Monday, January 21, 2008

Honoring the Legacy, Part 1.3: Hawaii Territorial Guard

Hawaii Territorial Guard

University of Hawaii ROTC cadets are ordered to report to campus shortly after the attack. Later that day, the ROTC is converted into the Hawaii Territorial Guard (HTG). Members of the HTG are dispatched to guard buildings and installations throughout the island, armed with 1905 Springfield rifles, each loaded with only five bullets.

Six weeks later, on January 19, 1942, the Nisei members of the HTG are abruptly classified as 4-C “enemy aliens” and declared ineligible for military service.

"If a bomb had been exploded in our midst it could not have been more devastating! We were hit by the painful reality that we, Japanese Americans, were being rejected and disowned by our own country, just because we bore the face of the enemy. It never occurred to us that our status and loyalty as Americans would ever be doubted or challenged. We had been born, raised and educated as Americans all the way. To have our own country, in its most extreme time of danger, reject and repudiate our services was almost beyond comprehension. There was no depth to which our emotions sank. The very bottom dropped out of our existence!” - Ted T. Tsukiyama

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