Tomika T. Nishimoto never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on September 14, 1917 in California. His parents were both born in Japan. His father came to America in 1899 and worked as a farmer and later as a grocery store owner. Tom had a younger sister. After the attack on Pearl Harbor the Nishimoto family was relocated to a camp in Southwestern Arizona in May 1942.
Tom left the camp on June 3, 1943 to find work in the midwest. On July 7, 1944, while in Illinois, he enlisted in the army and joined the 3rd Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment as a private. The men in the 442nd IR earned more decorations than any other regiment in World War 2. It suffered so many casualties that more than 14,000 men served in the 4,000 man unit. Nearly 10,000 earned Purple Hearts.
In early April 1945 the 442nd was given the assignment to attack the long entrenched Germans defending the Gothic Line. Pvt. Nishimoto's 3rd Battalion attacked Mount Folgorita on April 5. It took 30 minutes to dislodge the surprised Germans and their counterattack was not able to retake the high ground. Pvt. Nishimoto died during this battle. His parents received notice of his death while still living at the Poston relocation camp. Twenty-five other former Poston internees also died serving their country.
His grave is at Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles.
On behalf of the fallen, if you would like to see more people become aware of this project to honor the WW2 fallen, be sure to share with others on Twitter, Facebook, etc. Thanks for your interest!
I created this video to explain why I started this project: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXt8QA481lY.
Join the public Facebook group WW2 Fallen 100