442nd RCT, under heavy attack defending Hill 555 in Bruyères.  Germans occupy forward slopes of Hills “A” and “B,” supported by tanks and artillery.  Heavy “hand to hand,” point blank fighting in forest.  Nisei troops beat back German attacks, taking heavy losses.

Lt. Masanao Otake, of C Company, 100th Infantry Battalion, leading a reconnaissance patrol near Hill “A,” fends off heavy attack.  He is killed by enemy fire.  Otake is posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

The German 736th Grenadier Regiment, along with the Fortress Machine Gun Battalion 49, are principle units defending Bruyères.


October 18, 1944

Third Battalion moves into position to attack Bruyères.  Attack by 100/442 is launched at 1000.  Companies A, B, and C secure Hill “A” in four hours of fierce fighting.  Companies F and G knock out German defensive line at the base of Hill “B.”  Company fights up southern slope of Hill “B.”  Hill “B” is secured in the afternoon, after six hours of continuous fighting.  Soon, L Company moves into Bruyères, going house to house to secure town.  By 1830, Bruyères is captured.  One hundred thirty four German prisoners are captured.


October 19, 1944

2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 442nd RCT attack and capture Hill “D,” east of Bruyères, at 1000.  By 1800, 442nd attacks railroad embankment east of Bruyères near Forêt de Belmont.  The 2nd and 3rd Battalions form a salient 2,000 yards into German territory.  Hill “C” is occupied by German forces.


October 20, 1944

General Douglas MacArthur returns to the Philippines with invasion of the Island of Leyte, Philippine Islands.  There are 22,000 Japanese soldiers defending the island.

36th Division commander General Dalquist orders 100th to assault German positions east of Bruyères at 1200.  It takes five hours to take the position.  German forces had re-occupied Hill “D” during previous night.  They attack rear elements of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 442nd.  Companies F, H, and L are ordered to counterattack.  Technical Sergeant Abraham Ohama, of F Company, is killed.  The 442nd then takes the enemy position, killing 50 German soldiers. 

Staff Sergeant Robert H. Kuroda, of Company H, leads an attack in which he is killed.  For heroism, he is posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.


October 21, 1944

Major Emmet L. O’Connor, executive officer, 3rd Battalion, 442nd RCT, takes command of a task force made up of reserve companies of the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, F Company and L Company.  The successfully neutralize enemy forces on heavily defended Hill 505.  Eighty Germans are killed, and 54 prisoners are taken, along with their equipment.  Task force O’Connor is later awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation.

The 100th Infantry Battalion captures the hills on the high ground of Belmont-Biffontaine.


October 22, 1944

All three of the companies of the 3rd Battalion, 442nd RCT, as well as the 100th Infantry Battalion, attack German positions.  German forces of one hundred men attack Companies E and F on Hill 703, and are repulsed.


October 23, 1944

36th Division Commander orders town of Biffontaine to be taken.  At 1000, Company G leads attack, supported by Company A.  Company C captures several houses in town.  At 1300 hours, C Company effectively captures and occupies most of Biffontaine.  Twenty-three German prisoners are captured.  Germans capture litter train of 100th and 442nd medics.  232nd and 111th Engineers clear Belmont-Biffontaine Road.


October 23-25, 1944

Major Allied victory in the naval battle of Leyte Gulf.  It is the last major naval battle in World War II.  Japan loses four carriers, two battleships, nine cruisers and nine destroyers.  This marks the end of Japanese naval power in the Pacific.


October 24, 1944

Martial Law ends in Hawai’i with Presidential Proclamation No. 2627.  Hawai’i is designated as a “military area.”

2nd Battalion, 442nd RCT, is sent into reserve in Belmont.  3rd Battalion, 442nd RCT, is relieved by 141st and 143rd Infantry Regiments of the 36th Division.  Fighting had been constant for eight almost continuous days.


October 25, 1944

141st Infantry, 36th Division, is being counterattacked.  2nd Battalion, 442nd RCT, is put on alert for action the next day.


October 26, 1944

At 0300-0400, the 100th Infantry Battalion and 3rd Battalion of the 442nd RCT are moved out to relieve the 3rd Battalion of the 141st Infantry on the left flank of the 36th Division.  It is surrounded by German forces three miles behind enemy lines.  It is dubbed the “Lost Battalion.”


October 27, 1944

The 100th/442nd begins the campaign to rescue a battalion of the 141st Infantry of the 36th Division that has been trapped by the German Army in the Vosges forest in France.  It becomes known as the “Lost Battalion.”  It takes four fierce and bloody days of fighting to rescue the Lost Battalion.

The 100th Infantry Battalion and the 3rd Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, move out at 0400.  It is pitch black with no visibility.  The 3rd Battalion has Company D, 752nd Tank Battalion and Company C, 3rd Chemical Weapons Battalion with 4.2 mortars.  The 100th are supported by Company B, 752nd Tank Battalion, Company D, 83rd Chemical Weapons Battalion, and Company C, 636th Tank Destroyer Battalion.  The 522nd Field Artillery Battalion and the 133rd Field Artillery provide fire support.  Lieutenant Susumo Ito is forward observer of the 522nd.

At 1400, all three Battalions of the 100/442 are on the line in abreast formation and begin attack.  At 1530, I and K Companies lead the attack and meet heavy German counterattacks.  K Company is attacked by a tank and halftrack, threatening their position.  They are knocked out by Private First Class Matsuichi Yogi (nicknamed “Pops”) with his bazooka. He is killed in action and is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.  This is later depicted in a famous painting that remains on display in the Pentagon.  The German attack against the 3rd Battalion is temporarily broken.

From the fighting to liberate Bruyères to the Rescue of the Lost Battalion, the 442nd has suffered nearly 50% casualties.  The casualty list is 2,000, of whom 140 have been killed in action.


October 28, 1944

General Stilwell, Commander of the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater, is recalled by President Roosevelt.  He is replaced by Lieutenant General Albert C. Wedemeyer.

Companies B and C, 100th Infantry Battalion, renew their advance following a German retreat.  A German artillery and mortar barrage kills or wounds 20 Nisei.  K and I Companies continue advance, but are temporarily halted by German fortified roadblocks.  Staff Sergeant Gordon Yamashiro, leading a squad, takes out several German machine gun positions, opening up a gap in enemy positions.  He is killed during the action and posthumously receives the Distinguished Service Cross.

The 100th and 3rd Battalion advances 500 yards and captures 70 German soldiers.  Companies G, E, and F, of the 2nd Battalion, on the left flank, attack Hill 617.  They neutralize several German positions.  They capture 20 German soldiers.  The opposing German units are the 933rd Regiment, 338th Infantry Division and the 198th “Fusilier” Battalion.  Plane and artillery drop supplies to the “Lost Battalion.”  General Dalquist orders the 100/442 to retrieve the “Lost Battalion” at any cost.


October 29, 1944

The 100th Infantry Battalion and the 3rd Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team attack at daylight and advance on strong German positions.  They move along heavily mined, narrow paths.  The area is heavily forested, so artillery supporting fire is very difficult.  Colonel Alfred Pursall, Commander, 3rd Battalion, orders a flank attack up steep terrain.  K Company takes heavy losses in assaults.  The first two assaults are repulsed.  The third attack, led by I and K Company, is successful.  They suffer high casualties.  Staff Sergeant Barney F. Hajiro, of I Company, Staff Sergeant Fujio Miyamoto, of K Company, and Private First Class Jim Y. Tazoi receive the Distinguished Service Cross.

The 2nd Battalion, led by 2 Platoon of G Company, leads assault on Hill 617.  Companies F and E capture the hill’s crest, capturing and killing numerous Germans.  By 1500, the hill is secure.  Staff Sergeant Tsuneo Takemura, a leader of E Company, is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.  By this time, the 100/442 is at half of its original strength.  The “Lost Battalion” is now within 750 yards of the 100/442 position.


October 30, 1944

Companies I and K, 442nd, lead final assault for the relief of the “Lost Battalion.”  At 140-0, Company I patrol breaks through to the outer defenses of the besieged unit.  By 1600, the 100/442 have created a defensive position around the hilltop.  The 100th and 3rd Battalion, 442nd, receive Distinguished Unit Citation.  K Company is down to 17 men and I Company only 8.  The 3rd Battalion completed the original mission of the 141st Infantry in capturing a German position.

The 2nd Battalion, 442nd RCT occupies and protects Hill 617, which protects the 36th and 3rd Division’s positions.


October 31, 1944

The 100th and 3rd Battalion, 442nd RCT, attack German defensive position.  Company I captures eight prisoners.  The 100th then secures and occupies position.  by night, the mission is complete.  This is the last organized German resistance.


November 1944

First graduation of MISLS school in Fort Snelling, Minnesota.  This is the ninth class of linguists to graduate. 382 Nisi are successfully trained.

51 women’s Army Corps (WAC) are sent to the Language School to begin training in written language translation.  47 are Nisei.


November 1-3, 1944

The 100th/442nd maintain and hold defensive positions at the front.


November 3,1944

Germans attempt small action to break 3rd Battalion, 442nd defensive line.  Companies I and L repulse attack.


November 4, 1944

The Hood River, Oregon, American Legion Post No. 22 passes a resolution against Japanese Americans.  It seeks to prevent sale or lease of their property.  They print and distribute a pamphlet, “A Statement on the Japanese.”  It is full of hateful rhetoric.


November 5, 1944

U.S. Forces bomb Singapore.

At 0800, General Dalquist, Commander, 36th Division, orders 100/442 into action.  They encounter heavy German resistance, including artillery shelling and mortar fire.  They advance a short distance with heavy casualties.


November 6, 1944

The 100th/442nd RCT continues attack on German defensive positions, supported by the 752nd Tank Battalion, 232nd Combat Engineers of the 442nd RCT.  They relieve the 100th in their defensive position.


November 7, 1944

FDR is elected to an unprecedented fourth term as President of the United States.

At 0930, the 3rd Battalion, 442nd RCT, with G Company attached, attack German positions.  By night, the 442nd secure the hill.  G Company Private First Class Joe M. Nishimura, Acting Squad Leader, leads assault and receives the Distinguished Service Cross.  He is later killed in action.


November 7-8, 1944

Most companies of the 100/442 are down to fewer than 30 men.  Many of these have trench foot and the flu from continuous fighting in the rain and cold.  They engage in sporadic fighting enduring heavy bombardment from enemy artillery and mortar fire.  The 232nd Engineers continue to repair roads under sometimes heavy fire.  The 232nd later receives the Distinguished Unit Citation for actions in Southern France.


November 9, 1944

The 100th/442nd RCT is relieved and pulled back to the rear for much needed rest.  The German enemy lines are now completely decimated.  The road to the Rhine in Germany is open.  The Nisei have lost 140 men killed in action and 1,800 wounded in 25 days of almost-continuous combat.


November 10, 1944

At President Roosevelt’s first cabinet meeting after the presidential election, the decision to lift the order excluding Japanese Americans from the West Coast is made.


November 11, 1944

Major General John Dalquist, Commander, 36th Division, calls for a ceremony to commend the 100/442 for effecting the successful rescue of the “Lost Battalion” of the 141st Regiment.  Due to heavy casualties, the 100/442 is at less than half strength.  Dalquist comments to 442 Commander Colonel Virgil Miller, “Where is the rest of the Regiment?”  Colonel Miller replies, “Sir, this is all I have left!”


November 13, 1944

The 2nd Battalion, 442nd RCT, is returned to the front lines.  The 3rd Battalion is placed in reserve.  The regiment stays on the lines patrolling until November 17.


November 15, 1944

German army begins withdrawal from France.  They burn and destroy the French cities of San Die and Corcieux.


November 17, 1944

The 100/442nd RCT is detached from the 36th Division and sent to Nice, on the French Riviera.  General Dalquist issues letter of commendation to the regiment.


November 18, 1944

Three hundred eighty-two replacements are sent to the 442nd RCT.  Many of them are volunteers from the detention camps on the mainland.


