Post by kanowarrior on Dec 20, 2010 23:27:15 GMT -5
For those of you who saw me at the Christmas Party, you know I was sporting a Bronze Star on my dad's uniform. He was awarded this just this month so I have now added that to his awards. I can't find the paperwork now but I had submitted a request with the Army and it was approved this year. I have the actual medal now and will be including it in my fathers display.
His awards to date:
Bronze Star Purple Heart with one bronze oak leaf Good Conduct medal with one bronze oak leaf American Defense American Campaign Mediterrain, Africa, Europe Campaign with three battle stars Vicory in Europe with one star
Combat Infantryman's Badge Presidental Unit Citation with one bronze oak leaf
Congressional Gold Medal
BTW, the posted photo of him I was finally able to idenify that he is carrying a 1911 .45 in holster although I have still not identifed what that is slung on his shoulder.
It is absolutely wonderful and great honor Tim that Secretary of a military department have finally given the Bronze Star award to your father Henry and the veterans that served to protect this country from foreign enemies. Respect and honor to you and your family.
To reiterate what the "Bronze Star" is all about.. it is an award given to all US armed forces individuall military decoration that may be awarded for bravery, acts of merit, or meritorious service. When awarded for bravery, it is the fourth-highest combat award of the U.S. Armed Forces and the ninth highest military award (including both combat and non-combat awards) in the order of precedence of U.S. military decorations.
As a result of a study conducted in 1947, the policy was implemented that authorized the retroactive award of the Bronze Star Medal to soldiers who had received the Combat Infantryman Badge or the Combat Medical Badge during World War II. The basis for doing this was that the badges were awarded only to soldiers who had borne the hardships which resulted in General Marshall's support of the Bronze Star Medal. Both badges required a recommendation by the commander and a citation in orders.
Excerpts and sources: US Army Institute of Heraldry: Bronze Star Medal
Post by kanowarrior on Mar 28, 2011 20:24:13 GMT -5
PFC Henry Kano was assigned to a heavy weapons squad. He was the third assist on a light machine gun crew. He told me they were all issued 1911 .45's as their sidearm.
When I was growing up, my father always used to say, "Shave and a haircut, two bits". He used to tap it out too. Just recently while reading veterans accounts, I found out that the 100th Battalion machine gunners used to sometimes during a lull in the fighting fire a burst of gunfire to the tune of, "Shave and a haircut...". And the Germans would fire back, "...Two bits".
Fighting in Italy was from ridge to ridge. Veterans who had been there awhile knew that when they came to the top of a ridge, they would peer over the top. A new NCO just fresh from the states jumped up on the ridge next to my father and when my father looked up at him, he was gone! Thinking the NCO had slipped and rolled back down the ridge, my father jumped up on the ridge, turned around and bent down to look back. As he bent down an 88mm shell tore his backpack off. The Germans were firing an 88 AT gun at individual soldiers as they came up over the ridge and the NCO was hit square in the chest. They never found him.
Henry loved to fish. We have a picture of him fishing in Genoa Harbor. One day he went fishing at a nearby river with a buddy of his. They did not know the Germans had that area sighted in with machine guns. My dad got out, his buddy did not.
On the beginning of the offensive at Po Valley, they had to scale cliffs. The Germans had dug in on the top, but the 442nd's artillery easily took out the positions. Everywhere the Germans had dug in they had thrown the earth over the side of the cliff and the white dirt streaked down the cliff face.
Marching thru Italy, Henry recalled seeing villages and how colorful they were. A lot of people would dry tomatoes on the roof tops and many homes roofs were bright red with tomatoes shining in the sun.
Sometimes a soldier would shoot a cow or catch chickens. The Nisei soldiers would share everything to eat including packages from home. My dad felt bad when a soldier shot a cow. The Italians were very poor and hungry as the Germans took everything. The Army called this, "living off the land". The US Army allowed it and promised to repay the locals after the war was over. A soldier as suppose to give them "Chits" which was a written IOU note.
