1399th Engineer Construction Battalion
Elbert is born in 1914 to Eigi and Uto Arakawa of Paia, Maui.
Eigi is a sugarcane contractor and laborer. The Arakawas move to Ewa, Oahu before settling in Wailea, Hawaii Island.
Uto falls ill and she, four-year-old Elbert, and his three siblings go to live in Eigi’s home village, Onaha, Okinawa.
Too young to plant potatoes, Elbert plays in the field. Growing up, he attends school in Okinawa up to the fourth grade before the family returns to Wailea.