November 19, 1944

The British Fourteenth Army, under General William Slim, launches major offensive called Operation Extended Capital.

The 442nd RCT is loaded onto trucks for transport to Nice.  They travel through Dijon, Valence, Montel mar, Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, Cannes, and to Nice.


November 21, 1944

In a press conference, President Roosevelt is asked about the wisdom of allowing Japanese Americans to return to the West Coast.  He cites the record of the Japanese American soldier, stating:  “And, of course we are actuated by the—in part by the very wonderful record that the Japanese in that battalion in Italy have been making in the war. It is one of the outstanding battalions we have.”


November 23, 1944

The 3rd Battalion, 442nd RCT, relieves the 19th Armored Infantry Battalion in the town of Sospel, on the Italian border.  They occupy positions high in the mountains.  Army pack mules are needed to supply the lines.


November 24, 1944

U.S. Army Air Corps bombs Tokyo, Japan, from bases on Saipan and the Marianas.  It is the first long-range bombing mission against Tokyo.

Major General J. A. Ulio flies into Hood River, Oregon, to confront town on its treatment of returning Nikkei.  He declares, “Here we are fighting a war for our lives and you’re telling a citizen that they can’t buy groceries in your town!”  He threatens to put Hood River under martial law.


November 25, 1944

Last fighting on the island of Peleliu.

Near Luzon, Japanese kamikaze severely damage four U.S. aircraft carriers.  They are USS Intrepid, USS Essex, USS Cabot, and USS Hancock.


November 28, 1944

G Company is sent into the hilltop line position.  The 100th takes up position in the coastal town of Menton.  Elements of the 442nd RCT are sent to L’Escarene as a mobile reserve force.  The mission of the regiment is to guard the right flank of the Sixth Army Group on the Southern Coast of France.


November 29, 1944

Hood River American Legion Post No. 22 removes the names of 16 Nisei soldiers serving in the Army from a memorial plaque located prominently on a building on Second and Oak Streets.  The names removed are: George Akiyama, Masaaki Asai, Taro Asai, Noboru Hamada, Kenjiro Hayakawa, Shige Shigenobu Imai, Fred Mitsuo Kinoshita, George Kinoshita, Sagie Nishioka, Mamoru Noji, Henry K. Norimatsu, Katsumi Sato, Harry Osamu Takagi, Eichi Wakamatsu, Johnny Y. Wakamatsu, and Bill Shyuichi Yamaki.


November 30, 1944

Numerous national newspapers write editorials criticizing the Hood River American Legion post for its actions against Japanese Americans serving in the military.  These papers include the New York Herald Tribune, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the New York Times, the Detroit Free Press, and others.


Late November, 1944, to Mid-March 1945

The 100/442nd RCT is assigned to guard French Maritime Alps on the Franco-Italian border.  There is relatively little fighting in the area and the Niseis call this the “Champagne Campaign.” They tour the area and experience night life in both Nice and Cannes.


December 1944

Allied commanders form the 533rd Brigade, called MARS Task Force, in Burma.  They capture strategic areas, helping to secure the important Allied supply line along the southern end of the Burma Road.

The Japanese Ichi-Go campaign in China is ended after a failed attempt to capture Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou Province.


December 1, 1944

The 2nd Battalion, 442nd RCT, relieves the 68th Armored Division near Peira Cava.  All three battalions are now on the lines, over an area of 18 miles.


December 4, 1944

The British Fourteenth Army, under General Slim, establishes major bridgeheads on the Chindwin River in Burma.


December 7, 1944

U.S. 7th and 77th Divisions make amphibious landing on west coast of Leyte.


December 8, 1944

U.S. Army Air Corps begins intensive 72-day bombing campaign against Iwo Jima, in preparation for a mid-February invasion.


December 13, 1944

Secretary of War Stimson tells President Roosevelt that continued mass exclusion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast has an adverse effect on morale of Japanese American soldiers.


December 15, 1944

The U.S. 24th Division lands on Mindoro in the Philippines.

U.S. carrier aircraft destroy 225 Japanese planes in Luzon.

U.S. forces, under General Stilwell, and British forces, under General Slim, link up at Banmauk, Burma.  The armies then advance south toward Mandalay.


December 16, 1944

Douglas MacArthur is promoted to five-star general.


December 16-26, 1944

The Ardennes Campaign Battle of the Bulge, Belgium.  Hitler’s last major counteroffensive in the West is turned back.  The Allied forces are the U.S. First Army, U. S. Third Army under General Bradley, and British XXX Corps, commanded by Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.


December 17, 1944

The War Department announces the revocation of Executive Order 9066, to be effective on January 2, 1945.  It is Public Proclamation Number 21.  It specifies that the internment camps will be closed within a year.


December 18, 1944

Japanese Forces begin retreat from Burma.

War Relocation Authority announces that all internment camps will be closed by the end of 1945.  However, the WRA will not be ended until June 30, 1946.

Major General Henry C. Pratt, now in charge of the Western Defense Command, writes: “The first reactions to the change in policy with reference to control of Japanese Americans has been more favorable than I hoped.”


December 19, 1944

Admiral Chester Nimitz is promoted to Fleet Admiral of the U.S. Navy.

The Anti-Tank Company, 442nd RCT, captures a German mini, one-man submarine in the water off of Menton.  It is pulled ashore and turned over to the Navy.


December 21, 1944

The 2nd Battalion, 442nd RCT, relieves the 3rd Battalion near Sospel.  It is sent to L’Escarene.


December 25, 1944

Major organized fighting of Japanese forces on Leyte ends, with 70,000 Japanese and 15,584 U.S. casualties.

The 100/442nd gives Christmas party for French children, complete with many presents.


December 26, 1944

4th Armored Division of Patton’s Third Army breaks siege of Bastogne.


January 1945

Soviet Army advances on Berlin.

U.S. forces, commanded by General Douglas MacArthur, land on Luzon, Philippines.

Japanese increase Kamikaze attacks on U.S. Naval Forces.

The War Relocation Authority reports that many Issei are fearful of returning to the West Coast because of a possible hostile reception due to racist attitudes.  By this date, only one in every six Issei have left the camps.  Issei face the prospect of having to start their lives over.  Most have lost their businesses, homes and property.  Only 25% of Issei farmers and growers have been able to retain their property.  Many returning Issei testify that their possessions have been lost or stolen.  Other returning Japanese Americans report it difficult to find a place to live due to discrimination.

Mayor Fletcher Bowron, of Los Angeles, announces Japanese Americans are welcome to return to the city, with all their rights guaranteed.  He makes a special trip to Union Station to greet one group of returnees.

The newly-elected governor of the State of Washington, Monrad Wallgren, objects to lifting the exclusion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.  Wallgren states that he is “extremely antagonistic toward the Japanese and… positive in his assertion that a mistake has been made, from the point of view of the war effort, in allowing any return and that this mistake should be remedied.”


January 1, 1945

German Army launches attack on the Red Army outside of Budapest.


January 8, 1945

The fruit packing shed of returning 442nd veteran Shig Doi is dynamited in Auburn, California.  As a result, the War Relocation Authority steps up its program to publicize the heroic role of the 442nd during the war.

Returning Japanese Americans also are generally harassed.  They find signs stating, “No Japs Allowed, No Japs Welcome.”


January 9, 1945

U.S. landing at Lingayen Gulf, Philippine Islands.  It starts the invasion of Luzon.  This is the biggest campaign for Americans in the Pacific.  The campaign ends on July 4, 1945.


January 10-20, 1945

War Relocation Authority (WRA) establishes field offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle to aid in the resettlement of Japanese Americans on the West Coast.


January 17, 1945

Soviet Army occupies Warsaw, Poland.


January 19, 1945

Soviet Army occupies Krakow, Poland.


January 20, 1945

FDR is inaugurated as President.


January 27, 1945

Soviet troops liberate the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.


January 28, 1945

Allied Armies reopen Burma Road (Ledo Road).


January 29-February 15, 1945

Campaign by General MacArthur’s forces to capture and secure the Bataan Peninsula.


February 3, 1945

U.S. Army liberates Japanese POW camp near Manila.


February 4-11, 1945

Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin meet in Yalta in the Crimea.  They discuss the postwar in Europe.


February 5-23, 1945

U.S. battle for Manila, the capital of the Philippines.  The city is nearly destroyed during the intense fighting.


February 13, 1945

Soviet Army occupies Budapest, Hungary.


February 13-14, 1945

U.S. Air Force firebombs Dresden, Germany.  It kills 25,000 to 30,000.


February 16, 1945

U.S. Forces land on Corregidor Island.  The island fortress is taken after 10 days of intense combat.


February 16-17, 1945

First major U.S. Navy bombing mission on Japan is launched from carriers.


February 19, 1945

U. S. Marines’ assault on Island of Iwo Jima.  The battle lasts 26 days.  It is one of the most intense battles in the Pacific.  5,563 Americans and 17,343 Japanese are killed.  Corporal Terry Doi distinguishes himself by successfully causing Japanese soldiers to surrender from numerous caves.  He receives the Silver Star.


February 23, 1945

Turkey enters war on the side of the Allies, declares war on Japan and Germany.


February 26, 1945

Island fortress of Corregidor is taken by U.S. Army.


March 1945

The 100th/442nd, at the request of Fifth Army Commander General Mark Clark, is requested to return to Italy. 


March 4, 1945

Fight for the liberation of Manila ends.  As many as 100,000 civilians have been killed.


March 7, 1945

U.S. Forces capture railroad bridge in Remagen, Germany, intact.  It is one of the few surviving bridges over the Rhine River.


March 9, 1945

First major air raid using low level bombing at night with incendiary bombs is carried out against Tokyo.  It creates a firestorm that destroys much of the city and kills between 80,000 and 130,000.  The 20th Air Force will target 60-70 industrial cities throughout Japan.

“The [522nd Field Artillery] Battalion moved out of the Maritime Alps section on 9 March [1945], turning its mission of direct support of the 100th Battalion over to the 68th AAA Gun Battalion, and moved back north into the Rhine Valley.  Distance covered from Menton, France to Ipplingen, Germany was 619 miles with bivouac halts being made at Antibes on 9 March, St. Rambert D’Albon on the 10th and Dijon on the 11th.  Upon arrival of the Battalion at the Saarland village of Ipplingen on 12 March, the 522nd became attached to the XXI Corps, and given the mission of reinforcing fires of the 861st Field Artillery Battalion of the 63rd (Blood and Fire) Infantry Division.  During the German campaign, the 522nd was to make 52 displacements from 12 March to the end of the war on 9 May 1945.”


March 12, 1945

Japanese city of Osaka is destroyed by a U.S. raid of 274 B-29 bombers.


March 12-21, 1945

522nd Field Artillery Battalion participates in 63rd Infantry Division assault of German Siegfried Line, south of St. Ingbert, Germany.


March 13, 1945

The 522nd FABN fires its first round on German soil.  It is attached to the 63rd Division until March 21, 1945.  During this period, it supports crossing of the German defensive Siegfried Line.


March 16, 1945

The 100/442nd RCT is replaced in their area by the 1st French Motorized Infantry Division.  The 522nd Field Artillery Battalion is transferred for detached service to the Seventh U.S. Army in its invasion of Germany


March 16-17, 1945

Kobe, Japan, is mostly destroyed by 307 B-29 bombers.  At least 15,000 are killed.


Mid-March 1945

Colonel Charles W. Pence, who was injured, is replaced by his Executive Officer, Virgil R. Miller.  Major Jack E. Conley takes command of the 100th Infantry Battalion.  Lieutenant Colonel James M. Hanley is appointed Executive Officer, Major Robert A. Gopel is appointed Commander of the 2nd Battalion.  Major Ivan F. Kovac becomes Regimental S-3 and Captain Orville C. Shirey becomes S-2.


March 17, 1945

U. S. Marines’ victory is nearly complete on Iwo Jima.  Twenty-seven Medals of Honor are awarded to Sailors and Marines.

Remagen Bridge over the Rhine collapses.


