• 1212 South King Street, Seattle, WA 98144
  • (206) 322-1122
  • info@nvcfoundation.org

The Nisei Veterans Committee of Seattle is trying to locate the families of five Nisei soldiers from the West Coast who perished in a plane crash on Okinawa at the end of World War II and were recently awarded the Purple Heart medal. The Army has awarded the medal to all 31 soldiers who were killed in the crash of a C-46 transport plane that crashed while attempting to land at Naha Field on August 13, 1945. An air raid alert left the field blacked out and covered by a defensive smoke screen. 

Researchers in Hawaii and Minnesota learned that 12 of the passengers – members of the 11th Airborne Division — were classified “killed in action” and at least some of them were awarded the Purple Heart. The other 19 victims, including ten Nisei linguists of the Military Intelligence Service, were classified “died, non-battle” and received no recognition. This disparity was brought to the attention of the Army, which determined an oversight occurred. To correct it, the Army is awarding all the crash victims the Purple Heart, the medal that is given to Americans who are wounded or killed in action against the enemy.  The families of five Hawaii Nisei received their medals at Pearl Harbor on May 10, 2024.

We are now trying to find the families of the remaining Nisei soldiers, three of whom were from Washington state.  We have the following information on the Nisei and their families. Some of the information is old and some names may be spelled incorrectly.

T/4 Shunichi Bill Imoto
Born: Harding, WA
Buried: Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park, Seattle, WA
Father: Tosuke
Married: Michiko (Nichisaka) at Hunt Idaho in 1942
Brothers: Yoshi Imoto and Hisakichi Tamaki of Seattle
Sister: Tokiko Kine, Japan

T/4 Joe Yuzuru Kadoyama
Born: Kent, WA
Buried: Evergreen Cemetery (Boyle Heights), Los Angeles, CA
Father: Hiyakumatsu (or Hyakumatsu)
Mother: Shina (from Census and WRA roster)
Wife: Natsuko
Brother: George
Sisters: Mary, Michie, and Violet

T/4 Satoshi Ben Kurokawa
Born: Guadalupe, CA 
Buried: Golden Gate Cemetery, San Bruno, CA
Parents: Hyoe and Kameko of Hiroshima, Japan
Sisters: Margarita R.S. Wakimoto, Katherine F. Matsuoka, Nana, and Akiko

Sgt. Masaki H Nakamura
Born: Gold Bar, WA
Buried: Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park, Seattle, WA
Wife: Fumiko Takamura of Tacoma, WA
Daughter: Sandra Hatsumi of Spokane, WA
Brothers: Kaneji and Sueki of San Jose, CA
Sisters: Yoneko Kanemoto and Mitsu Ichishita of San Jose; Tomeko Nishimura of Chicago​

T/4 George Takashi Yamaguchi
Born: Portland, OR
Buried: Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
Parents: Shigezo and Masaye (or Masae)
Brother: Lloyd, who also served in the MIS
Sister: Mary Takemoto of Chicago
George graduated from UW in 1942

If you have any leads or helpful information on how to find the families of these servicemen, please contact Chris Sketchley at cjsketchley@comcast.net