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Calendar >  Samurai Samaritan – Thomas Calabrese

Samurai Samaritan – Thomas Calabrese

By   /  May 21, 2023  /  10 Comments


The Bushido Code

Thomas Calabrese -Clyde Kaneshige was full-blooded Japanese with a long and distinguished family history of American military service. His great-grandfather, Sergeant Rin Kaneshige was a member of the legendary 442nd Infantry Regiment, best known as the most decorated unit in U.S. military history. It was part of the Fifth Army and the 34th Infantry Division and composed almost entirely of second-generation American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who fought in Europe during World War II. During the Battle of Belvedere in June 1944, Rin’s unit faced an elite German SS Battalion that was trying to get to Naples. He shot one sniper out of a tree from 150 yards with his carbine. Pfc Taneyshi Nakana commented, “I didn’t think a carbine was accurate at that distance.”

            “I don’t think the sniper did either,” Sergeant Kaneshige smiled, moved closer and shot the wounded German four more times as he reached for his weapon.

Captain Takahashi ordered, “Sergeant Kaneshige, take Nakana and Governagii and the bazooka, there’s a tank moving up on our right flank. Take it out!”

The tank bounced into view and Sergeant Kaneshige aimed, fired and hit the tank right in the belly. He quickly reloaded the bazooka and hit it in the same place, disabling it. It was starting to burn and could explode at any moment. A German rifle company with two machine guns was a hundred yards behind it and moving up the hill. Sergeant Kaneshige was running low on ammo so he jumped on the tank and turned the machine gun on the German infantry. He stayed on the burning hunk of metal until the last moment then jumped off and ran through a hail of bullets. The concussion from the exploding tank knocked Sergeant Kaneshige unconscious. When he came to, he was in a field hospital being treated for several serious wounds. Three weeks later, he was sent back to United States for more treatment and was discharged from military service. His actions saved the lives of fellow soldiers and Rin Kaneshige was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions.

Clyde’s grandfather, Jiro Kaneshige served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War from 1966 to 1969. He stood 5 feet 7 inches tall with a slight wiry build, but was a giant among his peers. Jiro was one of the legendary tunnel rats with a mental toughness that few possessed. Crawling for hours in claustrophobic darkness and prepared for mortal danger around every bend in the tunnel, the tension and stress could break down even the bravest men. The job demanded lightning-quick reflexes with split second decision-making. Confrontation with venomous snakes or Viet Cong often occurred at hand-to hand range and tunnel rats had to know what to touch and what to avoid because even the slightest error could blow them to pieces. Basically, they had to have a lot of guts, almost to the point of being suicidal and a very inquisitive mind. These men were a special breed.

By the time the Vietnam War broke out, the Viet Cong had over 100 miles of tunnels with which to spring deadly ambushes on American and South Vietnamese forces before vanishing.

Jiro Kaneshige would often enter the ‘spider hole’ with nothing but a knife, flashlight and a small caliber pistol. His martial arts skills were his greatest weapon. On one occasion, he killed eleven enemy soldiers before returning to the surface covered with blood.

It got to the point that Jiro’s underground skills became so legendary among the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese that they placed a bounty on his head. How he survived three tours …God  only knows.

Clyde’s father, Akio Kaneshige was a decorated Navy Seal who served multiple tours in the Middle East. During the first Gulf War, his team conducted special reconnaissance operations along the Iraqi and Kuwaiti coasts to gather intelligence on Iraqi movements. In the first hours of the ground war, his unit conducted diversionary raids to fool the Iraqis into thinking that a large-scale amphibious operation was coming. He was seriously wounded on one mission and was medically discharged when his right leg was shattered by enemy machine gun fire. Akio walked with a cane for the rest of his life. During his illustrious career, he received five Purple Hearts, the Navy Cross and two Silver Stars.

Besides a history of military service, the Kaneshiges adhered to the Bushido Code, sometimes called the Samurai Code. The essence of Bushidō is: do not lie, do not be insincere, do not be obsequious, do not be superficial, do not be greedy, do not be rude, do not be boastful, do not be arrogant, do not slander, do not be unfaithful, be on good terms with comrades, do not be overly concerned with events, show concern for one another, be compassionate, with a strong sense of duty. Being a good samurai takes more than merely a willingness to lay down one’s life.

When it came time to enlist in the military, Clyde thought very carefully about which service to join. His great-grandfather and grandfather had distinguished themselves in service to their country, but he eventually decided on following in his father’s footsteps.

