David Fukuda
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.

Photo of the Maui AJA Veterans Pony Baseball Field
The Maui AJA Veterans Pony Baseball Field adjacent to Kahului Elementary School is named in the organization’s honor in recognition of its support over the years.

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.

To read the rest of this article, please subscribe to The Herald!

Photo of flagpole at the Makawao Veterans Cemetery funded by Maui AJA Veterans.
In 1953, the Maui AJA Veterans funded the construction of this flagpole at the Makawao Veterans Cemetery. It was dedicated on Memorial Day 1953. (Photos courtesy Nisei Veterans Memorial Center)
Photo of plaque at the base of flagpole, funded by Maui AJA Veterans
The plaque at the base of the flagpole honors all who made the supreme sacrifice for America.












Photo of the 1969 Chrysanthemum Ball contestants.
The 1969 Chrysanthemum Ball contestants, dressed in kimono. From left: JoAnn Watanabe, Inez Kato, April Santos and Valerie Kawahara.
Photo of the Maui Joint Memorial Service, held in the Stanley Izumigawa Pavilion
The Maui Joint Memorial Service, which was held in the Stanley Izumigawa Pavilion, attracted a large group of veterans, their families and supporters. (Photos by Melanie Agrabante)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here