Sgt. Ben Kuroki was one of the few Nisei admitted to the Army Air Corps. He earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses and was acclaimed as the first Nisei war hero after flying 30 missions in Europe as a tailgunner and top turret gunner aboard a B-24.
The government sent him on a tour to Heart Mountain and two other camps in an effort to promote recruitment and help curb the growing draft resistance. He was later subpoenaed as a witness in the conspiracy trial of the Fair Play Committee leaders. Kuroki asked for duty in the Pacific and after being initially refused, became the only Nisei to serve in active combat with the Air Corps in the Pacific Theater, flying 28 more missions over Japan.
After the war he spoke to audiences nationwide and was the subject of a 1946 biography, “BOY FROM NEBRASKA." He went into journalism, becoming the first Japanese American editor of a general newspaper in Nebraska. He later edited newspapers in suburban Michigan and Southern California. He retired with his wife Shige to Southern California.
The evening will begin with the PBS documentary Most Honorable Son produced by KDN Films and NET Foundation for Television and directed by Bill Kubota. The film features rare WWII footage and presents Mr. Kuroki's unique, poignant and virtually unknown story through his words and those he served with in the 8th and 29th Army Air Forces. Mr. Kuroki will address the audience and answer questions after the documentary.
This event is made possible by the generous support of The General Electric Company.