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February 2020, Volume 70, Issue 2

Roy Fujiwara

Roy was born to Teruzo and Komachi Takehara Fujiwara on February 15, 1918.  He had five siblings: Yoshio, Fumiko, Chiyoko, Hideko and Shigeko.  Roy met Seiko Kanogawa in Seattle and they married on October 5, 1947. Roy and Sei had their son, Tod, and lived most of their lives in Seattle, Washington.  While Roy’s family was incarcerated in camps at Tule Lake and Jerome (and Sei in Minidoka) during WWII, Roy served in L Company of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, carrying a Browning Automatic Rifle. 

In the historic battle to break the Gothic Line, Roy ascended the steep Mount Folgorito through the darkness with his comrades.  At the top of the climb, Roy was shot. Miraculously, the bullet that entered his face and ricocheted through his shoulder would not be fatal. For hours, Roy was carried back down and survived.  Later in life, Roy was able to revisit the French and Italian battlegrounds of WWII with Sei, and later with Tod.

Foy was one of five Nikkei World War II veterans selected to ride in the 2015 Rose Parade. He would say that he was representing the “boy’s who did not return” and that of all his medals and awards, including the Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Unit Citation was the one he valued the most. Roy moved to Hawaii to live with Tod for his last years of life. He was feisty until his last days, connecting quietly with friends who visited. Roy passed away peacefully at home with Tod on November 16, 2019. As was his wish, Roy was laid to rest at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington.