© Mary Taylor Previte
HUGS FOR A
TAD NAGAKI, 90 years old, is pictured here on his farm
in Alliance, Nebraska. Tad actively farms beans, wheat, and corn on his
Alliance, Nebraska, farm in America's heartland. Tad is the last living
member of the 7-man American rescue team that parachuted from a B-24 bomber
on August 17, 1945, to liberate 1,500 Allied prisoners from the Japanese-held
Weihsien concentration camp in China . For his part in the liberation,
Tad was promoted to sergeant and awarded the Solder's Medal for heroism.
After the liberation, Tad became a favorite among children and teenagers
because he played softball with Weihsien internees (he played catcher).
Tad was trailed by adoring children. "It was like being on a pedestal,"
he says. Tad recalls one of the women cutting off a piece of his hair
for a souvenir.