U.S. Army - 442nd R.C.T.
World War II
Brick #2907 Wall Location Column: 21 Row: 7
March 19, 1921 – September 6, 2004
Sadaichi Kubota was the second son of Sakuichi and Yuri Kubota. Born in Hilo on March 19, 1921, he and his family lived in the plantation camp of Amaulu, where his dad was a carpenter for the plantation and his mother, a housekeeper, who did laundry for other plantation workers. Sadaichi had an older brother, Eiichi, a younger brother, Yoshio (Mike) and two sisters, Yachiyo (Aunty Myke) and Fumiko (Aunty Gail). Together, the children enjoyed running through the cane fields, swimming in the nearby streams, the seasonal camp picnics and gatherings, and tending the family garden.
Sadaichi was quite the athlete. He practiced judo, played basketball and barefoot football, and often said he was the best tree climber in camp. He did join the Boy Scouts for a little while, but had quit because of family obligations and the long dark walk home at night after the meetings. He attended Sunday School in camp weekly.
Sadaichi attended Hilo Union School, Hilo Intermediate School and graduated from Hilo High and Japanese Language School in 1939. He then worked for a local shoyu and sake brewery in Hilo. Sadaichi was a carpenter’s apprentice with E.E. Black on Oahu on December 7, 1941, when he heard the thunder of Pearl Harbor being bombed. He returned to Hilo a couple weeks later because he was worried about his elderly parents and 2 younger sisters. He worked for the Hilo Sugar Company, where he further developed his carpentry skills. When the “call to arms” for Niseis arose in 1943, he unhesitatingly volunteered to enlist in the Army. Fearing that his brother, Mike, would also sign up, he quickly wrote a letter to him in Honolulu, instructing him not to enlist so he could take care of the family. Unfortunately, Mike also had the same idea, and their letters crossed in transit. So the brothers both served their country together.
Sadaichi was assigned to the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Recognizing his leadership qualities, his officers quickly promoted him through the ranks---from squad leader to platoon sergeant. Eventually he was battlefield commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and finally promoted to 1st lieutenant. Although he was a well-respected officer, he didn’t like being placed in that position, because he felt like he was like a father, sending his sons to face death. His courage also earned him a Silver Star, Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.
Taking advantage of the GI Bill, Sadaichi enrolled and graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Social Work. His athletic prowess showed again when he took up the sport of fencing and earned medals in college competition. Returning to Hilo, he first entered the workforce as a probation officer with the State of Hawaii. A chance social gathering at the local YWCA gave him an opportunity to meet Amy Marutani, who in 1954 became his wife. He also started his long association with Scouting that year, as a Cubmaster with Pack 23 of Hilo Hongwanji. The following year, son, Alan, was born. In 1957, son, Randal completed the family.
Sadaichi was then recruited by Hilo Sugar Company in 1956 where he served in the Personnel Office. He stayed with the sugar industry for 21 years, taking early retirement in 1977 as a Safety Coordinator for Hilo Coast Processing. He then reentered the workforce as an OSHA Officer for the State of Hawaii and in 1986, retired again, this time as a Worker’s Compensation Hearing Officer with the State of Hawaii Department of Labor, based at their Kona office.
Sadaichi was also very community-minded. He further involved himself in scouting by becoming a Scout Master for Troop 55 and continued as a volunteer with the district as a Unit Commissioner and Summer Camp Merit Badge Counselor, even after his sons graduated from scouting. 2004 year marked his 20th year as a Camp Counselor and 50 years of scouting. The Boy Scouts of America recognized his Scouting involvement by presenting him with the Silver Beaver Award in 1967 and the Distinguished Award of Merit in 1994. Another organization he was very active with was the 442nd Veteran’s Club, Hilo’s Item Chapter. He often organized and led games during the club’s summer picnics, and regularly attended annual reunions both on Oahu and in Las Vegas. Other community affiliations included Honpa Hongwanji Hilo Betsuin, Wainaku Kumiai, Hilo Kendo Club, Disabled American Veterans, Beekeepers’ Association, 4H, Hiroshima Kenjin Kai, and in recent years, he served as a volunteer in the Visitors Information kiosk in downtown Hilo. He even had time to take on hobbies such as Gi Gong (pronounced gee gong), and Tai Chi.
In addition to being a loving husband, father, brother and uncle, he wore many hats during his lifetime. But the hat he enjoyed wearing the most was his “grandpa” hat. He adored his 3 grandchildren—singing songs and playing games with them, building them rope swings, step stools and storage shelves, regaling them with his war stories, teaching them the Issei values which were passed on to him as a child, playing the harmonica and Japanese flute to lull them to sleep, and cheering them on during all their sporting games and music programs.
Sadaichi led a very rich and full life. He always kept active and busy, and that is how we will remember him.
- Highest rank attained: Captain
- Enlisted: 1943 - 1945
- Enlisted: 1945 - 1947