Often they ate a Japanese version of "Hobo Stew". This was a stew made up of anything they had and could throw in the pot. My dad used to cook it for us all the time when I was growing up and I loved it. There was no recipe, he would just throw stuff in the the pot. I learned myself how to make it and fed my own children his version of "Hobo Stew". It was a mix of vegetables and meat in soy sauce broth. Sometimes chicken, sometimes steak, sometimes hamburger. Even egg. It was always different. On thing the GI's got a lot of was cabbage. Italian farmers grew a lot of cabbage. They had no refrigeration and cabbage would keep a long time. Soy sauce was concocted from beef bullion cubes crushed into powder and added to water. Rice was sometimes supplied from the Army but usually when they had it, they got it from packages from home.
Henry's favorite weapon was the German machine pistol, the MP-40. He was going to ship one home but at the last minute decided against it. He didn't think it was a practical weapon to bring home. He saw no use for it back home so he left it behind.
After the war ended my father was didn't have enough points to come home right away and was responsible to dispose of material left or confiscated from troops leaving for home. He recalled a room full of piles of paper money. He said they lit a match, tossed it in and shut the door.
(April 1945, guarding Prisoners in Italy at an airfield. Note the 1919A6 at his feet and M1 Carbine leaning against the tree. Also of note this is the only picture I have ever seen of an infantryman wearing the summer service cap in Europe.)
I have his dog tags he wore in Europe. These are not his original dog tags when he entered the army but the ones he was issued when his enlistment ran out and he was "re-upped" for the duration. On the chain is a very small copper ring. This ring was my mothers pinky ring when she was a child. She gave it to him as a good luck token to remember her by. He put it on his dog tag chain and wore it all through out the war. It is still there today and is now encased in a display box that I put out for shows and living history events that I do.
When he did finally come home from Europe he was sent back to California. For a short time he helped to interrogate Japanese Army prisoners but he was soon Honorably Discharged from Fort MacArthur in Long Beach.
(Coming home on the troopship)
Henry lived in Los Angeles while he worked to send for my mother and my two brothers. Eventually she did travel from Iowa to California by rail and they lived in and around Los Angeles and Orange County. Eventually he got tired of moving from place to place and he went to San Diego to visit the Army General who got him in the Army before the war. The General remembered him and asked him what he wanted. He had followed my fathers career thru the war and the General offered my father a medal or rank in the Army but all my dad wanted was a piece of land to farm and raise his family on. So the General wrote him a letter and gave it to him. The letter gave my father permission to stake out a plot of land on any US military base he wanted.
My father chose to live on Camp Pendelton in a very small town called San Onofre. It wasn't much of a town, more like a one room school house and a few residences. He moved the family to San Onofre within eyesight of where the present day nuclear plant is. He raised flowers and sold them to the wholesale flower market in Los Angeles. When I was a kid my dad pointed out the spot when we drove by it on Interstate 5. I recall it clearly as you could still see the outline of the farm fields on the gentle slope of the hillside. It was there the family grew with my sister and another brother. Dad said they lived on the base for two months before the Military Police came by to kick them off. He showed them the Generals letter and they never saw the MP's again.
Eventually the Marine Corps decided they no longer wanted civilians living at San Onofre so they shut off the water supply. Everyone had to leave. My parents moved to nearby San Clemente. They tried to buy a house but people living on that street got together and petitioned to keep him out because he was Japanese. So they tried again and did find a sympathetic homeowner who sold them the house I grew up in. I was born while they lived there. My father opened a Flower Shop there that became our family business.
One by one two of my brothers and my sister moved away. In the mid 1990's my oldest brother passed away. Probably about a year or two later my mother had another of a series of heart attacks and my father decided to sell the flower shop and they retired. My parents both passed away in 2007. They were survived by myself, my sister and two brothers.