Clyde was not a big man, standing 5 foot 7 inches tall and weighing about 155 lbs. He was only slightly larger than Bruce Lee, who was arguably the greatest martial artist of all time and was 5 foot 6 inches and weighed around 145 lbs in his prime. Bruce’s legacy included the basic philosophy; no matter how tall, big or strong an individual is, the technical martial artist is always at a greater advantage.

From the time he was a young boy, Clyde spent several summers in Okinawa visiting family and learning Okinawan martial arts, a combination of karate, tegumi and kobudo. Due to its central location, Okinawa was influenced by various cultures with a long history of trade and cultural exchange, including JapanChina and Southeast Asia, that greatly influenced the development of martial arts on Okinawa. By the time he was 18 years old, Clyde earned the nickname of, ‘Clyde the Glide’ because of his fluid movements. He could change fighting styles in an instant and was proficient in all of them.

The Kaneshiges lived an honorable and quiet life on a small farm in Fallbrook, California. Clyde never felt any pressure to meet the high standards of his ancestors.

 A key part of of the Bushido Code was to have a strong sense of duty and not be burdened by things that were beyond a person’s control. Clyde took great pride in his family’s love of America and their fierce patriotism, but this was his journey and not theirs.

Clyde made it through Seal training and was given the official designation of Advanced Close Quarter Combat/Breacher. Several years passed and Clyde continued to accumulate valuable experience with each mission.

 During a mission in Limon, Costa Rica, Clyde entered the heavily armed compound with the twenty five foot electrified fence and a dozen surveillance cameras in a unique fashion. He flew in on a hang glider on a starless evening and landed on the roof of a waterfront building. The drug cartels had been using the port to transport cocaine out of the country and this particular warehouse was operated by the ruthless MS-13 gang from San Salvador. Clyde’s assignment was to eliminate the sentries then notify the team that they were clear to breach the perimeter. He did his job to perfection by killing six guards with moves that were silent and deadly. Three of his victims were killed by an icepick through their upper spinal column. It immobilized them instantly and they died a few moments later. The other three gang members were eliminated when Clyde induced cardiac arrest with powerful and strategically placed punches to their chests. He sent an infra-red signal to his teammates and they entered the compound without opposition.

The Seals killed the remainders of the guards and freed thirty-five young women who were being forced to work as slave labor in the drug processing lab. Lt Commander Dan DeLossa ordered his team, “Search the bodies and do a facial recognition on each body.”

The State Department initiated an investigation into the raid and determined that the Navy Seals had attacked the wrong building and accused them of negligence. Lt. Commander Dan DeLossa explained to the team, “It seems that the CIA and State Department were running Black Ops missions with MS-13 gang members.”

Petty Officer First Class Larry Hensler commented, “Which means that they were probably taking a cut of the drug profits.”

            “You said it, I didn’t,” Lt. Commander DeLossa smiled.

Just when the Seals thought the situation had been forgotten, they received word through their chain of command that they were being court martialed. The charges were bogus and included killing innocent civilians and stealing narcotics. It didn’t take long for these seasoned warriors to realize that this was a politically motivated prosecution and due process and innocent until proven guilty was not applicable in this case. A considerable amount of false information was released to the media to create a false narrative about the Seals and manipulate public sentiment.

Some of the Navy Seals had families so being court martialed would have a devastating blow on them as well. After discussing the seriousness of the situation with his father and grandfather, Clyde told them, “The Bushido Code makes it clear what I have to do. I am the best man for the job.”

 Despite the strong objections of his teammates Clyde took full responsibility for what happened in Costa Rica and swore under oath that his team knew nothing about his criminal connections to a rival gang of MS-13. He agreed to plead guilty to everything that the military prosecutors accused him of as long as none of his teammates were not charged.

Clyde Kaneshige was sentenced to 27 years in Leavenworth Military Stockade. While awaiting transportation to the maximum security facility in Kansas, Clyde was kept at the Naval Consolidated Brig at the Miramar Air Station.

When the morning Marine guard did his routine check of the prisoners, Clyde Kaneshige was gone. The brig was placed in immediate lockdown and a thorough search of the area proved fruitless. Eventually, the night guard was found tied and bound in a storage room. The Navy Seals were questioned by Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) but they denied any involvement and nothing could be proved.

Clyde had extended family in Okinawa and that is where he escaped to. For the next two years, he lived a very simple lifestyle as a farmer and fisherman while continuing to train in martial arts. He accepted the harsh reality that he probably would never be able to return to the United States. That was the price he was willing to pay for following the Bushido Code.

