||503rd PARACHUTE RCT
ASSOCIATION, WORLD WAR II, INC.
503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment 462nd
Parachute Field Artillery Battalion
161st Parachute Engineer Company
April 22, 1995
U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Ft. Huachuca
Fort Huachuca, AZ 85613-6000
Enclosed is a request from Brigadier
General George M. Jones (Ret) that a former Military Intelligence specialist who provided
great service to our 503d Parachute Regimental Combat Team as we parachuted onto the
island fortress of Corregidor in 1945 be installed in the Military Intelligence Corps Hall
As you will note from General Jones'
letter, he has asked me to assist you and him. He is, unfortunately, suffering from what
is commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. This has not impaired his mental faculties but
requires his being dependent upon a respirator and, at this time, being bedridden. He has
not lost one iota of his determination or will. Like all of us who were fortunate to have
been under his command in those days, I am more than privileged to be of service to him
and, as a retired Regular Army Military Intelligence Corps officer, to you.
The members of our WW II unit have
been having annual reunions for over forty years but it has been only in the last decade
or so that we've become aware of the details surrounding the invaluable contributions made
by our nominee to the Military Intelligence Corps Hall of Fame, Harry M. Akune. The
details of that are contained in the enclosed narrative. Led by Gen. Jones, our wartime
commander, we have tried in a variety of ways to honor Mr. Akune. The newspaper article
mentioned in General Jones' letter to you shows that we obtained for Mr. Akune his long
overdue Parachutist jump wings. I also enclose evidence of our attempt to get him the
Combat Infantryman's Badge since we discovered that other commanders had, contrary to
regulations, awarded the CIB to their attached intelligence personnel who had served under
close combat conditions but who were not actual infantrymen. Also enclosed is a copy of a
letter from General jones to Mr. Akune sending him an American flag from the Washington,
D.C. fiftieth anniversary commemoration of the founding of the Army Airborne as an
expression of our regard for him and our wish that he could have shared that experience
with the rest of us, his former paratrooper comrades-in-arms.
You may note that the letters of
support for Harry Akune which are enclosed come from former Privates First Class to former
Colonels. I did not attempt to make this a popularity contest but merely to obtain a
rarndom sample that would convey to you the depth and scope of admiration and gratitude
that we have for him. You will find that in their enthusiasm to support Mr. Akune some of
our group has contacted you directly, as Captain Nelson Emery and I discussed, instead of
their calling me. I trust that this will not inconvenience you or your staff.
All this illustrates that our entire
organization has attempted--through whatever means that we were able--to recognize the
unique bravery displayed by Mr. Akune. This became particularly meaningful to us since we
learned he had volunteered for the Army from an American internment camp in which he, his
family and 120,000 loyal Japanese Americans had been placed by our own government in what
has since been formally recognized as a great mistake.
The General does not see his request
as a substitute for what, admittedly, should have been done earlier to acknowledge Mr.
Akune's wartime acts. We see him as an example of whom future and present Military
Intelligence Corps personnel should be proud. His being so honored by your institution
would be formal recognition of Mr. Akune's courageous actions as well as a demonstration
of the value of on-the-ground human intelligence.
Your placing Mr. Akune's record into
the Hall of Fame would be most fitting in this year, the 50th anniversary of our victory
in World War II.
My address and phone number are above. I am at your service.
Lt. Col (USA)
||Tab A - Gen Jones Itr of 22 Mar 1995 to CO Ft Huachuca
Tab A-1 - News article, Hokubai Mainichi, Aug 27, 1986
Tab A-2 - Unit Citation, GO #112, USAFFE 8 May 1945
Tab B - DA Itr of 27 Oct 1988 to Gen Jones re CIB for Akune
Tab C - Gen Jones Itr of 18 lul 1990 to Akune re American flag
Tab D - Narrative
Tab D-l - Map, Recapture of
Tab D-2 - MGen Hall, X1 Corps, Itr of
09 Mar 1945
Tab E - Personal Data, Akune
Tab F - Draft Citation
Tab G - Letters of Support