101 and counting
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Mr USAMI Toshiharu
with a fox pelt that was given to him by Aleut Villagers at Chichagof Harbor, Attu, between June and September 1942.
Photographed at his home in Furano, Hokkaido, Japan. Photo 7 March 2010
Mr Usami is now 101 years old and veteran of the Aleutian Campain in World War II
Brief synopsis: Born on 23 December 1909 (= Meji 42) in Fukushima Prefecture. On 1 June 1928 enrolled to Second Regiment Konoe Infantry. On 1 August 1939 graduated from IJA officers school and assigned to 25th Regiment, 7th Division as a Second Lieutenant. Participated in war in Nomohan (Russia) was injured in both legs and neck), invalided a hospital in China, promoted to first lieutenant and moved to Asahikawa district; on 19 May 1942 he joined the 103rd regiment Hosmi Troop; on 8 June 1942 they landed at Attu (came on Kinukasa Maru) where his group occupied Chichagof Harbor and raised the Japanese flag in US territory.—On 16 September 1942 his regiment (Hosmi Troop) was moved to Kiska aboard the small cruiser; Usami appointed Commander 4th Company of Independent Infantry Batallion 301 (ie became of commander of Uzami troop). Evacuated fom Kiska 29 July 1943 aboard the light cruiser Abukuma to Hokkaido (Shimuzu Isands). On 1 December 1944 became Shoza of the Japanese Army. On 18 July 1945 he was promoted Batallion Commander of 250 Airfield in Okayama Prefecture. After atomic bombing of Hiroshima he commanded rescue troops for the event. In December 1945 be was moved to the Army Reserve. After the war Mr Usami resided in Kami-Furano (Furano Prefecture, Hokkaido) and managed the Nippon Gekijo (theatre; he was a member of town council / legislature and filled anumber of public positions.
© Dirk HR Spennemann 2010, All Rights Reserved
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