Four World War II Nisei Veterans Awarded French Legion of Honor Medal
Gregg K. Kakesako
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald
It’s been nearly three-quarters of a century since the Nisei soldiers of the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team were engaged in one of the most vicious battles of World War II to liberate France. Despite the passage of those many decades, Guillaume Maman, honorary consul of France in Hawai‘i, assured them that “France will never forget you. We are forever grateful for your courage, your sacrifice and your valor.”
Since 2004, when 442nd veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Barney Hajiro was bestowed the rank of chevalier, or knight, 91 members of the 442nd RCT and the 100th Battalion have received the Legion of Honor medal and rank. It is France’s highest civilian award, honoring military and civilian excellence.