Honolulu, Hawaii — On Thursday, January 26, 2012, two long-term care patients of Maluhia were honored for their outstanding military service during World War II. The 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment and Maluhia hospital staff honored Mr. Yoshiwo Shimabukuro and Mr. George Chinen by presenting each of them with gold medal to commemorate their service and sacrifice.
“This event provides these Japanese-American World War II veterans with an opportunity to be recognized for their bravery on the battlefield,” said Derek Akiyoshi, Maluhia administrator. “Although their contribution to the war effort was recognized by Congress in November 2011 and locally on December 17, 2011, at the Hawaii Convention Center, these two were unable to attend and participate, in light of their present physical limitations. So we’re hoping that this past-due recognition will demonstrate our continued appreciation for their sacrifice.”
“Today’s 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment gold medal recognition comes as the result of contributions and sacrifices that these two made in defense of our country,” added Bruce S. Anderson, Ph.D., HHSC president and chief executive officer. “And to finally recognize them gives HHSC, particularly our Alewa Heights long-term care facility staff a greater sense of honor in being able to respond to the present health care needs of these two veterans.” sacrifice.
Yoshiwo Shimabukuro was born on December 29, 1920, in Hakalau, Hawaii Island. After graduating Hilo High School in 1937, he joined the U.S. Army. His 442nd European tour included Italy, France, and Germany. Yoshiwo was part of the 522 Field Artillery Battalion of the 442nd that entered Germany – the infamous battalion that helped to liberate Jewish survivors of the Landsberg-Kaufering Dachau Death March and Dachau sub-camps. After being discharged from military service, Yoshiwo served as a state inspector for the Board of Health and continued to be actively working even after his retirement. He has three daughters and two grandchildren.
George Chinen was born on March 24, 1924, raised in Kalihi, Oahu, and graduated from Farrington High School. In 1943, at the age of 19, George enlisted in the U.S. Army and after finishing basic training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, he was assigned to the 3rd Battalion and fought battles in both France and Italy, involving three campaigns – North Appennines, Po Valley, and Rhineland. He was discharged in December 1945, at special rank of Technical 5th grade (a special rank over corporal rank – discontinued after WWII). Mr. Chinen married Sueko Tengan in 1954 and they had three children. George was a civilian communications specialist for the federal government until his retirement in 1984. Following his retirement, he and his wife traveled extensively around the world, including frequenting Las Vegas.
Maluhia is one of 12 facilities operated and managed by the Hawaii Health Systems Corporation (HHSC). Established in 1996, HHSC is a public benefit corporation of the State of Hawaii. As the state’s safety-net healthcare system, HHSC continues to fulfill the state’s promise to provide quality, hometown healthcare.
About the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment
This is an Army Reserve unit, the only infantry unit in the entire U.S. Army Reserves. It bears the same unit designation as the one from World War Two and continues its legacy. The unit is comprised of 5 companies – two in American Samoa, one in Guam/Saipan and two on Oahu. The function of the Reserves is to supplement the active duty forces when call upon.