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World War II Veterans - Yeiichi (Kelly) Kuwayama

photograph of Yeiichi Kuwayama

Medic Yeiichi (Kelly) Kuwayama
442nd Regimental Combat Team–Company E

World War II Veteran: 1941–1945
T-4 Medic–US Army
 
Locations of Service
European Theater of Operation and USA
 
Medals
Purple Heart, Silver Star and Croce di Guerra (Italian)
 
Yeiichi Kuwayama was born on June 1, 1918, in New York City. He was drafted into the US Army during peacetime. When World War II began, he continued to serve as a medic with the third platoon of the all-Japanese-American 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The 442nd was a segregated military unit and the most decorated unit in US history, earning 18,000 service awards. In October 1944, Yeiichi distinguished himself in combat action near Biffontaine, France, and for his courageous military actions he received the Silver Star Medal. Although the 442nd unit members served impeccably during their military service, they were not considered distinguished military service members when they returned home. Japanese-American World War II veterans were greeted with signs that read "No Japs Allowed" and "No Japs Wanted." But Yeiichi was not deterred; he graduated from Harvard Business School with a master’s. Yeiichi also became the general manager of Nomura Securities Co., Ltd. in the United States, where the common stock for SONY Corp. was first underwritten. In addition to his impressive postwar career, he has been very active in the District of Columbia community.
 
For his dedicated military service during World War II, and for his public service on behalf of the District of Columbia: Yeiichi Kuwayama, a proud World War II veteran and District of Columbia resident, the District of Columbia proudly salutes you!