Susumu Ito
522 Field Artillery Battalion of the 442 RCT

    Eldest son of an immigrant Japanese from Hiroshima, Japan.  At the time of his birth his parents was a share corp farmer in the San Joaquin Delta Region near Stockton, California.  He attended rural one room elementary schools and graduated from Stockton High School, his parents having moved into the city to run a Japanese Bath House.  After a year in Junior College, he attended an auto mechanic school in San Francisco and soon after he turned 21 was drafted into the US Army in early 1940 almost a year before Pearl Harbor. 

    He initially severed in the Quartermaster Corps Southern California. But was transferred to a station compliment unit at Fort Sill in Oklahoma all this while repairing Army vehicles as a mechanic.  When the 442 Regimental Combat Team was formed in Camp Shelby in 1943, he was among the cadre that formed the 522 Field Artillery Battalion of the 442 RCT.  He was a motor sergeant in charge of battalion vehicles but was bored of his job so he volunteered to join the instrument section which involved reconnaissance and artillery observation.  For his performance in Italy, he received a field commission and served as the forward observer for I Company during the rescue of the Lost Battalion of the 36th Division. 

    After his discharge in 1945, after five years of service, he used up every bit of his GI Bill to complete his undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology earning a Ph.D. in 1954.  He accepted a post doc fellowship at the Max Plank Institute in Wilhelmshaven, Germany and then joined the faculty at Cornell Medical School in New York City in 1955.  In 1960 his department chairman moved to Harvard Medical School where he was brought along and remained until his retirement in 1990 as Emeritus Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy.  His area of research interest was in the use of electron microscopy in the cell biology of the stomach with special interest in the mechanism of acid secretion.  His long standing interest has allowed him to continue in his work in the laboratory to this day where he goes to the lab very early almost every morning and works till at least mid morning.  He still does much of his own car repairs and drives long distances--such as to this trip to Houston from Boston.