Kubo, Tom Tomeo


Tom Tomeo Kubo was born December 4, 1909 in Alviso, California. Growing up, he helped out on his father’s berry farm and attended public schools in Mountain View, California, completing one year of high school. From 1930 to 1939, he worked as a truck farmer, farming a 40-acre prune farm in San Jose. In 1936, Kubo married Eleanor Fumiko. The couple had three children together and, in 1939, he began working as a gardener in Palo Alto, California. The Kubo family arrived at Santa Anita Assembly Center on May 27, 1942 and at Heart Mountain on September 17, 1942. They lived in apartment 9-2-C. Both Tom and Eleanor Kubo worked while at Heart Mountain and, over the summer of 1943, he left camp for seasonal work in Colorado, Nebraska, and Idaho. 

Tom was arrested on March 27, 1944. He was convicted in June 1944 and sentenced to three years in the federal prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Eleanor Kubo sent their children to live with her parents, incarcerated at Topaz, and found seasonal work in Utah. She returned to Heart Mountain in December 1944 and her three children joined her in February 1945. Unable to work while caring for her young family, Eleanor Kubo began receiving public assistance in May 1945. In late June, she applied for leave clearance to join her brother in Salt Lake City, this time planning to leave the children with her in-laws at Heart Mountain. 

After Kubo was released from Leavenworth in July 1946, the family eventually returned to northern California, where he worked as a gardener. He was pardoned by President Harry Truman on December 24, 1947. Tom Tomeo Kubo died on May 7, 1993.

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