Nebraska Native Finally Gets Recognition

Nebraska Native Finally Gets Recognition

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It’s a little known part of American history that Japanese Americans fought for the US in World War II. Their stories were practically erased with the images of internment camps and deportations. Those who fought for the US were forgotten.

Ben Kuroki was born in Hershey, Nebraska. His parents were Japanese. He went about his daily business until World War II interrupted their quiet farm life. Kuroki tried to volunteer for military service but was rejected. He was persistent and eventually was given permission to join the Army Air Corp by Secretary of War, Harry Stimson. He was considered the first Nisei war hero and may have been the only Japanese American to have flown over Japan during the war. He earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses.

After the war, Kuroki studied journalism. He became the first Japanese American editor of a general circulation newspaper in Nebraska. He also did lectures and a movie was made of his life entitled “the Boy from Nebraska”.

Kuroki, now 88, is having honors bestowed upon him. H recently received the Distinguished Service Medal that is given out by the U.S. Army. The state of Nebraska held a banquet in his honor. He also was given an honorary doctorate at the University of Nebraska.

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