Nisei veterans speaker series continues Sept. 9

Shown are World War II veterans Mitsuyoshi Fukuda (clockwise, from top), Takashi “Kit” Kitaoka and Stanley Izumigawa.

The Nisei Veterans Memorial Center continues its quarterly speaker series at 2 p.m. Sept. 9 at the Oceanview Maui Adult Day Care Center on the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center campus in Kahului. The talk will feature three children of 100th Infantry Battalion veterans, discussing how they came to learn about their fathers’ roles in this storied World War II unit and the impact it has had on their own lives.

The talk will be followed by the premiere of Phase 2 of NVMC’s exhibit “One Puka-Puka: The Purple Heart Battalion.”

The speakers are Lloyd Kitaoka, Jill Izumigawa-Ross and David Fukuda.

Kitaoka spent his formative and high school years on Maui while his father, Takashi “Kit” Kitaoka, was serving on the bench of the 2nd Circuit Court, the first Circuit Court judge from a Neighbor Island. His father was born in Hana and earned a law degree from Baylor Law School before being drafted into the U.S. Army as a staff sergeant into the 100th Infantry Battalion.

Izumigawa-Ross was born in Hilo and raised on Maui while her father, Stanley Izumigawa, was serving as an elementary school principal. Izumigawa volunteered for service right out of Lahainaluna High School in 1943 and was part of the first wave of replacements from the 442nd RCT to join the 100th IFB after the battle of Monte Cassino in Italy.

Fukuda was raised on Oahu and moved to Maui to raise his family 44 years ago. His father, Mitsuyoshi Fukuda, was the only nisei commanding officer of the 100th Infantry Battalion, and returned to Hawaii to later become the first Asian vice president of a “Big Five” company. David Fukuda, who retired as a high school teacher on Maui, has been an active volunteer with the Nisei Veterans Memorial Center and is presently serving on its board of directors.

The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. To RSVP, contact Deidre Tegarden at 244-6862 or