Sunday, August 12, 2007

Most Honorable Son

After the Pearl Harbor attack, Nebraska farmer Ben Kuroki volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corps. He would become the first Japanese-American war hero, surviving 58 missions as an aerial gunner over Europe, North Africa and Japan. Between tours of duty he found himself at the center of controversy — a lone spokesman against the racism faced by the thousands of Japanese Americans who were sent to internment camps. Through interviews and rare, never-before-seen film, Most Honorable Son recounts one man’s remarkable journey through World War II, providing context to two seemingly disparate histories — the U.S. air war and the Japanese-American experience. Monday, September 17, 2007, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET PBS

Photo: (Formal uniform photo) Staff Sergeant Ben Kuroki of the United States Army Eighth Air Forces. Sgt. Kuroki has spent a year and a half in the European war theatre. As a gunner on a Liberator, he participated in thirty one bombing missions over Germany, Nazi occupied Europe and Africa. His squadron helped chase Rommel from Africa, assisted in the landings on Sicily and the Italian mainland. He was a part of the first American bombing of Rome, and was on the all important Ploetsi oil field raid in Romania. He holds the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters. Ben is 29, the son of a Nebraska farmer. The family lives at Hershey, Nebraska, where Ben formerly helped his father on the farm. -- Photographer: Parker, Tom -- Denver, Colorado. 1/3/44