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Two Japanese American Soldiers, Two Best Friends, And a Crossroad


An estimated few weeks before Masao was to be relieved of his duty in the U.S army he was killed on April 21, 1945, near Marciaso, Italy.

In a government document the following was stated:
“For gallantry in action on the 21th day of April, 1945 near Marciaso, Italy. When Private Masao Shigezane’s squad attacked a strongly defended house, the enemy retaliated with a heavy concentration of hand grenades and automatic rifle and machine gun fire. At the front of the advancing squad, Private Masao Shigezane, realizing that heavy casualties would result if the squad were forced to halt, he crawled forward twenty yards under sniper fire and exploding grenades. Within fifteen yards of the house, Private Masao Shigezane rose, and after rapid rifle fire, threw hand grenades through the windows and doors, stunning the enemy troops and forcing them from their advantageous positions. As Private Masao Shigezane motioned the squad to come forward, he was killed by sniper fire from the rear. Inspired by their comrade’s leadership, the members of the squad closed with the Germans, forcing their surrender. Private Masao Shigezane’s aggressiveness and courage in battle are exemplary of the finest traditions of the Army of the United States.”

For his courageous actions, he was awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. At Evergreen Cemetary, located in Los Angeles, there is a statue in honor of the soldiers, and a plate inscribed with some of the Japanese American soldiers lost to the war in which includes Masao Shigezane.

Above all, Masao's acts of bravery showed that he chose the path giving his own mortal life to prove his loyalty to America, which many of his fellow Japanese American brother soldiers all did.

Photo taken at Evergreen Cemetary of
100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team Memorial, Los Angeles, CA.

Based on this original

uploaded by BShindo
Masao More »

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