March 17-19, 1945

The 100/442/232 arrives at port of embarkation, Marseille, France. 


March 19-20, 1945

U.S. carrier aircraft attack Japanese fleet in the Inland Sea.  Two Japanese battleships, six aircraft carriers, three cruisers and four destroyers are heavily damaged.


March 20-21, 1945

British XXXIII Corps captures Mandalay, Burma.


March 20-22, 1945

The 100/442/232 is put on landing ship transport lists bound for Italy.


March 21, 1945

U.S. aircraft carrier Bismarck Sea is sunk by Japanese planes near Iwo Jima.


March 21-25, 1945

The 522nd FABN is attached to the XV Corps and the 45th Infantry Division Artillery, the “Thunderbird” Division.  It supports the Thunderbird’s crossing of the Rhine River near Worms, Germany.  During this period, the Battalion occupies positions in the German towns and cities of Homberg, Ripperterhof, Moerstadt, and Herrnsheim.


March 22-23, 1945

U.S. 5th Infantry Division crosses Rhine River, establishing a bridgehead near Mainz, Germany.


March 23, 1945

Campaign by British and U.S. Forces to capture Germany’s industrial Ruhr Area is launched.  It is the second largest Allied campaign in Western Europe after D-Day.  By April, seven Allied Armies have crossed into Germany.


March 23-24, 1945

U.S. begins heavy daily air and sea bombardment against Okinawa.


March 25, 1945

General Eisenhower orders Allied troops heading for Berlin to halt at the River Elbe, 50 miles to the West of the Germany capital.

The 100/442/232 arrive at the Peninsula Base Section staging area in Pisa, Italy.  They are assigned to Mark Clark’s 5th U.S. Army.  They are attached to the IV Corps, under Major General E. M. Almond, Commander of the all-African American 92nd “Buffalo” Division.


March 26, 1945

Final Japanese resistance on Iwo Jima ends.  The casualties are extremely heavy.  6,821 U.S. Marine and Navy personnel are killed and as many as 22,000 Japanese.

U.S. divisions land on the east coast of Cebu, Philippine Islands.


March 26-29, 1945

The 522nd FABN is attached to the 44th Infantry Division in artillery firing missions directly supporting the 156th Field Artillery Battalion.


March 27, 1945

Last German V-2 rocket lands on London.

522nd Field Artillery Battalion crosses the Rhine River in drive to capture Mannheim, Germany.


March 28, 1945

The 100/442/232 is moved to bivouac area of San Martino, near city of Lucca.  The movement is secret.


March 28- April 2, 1945

The 100/442/232 is re-equipped, and receives replacements from Hawai’i and the mainland.  They intensively train for combat assignment.  They are assigned to participate in attacking the western anchor of the defensive line known as the Gothic Line.


March 30-31, 1945

The 522nd FABN is attached to the 63rd Division and the XXI Corps.


Spring 1945

About 100 Nisei MIS men are trained for Counterintelligence Corps (CIC) operations in Japan.  They are assigned to the 441st CIC Detachment.  They are sent to prevent subversive activities against the U.S. occupation.


April 1, 1945

10th U.S. Army invades Island of Okinawa, of the Ryukus (Operation Iceberg).  Battle lasts until June 22, 1945.  200,000 servicemen participate in the campaign.

Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin asks his military commanders: “Well, now, who is going to take Berlin, will we or the Allies.”

522nd Field Artillery Battalion is assigned to support the 4th Cavalry Reconnaissance Troop in drive to cities of Aub and Hemmersheim, Germany.


April 3, 1945

General Mark Clark, who has asked for the 100/442 to be assigned to the upcoming Gothic Line campaign, inspects the 100th Infantry Battalion.

The 100/442 RCT commanding officers and staff go over tactical plans to attack section of the heavily fortified German defensive positions, at Mount Folgarito.  They decide to a daybreak attack on Mt. Folgarito fro the small Italian town of Azzano.  This plan is implemented with Nisei officers and senior NCOs.


April 4, 1945

The 100th Infantry Battalion moves up to position for attack on “Florida Hill.”  Cannon Company moves to Vallecchia with the 599th Field Artillery Battalion.  At 2200 hours, Companies I, L, and M begin an all-night, 8-hour climb of the steep cliffs of Mount Folgarito.  It is a dangerous clip and numerous men are injured.  The attack begins at 0600, just before dawn.  It is evident that it is a complete surprise.  Companies I and L capture German gun positions with virtually no fighting.  The fortress ridgeline is secure by 0730.

K Company and the Mortar Platoon of M Company attack Mt. Folgarito in the morning and suffer heavy casualties.

The 100th Battalion attacks “Georgia” peak from the north at 0500, encountering heavy resistance.  By 0520, the 100th had taken the “Georgia” position.  The strategic objective of capturing the Western anchor of the Gothic Line was accomplished in just 32 minutes.  Other Allied forces could not achieve this in more than five months.  In this action, Private First Class Henry Y. Arao, Company A, 100th Infantry Battalion, is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.  Private First Class Sadao S. Munemori, Company A, receives the Medal of Honor.

Headquarters 92nd Division issues official fact sheet on 442nd RCT.  It is distributed to organizational commanders.  It states, in part: “The 442d Combat Team was activated in February 1943.  The enlisted personnel was composed entirely of Americans of Japanese ancestry.  Having been born in the United States, all of the men are citizens of the United States.  Very few of them have ever been to Japan and most of them cannot speak Japanese.  They are as thoroughly loyal as German Americans, Italian Americans, or any other American of foreign ancestry.  A category, of course, into which all of us fall…  The men proved from the beginning to be willing, conscientious, loyal, and anxious to prove their devotion to their country…  In their personal characteristics the men are shy, self-effacing, extremely polite, and personally clean.  They are cheerful and anxious to do what is expected of them.  Orders are habitually carried out without question…  We must always treat the men just as we would treat any other group of American soldiers…  Two of their outstanding combat characteristics, it is believed are, first, that they will never leave a cut-off individual or unit, and, secondly, that they all get up and move forward at “zero hour.”  They do not like to be called “Japs” or “Jap Americans.”  They are either soldiers or Japanese Americans (without the hyphen) or Americans of Japanese ancestry; among themselves often “Buddaheads.”


April 5, 1945

Stalin sends message to General Eisenhower: “Berlin has lost its strategic importance.  The Soviet High Command therefore plans to allot secondary forces in the direction of Berlin.”  The statement is untrue.

The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff announce that General MacArthur is given command of the U.S. Army in the Pacific, and Admiral Nimitz all Navy units in the Pacific.

Japanese Prime Minister Kuniaki Koiso and his cabinet resign.  Admiral Suzuki Kantarō is appointed Prime Minister.

German forces counter-attack the Nisei offensive on Georgia Hill.  Twenty Nisei are killed and 123 wounded.

Battery A, 522nd FABN, is attached to the 116th Cavalry Squadron.


April 6, 1945

The 100th Infantry Battalion and 3rd Battalion, 442nd RCT, attack German positions on three “Ohio” peaks and Mount Cerretta.  The 3rd Battalion takes strategic ridge on Mt. Folgarito, and Company L, 442nd RCT, and Company L, 100th Infantry Battalion, on Mount Cerretta.

F Company takes Mt. Carchio at 1200 hours.  2nd Battalion attacks top of Mount Belvedere with stiff enemy resistance, but captures 106 enemy prisoners.

522nd FABN is directed to support the 101st Cavalry Group.


April 7, 1945

Battle of the East China Sea.  U.S. Naval aircraft sink the Japanese Battleship Yamato and its battle group.

Japanese forces on southern Okinawa begin heavy resistance against U.S. Army and Marines.

The 3rd Battalion, 442nd RCT eliminates enemy force attacking Mt. Folgarito on its left flank.  The 100th Infantry Battalion continues the fight.  Company F clears the peak of Mt. Carchio against the machine gun battalion Kesselring.

Technical Sergeant Yukio Okutsu eliminates three machine gun positions.  He receives the Distinguished Service Cross.

522nd FABN is placed in direct support of the 116th Cavalry Squadron.


April 8, 1945

The 3rd Battalion, 442nd RCT, moves its position down the Colle Piano ridgeline and occupies Montignoso, opening up Highway 1 to Massa, Italy, and clearing the regiment’s supply line.  G Company attacks Colle Tecchione on the West of Mt. Belvedere, on the edge of Massa.  At 1800 hours, F and E Companies move down Mt. Belvedere and advance on towns of Altagnana and Pariana.


April 8-14, 1945

The 522nd FABN is assigned to direct support of the 4th Reconnaissance Group. 


April 9, 1945

Soviet Army occupies Vienna, Austria.

42st Division of the U.S. Army makes successful amphibious landing on Jolo in the Sulu Archipelago, Philippines.

After numerous protests, the names of Nisei soldiers serving from Hood River, Oregon, are restored to its Roll of Honor Board.  Survey Midmonthly reports, “Democracy Won Another Round Against Racial Hatred.  Hood River News editorializes, “To Err is Human.”

2nd Platoon F Company and H Company machine guns engage Germans for town of Pariana, taking town at 1400 hours.

3rd Battalion, 442nd RCT, attacks toward the Frigido River line.  I and K Companies lead attack, supported by M Company mortars, arriving at the river by night.  The German defenses retreat beyond Carrara and Aulla. 


April 10, 1945

U.S. troops liberate Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany.

Japanese kamikaze attacks and bombing off Okinawa damage USS Missouri and carriers USS Enterprise, USS Essex and ten additional ships.

442nd RCT crosses the Frigido River and captures high positions around Carrara, Italy.  Company E captures Mt. Brugiana, which controls the city.  The 100th Battalion occupies Antona on the East.  Massa is occupied.


April 11, 1945

Company L, 442nd RCT, occupies town of Carrara, Italy.  Company K moves north into mountains, capturing Gragnana and Sorgnano with no fighting.  The 100th Infantry Battalion completes an eight hour advance to take the town of Colonnata.  The 232nd Combat Engineers clear Highway 1 from Massa to Carrara for regimental supplies. 


April 12, 1945

President Roosevelt dies in Warm Springs, Georgia.  Vice President Harry S. Truman is sworn in as 33rd President of the United States.

Continued kamikaze raids against U.S. Navy off of Okinawa.  Fifteen vessels are damaged, one destroyer is sunk.

2nd Battalion, 442nd RCT, prepares for attack of Mt. Pizzacuto, north of Carrara, Italy.


April 12-15, 1945

U.S. Naval aircraft bomb three Japanese air bases on Kyushu, in southern Japan.


April 13, 1945

With G Company leading, the 2nd Battalion, 442nd RCT, attacks Mt. Pizzacuto, passing through towns of Gragnana and Castelpoggio, Italy.  The 2nd and 3rd Battalions are heavily shelled by German artillery.


April 14, 1945

320 U.S. B-29s firebomb Tokyo.  6.3 square miles of the city is burned.

At daybreak, a German battalion attacks the 442nd RCT position in Castelpoggio, Italy.  Company B, 100th Infantry Battalion, and H Company mortars repulse the attack.  At 0800, Company G successfully advances against the German position on Mt. Pizzacuto.  F Company occupies the captured position.

The 522nd FABN is given the mission of support of the 42nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 4th Infantry Division.


April 15, 1945

Company G, 442nd RCT, leads assault on Fort Bastione, capturing it at 1300 hours.  F Company and a platoon of G Company capture Mt. Grugola.  C Company, 100th Infantry Battalion, and 232nd Combat Engineers encounter heavy fighting in the battle for Ortonovo until night.


April 15-21, 1945

The 522nd FABN occupies positions in the German towns of Ober Sheckenbach, Gattenhofen, Neusitz, Bockenfeld, Schafhof, Ober Wornitz, Steinbach, Ransack and Stimfach.


April 16, 1945

At 5:00 a.m., Stalin launches a major military campaign to capture the city of Berlin, the capital of Germany.  2.5 million Soviet troops, with 7,500 aircraft and 6,250 tanks will attack German forces.

U.S. Army lands on Carabao, Philippine Islands.  The Japanese have already left.

