Jimmie Kanaya

Portland, Oregon
Army Medic (Retired as Colonel)
EUROPEAN THEATER: Italy, Southern France, POW, Liberation
RANK & DIVISION: Army Medic, 3rd Battalion, 442nd Japanese Reg.

The son of Japanese immigrants, Jimmie is devoted to both his family and his country. But his dual loyalties are challenged by the racist backlash of post-Pearl Harbor hysteria. In early 1942, Jimmie’s parents are relocated to an internment camp and although he is already in the army, the government initially treats him as a suspect and refuses to allow him to actively fight. In 1943, Jimmie joins the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a special unit made up of Japanese-American soldiers. Despite his best intentions to set an example of excellence in service, things tend to go wrong for Jimmie in combat, but he earns a Silver Star just months before he is captured by German soldiers. After multiple failed escape attempts, he is eventually liberated at the end of the war.