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|My name is Roger Eaton of La Palma, California and since the year 2003 I have been involved with the AJA WWII Memorial Alliance educational project working on the Registry of men and women that served with the 100th Bn, the 442nd RCT, MIS and affiliated units. |
The first Roster given to me by the project chairman, Jim J Yamashita was that of the 4th group, referred as the attached Co's, such as Cannon, Service, Medics, and the 232nd Engineers probably because my father-in-law, George Yamada, was in 232nd Engineer Company. Initially, the Roster was pretty much a blank sheet, with only the names and the Units and lacking dates of birth and hometowns and other available data. Very soon after this, Jim gave me the rest of the Registry of over 20,000 names.. For me this was a challenge for a guy who at 18 in 1961, thought that the name of a nursery in South Central was Wa-tan-a-be, and had never even met anyone of Japanese ancestry.
To continue with my job assignment, the year of birth for most of the enlisted men was pretty simple, as the Army has a web site with nearly 9 million names of enlisted men and women, < http://aad.archives.gov/aad/series-list.jsp?cat=WR26 > but nearly one and a half million were missing. Seems like most of those missing, for some reason, were men who went to the camps. The records went from punch cards to micro-film to an automated reader to computer about 1992.
The first order of business was to put in the year and state of birth for each of the men in our registry, to give a starting point to find the man with the Internet. The Internet makes this a much easier task, and with tools like Ancestry.com and other search engines, a person really can't hide. Finding Japanese American names turned out to be pretty easy, it's the Caucasian Officers that are difficult. There is no list of Officers like there is for EM's (enlisted men), so we have no starting point to try and find them, and their names which may repeat up to 100 times across the country. I happened upon a site called Genealogy.com that has a huge database of names, almost all European in origin, but almost every spelling of every name. It is mainly for people who are doing their own genealogy, so if your name is say Gremaldi, you go to that list and post a message that you are looking for a Gremaldi who lived in Boston in 1907 by the name of Earl, and another Gremaldy doing their genealogy and using the service will answer and give you the info you need. Lately a few Japanese Americans have responded. Therefore, I took a flyer and posted about 350 names of Officers that we knew so little about and a message line as an example that read "James Bowers Dunn – Served as an Officer in the 442nd RCT during WWII" and that would lead to a paragraph about our group and the work we are doing and why we wanted to contact them or a member of the family to learn more about them. Some of my inquiries date back 6 years, but they still show up on that site and others.
To date I have received at least 150 responses from those listings. It happens because when someone ‘Googles' the name of their relative, say James Bowers Dunn and they go a few pages deep into that search, my inquiry will pop up and they can't help but go to it, and if it is the right person, I get a call or an email. This happened in January 2010. I must tell you this is a very rewarding moment, to get an email from his granddaughter and a few minutes later to get a call from his son! Man, I tell you, I would do this for free….wait a minute; I am doing this for free! No problem!!
The same thing happened a few years ago, when a granddaughter emailed me asking what we had about her grandfather and I replied that the only info I had found was that he was born in 1900 and passed in 1980 and two hours later, HE called! What a great revelation to find out that he was alive! We talked for about an hour, then I spoke to his wife and she said he cried the whole time we were on the phone. Now that is powerful stuff!! I love this job!!
I just wish I weren't finding so many of these Veterans passed away. If the Internet had been in use 40 years ago, this would not be the case and our searches could have been much more productive, but it wasn't so we'll just have to make the best of it.
Lately, I and Jim's nephew, Tom Ezaki of San Jose, have been scouring the papers each week to find the obituaries of Japanese American veterans and their Caucasian officers to forward to JAVA where Grant Ichikawa sends them out to hundreds and hundreds of other Veterans each week in his newsletter, Round Robin. We use a free Obit service
< http://www.legacy.com/obituaries.asp?page=obitfinder > which covers over 750 newspapers in the country and look at over 15,000 names of Veterans each week to find the 30 or so with Japanese American names. We use keywords like Veteran, WWII, Army, Nisei, 100th Bn, 442nd , MIS, Military Intelligence Service and a few more. I do my obits on Thursday and Sunday so that I can use the ‘past three days' feature on the site (actually covers 4 days).
On Sundays Tom and I spend a little more time and look thru about 50 newspapers for Japanese American names who are Veterans but didn't say so in their obits. We can refer to a list of more than 31,000 Japanese American names that Prof James McIlwain assembled: < http://charlotte.neuro.brown.edu/~jamesmcilwain/ > to verify if they are WWII Vets. Not so with Korea and later wars, unfortunately, as there is no such lists for these men and women.
< http://www.staradvertiser.com/> one of the papers. All the Obits collected are kept on the CD in folder 13 and are listed by the Unit each man served with.
I look forward to the day when all the blank spaces in the Registry are all filled in, except the DoD blank, of course!
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|Bonnie Hoy||Claude Philip White|
I don't quite understand why you do not think this is Claude Philip White as I got this information out of a book called the World War Veterans of Ionia County. Please explain.
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