Hitler returns to Berlin for the last time.  He is forced to live in his fortified underground bunker.

Allies end strategic bombing of Germany.

100th Infantry Battalion continues fight for La Bandita Ridge.  2nd Battalion 442nd RCT occupies Carrara.  Company K captures Mt. Tommaggiora.  Company L moves northwest of Mt. Grugola.


April 16-17, 1945

U.S. forces from the XXIV Corps land on the Island of Ie Shima, off of Okinawa.  Most of the Island and its airfield are taken on the 17th.


April 17, 1945

The 17th Division of the U.S. X Corps conducts amphibious landing on Mindanao, Philippines.

Company L 442nd RCT begins attack on town of Fosdinovo.  They encounter stiff opposition. Fosdinovo protects strategic defenses and is a crossroads of Aulla, Italy.


April 18, 1945

Allied Forces capture Magdeburg and Leipzig, Germany.

U.S. Marines capture the northern tip of Okinawa.

Popular journalist Ernie Pyle is killed on Okinawa.


April 19, 1945

U.S. XXIV Corps launches major offensive against Japanese defenders on southern Okinawa.


April 20, 1945

Allied Army takes Nuremberg, Germany.

It is Hitler’s birthday.  From his bunker, he orders that Berlin be defended “to the last man and the last shot.”

442nd RCT regroups near Marciaso, Italy, to attack Aulla from the north.


April 21, 1945

The island of Ie Shima, off Okinawa, is secured.  Approximately 100,000 Japanese are killed.

At 0800, the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd RCT begin attack.  Colle Musatello is captured in early afternoon.  E Company leads attack under First Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye, who takes out several machine gun nests.  He is severely wounded and loses his arm.  He receives the Distinguished Service Cross (upgraded to the Medal of Honor in 2000).  Company K attacks strong German positions to the north.


April 21-23, 1945

The 522nd FABN is attached to the Rodwell Task Force in support of the 12th Infantry Regiment.


April 22, 1945

U.S. 31st Division lands on Mindanao.

Allied Forces capture Bologna, Italy.

Company K 442nd RCT attacks Tendola and fights in heavy engagement all day.  Private Joe Hayashi, acting Squad Leader, successfully neutralizes German gun positions and is killed.  He receives the Distinguished Service Cross.


April 23, 1945

Germans pull out of their defensive positions, retreating through Parma, Italy.  Many are captured as they leave.  Company L 442nd RCT captures Mt. Nebbione.  Company I occupies Mt. Carbolo.  The 2nd Battalion attacks San Terenzo, and later receives a Distinguished Unit Citation.


April 24- June 26, 1945

Delegates of 50 Allied nations convene in San Francisco, California, to discuss creation of the United Nations organization.


April 25, 1945

U.S. and Soviet Armies meet at the Elbe River in Germany.

Berlin is completely surrounded.

In a 10-mile forced march through steep mountains, the 442nd RCT captures Aulla, Italy.


April 26, 1945

522nd Field Artillery Battalion supports 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the 12th U.S. Infantry in Danube River crossing.


April 27-30, 1945

The 522nd Field Artillery Battalion moves its position 14 times in 94 miles with virtually no enemy resistance. 


April 27, 1945

Allied troops capture Genoa and Verona, Italy.

The 522nd FABN occupies positions in Altenmuenster, Horgau and Romelsreid, Germany.


April 28, 1945

Italian dictator Benito Mussolini is captured and executed by partisans in Milan, Italy.

3rd Battalion 442nd RCT occupies Genoa, Italy.

The 522nd FABN occupies positions in Anhousen, Bergheim, and Bobingen, Germany.


April 29, 1945

The main camp of Dachau is liberated by elements of the 42nd and 45th Divisions.  The camp contains 50,000 prisoners.

The 100th Infantry Battalion reaches Busalla, Italy.

2nd Battalion 442nd RCT arrives in Busalla, Italy, then to Alessandria in the Po Valley.  They take one thousand German prisoners.

The 522nd FABN occupies positions in Scheuring, Lager-Lechfeld, Allehausen, Geltendorf, and Turkenfeld, Germany.


April 29 - May 2, 1945

Japanese American soldiers and officers of the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion encounter Nazi concentration camps and labor camps in the Dachau area.  They are shocked and horrified by the sights they witness.  522nd FABN journals and official records show that the unit passes through the German towns of Horgau, Lechfeld and Bad Tolz, all of which have sub-camps of Dachau.  A number of 522nd soldiers, including Ichiro Imamura, Clarence Matsumura, Tadashi Tojo, Robert Sugai, George Kodama, Walter Inouye, Sharkey Kobataki, and 522nd officer Billy Taylor, witness and write about their experience encountering concentration camp survivors.  A number of Jewish survivors will later recall being liberated by the 522nd FABN.  These include Larry Lubetsky, Solly Ganor, Josef Erbs, Ernie Hollander, and Dov Shilansky.


April 30, 1945

The Red Army storms the German Reichstag.

Adolf Hitler commits suicide in his bunker in Berlin.

General Tito’s partisans take Trieste.

442nd RCT Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon and Machine Gun Section of H Company travel 75 miles, arriving in Turin, Italy.  Germans are surrendering to the regiment in the hundreds.

522nd Field Artillery Battalion advance unit captures Moerlbach, Germany.  A large number of French prisoners are liberated.  The battalion occupies positions near Turkenfeld, Wessling, Starnberg and Moerlbach, Germany.  From March 12 through April 30, the battalion has traveled 496 miles and has occupied positions 49 times.  It has been attached to four different divisions during this seven week period through Germany.  The battalion has fired 15,019 rounds of artillery.  There are no battalion casualties in March and only one officer and one enlisted man wounded in April.  In May, the battalion fires only 200 rounds, in the first two days of the month.


May 1945

ATIS Section is opened in Manila, Philippine Islands.


May 1, 1945

17,000 Australian Forces land in Borneo.  Japanese resistance is fierce.

U.S. carrier planes begin air offensive throughout the Ryukyu Islands.

The 522nd FABN occupies a position near Ascholding, Germany, 12 miles from Moerlbach.


May 2, 1945

The war in Italy is ended.  442nd RCT is bivouacked at Novi Ligure.

British Fourteenth Army captures and occupies Rangoon, Burma.

General Weidling, Commander of German defenses of Berlin, surrenders the city.

Successful amphibious landing by U.S. Army at Santa Cruz, in the Davao Gulf, Mindanao, Philippines.

522nd FABN liberates Dachau Death March near the town of Waakirchen, Germany, near the Austrian border.  Many Jewish survivors are saved from almost certain death.  It is estimated that 3,000 Jews have been liberated from the Death March.  Many of these Jews were from Kaunas, Lithuania.


May 3, 1945

The 522nd FABN is detached from the 4th Infantry Division to the 101st Airborne Division.


May 4, 1945

Major strategic U.S. naval air base is established on Guam.  Major air offensives against Central and Western Pacific targets are carried out from this base.


May 3-4, 1945

Japanese Forces on Okinawa counterattack behind U.S. lines.  The attack fails and General Ushijima’s forces retreat to the southern tip of the island.  Japanese losses on Okinawa to date total approximately 33,000.


May 4-8(?),1945

The 522nd FABN leaves Waakirchen and moves to Shaflach, Germany.  Elements of the 522nd FABN accompany troops of the 101st Airborne Division to Hitler’s headquarters compound in Berchtesgaden, Austria.


May 5, 1945

New head of the German State, Admiral Karl Dönitz, begins negotiating terms of surrender with General Eisenhower’s staff.

Seventeen U.S. ships are sunk by kamikaze attacks off Okinawa.


May 6, 1945

2nd Battalion 442nd RCT is sent to Cuneo, Italy, near the French border.


May 8, 1945

Germany surrenders unconditionally at Reims to General Eisenhower.  May 8 is officially designated as V-E (Victory in Europe) Day.


May 9, 1945

German Field Marshal Keitel surrenders at Russian Field Marshal Zhukov’s headquarters in Berlin.

Soviet Army occupies Prague, Czechoslovakia.


May 9-17, 1945

The 522nd FABN occupies the German town of Steppach, on the outskirts of Augsburg. 


May 10, 1945

Portion of the U.S. 40th Division lands off the northern coast of Mindanao.


May 11-12, 1945

Major U.S. offensive on Okinawan capital, Naha, is launched.  The 6th Australian Division captures Wewak, on the coast of New Guinea.  It was the headquarters of the Japanese Eighteenth Army.


May 12, 1945

U.S. Army lands on and occupies Tori Shima Island, 55 miles west of Okinawa.


May 13, 1945

Fierce fighting at Sugar Loaf Hill on Okinawa.  U.S. Marines suffer 2,000 casualties.

U.S. carrier aircraft raids are launched against targets on Kyushu.  All of Kyushu airfields are damaged.

USS Enterprise is damaged in kamikaze attack.

The 100/442 has full regimental review and awards ceremony in Novi Ligure, Italy, led by Lieutenant General Lucian Truscott, Fifth U.S. Army, and Major General E. M. Almond, Commanding General of the “Buffalo” 92nd Division.


May 14, 1945

472 B-29s firebomb Japanese city of Nagoya.  Six square miles of the city are completely destroyed.

Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes decries acts of violence against Japanese American property on the West Coast.  He recommends protective measures by local law enforcement.

100/442 is detached from the 92nd Division to the IV Army Corps.


May 16, 1945

442nd RCT is attached to the 71st Anti-Aircraft Brigade at Ghedi Airfield, near Brescia, Italy.  They are assigned to process German prisoners of war.  They handle 85,000 POWs in eight days.


May 16-mid- June 1945

100/442 process German prisoners of war at Ghedi Airport.


May 18, 1945

522nd FABN occupies Donauworth, Germany.  Elements of the Battalion occupy Donauworth until about October 5, 1945, when the Battalion is deactivated.


May 19, 1945

Hamamatsu, Japan, is bombed by a combined air raid of 279 B-29s.


May 22, 1945

German Gestapo Chief Himmler is caught by British Forces.  He commits suicide the next day.


May 26, 1945

Massive air raid on Tokyo by 464 B-29s.


May 27, 1945

U.S. Marines and Army capture and secure Naha, the capital of Okinawa.


May 29, 1945

U.S. B-29 bombing raid on Tokyo burns 17 square miles of the city.


May 31, 1945

First veterans of the 100/442 begin process of being returned home.


June 1, 1945

U.S. Naval air base is opened on Peleliu, in the Palau Island Group.

U.S. B-29 firebombing raid on Osaka, Japan, leaves city devastated.


June 5, 1945

The Allied Control Council, comprised of Great Britain, the United States, France and the Soviet Union, convenes.  It will administer zones of occupation in Germany.

473 B-29s drop 3,000 tons of incendiary bombs on Kobe, Japan.


June 6, 1945

The Japanese Ichi-Go military offensive collapses.  Japanese Army in Southern China is forced into a 200-mile retreat to Kweilin.


June 9, 1945

Japanese Army on Mindanao are forced from their defensive lines at Mandong.

206th Band of the 442nd RCT is sent to Milan, Italy.  The 232nd Combat Engineers are assigned to Florence, Italy.


June 10, 1945

Australian troops land at Brunei Bay, Borneo, and on Muara and Labuan Islands.  30,000 Japanese troops hold Borneo.


June 10-13, 1945

With defeat near, Japanese soldiers on Okinawa begin taking their own lives.


June 14, 1945

100/442 is sent to Lecco, Italy.


June 15, 1945

Osaka, Japan, is again firebombed by U.S. B-29s.

Captain George Granstaff, a combat veteran of the 100th Infantry Battalion, begins goodwill speaking tour of the West Coast, organized by the War Relocation Authority (WRA), on behalf of returning Japanese American families.  He calls for tolerance.  Granstaff was wounded twice and received a Silver Star for bravery in the Rescue of the Lost Battalion action.  He explains his reason for volunteering on behalf of Japanese Americans: “As one of the few white officers who have served with the Japanese American 100th Battalion for some two and a half years, my main interest is to see that the splendid work they have done in combat is called to the attention of the people of the Pacific Coast in order that Japanese Americans who desire to return here may receive fair treatment.  The thought in…[my] mind…was that a white officer who had lived in California most of his life could emphasize their splendid combat record as no Japanese American could.  Racial prejudice would not enter the minds of the audience where I am concerned.”


