Howard Shigeta was a Japanese-American and a skilled in martial arts, particularly judo. He was one of several prisoners held by the Germans in Devil's Island. He and Laurie Livingston helped each other escape, remaining close friends afterwards.
He served in the United States Army and was eventually promoted to sergeant. He somehow became involved in illegal drug trade during his service. He was arrested, demoted and transferred to the Deadly Dozen. He was pleasantly surprised to find old friends among his fellow Dozen members. He served with no real incident. In their last mission, Shigeta frantically searched for Laurie within a German medical facility when shot in the back. His killer was not identified.