plaque commémorative en hommage au sergent Robert H. Kuroda

A commemorative plaque in honor of Sergeant Robert H. Kuroda

To pay tribute to Sergeant Robert H. Kuroda, killed in the Battle of Bruyères, local resident Sébastien Roure has ordered two plaques bearing the soldier’s image.

One of them will be installed on the spot where he died. It will keep alive the memory of the Sergeant whose destiny crossed Sébastien’s path one day during a walk in the forest.

Sébastien Roure

In 2021, while strolling through a forest, Sébastien Roure’s gaze is caught by the reflection of an object: a school signet ring.
The English inscriptions on the jewel intrigue him and prompt him to start researching its owner. The owner is none other than the Hawaiian soldier Kuroda, a member of the 442nd RCT, the regiment that took part in the Liberation of Bruyères.
By dint of perseverance and a bit of luck, as it turns out that there was a body shop in Hawaii bearing the name “Kuroda”, Sébastien contacted the company’s managers, who were indeed from the same family…
The Vosgian eventually tracked down the soldier’s descendants and made contact with them.

In 2022, Sergeant Robert H. Kuroda’s nephew arrives in France to retrieve the ring. The memory of the Battle of Bruyères is still very strong among Hawaiian veterans and their children. The two men struck up a friendship that continues to this day.

The memorial plaque in honor of the sergeant will be unveiled in October 2024.

The story of this find caused quite a stir in the USA and especially in Hawaii, where numerous books in English are devoted to the Battle of Bruyères. Sébastien’s discovery of Sergeant Kuroda’s ring will also be the subject of several articles and reports.
“Private Kuroda is very well known in Hawaii”, Sébastien explained, “there’s even a park named after him”.

And since a story like this inevitably leaves its mark, Sébastien contacted the association Chemin de la Paix et de la Liberté de Bruyères to find the exact spot where Sergeant Robert H. Kuroda died.

It was on the Avison hill in Bruyères, during the American counter-attack (see box below), that Sergeant Robert H. Kuroda of Company H distinguished himself heroically but was killed. To honor his memory, on the 80th anniversary of the Liberation of Bruyères, Sébastien will affix the plaque he commissioned from us. The second will of course be sent to Hawaii.

plaque souvenir kuroda 03

History of the liberation of the Bruyères region

Bruyères was liberated in October 1944 by the 100th Hawaii Infantry Battalion, including Sergeant Robert H. Kuroda, integrated into the 442nd RCT. The battle of Bruyères lasted 15 days, and was one of the biggest ever fought by the American army.
The town was surrounded from northwest to east by four hills (Haut de Helledraye, Buémont, Pointhaie and l’Avison) occupied by the enemy, and these hills had to be taken before Bruyères could be liberated. It was on the Avison hill, where on the night of October 20, 1944, Sergeant Robert H. Kuroda of company H, distinguished himself heroically but was killed. He will be posthumously awarded the D.S.C. (United States military decoration).
And as a small but important part of the story, it was as a result of this heroic feat of arms that Hawaii was awarded its star on the American flag!