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Retired Goodsill Partner Genro Kashiwa Receives Highest French Honor

May 26, 2011

Genro Kashiwa, retired Goodsill partner, has been awarded the Legion of Honor, the highest civilian tribute bestowed by the nation of France. With the medal he was named to the rank of chevalier (knight).

Captain Nicolas Pitrat, commanding officer of the FS Prairial, a French military surveillance ship, and Honorary French Consul Patricia Y. Lee made the award at a ceremony on April 1, 2011, aboard the Prairial during its port call at Pier 9 in Honolulu. Kashiwa was honored for his service during World War II with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the United States Army.

Like many of his generation, the story of Kashiwa’s military service during World War II is one of courage, honor and personal sacrifice. He was inducted in March 1943 and was honorably discharged in December 1945, after serving in the European theater, in Italy and France. Within the 442nd, Kashiwa was a member of L Company, 3rd Battalion. He earned two Silver Stars, a Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart, among other honors.

Kashiwa’s first Silver Star, the United States’ third highest medal for valor, was awarded for gallantry in action in November 1944 in the vicinity of La Houssiere, France. Assuming command after his platoon leader and sergeant were wounded and evacuated, Sergeant Kashiwa led his platoon in an attack on a well-defended hill and surprised the enemy. When two of his men were wounded, he fought his way to them under intense enemy fire, administered first aid and directed their evacuation.

Kashiwa received a Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster to the Silver Star for gallantry in action in April 1945 during the Army’s campaign in Mount Fologorito, Italy. The award citation reads:

Technical Sergeant Kashiwa was in charge of a platoon assigned to clear the summit of a mountain to prevent a hostile counterattack on his battalion’s positions. After a personal reconnaissance, he directed one squad to attempt to move around the base of the summit and take the enemy from the rear while he led the other squad in a frontal assault. The plan worked excellently and his squad was able to almost reach the top before detected. Catching enemy soldiers ten yards away from their machine guns, he rushed forward and cut the Germans off from their weapons. After firing one shot with his tommy gun, the weapon jammed but the foe was confused and fled. He quickly seized an enemy machine gun and fired it on the fleeing soldiers, forcing them to seek shelter in a reinforced bunker. Technical Sergeant Kashiwa deployed his platoon to lay fire on the bunker and then he crawled alone to within grenade range and threw two grenades which forced the remaining six Germans to surrender. His outstanding courage reflects great credit on the finest traditions of the United States Army.

His innate humility is apparent in his remarks accepting the Legion of Honor chevalier medal; Kashiwa said that he accepted the award for “his old gang” and recognized his fellow soldiers by name.

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