Shiroku "Whitey" Yamamoto Collection

Table of Contents

  • Summary Information
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Arrangement note
  • Controlled Access Headings
  • Series Descriptions and Inventory
    • Anniversaries
    • Articles
    • Events
    • Memorials
    • Newsletters
    • Organizations
    • People
    • Publications
    • Newspaper pages
    • Memorabilia
  • Administrative Information

Summary Information

Hamilton Library
Creator – Donor
Yamamoto, Shiroku “Whitey”
Shiroku “Whitey” Yamamoto Collection
Date [inclusive]
2.75 Linear feet; 2 record center boxes, 1 9-inch flat box
General Physical Description note
Box 1 has the ephemera that Whitey collected over the years, which are in good condition. Box 2 has newspaper articles that Whitey also collected but that have not been clipped; the entire page/section is still intact. Newsprint is already yellowing. Box 3 has memorabilia in good condition.
Repository Information

Preferred Citation note

[Identification of item], Shiroku “Whitey” Yamamoto Collection, University Archives & Manuscripts Department, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library.

Biographical/Historical note

Shiroku “Whitey” Yamamoto was born in 1923 in Nīnole, Hawaiʻi, on the Big Island. His father was 46 years old when Whitey was born, thus his name derives from the Japanese words “shi” meaning four and “roku” meaning six. His mother left the family shortly after his birth and his father raised him until an illness took his life when Shiroku was only sixteen years of age. Orphaned, Whitey’s school principal, Elvis Rhoads and his wife, were willing to take Whitey in as one of their own.

With the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, school was suspended for several months and all the boys, Whitey included, volunteered with the Civilian Conservation Corps. Together they built Saddle Road, which connected Kona and Hilo.

When the call came for Japanese Americans to volunteer for the 442nd, Whitey decided to join. He was sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi and was assigned to the Antitank Company. After training, he was shipped out to Europe with the other men of the 442nd on May 1, 1944. They were merged with the 100th Infantry Battalion in Italy and fought along side them in several battles, including the rescue of the Lost Battalion.

In January 1946, Whitey was discharged from the Army. Since he’d dropped out of High School to take care of his ailing father and then worked after his death, he had never graduated. As a veteran, he was given one year of credit and was able to graduate in June.

After trying his hand at becoming a teacher, he enrolled in a watch repair program in Missouri and then a Jewelry Manufacturing program in Pennsylvania, using the money afforded him from the GI Bill. Having been away from the Islands for four years pursuing an education, Whitey decided it was time to return to Hawaiʻi.

During and after the war, Whitney had corresponded with a young woman, Amy Motoyo, from High School, whom he married upon his return to Hawaiʻi. He found employment at Hickam Airfield as an instrument technician for aircraft work. He later worked for Lockheed Aircraft Company and then Aloha Airlines, from which he retired after 22 years of employment.

(“Hawaiʻi Nisei Story: Americans of Japanese Ancestry During World War II: Whitey Yamamoto’s Story“)

Scope and Contents note

Whitey Yamamoto was actively engaged in attending events and collecting materials on the Japanese American war experience between 1980 and 2006. He collected newspaper articles, clippings, pamphlets, booklets, and memorabilia from many of the events and meetings he attended that focused on World War II and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This is a collection of ephemera and contains no personal letters or papers of Whitey or his family.

Arrangement note

The collection, originally consisting of two boxes, was inventoried and arranged by Matt Reeder. However, since there were no defined series, Dainan Skeem rearranged the folders into a series organization. The memorabilia found in a ziplock bag in Box 1 were removed and placed in their own separate flat box. Many newspaper articles were included with the donation and were all put in box 2. The articles were not clipped so entire sections of the newspaper are still intact. There seems to be no organization as they are not foldered but are just stacked inside the box. There are no plans for these newspapers to be arranged further; they are left as is for researchers to use if desired.

Controlled Access Headings


  • United States. Army. Regimental Combat Team, 442nd.
  • World War, 1939-1945

Series Descriptions and Inventory

Series 1: Anniversaries

Dates: 1991-2005

Size of Series: 0.3 linear feet

Description of Content: Whitey and his wife attended many of the reunions put on by several of veteran organizations, including the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, their joined reunions, and others.

Box: 1


  • 1 – 50th Anniversary of World War II, 1991-1995
  • 2 – 100th Veterans Club: General Anniversaries
  • 3 – 100th Veterans Club: Las Vegas, NV (including 100th Marching Song)
  • 4 – 100th Veterans Club: 100th/442nd – Camp Shelby, WWII Reunion
  • 5 – 442nd Veterans Club: Anniversaries (except 50th)
  • 6-8 – 442nd Veterans Club: Anniversary – 50th, 1993
  • 9 – 442nd Veterans Club: Bruyères/Biffontaine – 50th Anniversary of Liberation


Series 2: Articles

Dates: 1945-2007

Size of Series: 0.2 linear feet

Description of Content: Whitey collected newspaper articles on any topic of the Japanese American veteran experience. These are just a small sample of the articles that Whitey saved. For more, see box 2 of this collection.

