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Finding aid for the Tatsumi Iwate Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Project Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Tatsumi Iwate papers
    Dates: 1941-1981
    Bulk Dates: 1941-1947
    Collection number: 2001.145.1
    Creator: Tatsumi Iwate, 1917-1998
    Collection Size: 1.5 linear feet
    Repository: Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
    Los Angeles, California 90012
    Abstract: Sergeant Tatsumi Iwate served in the United States Army under the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This collection contains correspondences, pamphlets, photographs, and newspaper clippings.
    Physical location: Japanese American National Museum 369 East First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012


    By appointment only. Contact the Hirasaki National Resource Center by e-mail (hnrc@janm.org) or telephone (213.830.5680)

    Publication Rights

    All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Hirasaki National Resource Center at the Japanese American National Museum (hnrc@janm.org).

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Tatsumi Iwate papers. 2001.145.1, Japanese American National Museum. Los Angeles, CA.

    Project Information

    This finding aid was created as part of a project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project started in 2007. Project Director was Yoko Shimojo and the Project Archivist was Marlon Romero.

    Biography / Administrative History

    This collection consists of numerous items pertaining to the military service of Sergeant Tatsumi Iwate during World War II. Sergeant Iwate was a Nisei man who served in the United States Army in the famous 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Before the outbreak of World War II, the Iwate family lived in Lomita, California. His family was eventually sent to Jerome, Arkansas concentration camp while Tatsumi enlisted for military service in February 1942.
    After completing training at Camp Shelby, Iwate worked part-time in the military publications department drawing and cutting stencils for the press. In February 1944, Iwate was officially promoted from Private to Sergeant. He served as Staff Sergeant of the Infantry, Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
    On October 28, 1944 Sergeant Iwate was wounded during the 442nd's harrowing rescue of the Lost Battalion in Biffontaine, France. Although relieved of his temporary assignment as a litter bearer (one who helps carry a stretcher) and after having continuously evacuated wounded soldiers throughout the entire day, Sergeant Iwate volunteered to lead his litter squad into the midst of a fierce fire fight in order to evacuate an injured soldier. While evacuating the injured soldier Sgt. Iwate was hit in the head with shrapnel from enemy artillery fire. Disregarding his own injury he continued to help in the evacuation until forced by the seriousness of his wound to obtain medical aid. The wound in his head had to be covered by a metal plate. Eventually, he was flown back to the United States to be treated at Halloran Hospital in Staten Island, New York.
    His outstanding courage and voluntary actions during the war earned him a Silver Star award, Purple Heart Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal, Combat Infantryman Badge, and three Bronze Service Stars.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Administrative Series is divided into two sub-series. The first consists of military related documents such as Sgt. Iwate's army records. The second sub-series has materials related to the 442nd Commemorative where Tatsumi Iwate played a role as the jacket designer for the publication Go For Broke: A pictorial history of the Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Both sub-series are arranged chronologically, documents without dates are located at the end of their respective folders.
    The Correspondence Series consists of three sub-series: Incoming, Outgoing, and V-Mail. The first two sub-series contains the correspondences received and sent by Sergeant Iwate. The last sub-series titled V-Mail consists of both incoming and outgoing correspondences in the Veterans-Mail format. The majority of the correspondences are between Tatsumi and his brother Masaji who was interned in Jerome. Each sub-series is chronologically arranged, documents without dates are located at the end of their respective folders. The Serials, Publications, and Other Materials contain newspaper clippings, pamphlets handed out by the United States Army, and materials on the 442nd Commemorative in 1981 held in The Presidio of San Francisco. There is also a directory on the 442nd.
    The Photograph Series contain photographs from his album. There are photos of Sgt. Iwate and other military personnel, including soldiers whom he corresponded with. There are also some postcards. The photographs are in the original order of the photo album they were previously housed in.
    The Sketches series contain a handful of sketches created by Sgt. Iwate.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Iwate, Tatsumi
    Iwate, Masaji
    Japanese Americans
    World War, 1939-1945
    United States. Army. Regimental Combat Team, 442nd
    United States
    20th century