Spearfish stood by Japanese American family, Army vet
Kenny Higashi chose to enlist in Army after military threatened to send family to internment camp
Lauren Harris was working on her first children’s book about Japanese American soldiers during World War II and the internment camps that Japanese Americans faced. Her research led to her to the story of the Lost Battalion, a Texas National Guard unit that was surrounded by Nazi forces in October of 1944. The battalion was rescued by a Japanese American combat unit amid fierce combat.
Harris, then a teacher and writer in Spearfish, wished she could meet one of the veterans from the famed 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Turns out, she didn’t have far to look.
“He lived down the street from me,” she said. “I had no idea.”