|Sgt. Tadashi Kijima served in the 442nd Infantry Regiment in Italy and France.|
Tadashi Kijima never had a chance to reach 100 years old today. Instead, he sacrificed his life for our freedom.
He was born on May 17, 1918 in Hawaii. His parents Seichi and Hina were both born in Japan and came to Hawaii in 1906. His father worked as a salesman. Tadashi had three brothers and a sister. After completing high school he worked at a tinsmith shop and spent his free time diving and fishing.
He was drafted into the army on February 24, 1942. After basic training he volunteered for the all Nisei 442nd Infantry Regiment. He became a sergeant in the Headquarters Company of the 2nd Battalion. He was sent overseas in May 1944. During June through August he saw action in the Rome-Arno Campaign. The 442nd IR was next sent to be part of the invasion of Southern France and the advance to the Vosges Mountains.
Sgt. Kijima was at the 2nd Battalion command post when it came under artillery fire on October 18, 1944. He was killed by a deadly fragments from a tree burst above. During his service he earned a Bronze Star. I was not able to determine the details for this.
The 442nd IR was a 4,000 man unit. Over the course of the war 14,000 men served in this regiment. Purple Hearts were earned by 9,486. It was the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in American history.
An excellent book on this unit is Go For Broke: The Nisei Warriors of World War II Who Conquered Germany, Japan, and American Bigotry.
Sgt. Kijima's grave is at Maui Veterans Cemetery in Makawao, Hawaii.
Last year on this date I profiled Edward Gill, 3rd Marine Division, who lost his life on Iwo Jima. You can read about Edward and true love here.
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.
Please consider joining the public Facebook group to increase the exposure of this project. Go to: WW2 Fallen 100