Vietnam War

Private First Class
C Company, 8th Engineer Battalion 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Army


Nov. 19, 1943 – Nov. 17, 1965


Rigby, Idaho

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.


Japanese American National War Memorial Court

244 S. San Pedro St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012


Veterans Memorial Court Alliance

1055 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1890

Los Angeles, CA 90017 





a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization

(next to Japanese American Cultural and Community Center)

  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle
  • Twitter - Black Circle

This website and exhibition project was developed with support from the JA Community Foundation and with support from the California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit www.calhum.org