June 17, 1945

Admiral Minoru Ota, Commander of the Japanese Naval Base on Okinawa, takes his own life.


June 18, 1945

Commander of U.S. forces on Okinawa, General Simon B. Buckner, is killed.


June 19, 1945

100/442 is designated a Category II unit for the Asia or Pacific theater of war.  They begin training for re-deployment.


June 20, 1945

War Relocation Authority (WRA) Director Dillon Myer and Assistant Director Robert Cozzens visit Los Angeles and other areas, meeting with returning Japanese Americans, including many of those who had been threatened.


June 21, 1945

Emperor Hirohito asks his cabinet to attempt to negotiate a peace with the U.S.


June 22, 1945

Emperor Hirohito, of Japan, calls meeting with his political leaders to discuss a proposal for a negotiated peace with the Soviet Union.

U. S. victory and surrender of Japanese forces on Okinawa.  12,274 U.S. Forces are killed and 36,707 wounded.  The U.S. victory in Okinawa is materially aided by the capture and translation of Japanese military documents by MIS Nisei.  Among them are T/Sgt. Dan Nakatsu, T/Sgt. George Takabayashi, Lloyd Shinsato, Tome Higashiyama, Saburo Otamura, Hiroshi Ito, Tom Ige, and Wallace Amioka.  Other Nisei, like brothers Warren and Takejiro Higa of Okinawan ancestry, save thousands of Okinawa civilians from suicide.


June 23, 1945

U.S. Sixth Army moves north toward Tuguegarao, in final push to take Luzon.


June 24, 1945

The bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand is destroyed by the British Royal Air Force.  It was built by POWs under horrific conditions.


June 29, 1945

President Harry Truman approves Joint Chiefs of Staff plan to invade mainland Japan.  It is to be accomplished in two phases, code-named Operation Olympic and Operation Coronet.


July 1945

194 Nisei of the 442nd RCT volunteer for the Military Intelligence Service (MIS).

Oral Language School, Division F of MISLS, is established to train combat interrogators and translators.


July 2, 1945

Japanese government declares that U.S. bombing raids on Japan have caused five million civilian casualties.


July 5, 1945

General MacArthur declares Philippines liberated.  U.S. combat casualties are 10,380 killed, 36,550 wounded.  Japanese casualties are between 192,000-205,500 killed.


July 7, 1945

100/442 is assigned to Coltano di Pisa, near Leghorn, Pisa and Florence, Italy, guarding German POWs.


July 10, 1945

1,000 U.S. Army Air Force airplanes firebomb Tokyo, Japan.


July 13, 1945

War Relocation Authority announces closing dates for camps, which are scheduled between October 15 and December 15, 1945


July 14-15, 1945

U.S. carrier-based planes bomb industrial sites around northern Hokkaido and Honshu.  For the first times, U.S. Naval forces shell coastal targets on mainland Japan.


July 16, 1945

U.S. detonates atomic bomb in New Mexico.


July 17 - August 2, 1945

Truman, Churchill and Stalin lead the Potsdam Conference, which declares “unconditional surrender” ultimatum to end war with Japan.


July 18, 1945

U.S. carrier-based aircraft attack naval and air bases around Tokyo.  Japanese battleship Nagato is sunk.


July 23-24, 1945

U.S. carrier-based aircraft bomb Japanese cities of Osaka, Kure and Nagoya.  Three Japanese battleships and three cruisers are sunk.


July 26-28, 1945

Great Britain holds national elections and the Conservative Party loses.  Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister.  Clement Attlee becomes the new Prime Minister.


July 28, 1945

Japanese leaders reject Potsdam Declaration of Unconditional Surrender.


August 1, 1945

U.S. Naval forces heavily bombard Japanese on Wake Island.


August 2, 1945

Major U.S. bombing raid on Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Toyama.


August 3, 1945

Allies complete blockade of Japan with vast deployment of sea mines.


August 4, 1945

Large part of the Japanese Twenty-Eighth Army is destroyed in Burma.  8,500 Japanese soldiers are killed.  Burma is in Allied control.


August 5, 1945

100/442nd is transferred to the Peninsular Base Section in Leghorn area.  Company H Anti-Tank Platoon and H.Q. 2nd Battalion are moved to Naples to guard military installations and prisoners of war.


August 5-6, 1945

Six Japanese cities are destroyed in firebombing raids.


August 6, 1945

U. S. drops atomic bomb on Japanese city of Hiroshima.  It kills or injures 160,000 persons.


August 8, 1945

Soviet Union declares war on Japan.  Soviet Army invades Manchuria.  700,000 Japanese soldiers stationed in China are taken prisoner.  More than half will die under harsh conditions.


August 9, 1945

U. S. drops atomic bomb on Japanese city of Nagasaki.

Soviet Army deploys 1.5 million troops against Japanese forces in Manchuria.


August 10, 1945

Japanese cabinet offers to surrender on condition that Emperor Hirohito remains on throne.

Soviet Army invades Korea.


August 11, 1945

General MacArthur is appointed Allied Supreme Commander in the Pacific.  He is authorized to accept the Japanese surrender.


August 13, 1945

Japanese representatives arrive in Manila, Philippines, to surrender.  Nisei ATIS members translate and prepare formal documents.


August 13-14, 1945

1,600 U.S. aircraft bomb Tokyo.


August 14, 1945

Japanese Emperor Hirohito accepts Allies’ terms of surrender.


August 15, 1945

Emperor Hirohito broadcasts to Japanese people in move to surrender Japanese forces.  This is the first time the Japanese people have heard the emperor’s voice.  He tells his government leaders, “I have given serious thought to the situation prevailing at home and abroad and have concluded that continuing the war can only mean destruction for the nation and a prolongation of bloodshed and cruelty in the world…. I cannot bear to see my innocent people struggle any longer…. The time has come when we must endure the unendurable.”

Nisei serving in the OSS Detachment 202 in China are assigned to humanitarian missions to release or rescue U.S. POWs held in Japanese prison camps in China and the Philippines.

The curriculum of the MISLS is changed from a wartime military curriculum to one with a focus on civil affairs.  This change is to prepare for the planned U.S. occupation of Japan.  Among the new courses are civil terminology, Japanese government, etc.


August 17, 1945

General Prince Higashikuna is appointed Prime Minister of Japan.  He is authorized to oversee surrender.


August 18-20, 1945

Soviet Army defeats Japanese Kwantung Army in Central Manchuria.  They take Harbin, Tsitsihar and Changchun.


August 23, 1945

Soviet Army reaches coast in Southern Manchuria.  In 12 days of fighting, 80,000 Japanese soldiers are killed, 8,000 Soviet soldiers are lost.


August 27, 1945

U. S. Armed Forces begin occupation of Japan.  There is no armed resistance.

U.S. Third Fleet reaches Sagami Bay.


August 28, 1945

General Douglas MacArthur and staff land at Atsugi Airport. 

Japanese Army officers sign official surrender of Japanese troops in Burma.


August 29-31, 1945

Mass surrender of Japanese forces throughout Pacific, including Singapore and the Philippines.


September 2, 1945

V-J Day – Victory over Japan Day.

Japanese Foreign Minister and Allied representatives, including Douglas MacArthur, sign formal instrument of surrender on the battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay.  Nisei linguists Tom Sakamoto, Nobe Yoshimura, and Jiro Yukimura are official observers.

Japan has lost 1,506,000 soldiers and 900,000 civilians.

41,322 U. S. servicemen have been killed in the Pacific Theater of war.

100/442 leads victory parade through Leghorn, Italy, leading more than 15,000 Allied troops.


September 4, 1945

Western Defense Command issues Public Proclamation No. 24.  It removes all exclusion of individuals and restrictions against Japanese Americans.


September 9, 1945

Japanese Army in China surrenders.


September 12, 1945

Singapore surrenders to British and Allied commander Lord Louis Mountbatten.  Tim Hirata is present.


October 15, 1945

Grenada (Amache) War Relocation Authority camp, near La Mar, Colorado, is closed.


October 26, 1945

100/442 is designated a Category I unit, designated for occupation duties in Europe.


October 30, 1945

Large scale occupation of Japan by U.S. forces begins.  Yokosuka naval base becomes Supreme Allied Command Headquarters.


November 1945

522nd Field Artillery Battalion is deactivated and returned to the United States.


November 1, 1945

Minidoka War Relocation Authority (WRA) camp, near Twin Falls, Idaho, and WRA Central Utah (Topaz) camp, near Delta, Utah, are closed.


November 15, 1945

Gila River War Relocation Authority (WRA) camp, in Pinal County, Arizona, and the Heart Mountain WRA camp, near Cody, Wyoming, are closed.


November 17, 1945

Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) headquarters moves to Tokyo.  It becomes Center for Language Services in Japan during the U.S. occupation.


November 20, 1945-October 1946

Nuremberg, Germany, opening of war crimes trial of 22 Nazis under the auspices of the International Military Tribunal (IMT).


December 1945-Mid-1948

War crimes trials held by U.S. occupation forces in Japan.  Other trials take place in the Philippines, China, French Indochina, and the East Indies.  More than 70 Nisei MIS linguists participate in translation and interpretation during the trials.


December 1, 1945

Colorado River (Poston) War Relocation Authority (WRA) camp, near Parker, Arizona, and Manzanar WRA camp, near Independence, California, are closed.

The last WRA camp, except Tule Lake, is officially closed.


December 10, 1945

General Joseph W. “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell presents posthumous Distinguished Service Cross to Mary Masuda, sister of Staff Sergeant Kazuo Masuda, at a ceremony at their family farm in Talbert (near Santa Ana) County, California.  At a rally in honor of Masuda, Stillwell makes remarks:  “The Nisei bought an awful big hunk of America with their blood.  Those Nisei boys have a place in the American heart, now and forever.  We cannot allow a single injustice to be done to the Nisei without defeating the purpose for which we fought…  Who, after all, is the real American?  The real American is the man who calls it a fair exchange to lay down his life in order that American ideals may go on living.  And judging by such a test, Sergeant Masuda was a better American than any of us here today.”  Captain Ronald Reagan, future President, remarks: “Blood that has soaked into the sands of a beach is all of one color.  America stands unique in the world, the only country not founded on race, but on a way—an ideal.  Not in spite of, but because of our polyglot background, we have had all the strength in the world.  That is the American way.  Mr. and Mrs. Masuda, just as one member of the family of Americans speaking to another member, I want to say for what your son Kazuo did, thanks!”


December 15, 1945

Rohwer War Relocation Authority (WRA) camp, near McGhee, Arkansas, is closed.



More than 5,000 MIS linguists participate in U.S. Army of Occupation, 1945-1952.  They work to ensure proper implementation of the policies, instructions and directives of General MacArthur, Commander of the Allied Power (SCAP).

Japanese American linguists help draft and translate the new Japanese Constitution.  They also draft and implement Japanese Land Reform Laws.



An International Military Tribunal for the Far East is established to try Japanese wartime leaders for war crimes.

Japanese Americans returning to the West Coast face widespread discrimination. The War Relocation Authority takes measures to counter public hostility to the Nikkei.  Just after the war, the WRA documented 38 acts of violence and terrorism directed at the Nikkei community.

By 1946, 20,000 Japanese Americans have moved to Chicago.

The Spoilage: Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement, by Dorothy Thomas and Richard Nishimoto, is published.

Wartime Exile: The Exclusion of Japanese Americans from the West Coast is published by the U.S. Department of the Interior, J. A. Krug and D. S. Myer, written by WRA employee Ruth E. McKee.

The MISLS Album is published.  This was the first printed history of the Military Intelligence Service.

