Harry K. Fukuhara

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Harry K. Fukuhara
Born (1920-01-01) January 1, 1920 (age 94)
Seattle, Washington
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Army
Rank US-O6 insignia.svg Colonel
Unit 33rd Infantry Division
Commands held Military Governor of the Yaeyama Islands Group
Battles/wars

World War II

Awards Legion of Merit
Bronze Star

Colonel Harry Katsuji Fukuhara (Japanese: 福原克治, born January 1, 1920) is a retired United States Army soldier who was inducted in the United States Military Intelligence Hall of Fame in 1988.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Fukuhara was born in Seattle, Washington in 1920.[1] His father died in 1933, and his mother took the family back to native Japan before the War. In 1938, following graduation from high-school in Japan, Harry returned to the United States.

Military career[edit]

After enlisting in the Army from the Gila River internment camp in 1942,[2] Fukuhara served in the Army in the Pacific as a linguist with the 33rd Infantry Division. He served in the New Guinea and Philippine campaigns, earning a battlefield commission. Toward the end of the war he was part of the force preparing to invade Kyushu, Japan. Unknown to him, as he was preparing for the assault of Japan, he had a brother who was drafted in the Japanese Army who was preparing Kyushu's defense. Following the conclusion of the War he was sent to Japanese prisoner camps where he had to tell them of the bombing and the emperor's surrender. About a month following the surrender of Japan during the beginning of the occupation he secured authorization to look for his mother and brother in Hiroshima. Though both were suffering from the effects of radiation from the bomb, they had both survived.

Following World War II, Fukuhara temporarily returned to the United States before he returned with the Army to serve in the US Army's occupation and reconstruction of Japan. His understanding of the language, culture, and tireless efforts were instrumental in developing post World War II United States - Japanese relations. He ended his distinguished career in uniform in 1971 as the military governor of the Yaeyama Islands Group in the Ryukyu Islands. Several of his military decorations include the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star.

Later life[edit]

Following his military career, Fukuhara served in Federal service, again retiring in 1991. Among many decorations and citations, he earned the Distinguished Federal Civilian Service Medal by the President of the United States. He was inducted in into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame in 1988 and made a Distinguished Member. He currently resides in San Jose, California and still attends the MI Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies when able.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Lucke, Jeaneete (1991, January–February) "The Harry Fukuhara Story". INSCOM Journal
  • Shioya, Tara (1995, September) "Officer's Family Divided by War and Circumstance". Army Counter Intelligence Corp. Veterans, Inc. Newsletter.
  • Hess, Bill. ( 1993, July 11). "Fukuhara Brothers Reminisce About WWII". Sierra Vista Herald/Bisbee Review, pp. A1, A7.