Frank Wada, Sr.
July 23, 1921 – June 14, 2021
Frank Mitoshi Wada, Sr. born on July 23, 1921 in Redlands, Calif. to Tamakichi and Akiyo (Nishida) Wada, passed away at his home in Spring Valley, Calif. on June 14, 2021. After graduating from Redlands High School at age 16 years old, he worked on his sister, Mary’s farm in San Diego. In 1942 he was relocated from San Diego to Santa Anita Assembly Center and then to the internment Camp III in Poston, Ariz. After becoming one of the first in Poston to volunteer and before leaving for the Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team, he married Jean Ito on June 14, 1943.
During training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, he joined “E” Company. After training he was deployed to Europe in May 1944 and participated in the Rome-Arno, Po Valley, Rhineland and Ardennes campaigns. During these early campaigns, he received a battlefield promotion to Staff Sergeant. He was later seriously wounded by shrapnel in October 1944 during the liberation of Bruyeres, France. He rejoined his unit in January 1945, helped breach the Gothic Line in Italy in March 1945 and was discharged in December 1945. His significant decorations include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Campaign Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters and Combat Infantryman Badge. He was also awarded France’s highest honor the National Order of the Legion of Honor. In November 2011, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was presented the Congressional Gold Medal. Following military service, he worked for the U.S. Postal Service and the Navy Public Works as a Mechanical Planner, Estimator and Contract Specialist, retiring in 1977.
Preceded in death by his wife, Jean (Ito) who passed away in 2012; son, Frank Jr (2011); and daughter, Laureen (Lo) Yasuda (2016). He is survived by daughters, Dorothy Saito and Janet Kobayashi (Mike); son, Greg (Roberta); daughter-in-law, Jane Wada; and brothers, Henry and Robert. Survived also by nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Viewing and Celebration of Frank’s 100th birthday will be on Friday, July 23, 2021 from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Community Mortuary in Chula Vista. Private burial with full military honors will be at Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego, Calif. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent in Frank’s name to Go For Broke National Education Center, Los Angeles, www.goforbroke.org.