Boy from Nebraska: The Story of Ben Kuroki, by Ralph G. Martin, is published.  Kuroki was one of the few Nisei to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps.  He survived 58 missions in both Europe and the Pacific.  He received the Distinguished Flying Cross.


Early 1946

3,000 students are enrolled at MISLS school.


March 20, 1946

Tule Lake segregation center in California is closed.


May 1946

War crimes trial for 25 Japanese leaders, listed as “Class A” defendants.  They are charged with crimes against peace, conspiracy to wage aggressive war, permitting war atrocities and violating the laws of war.


May 15, 1946

War Relocation Authority (WRA) closes last of its field offices.


June 1946

MISLS school at Fort Snelling is moved to the Presidio of Monterey in Northern California.  It is renamed the U.S. Army Language School.

Club 100 purchases former Japanese language school on Nuuanu Avenue in Honolulu for its club headquarters.  It is later sold.


June 8, 1946

11th commencement of 21st class of graduates at the MSILS school on Fort Snelling.  307 graduate.  By the end of the war, more than 6,000 have been trained in the language school.  Of these, 3,700 Nisei have served in combat areas.  Nisei linguists have served in approximately 130 different Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force units.


June 30, 1946

The War Relocation Authority (WRA) program is officially ended.

The evacuation and internment of Japanese Americans has cost the government $80 million.  The economic loss to the Japanese Americans is estimated to be $250 million.


July 4, 1946

Veterans of the 100th/442nd RCT sail into New York harbor aboard the troop ship SS Wilson Victory.


July 15, 1946

A battalion of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was given a special review by President Harry Truman on the White House lawn.  Truman awarded the 442nd its eighth Presidential Unit Citation.  He stated, “…you fought not only the enemy, you fought prejudice—and you won.  Keep up that fight…continue to win—make this great Republic stand for what the Constitution says it stands for: the welfare of all the people, all the time.”


August 1946

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team is deactivated.


August 9, 1946

Japanese American veterans of the 100th/442nd land in Hawai’i aboard the Waterbury Victory ship.  Thousands greet them at the dock.


August 15, 1946

Returning Nisei soldiers in Hawai’i are greeted by Governor of Hawai’i, Ingram M. Stainback.  There is a parade led by Third Battalion Commander Alfred Pursall.  Pursall presents the colors of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd RCT to the governor.


September 1946

Mine Okubo publishes her wartime sketches and text of camp life in Topaz in her book, Citizen 13660, published by Columbia University Press.  It is highly praised by national critics.


October 1, 1946

Nineteen Nuremberg Nazi defendants are found guilty.


October 16, 1946

Ten chief Nazi officials are hanged for crimes against humanity and conspiracy to wage war in Nuremberg.


December 1946

Americans: The Story of the 442d Combat Team is published by Infantry Journal Press, Washington, DC.  It is written by former officer of the 442nd RCT Major Orville C. Shirey.  Much of this book is based on data from the regimental journal and operation log and from interviews of officers and Nisei soldiers.


December 1946-April 1949

Twelve additional trials of Nazi war criminals are conducted in the subsequent Nuremberg proceedings.  185 individuals are put on trial.  142 are found guilty.



The term “Cold War” is first used by U.S. journalist Walter Lippmann.

Former Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson writes in an autobiography, co-authored with McGeorge Bundy: “It remained a fact that to loyal citizens this forced evacuation was a personal injustice, and Stimson fully appreciated their feelings.  He and McCloy were strong advocates of the later formation of combat units of Japanese-American troops; the magnificent record of the 442nd Combat Team justified their advocacy.  By their superb courage and devotion to duty, the men of that force won for all Japanese-Americans a clear right to the gratitude and comradeship of their American countrymen.

By 1947, most Japanese American camp inmates have returned to the West Coast, despite efforts by the War Relocation Authority to discourage mass return to the West Coast.  Many experience poverty and economic discrimination.  Many take low-paying, low-status jobs.  28,000 return to Los Angeles County (37,000 lived in Los Angeles before the forced removal).


January 23, 1947

Brigadier General Joseph A. Cranston, Assistant Division Commander, Fort Lewis, Washington, states, in response to a question of whether Nisei soldiers could be trusted, “the highest percentage of Nisei volunteers came from the Pacific Northwest… They were just as eager to fight the Japanese as they were to fight the Germans… There should be no distinction between the Nisei and any other Americans who serve in the army of the United States.  They have every right to say: ‘I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the Faith!’”

Army veteran of the 45th Division and popular Stars and Stripes artist Bill Mauldin publishes his book, Back Home.  Mauldin served with Japanese Americans in Italy.  In his book, he writes: “But if my prejudices had just sort of disappeared, I became positively lyrical about the Japanese-Americans.  I saw a great deal of them in Italy where they had been formed into a battalion that fought with the 34th Division, and into two full regiments [sic] that sort of free-lanced around doing heavy fighting for everybody.  Some of the boys in those outfits were from the West Coast, and some from Hawaii.  A great deal has been written about their prowess, and I won’t go into details, except to say that, to my knowledge and the knowledge of numerous others who had the opportunity of watching a lot of different outfits overseas, no combat unit in the army could exceed them in loyalty, hard work, courage, and sacrifice.  Hardly a man of them hadn’t been decorated at least twice, and their casualty lists were appalling.  And if a skeptic wonders whether these aren’t just ‘Japanese characteristics,’ he would do well to stifle the thought if he is around an infantry veteran who had experience with the Nisei units.  Except for facial characteristics, there was nothing to identify them with the soldiers who fought for the land of Hirohito.”


August 1947

The 442nd RCT is reactivated as an organized reserve component of the U.S. Army.  The 100th Infantry Battalion continues to be the Regiment’s 1st battalion.


October 18, 1947

Bruyères, France, celebrates the third anniversary of its liberation.  442nd RCT veteran Wilson Makabe presents a plaque to the town in the name of the Japanese American Citizens League.  The town agrees to erect a monument to the 442nd, in which the plaque will be affixed.


October 30, 1947

A monument to the 100/442 is dedicated in Bruyères, France.  The plaque on the monument reads:  “To the men of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, U.S. Army, who reaffirmed an historic truth here… that loyalty to one’s country is not modified by racial origin.  These Americans, whose ancestors were Japanese, on Oct. 30, 1944 during the Battle of Bruyères broke the backbone of the German defenses and rescued the 141st Infantry Battalion which had been surrounded by the enemy for four days.”


December 1947

President Harry Truman pardons Japanese American draft resistors.



Chinese Communists assume control of Manchuria.

President Harry Truman issues Executive Order officially desegregating U.S. Armed Forces.



The United States sponsors the European Recovery Plan (the Marshal Plan).  It provides $13 billion for housing, industrialization, etc., to postwar European countries.


April 16, 1948

Tokyo “Class A” war crimes trial against Japanese leaders in World War II concludes.


June 1948

Soviets blockade West Berlin.  U.S. and Allied nations begin Berlin Airlift.


July 2, 1948

U.S. Congress passes Evacuation Claims Act.  Japanese Americans eventually receive $13 million from the government for property lost during internment.  This represents approximately 13 cents per dollar lost.


October 18, 1948

Executive Order 589 (March 16, 1907) limiting Japanese immigration is revoked by Executive Order 10009, signed by President Harry Truman.


November 1948

Verdicts for all Tokyo “Class A” defendants are given.  All 25 are found guilty.  Seven are sentenced to death.  They are executed on December 23, 1948.


November 2, 1948

Harry Truman elected President of the United States.


December 10, 1948

The United Nations General Assembly adopts and proclaims the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Eleanor Roosevelt is one of the principal architects of this document.  Among the human rights specified in the proclamation are: right to equality; freedom from discrimination; right to life, liberty and personal security; freedom from torture and degrading treatment; right to equality before the law; freedom from arbitrary arrest and exile; right to be considered innocent until proven guilty; right to own property; freedom of belief and religion; and numerous others.



Morton Grodzins publishes Americans Betrayed: Politics and the Japanese Evacuation.

Ruth E. McKee writes unpublished manuscript, “History of the WRA: Pearl Harbor to June 30, 1944.”


April 4, 1949

North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is founded with Brussels as its headquarters.


May 23, 1949

Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) is created, with Bonn as capital.


October 7, 1949

German Democratic Republic (East Germany) is founded, with East Berlin as its capital.



China invades and occupies Tibet.

Emergency Detention Act of 1950 is enacted.  It authorizes the U.S. government to erect and maintain domestic camps for individuals suspected of being a threat to national security.

Calculated Risk, by General Mark W. Clark, is published.  General Clark was the Commander of the Fifth U.S. Army in Italy, 1944-1945.  He mentions the 100/442 in his memoir.


April 1950

Club 100 purchases land at 520 Kamoku Street in Honolulu, which is the location of its current clubhouse.


June 1950

North Korean Army attacks South Korea, and the Korean War begins.  The 442nd RCT is listed by the Army in Class status.



United Nations headquarters in New York are completed.

100th Infantry Battalion veteran Sakae Takahashi, a former captain, is appointed Treasurer of the Territory of Hawaii by Democratic Governor Oren E. Long.


April 17, 1952

California’s Alien Land Laws are ruled unenforceable by the California Supreme Court.


April 28, 1952

Allied occupation of Japan ends.


June 11, 1952

Congress passes the McCarran-Walter Immigration and Naturalization Act.  It officially changes the 1924 National Origins Act, finally making it possible for Japanese and other Asian immigrants to become citizens.


July 1952

Club 100 completes its clubhouse on Kamoku Street.  It remains there to this day.  In 1952, the Honolulu Star Bulletin writes: “It is in the finest tradition of service that the Club 100 operates today.  It is no self-seeking ‘veterans’ lobby.’  It has the broad community view.  And, on its tenth anniversary, the 100th can take pride not only in its battle honors, but in the peacetime records many of its members have made in their community.”  The Club’s motto, “For Continuing Service,” is chosen.



Korean War ends in a stalemate.  North ad South Korea remain divided.

I Was an American Spy, by Colonel Sidney Forrester Mashbir, is published.  He served in the G-2 (Intelligence Section) of General MacArthur’s Headquarters.  Many MIS Nisei served under Mashbir.

Republican Territorial Governor of Hawaii Sam W. King names 100th Infantry Battalion veteran Howard K. Hiroki as Territorial Auditor.  He also appoints 100th veteran Dr. Katsumi Kometani Chairman of the Territory’s Board of Commissioners of Public Instruction and 100th veteran Jack Mizuha member of the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii.



Fletcher Bowron, the former mayor of Los Angeles, testifies at a Congressional hearing considering the Japanese American Claims Act of 1948.  He states:  “There were many rumors floating around, as a result of which, this order of evacuation was made.  I rather hold myself somewhat responsible, with others, for the condition or the representation that possibly brought about that order.  I realize that great injustices were done.”

Ambassadors in Arms, by Thomas D. Murphy, is published by the University of Hawai’i Press.  It is the first major work on the 100th Infantry Battalion.

Jacobus tenBroek, Edward N. Barnhart and Floyd W. Matson publish, Prejudice, War and the Constitution: Causes and Consequences of the Evacuation of the Japanese Americans in World War II.



The California State Alien Land Laws are officially repealed by popular vote.

The Managed Casualty: The Japanese American Family in World War II, by Leonard Broom and John I. Kitsuse, is published.



Hawai’i becomes the 50th State in the Union.  Some credit this fact to the role of Japanese American soldiers in World War II.

Daniel K. Inouye is elected Congressional representative from Hawai’i.  He will serve from 1959 to 1963, and later become U.S. Senator from Hawai’i, 1963-2012.  He will be the second longest-serving Senator and third in line of succession to the Presidency of the United States.



“The decision to evacuate the Japanese from the Pacific Coast,” by Stetson Conn, is published by the U.S. Army Center for Military History.


November 26, 1960

Bruyères, France, Mayor René Drahon writes to Honolulu Mayor Neal Blaisdell proposing a Sister City relationship.



Berlin Wall is begun.  It is 96 miles long, 12 feet high.