Yoshi and Reiko Kaneshige were Clyde’s great uncle and aunt. There were in their mid-nineties and were attending a Japanese Cultural Festival in San Diego when they were brutally beaten and robbed by a street gang while waiting for a ride back to their home in Kearny Mesa. When Clyde heard about the incident, he decided to return to America even though he risked spending the rest of his life in prison if he was caught.

The Southern Border of the United States was a sieve, despite the false rhetoric of the current administration that said everything was under control. Clyde used his connections in the Special Operators community to get to Mexico. His plan was to blend in with the thousands of people crossing the border, then visit his relatives in San Diego. He’d improvise after that.

After arriving at the Port of Lazaro Cardenas, Clyde made his way to the border. In his backpack were two changes of clothes, some energy snacks and three weapons. The weapons were a fukiya, a blowgun equipped with several kinds of darts, some were lethal and others just immobilizing and extremely painful. This particular type of blowgun resembled a musical flute. He also had two dozen ‘shurikens’ sometimes called ninja or throwing stars. Shuriken literally means ‘sword that’s hidden in hand.’ Clyde also had a set nunchucks, consisting of two sticks connected to each other at their ends by a short metal chain or rope.

Mexican bandits routinely robbed and brutalized immigrants so when a gang of six men saw a Japanese man with a hooded sweatshirt sitting on the side of the road, they expected him to be easy prey. Clyde understood Spanish, but pretended to be confused by their demands for his pack and valuables. When one of the bandits pulled out a knife and threatened him, Clyde quickly disarmed the man and stabbed him in the heart.

Before the other men could react, he pulled out his nunchucks and killed two more by striking them on their temples. He grabbed a pistol and shot the other three. Clyde searched the dead men, took their cash and valuables and two pistols that he liked and some ammunition and put them in his pack. He dissembled the other weapons and threw the pieces in different directions so that they could never be reassembled.

Farther up the road, Clyde came in contact with a group of human traffickers with ten young girls. Holding a pistol in each hand and hiding them under his sweatshirt he walked into their camp and began speaking Japanese. The human traffickers laughed at what they thought was another lost immigrant. One of the men commented, “Is that Chinese that he’s speaking?”

Another man replied, “Sounds more like Japanese.”

“Kill him,” The leader said.

Clyde pulled out the two pistols and shot all the men, took their money and divided thousands of dollars among the women hostages. He gave them a warning, “Do not go to America,” and disappeared.

When he made it to the border, Clyde saw two government vehicles and several men meeting with drug dealers. The Cartel soldiers handed the American officials a large suitcase. One of the Americans opened it and saw that it was filled with cash and nodded in approval. Clyde took several photos of the exchange with his cellphone and after the Americans drove off, he pulled out his blowgun and several poisonous darts and killed three drug dealers. As one ran away, Clyde threw a ninja star that hit him in the back of the head and killed him too.

The former Navy Seal made it across the border and visited his relatives at Scripps Mercy Hospital in Hillcrest. Afterward, Clyde met his father in the parking lot for an emotional reunion.

Akio embraced his son and said, “A life without sacrifice is usually a life without honor. It is good to see you son.”

            “It is good to see you, father,” Clyde replied and choked back his tears.

The gang responsible for the assault on Clyde’s relatives were given a small fine and 25 hours of community service each, far below what they deserved. This happened because the district attorney bowed to political pressure and refused to stand up for law and order.

Clyde decided that a stronger punishment was in order so when the law fails, justice must prevail. He found the gang in the same neighborhood where they attacked Yoshi and Reiko Kaneshige. These miscreants were so arrogant and disdainful of the law that they didn’t miss a beat when it came to victimizing the weak and innocent. Clyde made himself a tempting target by walking through the area with an expensive watch and nice clothing, but looking frail and defenseless. It took three days before the gang decided to make their move. There were nine thugs and in most cases they would be holding the winning hand, but not this time.

After surrounding Clyde, the leader smirked, “I’ll take that watch and everything else of value that you have.”

Clyde was prepared. “Take it,” he said and held out his arm.

When the man reached for it, Clyde used a very dangerous karate punch that only traveled six inches, but contained massive destructive power. It fractured the man’s skull and knocked him off his feet.

He reached into his waistband and pulled out his nunchucks and proceeded to decimate the gang. He broke their legs, arms and fractured their skulls with well-placed strikes that left them lying in the dirty gutter where even the trash was offended by their existence.

