Ko "Bill" Onodera
U.S. Army - 442nd R.C.T.
World War II

Brick #1228   Wall Location  Column: 21   Row: 21

Ko was born October 29, 1916 in Seattle to Toyosuke and Tamaki Onodera. He attended Colman Grade School and later graduated from Franklin High School in 1934. He was an accomplshed athlete who loved playing baseball and football with the Taiyo organization in his later teens and twenties. He was employed by the US Postal Service for several years prior to the evacuation and internment of Japanese Americans which occurred soon after December 7, 1941. The evacuation was effective with Presidential Order 9066.

Ko Onodera was the eldest of the three Onodera brothers who volunteered for the 442nd while they were interned in Minidoka, ID in 1943. All three served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. His brother Satoru was killed in action in Italy in July 1944. Kaun Onodera was wounded in action in southern France Oct. 1944. A fourth and youngest brother, Yutaka, was too young to volunteer in 1943, but was later to serve in the 2nd Infantry Division during the Korean War in 1951 - 1952.

Ko was given a medical discharge from the US Army in 1944 with disability due to prior illness. After several years in VA hospitals he was able to live a more comfortable life in Olympia, WA. He passed away in 1999 at age 82. His gravesite along with other family relatives is located at Washelli - Resthaven cemetery in north Seattle.

  • Highest rank attained: private
  • Position: infantry
  • Enlisted: 1943 - 1944
Branches Of Service
  • U.S. Army
  • World War II
  • M Company