Hawaii Pono: A Social History, the 50th State, its People and Politics, from Annexation to Statehood, by Lawrence H. Fuchs, is published.


August 1961

Sister City relationship is established between Bruyères, France, and Honolulu, Hawai’i.



Roger Daniels publishes The Politics of Prejudice.


October 1962

Cuban missile crisis between United States and Soviet Union.



Daniel K. Inouye is elected U.S. Senator from Hawai’i.

100th Infantry Battalion veteran Spark M. Matsunaga is elected U.S. Congressional Representative from Hawai’i.


July 1, 1963

U.S. Army Language School in Monterey, California, is renamed the Defense Language Institute (DLI).  It teaches 25 languages.



Tokyo hosts the 1964 Summer Olympic Games.

Beginning of the war in Vietnam.  It will end in 1975.



Patsy Takemoto Mink, a Sansei from Hawaii, is elected to Congress.  She is the first woman of color and first Asian American woman elected to Congress.  She serves 12 terms.


October 3, 1965

The National Immigration Law of 1965 is passed by Congress.  It eliminates the “national origins” quota system, which has been in force since 1924 and was modified in 1952.


December 1, 1965

Immigration and Nationality Act passed, revising the McCarran-Walter Act, changing immigration quotas.



U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye publishes autobiography, Journey to Washington, with Lawrence Elliott.

America’s Concentration Camps, by Allan R. Bosworth, is published.



Nisei: The Quiet Americans, The Story of a People, by Bill Hosokawa, is published.

Girder and Loftis publish The Great Betrayal: The Evacuation of Japanese Americans During World War II.



George R. Ariyoshi is elected Lieutenant Governor of Hawai’i.

Asian American population:
                                    Japanese American            591,000
                                    Chinese American              435,000
                                    Filipino American              343,000

Edison Uno proposes that Japanese Americans apply for redress for forced evacuation and internment during the War.



Norman Mineta is elected Mayor of San Jose, California.  He is the first Asian American mayor of a major U.S. city.  He serves until 1975.

A History of Japanese in Hawaii, edited by the Publication Committee, Dr. James H. Okahata, is published by the United Japanese Society of Hawai’i.

Uprooted Americans: The Japanese Americans and the War Relocation Authority During World War II, by Dillon S. Myer, is published.  Myer was appointed Director of the War Relocation Authority by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in June 1942.  He served as its Director until the end of the war.


October 1971

Seventeen veterans of K Company 442 RCT visit Bruyères, France.  This is the first visit by a group of Nisei soldiers who liberated the town in October 1944.



Concentration Camps USA, by Roger Daniels, is published.



George R. Ariyoshi is elected Governor of Hawai’i.  He serves from 1944-1976.


October 18, 1974

442nd veterans travel to Bruyères, France, for the 30th anniversary of the liberation of the French town.



End of the war in Vietnam.

Norman Mineta is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the Silicon Valley area in Northern California.  He co-founds the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and serves as its first chair.  While serving in Congress, he is the driving force behind HR 442, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.



Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America’s Concentration Camps, by Michi Weglyn, is published.

Frank F. Chuman publishes, The Bamboo People: The Law and Japanese Americans.


February 19, 1976

President Gerald Ford officially rescinds Executive Order 9066.  The proclamation reads, in part:  “We now know that we should have known then—not only was that evacuation wrong, but Japanese-Americans were and are loyal Americans.  On the battlefield and at home, Japanese-Americans—names like Hamada, Mitsumori, Marimoto, Noguchi, Yamasaki, Kido, Munemori, and Miyamura—have been and continue to be written in our history for the sacrifices and the contributions they have made to the well-being  and security of this, our common Nation.”


October 6, 1976

A delegation of citizens from Bruyères, France, visits Honolulu. This is the 15th anniversary of establishing the Sister City relationship.  150 veterans of the 442nd RCT greet the delegation at the airport.



Spark M. Matsunaga is elected U.S. Senator from Hawai’i.  He is the second Asian American elected to the Senate.

Earl Warren, former California Attorney General and Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, writes in his published memoirs:  “I have since deeply regretted the removal order and my own testimony advocating it, because it was not in keeping with our American concept of freedom and the rights of citizens.  Whenever I thought of the innocent little children who were torn from home, school friends, and congenial surroundings, I was conscience-stricken.  It was wrong to react so impulsively, without positive evidence of disloyalty, even though we felt we had a good motive in the security of our state.  It demonstrates the cruelty of war when fear, get-tough military psychology, propaganda, and racial antagonism combine with one’s responsibility for public security to produce such acts.”



Ellison S. Onizuka becomes first Asian American astronaut.

The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) officially adopts a program to seek redress for the wartime evacuation and internment.

Kodomo no Tame Ni: For the Sake of the Children, the Japanese American Experience in Hawaii, by Dennis M. Ogawa, is published.

Thirty-Five Years in the Frying Pan, by Bill Hosokawa, is published.  Hosokawa was interned at Heart Mountain relocation center in Wyoming.  In 1946, he joined the Denver Post and served as editor of the Editorial Page.


April 1979

Documentary, Aloha Bruyères, is shown on the PBS station in Hawai’i.  It documents the 34th anniversary of the liberation of Bruyères, France, by Nisei soldiers.


August 2, 1979

Senators Spark M. Matsunaga and Daniel K. Inouye introduce a bill in Congress to establish the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians Act (CWRIC).



The Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC) is established.

East to America: A History of the Japanese in the United States, by Robert A. Wilson and Bill Hosokawa, is published.

Go For Broke Veterans Committee is founded in San Francisco, California.  It is founded by Nisei veterans to support upcoming exhibit at the Presidio Army Museum.  It collects photographs and artifacts from the 100th/442nd/522nd/MIS.


May 1980

Three new buildings at the Defense Language Institute (DLI) are dedicated to three Nisei who were killed in action and received the Silver Star.  They are T/Sgt. Yukitaka “Terry” Mizutari, T/3 Frank Tadakazu Hachiya, and Sgt. George Ishiro Nakamura.


November 1980

Heroic Struggles of Japanese American Partisan Fighters from America’s Concentration Camps, written by James Oda, is published.



The CWRIC conducts hearings on the internment of Japanese Americans.  750 persons testify before the Commission.

Senpai Gumi, by Richard S. Oguro, is published.  Oguro is a Nisei veteran of the Military Intelligence Service.  He is a graduate of Camp Savage Language School, class of June 1943.  This is one of the first books written and edited by an MIS veteran.


March 6, 1981

“Go For Broke!” the first major museum exhibit of the 100th Inf. Bn./442nd RCT, opens at the Presidio of San Francisco, California.  It includes the story of evacuation and internment of Japanese Americans on the West Coast.  More than 2,000 attend the opening program.  Senators Daniel Inouye and Spark M. Matsunaga, both veterans of the 100th/442nd, are keynote speakers.


November 1, 1981

Fortieth anniversary of the founding of the first Military Intelligence Language School at the Presidio of San Francisco.  “Go For Broke!” exhibit is expanded to include story of the MIS.  Congressman Norm Mineta is keynote speaker.


November 2-3, 1981

Former Undersecretary of War John J. McCloy and Colonel Karl Bendetsen testify before the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians.  The Commission questions whether the decision to intern Japanese Americans was, in fact, based upon any incidents of disloyalty, including espionage or sabotage, among the Japanese American population.

To Establish the United States Academy of Peace is published by the Commission on Proposals for the National Academy of Peace and Conflict Resolution to the President of the United States and the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States Congress.  Spark Matsunaga is the Commission Chairman.



CWRIC publishes its findings.  It states its conclusion that the decision to intern Japanese Americans on the West Coast was not justified by military necessity, as was stated in 1941-42, but rather that “the broad historical causes which shaped these decisions were race prejudice, war hysteria and the failure of political leadership.”  It concludes: “We firmly believe that the lessons from the incarceration are as important as the lessons of the Revolutionary War, of slavery, of the Civil Rights Movement.”

Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History opens the Presidio’s original “Go For Broke” exhibit.  It remains there for a full year.

Dillon F. Ripley, Secretary of the Smithsonian, announces its intention to prepare an extensive exhibit to commemorate the story of the Nisei soldier in World War II.  It is initiated by a proposal from the organizers of the “Go For Broke” exhibit at the Presidio of San Francisco.  It will open in the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.  It will coincide with the national commemoration of the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution in 1987.

Nisei veterans advisors to the “Go For Broke!” exhibit create a non-profit organization in California, Go For Broke, Inc., to continue to support the commemoration of the Nisei soldier in World War II and to support the Smithsonian’s efforts to produce an exhibit.

Bill Hosokawa publishes JACL in Quest of Justice: The History of the Japanese American Citizens League.

Desert Exile: The Uprooting of a Japanese American Family, by Yoshiko Uchida, is published.

San Francisco filmmaker Loni Ding produces documentary on the 100/442 entitled Nisei Soldiers.



Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi and Minoru Yasui, who defied the evacuation order and were arrested, file a writ of error coram nobis to reopen their World War II era legal cases.

Executive Director of Go For Broke and Nisei veteran, Chester Tanaka of K Company 442nd RCT writes, designs and publishes Go For Broke: A Pictorial History of the Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  It is the first regimental history written by an actual Nisei veteran.  Its first printing is 10,000 copies.

Justice at War: The Story of the Japanese American Internment Cases, by Peter Irons, is published.

Buriea no Kaihoshatachi [Japanese edition of Unlikely Liberators] is published by Masao Duus.

Loni Ding, a Chinese American filmmaker in San Francisco, produces a documentary called The Color of Honor, which focuses on the role of the MIS in World War II.


June 1983

The CWRIC publishes its report and findings in Personal Justice Denied.  It cites the reason for the evacuation and internment as “the failure of political leadership” to protect the rights of Japanese American citizens during the war.  It recommends an apology by the U.S. government and a payment of $20,000 per surviving Japanese American internee.


November 11, 1983

The wartime conviction of Fred Korematsu for violating evacuation and curfew orders is vacated in U.S. District Court by Judge Marilyn Hall Patel.



State of California officially recognizes February 19 as a Day of Remembrance.

Inspired by the “Go For Broke” exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum, a group of Nisei veterans and community leaders incorporate as a nonprofit to form the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in Los Angeles, California.

And Justice For All: An Oral History of the Japanese American Detention Camps, by John Tateishi, is published.  In 1978, Tateishi is elected Chairman of the Committee for Redress of the Japanese American Citizen League.

Toyo Miyatake: Behind the Camera 1923-1979, is published.

Katriel Schory, an Israeli filmmaker working for ZDF German television, produces a documentary on the 442nd RCT.  The film is called Yankee Samurai.  They film the reunion of Nisei soldiers in Bruyères, France, in October.


October 1984

Numerous Nisei veterans travel to Bruyères, France, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the liberation of the town by the 442nd RCT.  Nisei veterans Chester Tanaka and Shig Doi return to Bruyères for the first time.



Hawai’i celebrates 100 years of Japanese immigration to the Islands.  There is a year-long celebration.  Prince Akihito of Japan visits Honolulu for the commemoration.  The Go For Broke exhibit is shown at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.

Kanyaku Imin: A Hundred Years of Japanese Life in Hawaii, edited by Leonard Lueras, is published.

A Pictorial History of the Japanese in Hawai’i, 1885-1924, by Franklin Odo and Kazuko Sinoto, is published.

Imingaisha: Japanese Emigration Companies and Hawaii, by Alan Takeo Moriyama, is published.

Bridge of Love: The Story of the Japanese Immigrants and Their Soldier Sons, One of the Most Bizarre Chapters in American Jurisprudence, by John Tsukano, is published.  Tsukano was an original volunteer for the 442nd RCT.  He was the author of numerous articles for the Honolulu Star Bulletin on the 442nd.



Japanese Americans from Relocation to Redress, by Roger Daniels, is published.

Okage Sama De: The Japanese in Hawai’i, by Dorothy Ochiai Hazama and Jane Okamoto Komeiji, is published.



