Eighty years after he died in battle during World War II, an American soldier’s high school ring is being returned to his family.
Ronald and Robert Kuroda fought in World War II with other Japanese-Americans against Nazi Germany.
Two of the most well regarded units in the Army were Ronald’s 100th Infantry Battalion and Robert’s 442nd Regiment Combat Team. “They were proving their loyalty to a country that did not quite trust them,” Staff Sgt. Robert Kuroda’s Nephew Kevin Kuroda said.
As a Staff Sergeant, Robert Kuroda was killed by enemy fire at Bruyeres, France, in October 1944.
“When you look at it now, it’s shiny. You can still see Farrington High School. You can still see the words that say, ‘Enter to learn. Go forth to serve,’” Kuroda said.
Sebastian, a French metal detectorist, discovered the class ring last November while out strolling in the woods near Bruyeres. For over 80 years, it lay buried eight inches below the surface. “All he saw was Farrington High School, 1940, and on the inside, it had the initial R. Kuroda,” Kuroda said.
Sebastian explored the internet for months until he identified the family of Kuroda, who are incredibly appreciative for his efforts. “He went out of his way, did the research, and wanted it returned to the family, and that’s what he did,” said Kuroda.
Kevin Kuroda and his family made the trip to Bruyeres a month ago in order to see Sebastian, to accept the ring, and to express their gratitude to him for his generosity. He led them into the jungle, where Sgt. Kuroda and his 442 fellow soldiers battled valiantly against the adversary. “We actually went to the spot where he believes uncle Robert was killed.”
Ronald Kuroda was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his bravery in Europe during World War II.
The Kuroda family received a Medal of Honor from President Clinton in 2000 for Robert’s bravery.
A portion of land located close to the Hale Koa Hotel has been set aside as a memorial to Sgt. Kuroda.
The ring that he wore during his senior year in high school is another memento of him. “It means the world to us. It means the world to us and our family,” Kuroda said.
In addition, it is more than just a precious possession for the family. In the words of the Kurodas, it is a look into the past, a generation of Nisei who placed America first and paid the ultimate price for their loyalty.