JAPANESE AMERICAN VETERANS ASSOCIATION

 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 4, 2005

 

CONTACTS: Terry Shima (301-987-6746; ttshima@worldnet.att.net)

Thomas Mukai (703-751-1550; tvictor53@gmail.com)

Dr. Warren Tsuneishi (301-320-3856; wartsu@msn.com)

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JAMES MCNAUGHTON MEETS JAVA MEMBERS. MIS BOOK POSSIBLE PUBLICATION DATE IS NEXT YEAR

Washington, D.C. Dr. James C. McNaughton, Command Historian or the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) since April 2005, told Japanese American Veterans Association members that the publication of Loyal Linguists: Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service is in the final stages of editing and, barring the unforeseen, is expected to be published in 2006. Loyal Linguists, the official history of Japanese Americans in the MIS, will be published by the US Army Center of Military History.

L to R: Julie Slonecker, Phil Ishio, Connie Ishio, McNaughton, Calvin Ninomiya, Cherry Tsutsumida, Grant Ichikawa, Fred Murakami, Suzie Ichiuji, Joe Ichiuji. Behind Suzie Ichiuji is Marcia Mau. Photo credit: Marcia Mau

Twenty five JAVA members, many of them his personal friends, met over lunch with Dr. McNaughton in the Washington, D.C. area on May 26, 2005, during the course of his business trip here. In addition to Acting President Colonel Thomas V. Mukai, US Army, Ret, all three former JAVA presidents were in attendance: Colonel Phil Ishio, Ret, Mr. Fred Murakami, and Colonel Hank Wakabayashi, Ret. Dr. McNaughton thanked JAVA members Phil Ishio, Stanley Falk, Warren Tsuneishi and Harry Fukuhara, for reviewing selected chapters of his 800 page manuscript.

Dr. McNaughton said he was assigned to write Loyal Linguists, mandated by Congress on the initiative of Senator Daniel K. Akaka, in 1994 when he was Command Historian at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey, California. He commenced researching, interviewing MIS veterans and writing at whatever time he could spare from his full-time duties. He later took this assignment to Hawaii, where he next served as Command Historian for the US Army Pacific at Fort Shafter. Altogether it would take him ten years to complete the research and the writing of the book.

From 1996 to 1998 McNaughton also served as the research director for the Department of the Armyís review of Asian Americans in WW II that resulted in award upgrades to the Medal of Honor. The MOH, the nationís highest award for conspicuous bravery over and beyond the call of duty, were presented by President William Clinton in a White House ceremony on June 21, 2000 to twenty Japanese Americans, one Filipino American and one Chinese American.

Dr. McNaughton said the US militaryís search for loyal Japanese American linguists with native knowledge of Japanese language and culture can serve as a useful roadmap for the search for loyal Arabic linguists today. In World War II the US Army turned to an ethnic group which was the target of suspicion and even hatred by many other Americans. However, in its search for loyal Americans with the requisite skills, the US Army learned that thousands of Japanese Americans were ready, willing and able to stand up and defend their country.

L to R: Dr. McNaughton, Calvin Ninomiya, Fred Murakami.  Photo:  Grant Ichikawa.

Dr. McNaughton earned a BA in history and political science from Middlebury College, Vermont. He was commissioned in Field Artillery through ROTC and served on active duty in Germany. He left active duty to earn his PhD in history from the Johns Hopkins University and was awarded a Fulbright graduate fellowship. He completed his military service in the National Guard and Army Reserve, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. He presently continues government service as a Department of the Army Civilian at EUCOM, the regional combatant command that is responsible for US military forces and activities in 91 countries in Europe and Africa.

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