Greg Whittington was a former Army Ranger and was riding a subway in New York City when a man attacked a woman, Whittington did not hesitate to intervene and protect her. He killed the individual and was charged with second degree murder. Using Intel from the Special Operations Community, Clyde traveled to the ‘Big Apple’. His plan was simple, kidnap a very powerful billionaire Marxist donor who had been funding legal cases against American patriots and convince him to help. Even though Adam Sanders always traveled with four Albanian bodyguards, this fact did not deter Clyde. He saw Sanders eating in a private booth in a high class restaurant with his bodyguards standing nearby. Clyde pulled out his blowgun and fired four darts in rapid succession and the men fell to the floor. Clyde approached Sanders and grabbed his cellphone before he could make a call and knocked him out with one punch. He threw a smoke grenade to obscure the view of the other patrons and disappeared.

When Sanders awakened he was sitting in a chair in an open field. Clyde handed him a pair of binoculars to Sanders and instructed him, “Look straight ahead five hundred yards and you’ll see a bottle hanging from a tree limb,” then put a high powered rifle to his shoulder and fired a single round and the bottle exploded. Clyde took out his nunchucks and nicked both of Sanders’ ears until they were both bleeding. “This exhibition is to show you that I can kill you at any distance. If the district attorney doesn’t withdraw the charges, I’ll prove it to you.”

As Clyde walked off, Adam Sanders sat in the chair trembling in fear. He called out in a panic, “Where am I…how do I get home?”

            “Walk toward the sun, there’s a highway about five miles away,” Clyde responded, “Watch out for the wolves. They might even hungry enough to eat your rotting flesh.”

As time passed, the legend of the Samurai Samaritan continued to grow along with the expanding body count. Clyde did not forget about the photos of the Americans officials who were doing business with the cartels and once he identified who they were, he eliminated them. Clyde was committed to defending the rights and freedoms of all law abiding citizens especially veterans who risk their lives to protect the principles on which our great country was founded.  He was lucky enough to be committed to two honor codes and many of their principles overlapped each other. The Seal Team code is; I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own. And the Bushido Code is; do not lie, do not be insincere, do not be obsequious, do not be superficial, do not be greedy, do not be rude, do not be boastful, do not be arrogant, do not slander, do not be unfaithful, be on good terms with comrades, do not be overly concerned with events, show concern for one another, be compassionate, with a strong sense of duty. Being a good samurai takes more than merely a willingness to lay down one’s life.

If you were to cross Bruce Lee, one of the greatest martial art fighters in history with Chris Kyle, one of the deadliest snipers of all time, you would get Clyde Kaneshige, the Samurai Samaritan.   

The End

 The Pipe Hitter Foundation is committed to defending the rights and freedoms of our men and women in uniform — the same rights and freedoms they risk their lives to uphold. To fulfill this mission, PHF has the following broad goals:


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  1. Robert says:

    Great story. Always enjoy your Sunday morning stories.

  2. Steve says:

    A very enjoyable story with some timely issues.

  3. john michels says:

    Very interesting story. Enjoyable read

  4. Jeremy says:

    Fun to read, my imagination was stimulated.

  5. Tony says:

    This Sunday story in the Vista Press by Mr. Thomas Calabrese grabbed my undivided attention immediately when I saw the famed 442nd Infantry Regiment comprising of primarily of Americans of Japanese Ancestry mentioned. Most were interned in Camps after losing their homes and property. I personally know of seven American Soldiers of Japanese ancestry that served in the 442nd that gave their lives in defense of our country. Each soldier earned the Medal of Honor in doing so. They are buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Los Angeles (Boyle Heights) where many of the Americans of Japanese heritage lived. Many that served in the armed forces not only served with distinction and honor but, served in other vital rolls as well such as interpreters or deciphering coded messages. Mr. Calabrese’s story speaks for itself as for their bravery in combat.
    I do not mean to diminish the heroics of the many American serviceman of all nationalities that fought in all wars in defense of our country, some known only to God. Mr. Calabrese, thank you for this wonderful story, so close to Memorial Day to remind us to give thanks to all that gave their all.

  6. marty says:

    Good story Tom. I hate tunnels!

  7. Bart says:

    Another good story for our wish list. If only true.

  8. Vern says:

    Spent 6 months on Okinawa. I know you passed through at least a couple of times.Appreciate your alluding to Daniel Penny. What a price paid for doing the right thing. Loss of life is always sad, but there are consequences to evil intentions! Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil ;Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
    21Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    And prudent in their own sight!

  9. Colonel Curtis says:

    Thanks, Tom! Your ecellent research combined with the imagination of a warrior brings these great stories to life! Semper Fidelis!


  10. Skip says:

    Your excellent research combined with the imagination of a warrior brings these great stories to life! Semper Fidelis!

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