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442 Vet Don Seki Dies at Age 96

By July 31, 2020No Comments

Don Seki appears on the dust jacket for ”The Go for Broke Spirit: Portraits of Courage,” the coffee-table book by Shane Sato containing photos of military veterans. (

Noboru “Don” Seki, a Honolulu-born Nisei who served in the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, has died. He was 96. He was a resident of the Veterans Home of California in Los Angeles. According to his daughter, Tracey Seki Matsuyama, he died in his sleep on July 28.

The youngest son of farmers in Hawaii’s Manoa Valley, Seki joined the Army during WWII and attended basic training at Camp Shelby, Miss. A member of L Co., Seki lost his left arm to machine-gun fire after the 442nd’s rescue of the “Lost Battalion” in late 1944 and spent the next two years rehabilitating and getting prosthesis training. An oral history with Seki can be viewed at

Don Seki gets a nuzzle from canine pal, Bebe. (Photo: Tracey Seki Matsuyama)

Among Seki’s military decorations were the Purple Heart, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medal, the WWII Victory Medal, the Bronze Star, the Good Conduct Medal, the French National Legion of Honor and the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor.

Seki made a cameo appearance in the 2019 indie movie “American” and the iconic red, white and blue garrison cap worn by actor George Takei in his role as a 442 vet belonged to Seki.

He is survived by his wife, Sumikio Seo Seki; children Lynnette Takahashi, Lindsey Seki and Tracey Seki; and two grandchildren, Tyler Takahashi and Evan Seki Matsuyama.