Post by kanowarrior on Mar 30, 2011 18:02:20 GMT -5
This is a letter from my father to one of his Hunting buddies from before the war. These are the guys who introduced him to the General in San Diego. Henry did a lot of traveling by train when on leave from his Post at Camp Shelby. This letter was mailed from Waterloo, Iowa where my Mothers family lived and the return address was to Camp Shelby. In this letter he mentions, "the Rocket", that was the name of a train. He also mentions he will have a flower shop, decorate his home, go fishing, hunting, etc. Henry did all those things after he came back from the war. Harold moved to Southern California and they both lived in the same town.
I tried my best to write this word for word, including the grammar and punctuation mistakes. This is exactly how my father typed it.
The most interesting story is how I came to get this letter. In 2006, a year before my father passed away I was contacted via email by Darlene Martin from Arizona. Her Uncle Harold had recently passed away and while cleaning out his house she came across this letter sent to him by my father. She did a search on him and found my webpage with pictures of my dad and my contact information. We exchanged emails and she mailed the letter to me. I did get a chance to show this letter to my father and he explained to me who Harold was. Both he and my mother recalled him very clearly. It seemed after the war when he settled in San Clemente, Harold moved there as well. My father would visit him from time to time and take flowers over to his house and help with advice on his plants. As Henry writes in this letter... it is indeed a very small world.
Waterloo, Iowa July 27, 1944
How are you and the family? I do hope that this letter finds you and the family very happy and very well. I am alright and now on my final leave from the Post prior to oversea. It won't be long now and I do hope to get some enemy for you and my only regret is that I will not be able to send you the remains for such a decent man like you should not be tampered with dirty remains, right?
I didn't have the time to go hunting for big game etc., however I do have the feeling that it is now coming and want to make a very good job of finding a mess of them for you and me so we can go hunting very shortly after the war in the country we both like and how! Fishing is still my hobby and I want to be back in Southern California. Only regret is not that I am not able to be there now, keep the home fire burning and I can depend that you will do that very thing so the fellows in the service will return home once and for good. I went to Birmingham, Ala., Memphis, Tenn., Little Rock, Ark., St. Louis, Mo. and now here I am in this town and did enjoy the entire trip. I do hope that this not my last and will see that country from all angle from all side after this world mess is over. Every where I went I, of course, visited the flower shops and made hope to return to them after this thing is over. I can and will hope that you will be near my shop after this war so I will have the pleasure to decorate your home and go fishing, hunting etc.
Give my regards your Mrs. and the children. I do wish that I could say it personally, really! I bet the kids did grow up to be very proud of, right? I am hoping that they will not to any extent be in this war no how. They deserve a nice place to live in and I am going over to make it so for them and you that I think so much off...........
The country here is not like California and I do mean it so take care of the environments and our home. To your future and to your trust I am very shortly leaving to return with victory in the near future for all of us.
I haven't heard from Harold Brown and I do still believe that he is still in Los Angeles. His post may have changed but his address is still the same. If and when you see any one of the boys, please give them my best regards and I do mean it. I met a man on the Rocket comeing here to Waterloo, and he used to work for the Border Patrol in '37 and '38. Tried to recall some of the boys name to him but he don't seem to remember them, however he do know the places very well. What a small world after all, right?
Will close now and I do hope you the best of luck and my sincere aloha to you all..............................................
Post by kanowarrior on Mar 31, 2011 19:27:12 GMT -5
Henry was drafted as Pvt Kano on March 24, 1941. He was sent to Camp Roberts for Infantry Basic Training. He became a Corporal very quickly. He was the Company Clerk and all communicates in and out of the camp went thru him. As part of his agreement with the General, he would copy everything and send it to him in San Diego. He worked in Building #4222 and this building is still in use today.
According to his discharge papers, Henry was at Camp Roberts for 11 months. While he was there he put together a wall locker picture made up of several photos of a USO show at the Soldiers Bowl put together in a collage. His training at Roberts ended in July of 1942.
On leaving Camp Roberts he got a promotion to Sargeant. It was at this time he was sent back east and became responsible for construction, maintenance and supervision of 32 light and heavy weapons ranges for two years.
