Ben Kuroki, a decorated gunner in the Army Air Forces of World War II died on Sept. 2 in Camarillo, Calif. He was 98.
Kuroki became an airman and received three Distinguished Flying Crosses, participating in European and North African raids after receiving special permission from the War Department. He flew a 58 bombing missions.
Like many Japanese Americans during World War II, Kuroki faced harsh bias and racism, but despite challenges, he went on to receive the Distinguished Service Medal in 2005 and was saluted by Time Magazine in 1944.
Kuroki was born in Gothenburg, Neb., a son of Japanese immigrants. He was raised in Hershey, Neb., as one of 10 brothers and sisters on a family farm. He joined the Army Air Force shortly after World War II broke with his brothers who were rejected upon first try but received admittance by a draft board official.
He is survived by his wife, Shige; daughters, Julie, Kristyn Kuroki and Kerry Williams; sister, Rosemary Ura; gc: 4; ggc: 1.