U.S. Army - M.I.S.
World War II
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Shiro Tokuno was attending the University of California at Berkeley and was just about to graduate with a BS in Agricultural Economics when the United States became involved in World War II. In february of 1942, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 which declared the West Coast as a vital military zone from which all Japanese and Japanese Amercians must be removed. Shiro immediately signed up to serve, but was classified as an enemy alien at that time. He then returned to his home in Palermo, California, to help his family prepare to be evacuated to an assembly center in Walerga before being transferred to a concentration camp in Tule Lake, California.
In September, of 1943 he and his family were moved to the Topaz Relocatin Center, where he applied for work with the War Relocation Authority in Washington, D.C. He reported for work with the WRA sometime in February, 1944, but it was not long after that he was notified to report Fort Douglas, Utah for induction into the United States Army.
He had earlier taken a test which, if he passed, would make him eligible to serve with the Military Intelligence Language School at Fort Snelling, Minnesota. He was accepted and completed the course in May of 1945 after which he was sent overseas to serve, first in the Philippine Islands, interrogating prisoners of war and later, with the U. S. Occupation Forces in Japan, serving under General MacArthur. He took his discharge from the Army in June, 1946, but continued his service with the Occupation forces, using his knowledge of Japanese and his training in Agricultural Economics to help the country get back on its feet. He worked on the land reform program and with the agricultural cooperatives to imporove the lot of the farmers. It gave him a great sense of satifaction to know that he had been able to make this contribution towards recovery of Japan after its devastation from the war.
After his sevice, he returned home to take advantage of the GI Bill of Rights and enrolled once again at UC Berkeley, this time to work towards his Master's Degree in Agricultural Economics from June, 1951-1953. He continued his service in the military by enrolling in the Army Reserve program, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel on the 17th day of December, 1978.
Shiro Tokuno passed away on February 6th, 2010. He was married to Asako Maida of Richmond, California; together they had three sons, two daughters and nine grandchildren.
- Highest rank attained: Lt. Colonel