My father is in the bottom row, second from the left. Behind them is a Dodge 1/2 ton Command Car.
My father handing out the Payroll
The museum at Roberts found this picture very interesting. According to them Roberts underwent a 'beautification' program and hundreds of trees were planted. They believe that is what this picture shows.
My last picture of dad from Camp Roberts. Note the rifles stacked in from of them, those are WWI vintage Model 1917 rifles.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 1, 2011 16:20:51 GMT -5
This is an article that was in the local Waterloo, Iowa newpaper about my father. As he mentioned in the letter to Harold, he spent a great deal of time visiting flowers shops all over the country hoping to learn everything he could about the business and wanted badly to open his own store. His hope was to do that when the war ended if he returned.
He did return but it was some 10 years after that before he finally realized his dream.
It mentions in the article that he won a flower contest in Houston, Texas in 1938. This is something I think would be interesting if I could follow up on and find out if he actually traveled there and what he was doing there. Probably just for the show, but Houston seems like a long way to go for a flower show.
His rank at this time is Sargeant and it mentions he was in the process of transferring from Camp McClellan, Alabama to Camp Shelby in Mississippi.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 1, 2011 16:37:27 GMT -5
Here is the passenger manifest for the SS Lurline in 1935. The ship my father came to the mainland on. Note that the four passengers on the manifest of Japanese ancestory were noted separately and certificates of citizenship were checked.
He was sent here by his father to learn a trade after failing High School and attended the Los Angeles National School. There he learned to work on engines and after graduating he got a job working on the fishing boats going outside of San Pedro harbor. There was a large fishing fleet of boats owned by fishermen of Japanese ancestory and he found it easy to get a job. During this time one of his brothers also working on these boats died when the boat he was on sank in a storm.
The following is a short history of the SS Lurline.
SS Lurline of the Matson Line
In 1932, the last of four smart liners designed by William Francis Gibbs and built for the Matson Lines’ Pacific services was launched: the SS Lurline christened on 12 July 1932 in Quincy, Massachusetts by Lurline Matson Roth (who had also christened her father’s 1908 steamship Lurline as a young woman of 18). On 12 January 1933, the SS Lurline left New York City bound for San Francisco via the Panama Canal on her maiden voyage, thence to Sydney and the South Seas, returning to San Francisco on 24 April 1933. She then served on the express San Francisco to Honolulu service with her older sister with whom she shared appearance, the Malolo.
Lurline was half way from Honolulu to San Francisco on 7 December 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. She made her destination safely, travelling at maximum speed, and soon returned to Hawaii with her Matson sisters Mariposa and Monterey in a convoy laden with troops and supplies.
She spent the war providing similar services, often voyaging to Australia, and once transported Australian Prime Minister John Curtin to America to confer with President Roosevelt.
Lurline was returned to Matson Lines in mid 1946 and extensively refitted at Bethlehem-Alameda Shipyard in Alameda, California in 1947 at the then huge cost of $US 20 million. She resumed her San Francisco to Honolulu service from 15 April 1948 and regained her pre-war status as the Pacific Ocean’s top liner.
Her high occupancy rates during the early 1950s caused Matson to also refit her sister ship SS Monterey (renaming her Matsonia) and the two liners provided a first class only service between Hawaii and the American mainland from June 1957 to September 1962, mixed with the occasional Pacific cruise. Serious competition from jet airliners caused passenger loads to fall in the early 1960s and Matsonia was laid up in late 1962.
Only a few months later, the Lurline arrived in Los Angeles with serious engine trouble in her port turbine and was laid up with the required repairs considered too expensive. Matson instead brought the Matsonia out of retirement and, characteristically, changed her name to Lurline. The original Lurline was sold to Chandris Lines in 1963.
Here is a link to a picture of the 442nd leaving Honolulu for the Mainland in 1943.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 2, 2011 19:02:03 GMT -5
When my grandfather sent Henry to California to learn a trade, he was enrolled in the National Schools of Los Angeles. I have a graduation pin that my father gave me from there. He probably started there as soon as he arrived in Los Angeles in 1935 and graduated sometime before 1940. This technical school is still in operation today.
