From: Bondielli, Sergio SGM MIL USA/USAREUR
Sent: giovedý 26 aprile 2007 10.00
To: Costello, Joyce SSG MIL USA/USAREUR
Cc: Vieira, Renato CPT MIL USA/USAREUR; Figliomeni, Vince Mr CIV USA/USAREUR; Bertacco, Gianfranco Mr LN ITA USA/USAREUR
Subject: RE: interview (UNCLASSIFIED)
I'm SGM Bondielli the Italian G3 Air LNO of SETAF.
The story about Sadaichi Kubota is very interesting and very important to me:
In April 2004 I was contacted by one of my friend Mr. Davide Del Giudice, an Historian of the Gothic Line; he asked me to attend a ceremony in which, one veteran Lieutenant of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of Japanese-American "NISEI", was going to visit a place where he lost one good friend 60 years before during the liberation of Italy in 1945.
I was sent there by my Commander Col. Bordonaro, the Italian Commander of SETAF-Vicenza. When I met this veteran was great, because he was a very nice person and he told me that that moment was very important to him: he had came in Italy to find the place in which his best friend Tadao Hayashy was killed in action by the germans on April 24th, 1945.
I escorted him in the village of Tendola up in the mountains of Carrara, and just when he put his feet on that territory I saw his eyes changing their light: he wasn't with me, he was back in time 60 years before.... He started walking fast through the village of Tendola preaching me to follow him.
Just out the village he started to climb a little hill (he was 82 years old) and I was still following him when he stopped in front of a ruined wall; He turned to me with his eyes full of tears and he said to me:"Sergio it's here!"
He had found the exact place in which Tadao died....
He started to get out of a bag the stuff to celebrate the funeral in Buddist Religion, and he did it; I was observing his actions astonished : he was concentrated and excited, and suddenly he call the nickname of Tadao shouting:"Beanie! Beanie!" and he started crying.
I was deeply touched ,I knew what he was feeling because I have lost my best friend in Somalia in 1993, SGM Stefano PAOLICCHI medal of honour of Italian Airborne, and I understood the desperation of that shout as a soldier and as a friend: in that time I feeled we were joined in the same emotion like we were both young, because the pain of a tragic lost never get old.
He turned to me and told me the story:
On April 24th 1945 he was a platoon Commander tasked to explore the surrounding of Tendola village to find pockets of resistance of German troops.
He put all his soldiers in the village and he decided to go by himself to recon te hill out of the village. His friend Tadao Hayashy asked to follow him but at the beginning Sadaichi refused this request.
Tadao insisted sayng that he had followed his friend everywhere from the beginning of Italy campaign and if something dangerous could happen in that moment he would like to be with him.
Finally Sadaichi accepted and they started moving fast toward the hill separated by a distance of 25ft. When they were in front of the ruined wall Sadaichi heard a great shot, he got up looking Tadao falling down shouting..... Sadaichi called his name and then asked for the medic team and he didn't reach his good Friend because in [Ft] Benning he was learned to never go near a soldier shot by a sniper because he could be shot in turn.
Sadaichi got some soldiers and he attacked the Germans. When he got back the Medic Team informed him that Tadao was died. After that, events came fast; his platoon advanced quickly till the Po River and the War finally ended.
Sadaichi after this tell took my hand in his ones and said to me:" Sergio I lived 60 years with the desire to come back in this place and honour the memory of Tadao because he lost his life to save mine... Now I'm happy and finally quiet, my Good Friend rest in peace and me too... I'm happy Sergio , thank you to be with me today, if God wants now I can die in peace too."
The tears fell down easily from my eyes and I gave a hug to Sadaichi remembering the friend that I've lost in Somalia, and deeply understanding my American Friend: Soldiers are often joined by this kind of feelings, no matter the War that they have fought.
Sadaichi Kubota went back to Hawaii, his homeland and he died after 3 months... In peace.