A Nebraska native believed to be the only Japanese-American to fly bombing missions over Japan has died.
Ben Kuroki, a native of Hershey, was 98.
Kuroki, a tail gunner in World War II, flew 30 missions over Europe, then 28 over Japan. Kuroki was actually taken prisoner in Morocco after his B-24 crashed. Upon release by authorities in Spain, he returned to his unit and to service.
He had to overcome a War Department (as the Defense Department was called at the time) prohibition for Japanese-Americans to fly missions over their native land.
Kuroki receive the Army’s Distinguished Service Medal in 2005.
Kuroki died last week at his home in Camarillo, California.