First founded in 1905 as National Schools at 4000 South Figeiroa Street, Los Angeles 37 California USA. In the 1950's there was an additional office in Chicago Illinois USA. Around 1970 a new school name appears at the same original Los Angeles address, and the new school name is National Technical Schools.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 3, 2011 17:24:31 GMT -5
The story of the 'General'
I didn't believe my father the first time he told me about the General who lived in San Diego and was responsible for him getting into the Army. It just sounded to fantastic compared to today. Such an informal way of doing something, especially in the US Army. This story starts about the time my father had already graduated from the National Schools in Los Angeles and was working on the fishing boats out of San Pedro.
Henry's dream at this time was to become a Border Patrol agent. The problem with this was there was a height requirement and he was to short. However there was an exception. If you had a military record the height limit could be waived. Henry did many things at this time. He prospected for gold and silver up and down the length of California, and he fished and hunted with his buddies. It was these buddies that introduced him to an Army General who lived in San Diego. This would be a turning point in his life. The General offered him a special two year enlistment which Henry jumped at the chance. He was placed in Camp Roberts as Corporal Kano, Company Clerk, a few months later, Pearl Harbor was bombed and all enlistments were now mandatory to the end of the war.
When my father told me about the General, he also told me his name, but I quickly forgot as I never wrote it down. Later he couldn't recall anymore as age was taking a toll on his memory. That was sad because this was a time I was able to finally ask him direct questions and he would open up to me but his memories by then were becoming fragmented. Not like the times when I was young when I would listen into his conversations with his war buddies.
The Army back then was very political and information back then was not as easy to come by as it is today with the convience of cell phones, email, Facebook, Twitter and the other forms of communications on the internet. The deal my father made with the General was he would be placed as a Company Clerk and all the orders coming in and going out of his station would be copied and sent directly to the General. This my father did faithfully until he was shipped back east. The General lived on the cliffs overlooking San Diego Harbor and he would track the coming and goings of all the ships coming in and out of the Harbor. My dad said his house had radio antenna's all over it. Competition between services back then was extremely fierce.
After the war as I previously mentioned, the General gave my father a letter to allow him to settle on any US military base. When my father told me that story he frantically searched thru his wallet looking for this letter and that was probably in the late 1990's. He had hung on to that letter for decades but by then he had already gotten rid or lost it so I never got to see it. His insistence and attempt to find the letter left no question in my mind that it did in fact exist at one time.
Probably around the late 1980's, early 1990's there was a news report about a retired Army General who had lived in San Diego for decades who passed away. I also recall seeing comments and notes written from military vehicle club members back then commenting about the same person who apparently had some old military trucks and vehicles on his property that collectors were very interested in. I'm sure this was probably the same General my father knew. How many Army Generals could have lived in San Diego? Unfortunately I doubt I will ever know now having lost his name to time.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 4, 2011 14:56:47 GMT -5
Here is another tidbit. This is a period photo of one of the 442nd soldiers eating his rations from his mess kit with chopsticks. I've seen photos of others in the 442nd doing the same with ration cans and the like. My father looked at me like my brain fell out when I asked him where they got chopsticks in Europe. I guess it was just second nature that they all had chopsticks, either brought with them, mailed from home or fashioned out of local materials.
I've read a lot of accounts from the vets that if they needed something personal like this they would write home and probably get it in a 'care' package from home. Much like today, people would constantly send things from home, mostly food, sometimes personals, or whatever they thought would make life a little more comforting or provide some kind of enjoyment while at the front.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 4, 2011 15:07:16 GMT -5
Here is a picture of my fathers 5th Army ID card. This was a card used when on R&R or traveling behind the lines to get thru MP roadblocks. This was only issued by the 5th Army and I have not seen an equivilent card being used in Northern Europe only this one in Italy. I have seen pictures of others from the 5th Army and this seems to be a standard form used for everyone. It's one-sided and bigger than a wallet sized card today and is made from very thick cardstock, much thicker than we can run thru our printers.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 5, 2011 17:43:30 GMT -5
Here is a still picture taken from a US Army film done about the 442nd RCT during WWII. This was after the 100th had already made a name for itself in Africa and Italy as the "Purple Heart Battalion". At this time the 442nd RCT was still in training in Mississippi.
