Lost in a WWII battlefield for decades, a priceless class ring is reunited with its rightful owners
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - At the height of World War II, brothers Ronald and Robert Kuroda fought alongside other Japanese-Americans against Nazi Germany.
Ronald served in the famed 100th Infantry Battalion, Robert was with the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
“They were proving their loyalty to a country that did not quite trust them,” their nephew Kevin Kuroda said.
In October, 1944, Staff Sgt. Robert Kuroda was killed in combat near Bruyeres, France ― where he also lost his 1940 Farrington High School class ring.
“When you look at it now, it’s shiny. You can still see Farrington High School. You can still see the words that say, ‘Enter to learn. Go forth to serve,’” Kevin Kuroda said.
Last November, a Frenchman named Sebastian found the ring while he was out walking with his metal detector in the forest near Bruyeres. It was buried about 8 inches deep for almost 80 years.
“All he saw was Farrington High School, 1940, and on the inside, it had the initial R. Kuroda,” Kevin said.
Sebastian searched the internet for months until he found Kuroda’s relatives, who are extremely grateful that he went that extra mile. “He went out of his way, did the research and wanted it returned to the family, and that’s what he did,” Kuroda said.
Last month, Kevin Kuroda and his family went to Bruyeres to meet Sebastian and to receive the ring, and to thank him for his kindness. He took them into the forest where Kuroda and his 442 comrades bravely fought against the enemy.
“We actually went to the spot where he believes Uncle Robert was killed,” Kevin said.
Ronald Kuroda received a Distinguished Service Cross for his valor during the war in Europe.
In 2000, President Clinton presented the Kuroda family with a Medal of Honor for Robert’s heroism. An area near the Hale Koa Hotel is dedicated to Kuroda’s memory.
The high school ring is another reminder of him.
“It means the world to us. It means the world to us and our family,” Kevin Kuroda said.
It’s more than a family treasure. The Kurodas say the ring is a glimpse into the past, at a generation of Nisei who put America first and who paid with their lives.
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