Congressional Gold Medal Recipient Passes Away – Shoso (Sho) Nomura


Sho Nomura, circa 1944. - Courtesy photo

Sho Nomura, circa 1944. – Courtesy photo


Three months shy of his 98th birthday, Shoso (Sho) Nomura passed away peacefully on July 13, 2016. Born in Arcadia on Oct. 1, 1918, Sho spent his early life on Grove Street in Sierra Madre, neighbors to several other Nisei families.

After Pearl Harbor, Sho was relocated to the Japanese internment camp in Gila, Ariz., with his parents Charles and Kofuyu Nomura, brother Michy, sister-in-law Taka, and niece Christine. Restless as an internee, Sho enlisted in the army and was recruited to serve with the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) as a Japanese linguist.

In 1944, his language skills took him to communist China on the MIS “Dixie Mission” to interrogate Japanese POWs and gather vital information. 1945 saw the end of the war and Sho was honorably discharged with a Bronze Medal. He made his way to Tokyo where he met his wife-to-be, Florence Seiki, formerly of Pasadena.

After the birth of their first child, Sho and Florence returned to their roots in Pasadena and in 1961, eventually moved back to Sierra Madre, living next door to the Nomura family home.


Sho Nomura proudly poses with his Nisei Soldiers of World War II Bronze Medal. - Courtesy photo

Sho Nomura proudly poses with his Nisei Soldiers of World War II Bronze Medal. – Courtesy photo


Sho was a computer programmer by profession, but an avid golfer by preference, playing up through his 90s. He and Florence also loved to travel, especially to Japan and across the country to various MIS reunions.

In 2011, Sho received the Congressional Gold Medal for his service in MIS, for which he was quite proud.

Predeceased by his son, Robert Nomura; Sho is survived by his beloved wife, Florence Nomura; daughters, Ann (Dale) Nomura-Freyberger, Nancy Nomura, and Lynn (Kevin) O’Connell; son, Tim Nomura; daughter-in-law, Marsi Nomura; grandchildren, Nicole Cherry-Yu, Stephen Cherry, Matthew and Alexandria Nomura, and Grace O’Connell; two great-grandchildren; and his many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Aug. 6, at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Altadena (2775 Lincoln Ave.).

The family kindly requests, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Go For Broke National Education Center (



July 25, 2016

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