442nd Veteran Shig Doi (left) of Richmond, California and Kuwashi Iwataki (right), veteran of the 442nd's 100th Battalion from Los Angeles, California along with the 100th/442nd 70th Anniversary Tour of France in the Helledraye Forest near Bruyeres, France. Monday July 14, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
442nd Veteran Shig Doi (left) of Richmond, California and Kuwashi Iwataki (right), veteran of the 442nd’s 100th Battalion from Los Angeles, California along with the 100th/442nd 70th Anniversary Tour of France in the Helledraye Forest near Bruyeres, France. Monday July 14, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez

It has been 70 years since the legendary 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team comprised almost entirely of young Americans of Japanese descent went onto the battlefields of war for their country, for their people, for each other, and for themselves while most of their families were unjustly incarcerated behind barbed wire prison camps under armed guard back at home.

They went for broke. In the fall of 1944, they fought gallantly and their numbers were decimated on a suicide mission to rescue “The Lost Battalion” along other battles in and around the areas of Bruyeres, Epinal, and Biffontaine in the Vosges Mountains in France, and onto Italy, to the Gothic Line. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team is the highest decorated combat unit of its size in American history and received seven Presidential Unit Citations.

The 442nd/100th Battalion 70th Anniversary Tour of France took place from July 12 to July 17. Shigeyuki “Shig” Doi, of Richmond, California, went on the tour accompanied by his grandson Shawn Doi of Seattle. Shig served in (I) Company, 3rd Battalion of the 442nd. He was one of the few survivors to partake in the rescue of The Lost “Texas” Battalion. At 94, Doi is sharp and continues pass on his history to younger generations, as well as his grandson Shawn.

Doi shared his stories on the tour, and one of Doi’s main objectives was to honor and visit the grave of his Company Commander Captain Joseph Lawrence Byrne. Beloved by his men, Capt. Byrne was the only Caucasian officer who could pronounce the Japanese names of his men perfectly, recalled Doi. Unfortunately the captain was killed in action one day before they rescued the Lost Battalion. One could certainly see the love and respect that Doi holds for Capt. Byrne, and one could certainly see the pain.

Shig Doi, a 442nd veteran of Richmond, California, is accompanied by his grandson Shawn Doi of Seattle, on the 442nd/100th Battalion 70th Anniversary Tour of France, returns to the forests and battle grounds around Bruyeres, France where he fought during WWII. Monday July 14, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
Shig Doi, a 442nd veteran of Richmond, California, is accompanied by his grandson Shawn Doi of Seattle, on the 442nd/100th Battalion 70th Anniversary Tour of France, returns to the forests and battle grounds around Bruyeres, France where he fought during WWII. Monday July 14, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
442nd Veteran Shig Doi (left) of Richmond, California and Kuwashi Iwataki (right), veteran of the 442nd's 100th Battalion from Los Angeles, California and on the 100th/442nd 70th Anniversary Tour of France at Haut-Jacques Pass, France. Tuesday July 15, 2014. •  Photo by Johnny Valdez
442nd Veteran Shig Doi (left) of Richmond, California and Kuwashi Iwataki (right), veteran of the 442nd’s 100th Battalion from Los Angeles, California and on the 100th/442nd 70th Anniversary Tour of France at Haut-Jacques Pass, France. Tuesday July 15, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
Shig Doi, a 442nd veteran of Richmond, California, is accompanied by his grandson Shawn Doi of Seattle, on the 442nd/100th Battalion 70th Anniversary Tour of France, visits the grave of his beloved Company Commander ("I" Company) Captain Joseph Lawrence Byrne. American Cemetary in Epinal, France.  Wednesday July 16, 2014. Photo by Johnny Valdez
Shig Doi, a 442nd veteran of Richmond, California, is accompanied by his grandson Shawn Doi of Seattle, on the 442nd/100th Battalion 70th Anniversary Tour of France, visits the grave of his beloved Company Commander (“I” Company) Captain Joseph Lawrence Byrne. American Cemetary in Epinal, France. Wednesday July 16, 2014. Photo by Johnny Valdez
Shig Doi, a 442nd veteran of Richmond, California, is accompanied by his grandson Shawn Doi of Seattle, on the 442nd/100th Battalion 70th Anniversary Tour of France, tells the story of how his beloved Company Commander, Joseph Lawrence Byrne was killed in acton the day before they rescued the Lost Texas Battalion. American Cemetary, Epinal, France. Wednesday July 16, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
Shig Doi, a 442nd veteran of Richmond, California, is accompanied by his grandson Shawn Doi of Seattle, on the 442nd/100th Battalion 70th Anniversary Tour of France, tells the story of how his beloved Company Commander, Joseph Lawrence Byrne was killed in acton the day before they rescued the Lost Texas Battalion. American Cemetary, Epinal, France. Wednesday July 16, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
Kuwashi Iwataki of Los Angeles, California pays respect to the grave of fallen comrade Edward Ogawa of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team at the American Cemetary in Epinal, France. Wednesday July 16, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
Kuwashi Iwataki of Los Angeles, California pays respect to the grave of fallen comrade Edward Ogawa of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team at the American Cemetary in Epinal, France. Wednesday July 16, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
Kuwashi Iwataki along with his son Joel and daughter Miya pay respect to the grave of Edward Ogawa of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team at the American Cemetary in Epinal, France. Wednesday July 16, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
Kuwashi Iwataki along with his son Joel and daughter Miya pay respect to the grave of Edward Ogawa of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team at the American Cemetary in Epinal, France. Wednesday July 16, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
100th Battalion, 442nd veteran Kuwashi Iwataki of Los Angeles, California, at the Helledraye Forest near Bruyeres, France. Monday July 14, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
100th Battalion, 442nd veteran Kuwashi Iwataki of Los Angeles, California, at the Helledraye Forest near Bruyeres, France. Monday July 14, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
100th Battalion, 442nd veteran Kuwashi Iwataki in the Bastille Day parade in Bruyeres, France. Monday July 14, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
100th Battalion, 442nd veteran Kuwashi Iwataki in the Bastille Day parade in Bruyeres, France. Monday July 14, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
100th Battalion, 442nd veteran Kuwashi Iwataki and daughter Miya leaving the American Cemetary in Epinal, France. Wednesday July 16, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez
100th Battalion, 442nd veteran Kuwashi Iwataki and daughter Miya leaving the American Cemetary in Epinal, France. Wednesday July 16, 2014. • Photo by Johnny Valdez

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