Cpl. T/5 Kenneth Cole - Army - World War II Veteran

 Capt. Benge is third from the left

Capt. Benge is third from the left

Kenneth operated a Half Track in the 760th Tank Battalion.  His unit was a liaison and support for the infantries, called on when additional firepower or cover was needed.  One of their missions in Germany was to assist the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  This was an Infantry that was famous for its valor and bravery, becoming the most decorated unit in the United States Armed Forces and boasting 21 Medal of Honor recipients.  The 442nd was made up of Nisei, American-born sons of Japanese immigrants.  While many of their families were unlawfully interned in camps in the United States, these patriots fought bravely in Italy, France and Germany.  During a pause in the fighting, Kenneth’s unit took on the 442nd in a baseball game.  Kenneth and one of the Japanese- American officers sat off to the side talking during the game.  The Nisei officer, a physicist at Berkley in California, asked Kenneth what he planned to do after the war.  Kenneth wasn’t sure and asked the officer what his plans were.  “I don’t know what I will find at home,” he replied.  “My family may be in an internment camp and American families with Japanese members are so hated that I may have no where to go.”  Kenneth often wondered what happened to that fellow - and those in his unit - who had two wars to fight: World War II and the fight against prejudice at home.


JoAnne P. Miller