January 5, 2015

Japanese American Anti-Tank Unit Landed from Gliders on D-Day in Southern France

 —As the "tank-killers" that helped pave the way for many an Allied victory, an Anti-Tank Company of the courageous 442nd Japanese-American Infantry Regiment is biding its time in the French Alps along the France – Italian border until it can take another swipe at the enemy.
     Holding defensive positions in the towering Alps along Lt. Gen. Jacob L. Devers' 6th Army Group front, the Anti-Tank Company could easily rest on its laurels—but it isn't. In some parts of the Vosges Mountains near the German border — where the snow and wooded terrain made tank warfare impossible—its men were pressed into service as litterbearers, ammunition and supply carriers, and even as front-line infantrymen.
     A similar situation exists in the French Alps, where these self-styled "tank-killers" are contributing greatly in hazardous mountain warfare.
     After the successful drive northward in Italy, the company was attached to an Airborne Taskforce for the invasion of Southern France. On D-day it was towed over the coast of France in two teams of 18 and 26 gliders, and released. Despite an unexpected dispersal of gliders in the landings, the first guns were placed ready for action in less than an hour. For two days it held its position until it was relieved by the Seaborne Divisions which pushed inland and made contact.
     Every member of the Anti-Tank Company wears the Combat Infantryman's Badge for exemplary conduct under enemy fire and the Glider Badge for action as Gliderborne
      Members of the Anti-Tank Company include the following:
Poston Relocation Center:
Pfc. Yoshio Hamada, 28-11-D
Pfc. Hiroshi Takeda, 42-4-D
Sgt. Matauo Kobayashi, 39-9-C
Pvt. Yoshio Shiotani, 37-3-B
S/Sgt. David K. Ogawa, 222-6-A
Pfc Saburo J. Mochizuki, 3-6-B
Pfc. Nobukazu W. Kuwada,308-12-D
Pfc. Albert T. Kizuka, 19-4-A
T/Sgt. Hisaji B. Hamamoto, 19-11-D
Pfc. Tetsu J. Uyechi, 54-7-B

Source: Pacific Citizen, Saturday, March 10, 1945, page 6

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