PROFILE OF A
Hiro was born November 23, 1925 to Joichi and Kiyoko Isogawa in
Fresno, California. He had eight siblings; Frank, Chrissie, Anne, Ben, Mickey, Sanumi, George and Tom. His parents purchased a farm in the
Fig Garden area, and were farmers until the beginning of WWII. Along with other
Japanese Americans, the family was interned at the Fresno Fairgrounds until
being sent to Jerome, Arkansas for further internment.
was inducted into the Army on April 4, 1944 at Ann Arbor, Michigan. Basic
training was at Camp Blanding, Florida, then on to advanced training at Camp
Shelby, Mississippi. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion of the 442nd, but was
held back due to being too young to go overseas. Hiro
served as acting Squad Leader in Basic, and was used as a cadre' to train
replacements for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (the most decorated unit in
military history). His unit was renamed the 171st Infantry, Battalion A, with
whom he stayed until the unit was disbanded in March 1945. From there he was
sent to Ft. Meade, Maryland for three months, then was
shipped overseas when he came of age in June. They were sent to Nuremburg,
Germany and were given varied assignments. Later they were sent to northern
Germany at Munchen, Gladbeck and Antwerp. Then on to Mons, Belgium where they were with the 390th Military
Police Unit guarding supplies for throughout Europe.
was discharged in June, 1946. Three of his brothers were still serving, so he
had to stay on the farm to help the family. His sister Mickey had become a
beautician, and worked with Harriet Watanabe, a pretty girl from Maui, Hawaii.
She really caught Hiroís eye, and after dating about
a year, the two were married June 30, 1952 in Reno, Nevada. He was then allowed
to leave the farm, and the couple settled in Fresno. Hiro
and Harriett have two children, Leilani and Randall.
In 1953, VFW Post 8499 for Nisei veterans was formed with Hiro
as a charter member. He served as Commander from 1993 to 1995. Hiro worked as manager of the Star Super Market #2 for 19
years, and went from there to Mayfair Market until his retirement. After
retiring, he helped relatives at the Aki Hardware Company.
became involved with the Fresno Veterans Day Parade in 1993 while serving as
Commander of VFW Post 8499. In early 1995, Chuck Monges
approached him to become a docent for the Legion of Valor Museum. He served
Wednesdays in that capacity, but for his many hours of dedicated service to the
museum, he was promoted to staff. He has come to be one of the museumís most
valued volunteers. Hiro is very active with the
Nikkei Center for Senior Citizens, and the United Japanese Christian Church,
for whom he served as trustee for many years. When he finds the time, he enjoys
going fishing with his buddies.