Gerald A. Gustafson

Major Gustafson was born in Chicago and grew up in Stockton, IL. He participated in four 442nd battle campaigns and received two Bronze Star Medals, two Purple Hearts, Combat Infantryman’s Badge (CIB), and two Presidential Unit Citations. He received his second CIB in the Korean War. He was a recipient of a Congressional Gold Medal in November 2011, for his wartime record as a member of the 442nd.

Upon his military retirement, Gustafson was a high school social studies teacher in Phoenix, Arizona, for 18 years.

Updated September 2012

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442nd Was High Point of Long Army Career

As a U.S. Army Lieutenant in 1944, I reported to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team Headquarters at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, where I saw the soldiers and wondered who they were, Chinese, Filipino, or Siamese? I admit I had some misgivings and wondered if I had volunteered for the right outfit.

The answer to my question was provided a few minutes later when I was ushered into the office of the Regimental Commander, Colonel Charles W. Pence. He assigned me to Cannon Company and added, “These men are Americans of Japanese ancestry. They are fine soldiers and I am damn ...

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