Susumu Satow (Poston 208-4-D) was born on May 25, 1923 in Mayhew, California. He was one of nine children born to Japanese immigrant parents, Riichi and Chieko Satow. Sus grew up on his family’s 20 acre farm, which grew strawberries, grapes and raspberries. He attended Japanese language school after church on Sundays, and he played on his high school baseball team.
Sus was a senior in high school when Pearl Harbor was attacked. Following the signing of Executive Order 9066, the Satow family was forced to abandon their property in May 1942 along with 7, 000 other Japanese Americans in Sacramento. They were evacuated with armed guards to the Pinedale Assembly Center. Later, they were transported to the Arizona desert, and arrived at Poston, Arizona concentration camp 2 on July 22, 1942. The family was assigned to live at Poston block 208, barrack 4. Sus took several seasonal leaves and worked outside the camp, harvesting sugar beets in Idaho and Colorado.
Sus volunteered for the all nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team while incarcerated at Poston, Arizona. He was sent to Camp Shelby, Mississippi in May 1944 and assigned to Company H, in the 81mm mortar section. Pfc. Sus Satow laid telephone wire from the gun position to the forward observers’ positions and went into combat in Italy and France. In October, 1944, he was wounded in the back from shrapnel and hospitalized. After he recovered, he returned to the 442nd and was sent to Italy where he fought until the end of the war in Europe. Sus received the Bronze Star Medal for "meritorious service in combat. "
After the war, Sus Satow returned to Sacramento and worked at McClellan Air Force Base. Sus was an active member of the Nisei VFW Post 8985, and served on the board of directors of the 100th-442nd-MIS WWII Memorial Foundation. He was an active committee member in the planning and actual construction of the Poston Memorial Monument and Kiosk in Arizona. He worked with the Go For Broke Educational Foundation and Monument in Los Angeles, and helped establish the Japanese American Archival Collection at CSU-Sacramento. His military service was highlighted in the 2007 Ken Burn's documentary series 'The War'. In November, 2011, Sus Satow was among the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd RCT, and the Military Intelligence Service veterans who received the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of courageous service to their country in fighting the enemy and prejudice during World War II.
Sus Satow, 88, died on February 16, 2012. He was preceded in death by his wife, Lily; his parents Riichi and Chieko Satow; his brothers, Leo and Ernest; and sister, Tish.
He is survived by his children: Vernon Satow with Roberta Munson, Hope (Richard) Baird, Dawn Satow, and Richard (Ruby)Satow; his brothers: Bill (Betty) Satow, Oscar (Ruby) Satow, and Ted (Joylene) Satow; his sisters, Chiyo Aiso of Gardena and Hannah Satow; and sister-in-law Dale Satow; and his grandchildren, Brandilyn, Ruby, Philip, Elizabeth, Kimiko and Kelly.
Sacramento Bee, February 24 , 2012