Sus Ito (442/522)
Sus Ito was born on July 27, 1919 and raised in Stockton, California. He
was drafted by the U.S. Army in the fall of 1940, inducted in February 1941
and spent five years in the military service.
Prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, he served in a
non-segregated Quartermaster Corps, Heavy Maintenance unit located
in Camp Haan, CA. After the Pearl Harbor bombing, his family was
incarcerated in Rowher Incarceration Camp in Arkansas.
In the early spring of 1943, he was selected to join the 442nd Regimental
Combat Team’s 522nd Field Artillery Battalion. He served in all of the
442nd’s campaigns in Europe, including the rescue of the Lost Battalion of
the 36th Division. In April 1945, his battalion was sent to Eastern France
and Germany where the 522nd was credited with breaking up a death
march of Holocaust prisoners near Dachau.
Sus carried a small camera and took pictures throughout the war. After the
war, he received a PhD in biology and embryology and taught at Cornell
Medical School in NY. He then joined Harvard Medal School in 1960 and
became a tenured professor in 1967 until his retirement in 1990.
What the Congressional Gold Medal means to Sus: “For my fellow Nisei
Veterans and me, to serve in the military was in itself an honor as well as
a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate our dedicated patriotism which we
tried to accomplish by living up to the tradition of ‘Go For Broke’ or going all
out for everything asked of us.”
“Having the Congressional Gold Medal bestowed on the 100th/442nd
Regimental Combat Team and the MIS will be a most cherished award
that must be dedicated to those among us who lost their lives in WWII; to
the many veterans no longer with us; and to those who cannot be here
for the medal presentation. We who are still able to be here accept the
Congressional Gold Medal with pride and humility.”