The history of France and that of Americans of Japanese ancestry intersected during WWII in the Vosges, a region of forested hills near the German border. The 442nd Regimental Combat team, composed largely of Japanese Americans, was tasked with freeing several small towns in the area that had been occupied by the Germans. Friendships that developed between the soldiers and those they liberated have lasted to this day.
James T. McIlwain, Professor Emeritus of Neuroscience, Brown University, serves on the Board of Directors of the Alliance Française of Providence. A student of Japanese American history with a special interest in the military service of Japanese Americans during WWII, he is a life member of the Japanese American Veterans Association and an honorary member of Fox-Company Chapter of the 442nd Veterans Club of Honolulu.
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