Box: 1


  • 10 – “Spirit of Go For Broke” (airplane)
  • 11 – Four [veterans] reunite in Tableau of Valor
  • 12 – 442nd Veterans Club – 50th Anniversary, 1993
  • 13 – 442nd – K Company
  • 14 – Finch, Earl – “One Man U.S.O.”
  • 15 – Hawaiʻi Herald articles (mostly about AJA vets)
  • 16 – Honolulu Advertiser articles (mostly about AJA vets)
  • 17 – Internment: Japanese Americans
  • 18 – Internment: Japanese Americans, Hawaiʻi
  • 19 – Internment: Japanese Latin Americans
  • 20 – “Japanese Eyes…American Heart”
  • 21 – Nisei Soldiers Killed and Injured in California Plane Crash, 1945
  • 22 – OSS Detachment 101
  • 23 – Varsity Victory Volunteers


Series 3: Events

Dates: 1995-2006

Size of Series: 0.1 linear feet

Description of Content: Whitey and his wife attended many events honoring the Japanese American veterans. They saved the programs from their attendance, which makes up this series.

Box: 1


  • 24 – AJA Veterans National Convention, 1998
  • 25 – Honoring Hawaiʻi‘s Heroes, USS Missouri, 2000
  • 26 – Japanese Americans and the Liberation of France
  • 27 – Joint Memorial Service, First Annual (100th, 442nd, 1399th, MIS) – 2006
  • 28 – Medal of Honor Salute, 2000 Aug. 25-27
  • 29 – V-J Day: Commemorative Activities, 1995


Series 4: Memorials

Dates: 1997-2006

Size of Series: 0.1 linear feet

Description of Content: Whitey was also interested in any monuments or memorials made in honor of the veterans of Americans of Japanese Ancestry. Any papers that he collected regarding these memorials are found in this series.

Box: 1


  • 30 – Punchbowl Memorial Plaque
  • 31 – Go for Broke Monument, Los Angeles
  • 32 – Hawaiʻi Army Museum Society: Gallery of Heroes
  • 33 – Hawaiʻi Army Museum Society: General Eric K. Shinseki Gallery
  • 34 – Hawaiʻi Army Museum Society: “Ihe” Award


Series 5: Newsletters

Dates: 1995-1998

Size of Series: 0.1 linear feet

Description of Content: Several of the veterans clubs produced and mailed newsletters. Some of these clubs included the 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.

Box: 1


  • 35 – 100th/442nd (Los Angeles)
  • 36 – 442nd Veterans Club – Go for Broke Bulletin
  • 37 – Hawaiʻi Veteran, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Summer 1995) (State of Hawaiʻi Office of Veterans Services)


Series 6: Organizations

Dates: 1995-1998

Size of Series: 0.2 linear feet

Description of Content: Materials that Whitey collected in regards to veterans organizations can be found in this series.

Box: 1


  • 38 – 100th/442nd/MIS WWII Memorial Foundation
  • 39 – Japanese American National Museum
  • 40 – MIS Veterans Club of Hawaiʻi
  • 41 – U.S. Army Museum of Hawaiʻi
  • 42 – WWII American and Japanese Veterans Friendship Program, 1995


Series 7: People

Dates: 1999-2006

Size of Series: 0.1 linear feet

Description of Content: Whitey collected funeral service programs, clippings, and other documents about a few of his fellow veterans and friends.

Box: 1


  • 43 – Ching, Hung Wai
  • 44 – Higuchi, Hiro
  • 45 – Holck, Wilbert “Sandy”
  • 46 – Kim, Young Oak
  • 47 – Shinseki, Eric
  • 48 – Yost, Israel


Series 8: Publications

Dates: 1991-1999

Size of Series: 0.1 linear feet

Description of Content: Professionally printed materials, including books, pamphlets and brochures, were placed in this series for quick and easy access.

Box: 1


  • 49 – 442nd – Antitank Company: company history
  • 50 – Bruyères/Biffontaine – 50th Anniversary of Liberation
  • 51 – Go for Broke (442nd brochure)
  • 52 – Hanashi: Voice of the Nisei Soldier Oral History Program
  • 53 – History of the U.S. Army in Hawaiʻi
  • 54 – On Silent Wings (Military Glides in WWII)
  • 55 – When We Were Warriors (brochure about film)


Series 9: Newspaper Pages

Dates: 1980-2006

Size of Series: 1 cubic foot

Description of Content: As Whitey accumulated more and more newspaper articles about veteran organizations, events, and friends, he stopped clipping them from the newspaper. He placed the full page or section in a box where they continued to accumulate. These articles will be left as they are since it is too time consuming to comb through each page, clip the article, and organize it. They are accessible to the public.

Box: 2


  • Newspaper articles


Series 10: Memorabilia

Dates: 1993-2003

Size of Series: 0.6 linear feet

Description of Content: Whitey and his wife attended many events in honor of the veterans. From these events, he brought home name tags, leis, and luggage tags.

Box: 3


  • 2 orange leis (50th Reunion of 442nd, 24-18 March 1993)
  • 2 red, white and blue leis (60th Reunion of 442nd, 4-6 April 2003)
  • 2 name tags (60th Reunion of 442nd, 4-6 April 2003)
  • 2 name tags (AJA Veterans National Convention, Honolulu, 1998)
  • 3 luggage tags (AJA Veterans National Convention, Honolulu, 1998)

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Hamilton Library 2550 McCarthy Mall Honolulu, HI, 96822


Material with personal information may be redacted by the Archives staff. Some fragile items may need to be handled by the staff only. Use of audiovisual material may require the production of listening or viewing copies.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, their descendants, or the repository if copyright has been signed over, as stipulated by United States copyright law. It is the responsibility of the user to determine any copyright restrictions, obtain written permission, and pay any fees necessary for the reproduction or proposed use of the materials.

Literary Rights Notice

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Hawaiʻi Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must be obtained by the researcher.

Back To Top