I was watching a color version of this documentary and they were showing members of the 442nd doing an obstacle course. Right in the middle of the of one of obstacles troopers were crawling under logs and there was my dad, they caught him dead center but he never picked up his head. This was the best shot of him.
I had another friend take this footage and blow it up. I had recognized him because of his nose, cheek bones and his name, "H. KANO" written across the front of his helmet. After we had this image him digitally blown up it was unmistakable as the scar across his nose was plainly visible. I checked the roster of the the 442nd and I could not find any "H. KANO's" on the roster, although there were about eight or so other Kano's in it including my uncle Toku. There was no doubt it was my father.
Later I slowed down the footage and watched it again and again and saw him in other shots jumping over a trench and doing the obstacle course. I was able to show him the picture I found of him and run the film for him but he did not recall anything about it and just shrugged it off at the time.
This particular film and parts of it are used over and over again in many documentaries about the 442nd today. I have rarely seen the entire footage though. Usually only parts of it.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 6, 2011 16:28:57 GMT -5
The USO show
The attached picture is a college' of pictures my father put together when he was stationed at Camp Roberts. This is a Locker picture, something that would have been kept in your wall locker out of sight. Its just a bunch of photos cut and mounted together and pasted on a piece of board that was probably waste from all the building going on the base at that time. Covered with a piece of clear plastic or acetate or something then pieces of wood trim on the borders to hold it all together. I have done nothing to this thru the years except to remove the trim once to look at the parts of the pictures under it. The pictures actually run all the way to edges of the board.
If you look in the upper right corner you can see one photo a little darker than the rest of a guy sitting on steps wearing a campaign service hat, thats my dad.
The museum at Roberts helped me to identify the area as probably being at the soldiers bowl. I go there sometimes to see if I can get it in perspective. There are all kinds of movie stars in these pictures including Gloria Swanson, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnez and more.
This is probably the piece I've had the longest in my collection. My dad was going to throw it out when I was a kid and I snapped it up. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would have had it so long or known so much about it much less been able to travel to the same spot.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 7, 2011 14:20:23 GMT -5
This is the building my father worked in when he was stationed at Camp Roberts. Note the building number 4222. This picture came from a Camp Roberts graduation booklet he had. He had two copies and I donated one to the museum there. They did some research and noticed the building number then told me the building is still there today! The Orderly Room door on the left is where my father worked according to the museum.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 7, 2011 14:29:28 GMT -5
This is the same building today. At the time this picture was taken it was in use by the National Guard. The soldier in the building at the time noticed me taking pictures and invited me in to see the office. Imagine standing in the same room your father had worked in 70 years before!
Next time I go back I’m going to try to get a picture of me standing next to that door.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 7, 2011 14:37:45 GMT -5
While he was at Camp Roberts my dad was in Company D, 86th Infantry Training Battalion Anti-Tank, 2nd Platoon. In this page from the same graduation booklet of 2nd Platoon, he is the second row on the very end on the right side. Cpl. Henry Kano (Company Clerk) and it lists him as being from Hawaii.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 8, 2011 16:39:50 GMT -5
Henry Hisaichi Kano was born August 6, 1914 in a small town called Hanapepe on the island of Kauai in the territory of Hawaii. It was not until he was fifteen that he got a birth certificate. His birth certificate shows a young teenager wearing a suit. It describes him as having a scar on his first finger, left hand. Another on his nose (this scar helped me identify him in a documentary done during the war), and a scar above the left corner of his mouth. The date on his birth certificate is February 1, 1930. His name on the Birth Certificate was only, "Hisaichi Kano".
