Special to The Hawai‘i Herald
This year’s Joint Memorial Service honoring the Maui AJA veterans who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service in World War II paid special tribute to an organization that quickly got back to work serving their community after returning from battle.
The Sept. 25 ceremony at the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center in Wailuku recognized Maui AJA Veterans, Inc., which decided to disband earlier this year after 70 years of service to the Maui community and, in many respects, to our entire state and nation.
Barely two years had passed since these men, mainly 442nd RCT veterans, had returned from the European battlefront when they formed Maui AJA Veterans in 1947. Veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion had already established chapters on the various islands and were organizing social and community service projects. These veterans on Maui wanted to do likewise.
Ricky Yasui, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, which had participated in Operation Market Garden in Holland in September 1944, was elected the group’s first president. Yasui’s older brother Yoji, who was among the 1,432 original members of the 100th Battalion, was killed in action outside of Monte Cassino in 1943.
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