|When remains are recovered from Korea, Vietnam, or elsewhere, by the special recovery teams of the Joint
POW/MIA Accounting Command, Hawaii, they are repatriated to Hickam Air Base in Honolulu for transfer to
JPAC's Central Identification Laboratory (CILHI) for forensic examination and eventual return (hopefully) to
next of kin. Recently, the teams have gone into the Himalayas and Burma.
The "repat" ceremonies
usually take place at on the base flightline at 1900 hours on the day the remains arrive.
On hand, as is normally the case, are a full complement of general officers and staff from the different
Services along with military personnel from the Central Identification Laboratory on post and other military
groups. Also, a few civilians, mainly military wives, and members of other veteran organizations and the VA
are present too.
And, as usually is the case, Tsuyoshi "Nick" Nishimoto and his group of Korean War veterans are on hand
to take part in the ceremonies. Nick provides two POW flags.
On March 8, a ceremony was conducted for the remains of an American serviceman lost during the Vietnam
War. Nick will provide updates on other repatriation events as they occur.
Nick was a member of the Co B, 35th Inf Regt, 25th Inf Div, stationed at Otsu on the outskirts of Kyoto,
Japan, one and a half years before the Korean War began.
In Korea, his unit led Task Force Dolvin into Unsan where the 8th Cav Regt, 1st Cav Div was decimated
when the Chinese Communist Forces suddenly entered the war.
Nick was taken prisoner on November. 27, 1950. He stayed in Camp 5 with mainly 1st Cav POW.
Nick has been attending almost every Repatriation since the early 1980s. At that time, he said, after
remains had been repatriated they usually were sent home, but for the past 6 years or so there has not been
a ceremony to send them home.
For the past 12 years, Nick has held a POW Week in Honolulu open to all POW and spouses, widows and MIA
families from all wars.
This year, Nick says he will be seeing at least 70 visitors from the mainland who will be participating
in the visit to the Arizona Memorial with flag raising and laying of a wreath, and a tour of the USS
In the afternoon, after lunch at the Officers Club, the group will visit the Central Identification Lab
where all of the MIA remains are sent to be identified through DNA.
A Prisoner of War Recognition Day ceremony is scheduled at the Punchbowl National Cemetery on April 9th.
Nick says that this year probably will be the last time he will do this, though, because of medical
problems. He hopes that his KWVA chapter in Hawaii will continue with this important work.
Nick sends out a big "Aloha" to everyone in KWVA.
Right back at you, Nick!
And thanks for all you do!