Cedrick Shimo

(1919-2020) Member of the 1800th Engineering Battalion. Promoted Japan-U.S. trade while working for Honda's export division.

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Cedrick Shimo was born in 1919 and grew up in the diverse neighborhood of Boyle Heights. He was active in the Boy Scouts, kendo and the Cougars, a Japanese American athletic club. He received his draft notice the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor while he was at graduate school in Cal Berkeley so he joined the army and signed up for the Military Intelligence Service Language School. However, when he was denied furlough to visit his mother in Manzanar, he became outraged and refused to fight overseas and was placed in the 1800th Engineering Battalion – a segregated group of German, Italian, and Japanese Americans who were considered suspect. Their role was to repair damages to roads, bridges and fences caused by combat troops during training maneuvers. He returned to Boyle Heights after being honorably discharged from the 1800th and went on to become vice-president of the export division for Honda.

On November 20, 2008, Japan awarded him The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays for his efforts in promoting Japan-U.S. trade during a time of trade friction between the two countries while he was at Honda.

He passed away in April 2020 at age 100. (April 2020)

cultures family language discrimination racism terminal island president roosevelt World War II patriotism FBI military MIS 1800 engineer general service batallion 1800th 525 quartermaster corp 442nd identity multi cultural common ground nikkei

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