Mitsuo "Mits" Kodama

Gender Male
Birth date 1919-01-05
Place of birth Mountain View CA, USA
Inducted 1944-06-02, Ft. Sheridan IL
Enlistment type Draftee
Service branch Army
Service type War,peacetime
Unit type Combat
Units served Training - 64th Regiment, 208th Battalion, A-Company.; Overseas - 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 2nd Battalion, F-Company
Military specialty Battalion to company runner during combat. Mail clerk and company clerk after combat.
Stationed USA: Camp Blanding, FL
Other Countries: Southern France; Italy
Separated Ft. Sheridan IL
Unit responsibility Southern France - guard Maginot Line, spearhead a diversionary attack on the Western sector of the Gothic line in Italy.
Personal responsibility Bring food and ammunition from battalion to company and bring back the morning report from company to battalion.
Major battles (if served in a war zone) North Appennines, Po Valley Campaigns
Awards, medals, citations (individual or unit) Presidential Unit Citation - for breaking the Gothic Line in Italy
Presidential Unit Citation - by President Truman for the general fighting in Europe
Congressional Gold Medal
Living conditions Fighting in the Appennines, we slept in fox-holes dug sidewise into the mountains, in barns filled with manure to keep warm by laying our ground cloth on top of the manure and sprinkling it with DDT powder to keep from getting bitten by bugs.
We didn't bathe until we got a break and rested for couple of days after a week of fighting. Our unit engineers provided us cold water from the river. We had to change into new clothing even if it didn't fit.
We were issued K-rations during combat but we ate hot meals during our break, even though we were shelled very heavily by the enemy. Many times we exchanged our cigarettes for eggs and cooked it in our mess kit with our K-rations.
Not much entertainment to be had except when we pulled back for rest. We got to see Frank Sinatra from the front row seats when he was in Rome. Also passes were issued to go to Switzerland or Rome.
Most vivid memory of military experience I think the most shocking thing that stuck in my mind was seeing fifteen year old soldiers crying for their mother when they were wounded and captured.
Missed most whilst in the military Being with my wife because I had just gotten married before going overseas.
Most important thing, personally, to come from military experience? That life is too short and precious to be fighting such a frivolous thing as a war when there are so much that man could be doing for mankind.
Additional information Received the Congressional Gold Medal.

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