TERUSHI T. NAKAMURA

Sergeant First Class | Counter Intelligence Corps

 

During World War II, the Nakamura family was relocated from their home in Hood River, Oregon to the Tule Lake internment camp for Japanese Americans.  Terushi, Clifford and George were the three brothers of the family held at Tule Lake from July 1942 to November 1943.  Terushi was the eldest at about seventeen, Clifford a middle child two years younger, and George wasn't quite ten yet.

 

All three went on to join the Army.  Terushi was exempt from the draft during the war due to kidney problems, but ultimately enlisted in 1948 after two years of college at Denver University.  He quickly moved into the Counter Intelligence branch and his first overseas assignment was with the 516th CIC Det on Okinawa from 1949 to 1950, returning to the United States in May and almost immediately returning to the Far East with the 2d Division in August.  At the time the war  in Korea broke out, there were only a handful of Korean speaking agents in the entire Army and it was necessary to furnish Japanese speaking soldiers to line units.  After years of oppression by Japan almost every Korean spoke the Japanese language, so if direct translation was not possible, it became a game of telephone from North Korean prisoner to ROK soldier to Japanese to English chain.

 

The 2d CIC Detachment operations have become buried among volumes of after action reports or separated into confidential files.  However, Task Force Indianhead is a well documented action about the seizure of the North Korean capitol.  The few members of the CIC Det participated along with K Company, 38th Infantry and support from the 72d Tank Battalionn, 2d Recon Company, 2d Engineer Battalion, some vehicles from the 82d AAA AW Bn, and representatives from the 2d MP Company.  A sergeant from the 2d MP Company had the honor of being the first American to enter Pyongyang on 19 October 1950 and the small force was soon in possession of the entire city with no resistance.  With the 2d CIC Det, Terushi scoured the abandoned concrete buildings for any documents of value.  It seems that all members of the 2d CIC Det received Bronze Stars or Commendations, broadly for merit from August through November, but specifically citing the Task Force Indianhead action.

 

By June 1951, Terushi returned to Japan and finished his foreign service with the 441st CIC Det under General Headquarters where he continued to work as an investigator.  Finding some level of comfort or security with his job in the Army, he extended his tour for a year and even applied for the Officer's Corps, though it is unclear if he was ever commissioned.  Regardless, his contemporaries held in him high regard and willingly endorsed his pursuit of a commission.  He was a proud soldier as is evidenced by the embellishments and care he put into his own uniform.

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