Henry's father, my grandfather came to Hawaii with his wife from Japan with the great immigration wave of laborers looking for work in Hawaii. Up until the Mid 1800's Japan was a closed country. Few were allowed to land on it's shores and it was completely isolated from the West. The only ones to go there were occasional Dutch traders. That all changed when Admiral Perry forced Japan to open up to the rest of the world when he sailed his fleet into the bay at Edo, now called Tokyo. Under the threat of bombardment, Perry finally got Japan to open its borders. What followed was a wave of immigrants looking for work and money that fanned out across the Pacific and the shores of the North and South American continents. Among those were my Grandparents who settled in Kauai. My Grandfather did not like the hard physical labor working in the sugar cane fields so he started the first taxi service on the Island. First he used a horse drawn wagon but later he would buy a Model T and used that as his taxi. Henry learned to drive on that car.
This is his birth certificate. Probably very grainy and hard to read. It took me awhile to realize this document with a picture of him at age 15 was his birth certificate. Actually it wasn't that, the thing that struck me was the fact that this is a birth certificate and there is a picture of a teenager on it. That strikes me as strange. I believe the family probably got this document only because they were trying at this time to arrange for him to be sent to Los Angeles to learn a trade. But I don't honestly know. It could be that until that time birth certificates weren't required. Hawaii wasn't a state until 1959. Henry hated school and he failed High School which is the main reason the family sent him to Los Angeles, but it wasn't until five years after this document that he made the trip.
This is the only picture I can recall of my dad ever wearing a suit.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 8, 2011 16:50:41 GMT -5
A couple more tidbits.
My father taught me two things that proved very useful later in life. (that was sarcasm...)
1. The proper technique to build a fox hole. And how to smooth out the sides. He said more often than not the ground in Italy was full of stones and it was hard to dig.
2. How to build a booby trap using a grenade. Actually that one did come in handy. You Marines at the PTO reenactments can thank him for that one!~ ;D
He said that the Germans booby trapped EVERYTHING and you quickly learned to pick up NOTHING no matter how enticing. That means the helmet lying next to the road or that really cool looking Luger. In fact the particular booby trap he taught me about involved using a helmet lying next to a foot path with a grenade under it and running a tripwire up over a tree limb and across the foot path. Kicking the tripwire would yank the grenade out from under the helmet, pulling the pin and hoisting it up in the air for greater effect.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 9, 2011 20:27:28 GMT -5
My dad told us this was his footlocker. It isn't an issue footlocker, but rather some kind of storage crate of some kind. I have no idea where all the red crosses came from but they were all over the crate. It could have been used by a medical unit, but again those crosses could have painted on by one of my brothers playing around before I was born. I remember those crosses being on it when he dug the crate out of storage though. The box is dated inside, 1943. The white paint came from my brother who converted this into a chest and then he upholstered the top. The upholstered top was easy to remove but the white paint wasn't so I took all kinds of pictures of it, sanded it down and now use use this crate for our reenactment mortar rounds. The box is very tough, but smaller than an actual footlocker.
I was told by collectors who know that it was not unusual for a GI to grab an ammo crate or something smaller and or lighter than a footlocker and use it for sending his stuff home after he was discharged. I remember when he dug this out of storage. My mom had been using it to store papers and such. Whatever my dad used to keep in it was long gone.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 10, 2011 16:56:59 GMT -5
Quite some time ago the Camp Roberts museum gave me PDF files of all the Camp newpapers from the time my father served there. I don't get a lot of time to casually read so its taken me quite a while to sift through some of them but today I found one that authenticated and dated the USO show collage my father put together.
The Camp Roberts Dispatch, July 11, 1941 has pictures of the same show on the front page. I could not upload the entire PDF file because it is way to large so I did a screen copy of the front page and got part of it to show you here. This shows the USO show predated the outbreak of WWII by five months and just after my father arrived there.
Post by kanowarrior on Apr 12, 2011 20:21:28 GMT -5
Some things I remember my dad still had when I was growing up that he brought back with him from the war.
