522nd Field Artillery Battalion, 442nd RCT
Joe was born in Salinas, California, one of six children of Kikujiro and Katsu Ichiiuji, who had immigrated from Shimane Prefecture, Japan in early 1900's. He spent much of his childhood in Pacific Grove, California, where he attended public schools.
He was drafted in September 1941 and completed basic training in Camp Roberts, California. However, he was discharged at the convenience of the government. He returned home to help his family with the evacuation. In April 1942, he and his family moved to Reedley, California before being finally placed in Poston Relocation Camp in Arizona in August 1942. In February 1943 he volunteered for the 442 nd Regimental Combat Team and took his basic training in Camp Shelby, Miss. and served with Battery A of 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. He saw action in Italy, France and Germany in 1944 and 1945 and his unit was involved with the liberation of Jews from one of the sub camps of Dachau concentration camp.
He was discharged from the Army in January 1946 and went home to Pacific Grove, California. He attended the Benjamin Franklin University in Washington DC under the GI Bill of Rights and received his bachelors and masters degrees. He entered federal civil service with the Veterans Administration and after 37 years of service, he retired from Agency for International Development in 1979 as Deputy Division Chief of Financial Management.
He has been active with Washington DC JACL Chapter, Japanese American Veterans Association and Go For Broke National Veterans Association. He is currently active with National Japanese American Veterans Council and National Japanese American Memorial Foundation.
He is married to former Asako Tsuda of Cheyenne, Wyoming. They have two children, Karen Ramone, Bedord, NY and Douglas Ichiuji, Front Royal, VA and three grandchildren, Stacy, Julie and BJ.