Private First Class
C Company, 8th Engineer Battalion 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Army
Nov. 19, 1943 – Nov. 17, 1965
Jimmy Nakayama grew up in the towns of Rexburg and Rigby, Idaho and was the son of a 442nd RCT veteran. As a child he made friends easily and overcame the hardships of living in towns with very few minorities. Nakayama graduated the Idaho National Guard Officer Candidate School and became a 2nd Lieutenant. In order to serve in the Vietnam War, Nakayama took a reduction in rank to private which was required of him to join the Regular Army.
Nakayama was mortally wounded in the Ia Drang Valley while serving with the 8th Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division when an F100 Super Saber dropped napalm on his position. Nakayama died from his wounds on Nov. 17, 1965. His daughter Nikki was born only days earlier on Nov. 7th.