1. An M1936 Musette bag with shoulder strap. He used this for many, many years as a fishing bag. He finally wore it out.
2. A PAL fighting knife. He kept this razor sharp and used it to clean fish. Again he used it for many, many years until he honed it down so much there wasn't much of it left. I carry a scar on my hand I got from this knife when I was a kid. As I mentioned he kept it razor sharp. He told me he carried this in the war so that is why you see me wearing one at battles.
3. Several size 14 khaki summer shirts. He gave all of these to me when I was in elementry school and I recall having worn them all out by the time I reached High School. Not that it mattered, I couldn't fit into them by then nor could I now. Size 14 was tiny!
4. A summer four pocket khaki summer Class A coat. He threw this away when I was 14. I grabbed it right away but he caught me and made me throw it back. All he would let me do is keep the patches and ribbons from it. I have these still. When I got older I told him what it was worth (1990's it was worth a few hundred dollars).
5. His M43 combat coat. Again a small size, I think it was a 36. I even wore this to my first reenactment and used it still until it was badly worn on the cuffs and collar. I kept it until about five years ago I gave it to my daughter to pass it down.
6. A box of european coins. I mixed those coins into my coin collection when I was a teenager. I gave all my foreign coins to my daughter to pass them on. There were a lot of German war time coinage. I remember those particularly because a lot them were made from tin or some other super light metal. There was also some Italian, English and French coinage and I think a few from some other european countries of the period. Also some paper monies. German, American invasion notes from Italy. I have some of those still. The box those coins came in disigrated thru the years but the lid had a German Adolf Hitler stamp on it. I did save that but later gave that to my older brother who collected stamps.
7. A Luftwaffe eagle patch worn on the white PT shirts. It's huge and part of the collection of artifacts I put on display.
8. Several German unit insignia patches, a couple medals, a close combat badge, branch of service badges, an M43 SS death head patch that had one of the German reenactors slobber over because he said it was extremely rare and many thought never existed. A Wehrmacht breast eagle patch and a few other small items like a collar patch and medical medusa pin. I also had a piece that looked like a pocket watch that measured distances on maps, but I cannot remember what happened to that one. It's missing in action.
9. Various US Army patches, Sixth Army, Fifth Army, Second Army, 34th Division, 36th Division, 442nd (of course) and a couple others.
10. Items I mentioned above, were his dog tags. The Locker picture of the USO show. The 5th Army ID card. His "footlocker".
11. A Korean War Nato surrender leaflet. I have no idea where he got that from. I still have it. I thought I had lost it, but it turned up a couple months ago.
12. A few books and booklets. Two paperback 442nd Unit histories. Two copies of the Camp Roberts graduation booklet, one signed by one of his buddies, but I was never able to find anything out about that person, or track him. A copy of a book called "Pup Tent Poets". I still have this and sometimes see them for sale at shows. A copy of Bill Mauldin's, "This Damn Tree Leaks", the Mediterrain Issue. Again I've seen a couple copies of this around but they bring a lot of money. A copy of the booklet about the 92nd Infantry Division history.
A couple other things I managed to dig up after my parents passed away was a few letters my mother wrote to him when he was overseas and two records. The records were those vinyl records you could have recorded and sent overseas to your husband, boyfriend or son in combat. Remember in the movie, 'The story of GI Joe' the one GI that kept looking for a phonograph to play the record from home? Those are the same type of records. One record was to far gone from age and deterioration, but the other we managed to salvage a little bit from it. I have that recorded on CD. Sadly, most of that one too was lost to time and deterioration and what we do have we were not able to figure out who was on it. I can't remember what happened to those records but I may still have them or my sister does.
Post by erechiakano on Jun 17, 2012 14:08:28 GMT -5
my dad told me about my great great grandfather so i did some research and his name lead me to this site. anyway, could anyone send me some pictures of him, and anything information about him? i would love to share his story. If only i was born earlier so i could have had a chance to meet him. anyway, my email is email@example.com. <yes i know... trust me i've had it for years.