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UH to award posthumous degrees to founders of WWII unit

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 8:22 p.m. HST, May 10, 2012


The University of Hawaii at Manoa says it plans to award posthumous degrees to seven Japanese-American U.S. Army ROTC cadets who formed a civilian battalion and were killed in action during World War II.

University officials say the students were enrolled during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and called to serve in the Hawaii Territorial Guard. But they were kicked out because of their Japanese ethnicity.

They petitioned and formed a civilian battalion that eventually led to the establishment of a U.S. Army regiment of Japanese-Americans.

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team served in Italy and France.

The students to be honored are: Daniel Betsui of Hanapepe, Jenhatsu Chinen of Helemano, Robert Murata and Grover Nagaji of Honolulu, Akio Nishikawa of Paia, Hiroichi Tomira of Wailuku and Howard Urabe of Kapaa.

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