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Tribute to our heroes

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World War II veterans honored in Brighton

By Crystal Nelson

BRIGHTON — Three World War II veterans have been honored by the city of Brighton. Brighton residents Henry Sakaguchi, Goro Sakaguchi and Wayne Peer were issued proclamations, dedicating Dec. 3, 2013 in their honor. 

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The proclamation recognized their most recent honor of being awarded with the French Legion of Honor Medal Nov. 11. The French Legion of Honor Medal is given to veterans who risked their life during WWII to fight on French territory. 

 

Henry Sakaguchi was a radio operator to the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 442nd  Regimental Combat Team in Italy. He served in the Rome Arno North Apennines Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns and his unit is the most decorated per capita earning more than 18,000 individual medals and 9,486 purple hearts. 

Henry’s military decorations include the American Service Medal, European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, WWII Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal. He also received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2012 and visited the 442nd Regiment Memorials in France. 

Private First Class Goro Sakaguchi was assigned to Company G 442 Reginental Combat Team and traveled to Sospel, France. He participated in the Rhineland Maritime Alps Campaign 1, the Po Valley Campaign and was assigned to occupational duty in Italy following VE Day.

Goro’s military decorations include the Bronze Star, WWII Victory Medal, European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with three battle stars, three overseas service bars, the Good Conduct Medal, Silver Life Saving Medal and a Distinguished Unit Citation Badge. He also received the Congressional Gold Medal.

Private First Class Wayne Peer was one of 1,800 cadets reassigned to the HQ Company 410th Infantry Regiment, 103rd Infantry Division Intelligence and Reconnaissance Platoon. He landed in Marseille, France and was committed to combat duty at St. Die, France and fought in the Vosges Mountains north of Mannheim. 

Upon reaching the Rhine, he participated in the first crossing of the Rhine as a member of a nighttime reconnaissance patrol and his unit fought to Innsbruck, Austria. He returned home with the 45th Division after five months on occupation duty and was discharged in 1945 at Ft. Logan, CO where he had been inducted.

His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the WWII Victory Medal. His campaign credits include American Campaign Medal, European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 2 bronze service stars. He was also awarded the Combat Infantryman badge, Expert Badge with Machine Gun and Submachine Gun Bar, Sharpshooter Badge with Carbine and Marksman Badge with Rifle.