U.S. Army - 442nd R.C.T.
Brick #654 Wall Location Column: 36 Row: 27
Pfc Todd Sakohira September 5, 1922 - July 4, 1944
Todd Sakohira, RA, (Serial No. 39920129), born of Kumotaro and Mitsuyo Sakohira, farmers, of Hiroshima, Japan,on September 5, 1922 in Fowler, California. He was one of six children, three boys, including brothers Frank and Harry, and three girls, Elizabeth, Ruth, and Ida. Todd Sakohira attended Fowler Elementary School and graduated Fowler High School in June, 1940. He enjoyed basketball, and earned his letter playing for the Fowler High School team. Todd spent many hours at his hobby of constructing model airplanes, as his ambition was to be an airplane pilot.
Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 all persons of Japanese ancestry along the West Coast in California, Oregon, and Washington were ordered to be interned. Todd and his family were incarcerated at the Gila River Relocation Center in Gila Bend, Arizona in August of 1942, while Brother Harry was serving in the United States Army.
To show his loyalty to his country while in the Gila River Internment Center, Todd Sakohira volunteered and was inducted on June 17, 1943 and joined the newly formed, segregated, and all Americans of Japanese Ancestry 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Todd Sakohira was assigned to Company G, 442nd Regimental Combat Team at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and was awarded the expert rifle medal and the sharpshooter carbine medal during his basic training.
Todd’s unit was shipped overseas in May 1944 and landed in Oran, Africa, and shortly thereafter was rerouted to Naples, Italy, and subsequently to Civitavecchia with a stop over at Anzio, when
German planes raided the Allied supply dumps and treated the men to their biggest display of aerial fireworks.
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team moved into combat on June 26th, 1944 being attached to the 34th Red Bull Infantry Division. Pfc. Todd Sakohira was killed in action on July 4th, 1944 near Castellina, Italy during the Battle of Hill 140, southwest of Castellina. All of the officers of Company G except the company commander, became casualties as they were engaged in a fierce fire fight in the Battle of Hill 140, later to be known as the Battle of “Little Casino.” During the first day of this battle of Hill 140, Company G suffered heavy casualties and three Company G men were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
Pfc Todd Sakohira was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal; Bronze Star Medal; Combat Infantryman Badge; Distinguished Unit Citation; the American Campaign Medal;the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; Good Conduct Medal; and the World War II Victory Medal. Pfc. Harry Sakohira, who attended the funeral of his brother Todd at Gila River Relocation Center in Arizona with the family on July 29, 1944, returned to duty and was shipped overseas and assigned to Company G, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the same Company as brother Pfc Todd Sakohira. Pfc Harry Sakohira distinguished himself in the battle of the Lost Battalion in France, being awarded the Silver Star. Sister Ida Sakohira Kawaguchi, a candy striper in Gila Relocation Center hospital, joined the Cadet Nurse Corp to do her part to support her country.
Pfc Todd Sakohira was survived by his mother Mrs. Mitsuyo Sakohira, (deceased) Elizabeth Washiya (now deceased), Frank Sakohira, Ruth Kunishige (now deceased), and Ida Kawaguchi. Pfc. Todd Sakohira was initially interred in the U.S. Military Cemetery in Follonica, Italy, and later brought home to rest in the Fowler, California cemetery. (Prepared for AJA WW II Memorial Alliance “Echoes of Silence” by Mits Kojimoto and Kuniko Shimoguchi)
- Highest rank attained: Private First Class
- Killed in Action
- Position: Infantry
- Enlisted: 1943 - 1944