They Call Me Moses Masaoka: An American Saga, is published by Nisei veteran and the first volunteer of the 442nd RCT, Mike Masaoka, with Bill Hosokawa.

Unlikely Liberators: The Men of the 100th and 442nd, by Masayo Umezawa Duus, translated by Peter Duus, is published.


November 1987

MISLS exhibit first shown at the Presidio of San Francisco is donated to the Defense Language Institute (DLI) in Monterey, California.



John Aiso and the M.I.S. Japanese-American Soldiers in the Military Intelligence Service, World War II, written by MIS Nisei veteran Tad Ichinokuchi, is published by the MIS Club of Southern California.

U.S. Samouraïs en Lorraine, by Pierre Moulin, is published.  It is later translated into the English edition, U.S. Samurais in Bruyères: People of France and Japanese Americans, Incredible Story, published in 1993.


August 10, 1988

In a ceremony at the White House, President Reagan signs HR 442, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.  Present are Japanese American legislators and individuals involved in the redress movement.  Also present is June Goto, sister of 442nd Nisei soldier Kazuo Masuda.  In signing the bill, Reagan states, “This is a great day for America.”


January 7, 1989

Emperor Hirohito dies in Tokyo, Japan.


November 1989

The Berlin Wall comes down.


November 2, 1989

President George Bush signs Public Law 101-162.  It authorizes the funding of $20,000 to surviving Japanese American internees.



President Bush sends letter of apology for the internment to Japanese Americans.  It reads:  “THE WHITE HOUSE/ WASHINGTON/ A monetary sum and words along cannot restore lost years or erase painful memories; neither can they fully convey our Nation’s resolve to uphold the rights of individuals.  We can never fully right the wrongs of the past.  But we can take a clear stand for justice and recognize that serious injustices were done to Japanese Americans during World War II./ In enacting a law calling for restitution and offering a sincere apology, your fellow Americans have, in a very real sense, renewed their traditional commitment to the ideals of freedom, equality, and justice.  You and your family have our best wishes for the future./ Sincerely,/ GEORGE BUSH/ PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES/ OCTOBER 1990”


October 1990

Germany is reunified, 45 years after the war.


October 9, 1990

The first redress payments are made in an official ceremony in Washington, DC.



The Soviet Union collapses.  China is now the only major Communist power in the world.

“I Can Never Forget”: Men of the 100th/442nd, by Thelma Chang, is published.



Japanese American National Museum opens in the former Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.

Yankee Samurai: The Secret Role of Nisei in America’s Pacific Victory, written by Joseph D. Harrington, is published.

Book, Boyhood to War: History and Anecdotes of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, by Dorothy Matsuo, is published.

Silent Warriors: A Memoir of America’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team, by Jack K. Wakamatsu, is published.  Wakamatsu was First Sergeant, F Company, 442nd RCT.


July 1, 1992

The Center of Military History at the Department of the Army notifies the Chief Historian of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, that the 4th Infantry Division is acknowledged as a liberating unit of sub-camps near Dachau in late April 1945.  The 522nd Field Artillery Battalion was attached to the 4th Division during this period.  The Battalion is recognized as a liberating unit.



Secret Valor: M.I.S. Personnel, World War II, Pacific Theater, Pre-Pearl Harbor to Sept. 8, 1951, is published by the Military Intelligence Service Veterans of Hawai’i.


May 1993

522nd Field Artillery veterans go on special tour of Israel.  They are reunited with a number of Jews they had liberated from the Dachau Death March on May 2, 1945.  The reunion was covered heavily by the Israeli and international media.  This was the first reunion of Jewish survivors and Nisei soldiers.



Mazie Keiko Hirono is elected Lieutenant Governor of Hawai’i.  She serves until 2002.

Honor by Fire: Japanese Americans at War in Europe and the Pacific, by Lyn Crost, is published.  Lyn Crost was the Honolulu Star Bulletin correspondent covering Japanese Americans in Europe during the war.


September 1994

522nd Field Artillery Battalion veterans of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and survivors of the Holocaust who were liberated by the 522nd FABN or rescued by Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, tour Japan.  They visit Tokyo, Nagoya, Kamakura, Kyoto, and Hiroshima.  An exhibit entitled Unlikely Liberators, on the 522nd Field Artillery, is premiered in Yaotsu, Japan, which was the birthplace of Chiune Sugihara.  The exhibit tours throughout Japan for several years.  The programs are organized by MIS veterans Harry Fukuhara and Noby Yoshimura.


November 11, 1994

Exhibit, “America’s Concentration Camps: Remembering the Japanese American Experience,” is opened at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.



James M. Hanley, former Commander of the Second Battalion, 442nd RCT, publishes his memoir entitled, A Matter of Honor.

Light One Candle: A Survivor’s Tale from Lithuania to Jerusalem, by Solly Ganor, is published.  Ganor was a survivor of the Holocaust.  Originally, he was from Kaunas, Lithuania.  From 1941-1944, he survived the Kaunas Ghetto, in Lithuania.  In 1944, he was deported to Kaufering, a sub-camp of the Dachau concentration camp.  Ganor and his Jewish comrades were liberated from the infamous Dachau Death March by an advance patrol of the 522nd Field Artillery on May 2, 1945, in Waakirchen, Germany.

Unlikely Liberators and Sugihara, by Eric Saul, is published in Japan.  This was an accompanying publication to an exhibit on Japanese American soldiers in World War II and Chiune Sugihara that toured Japan beginning in September 1994.



The Civil Liberties Public Education Fund is established.  The funds are to provide for educating the public on the evacuation and internment of Japanese Americans during the war.



Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawai’i sponsors Public Law 104-106, which authorizes military medal and citation for MIS veterans of World War II.

Das Andere Leben: Kindheit im Holocaust [German edition of the book, Light One Candle: A Survivor’s Tale from Lithuania to Jerusalem], by Solly Ganor, is published.  This book is adopted by a number of school systems in Germany as required reading.


May 4, 1997

Medals for Military Intelligence Service (MIS) veterans are presented at the Japanese Cultural Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i.


June 1997

Chester Tanaka’s book, Go For Broke, is reprinted.



Japanese Eyes, American Heart: Personal Reflections of Hawaii’s World War II Nisei Soldiers, compiled by the Hawai’i Nikkei History Editorial Board, is published by Tendai Educational Foundation.

Fire For Effect: A Unit History of the 522 Field Artillery Battalion, is published by the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion Historical Album Committee, co-chairmen Fred Y. Hirayama and Ted T. Tsukiyama.



Achieving the Impossible Dream: How Japanese Americans Obtained Redress, by Mitchel Maki, Harry H. L. Kitano, and S. Megan Berthold, is published.

Japanese edition of the book, Light One Candle: A Survivor’s Tale from Lithuania to Jerusalem, by Solly Ganor, is published.


April 13, 1998 - January 31, 1999

Exhibit, “America’s Concentration Camps: Remembering the Japanese American Experience,” is opened at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York.


October 22, 1999

Groundbreaking ceremony for a national memorial to Japanese American patriotism in Washington, DC.  President Clinton attends.


February 2, 2000

White House announces a proposal to acquire and preserve former World War II relocation centers.


July 2000

Norm Mineta is appointed Secretary of Commerce under President Bill Clinton.  He is the first Asian American to become a cabinet Secretary.


October 2000

In a White House ceremony, President Bill Clinton awards Medal of Honor to 20 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team Nisei veterans.  These are upgrades of medals that were originally awarded during World War II.



Race, Rights and Reparation: Law and the Japanese American Internment, by Eric K. Yamamoto, is published.

Norm Mineta is appointed U.S. Secretary of Transportation by President George W. Bush.  He serves at this post until 2006.

Encyclopedia of Japanese American History: An A-to-Z Reference from 1868 to the Present, edited by Brian Niiya, is published.

By the Order of the President: FDR and the Internment of Japanese Americans, by Greg Robinson, is published.


January 2001

The National Park Service submits report to President Clinton for preservation of Japanese American internment sites.


November 2001

Airport in San Jose, California, is officially designated the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport.


September 11, 2001

Attacks on the World Trade Center buildings in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC.  In the aftermath, President George W. Bush announces that Arab Americans have nothing to fear from the government.  He makes reference to the Japanese American internment of World War II.  He mentions the wartime internment of his Secretary of Transportation, Norman Mineta.



Serving Our Country: Japanese American Women in the Military during World War II, by Brenda L. Moore, is published.

And Then There Were Eight: The Men of I Company 442nd Regimental Combat Team, World War II is published by the 442nd Veterans Club.



“America’s Concentration Camps: Remembering the Japanese American Experience” exhibit is shown by the Japanese American National Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas.  It is visited by many former inmates of the Jerome and Rohwer internment camps.

From concentration camp to campus: Japanese students and World War II, by Allana W. Austin, is published.

Prisoners with Trial: Japanese Americans in World War II, by Roger Daniels, is published.


May 2004

National World War II Memorial, located on the Mall in Washington, DC, is dedicated.



First Class: Nisei Linguists in World War II, Origins of the Military Intelligence Service Language Program, by David W. Swift, Jr., is published.

In Good Conscience: Supporting Japanese Americans during the Internment, by Shizue Siegel, is published.



Mazie K. Hirono is elected to Congress from Hawai’i’s Second District.

Nisei Linguists: Japanese Americans and the Military Intelligence Service during World War II, by James C. McNaughton, is published.



Stanley Hayami, Nisei Son: His Diary, Letters, & Story From an American Concentration Camp to Battlefield, 1942-1945, annotated by Joanne Oppenheim, is published.  Hayami served in E Company 442 RCT.  He was killed in combat.



Moving images: Photography and the Japanese American incarceration, by Jasmine Alinder, is published.



“Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts” exhibit opens at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum in New York.  It is produced by Japanese American Wartime History Project.


February 2012

The Nisei Veterans Legacy Center (NVLC), incorporated in February 2012, is a non-profit organization as defined under Section 501c3 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. It is supported by six veteran related organizations: The 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans Club, the 442nd Veterans Club, the Military Intelligence Service Club of Honolulu, the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion Organization, the 100th Legacy Organization and the 442nd RCT Foundation.  The NVLC is founded by Wes Deguchi.


November 2, 2011

U.S. Congress awards Japanese American soldiers a Congressional Gold Medal in a special ceremony in the U. S. Capitol.



Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence: Coming Home to Hood River, by Linda Tamura, is published.


December 17, 2012

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye passes away.


December 20, 2012

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye lies in state at the U.S. capitol.



Twice Heroes: America’s Nisei Veterans of WWII and Korea, portraits and interviews by Tom Graves, is published.


January 3, 2013

Mazie K. Hirono is sworn into U.S. Senate from Hawai’i, the first Asian American woman elected to the Senate, and the first Buddhist Senator.


August 8, 2013

U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye posthumously named a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.


August 10, 2013

The 25th anniversary of the signing of the redress bill.


November 10, 2013-March 2014

“Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts” exhibit opens at the Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, California.



The “Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers Fighting on Two Fronts” exhibition is donated to the Nisei Veterans Legacy Center.  The Center organizes the exhibit on a tour of Hawai’i.


March 24-28, 2014

“Go For Broke” exhibit is shown at the Hawai’i State Capitol, Honolulu, Hawai’i.


March 31- April 11, 2014

“Go For Broke” exhibit is shown at the University of Hawai’i West Oahu.


April 14-25, 2014

“Go For Broke” exhibit is shown at the Honolulu Hale (City Hall), Honolulu, Hawai’i.


May 1-June 13, 2014

“Go For Broke” exhibit is shown at the Maui Nisei Veterans Memorial Center, Maui, Hawai’i.


June 23-July 4, 2014

“Go For Broke” exhibit is shown at the 100th Infantry Battalion Clubhouse, Honolulu, Hawai’i.


July 14-25, 2014

“Go For Broke” exhibit is shown at the Arizona Memorial Visitor’s Center, Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i.


August 18- September 12, 2014

“Go For Broke” exhibit to be shown at the Hawai’i Community FCU, Kailua, Kona, Hawai’i.