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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, June 17, 2007

Timeline of AJAs joining World War II fight

Compiled by Catherine E. Toth
Advertiser Staff Writer


  • Oct. 15, 1940: Hawai'i's National Guard, composed of the 298th and 299th infantries, becomes part of the U.S. Army.

  • Dec. 9, 1940: The Selective Service board of the Territory of Hawai'i begins processing inductees. After basic training at Schofield Barracks, most of the recruits are sent to either the 298th or 299th Infantry. Of the nearly 3,000 men inducted through the draft during the next 12 months, about 1,500 are nisei, or second-generation Japanese-Americans. The nisei draftees soon learn that enlistment in the Navy, Coast Guard, Marines and Air Force is closed to them.


  • Dec. 7, 1941: Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese, thrusting the United States into World War II. The 2nd Battalion of the 298th Infantry is stationed on the Windward side of O'ahu. The 1st Battalion is at Schofield. In the coming days, martial law is declared. About 300 Japanese-American ROTC students from the University of Hawai'i-Manoa join the Hawai'i Territorial Guard. They are sworn in and are issued rifles. FBI agents and police begin arresting Japanese-American community leaders in Hawai'i and on the Mainland.


  • Jan. 19, 1942: The 317 Nisei members of the Hawai'i Territorial Guard are discharged without explanation and are classified as 4-C "enemy aliens."

  • Jan. 23, 1942: Japanese-Americans in the military on the Mainland are segregated out of their units.

  • Feb. 19, 1942: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066, setting the stage for the incarceration of more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans in camps throughout the United States.

  • Feb. 25, 1942: The all-Nisei Varsity Victory Volunteers (Triple V) is formed in Hawai'i as part of the 34th Combat Engineers Regiment.

  • May 26, 1942: Gen. George C. Marshall issues an order establishing the Hawai'i Provisional Infantry Battalion, predecessor to the 100th Infantry Battalion. The unit is made up of Japanese-Americans from the Hawai'i National Guard.

  • June 5, 1942: 1,432 members of the Hawai'i Provisional Infantry Battalion depart Honolulu for California.

  • June 12, 1942: The 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) is officially activated on the Oakland docks. Five days later, the War Department announces that it will not "accept for service with the armed forces, Japanese or persons of Japanese extraction, regardless of citizenship status or other factors."

  • June 26, 1942: The Army Chief of Staff G-2 Section recommends the formation of a Board of Military Utilization of U.S. Citizens of Japanese Ancestry to determine whether a Japanese-American unit ought to be sent to fight in Europe.

  • Oct. 2, 1942: Elmer Davis, director of the Office of War Information, recommends to President Roosevelt that Japanese-Americans be allowed to enlist for military service. This provided the initiative for the concept of an all-Japanese-American military unit.

  • Oct. 31, 1942: Twenty-six men from the 100th (Company B, Third Platoon) leave Camp McCoy, Wis., for Ship Island and Cat Island off the Mississippi Gulf Coast on special assignment to be used to train dogs to recognize and attack Japanese, based on their supposedly unique scent.


  • Jan. 6, 1943: The 100th Infantry Battalion leaves Camp McCoy for Camp Shelby, Miss.

  • Jan. 31, 1943: At the request of the men of the Triple V, the unit is deactivated so that its members can enlist in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT).

  • Feb. 1, 1943: The 442nd RCT is activated by President Roosevelt, who declared that "Americanism is not and never was, a matter of race and ancestry."

  • March 28, 1943: The Honolulu Chamber of Commerce sponsors a farewell ceremony at 'Iolani Palace for 1,686 Nisei volunteers for the 442nd RCT.

  • May 1943: The 442nd RCT begins training in Mississippi, meeting up with the 100th Infantry Battalion for the first time.

  • July 20, 1943: The 100th Infantry Battalion receives its battalion colors and motto "Remember Pearl Harbor" as requested by the unit. The unit leaves Camp Shelby on Aug. 11 by train to Camp Kilmer, N.J. From there, they are ferried to Staten Island and board the SS James Parker, a hastily converted former banana and tourist ship. They are headed to Oran, Algeria, in North Africa.

  • Sept. 2, 1943: The 100th Infantry Battalion lands in Oran and is assigned to guard supply trains from Casablanca to Tunisia. Col. Farrant Turner, who commanded the 100th, refuses. The 100th is subsequently assigned to the 34th Infantry Division on Sept. 5 and assured to be in actual combat.

  • Sept. 22, 1943: The 100th Infantry Battalion lands on the beach at Salerno, Italy, as a part of the 133rd Infantry Regiment, 34th Infantry Division.

  • Sept. 29, 1943: First day of combat for the 100th Infantry Battalion. After a week of fighting, baseball star Shigeo "Joe" Takata is the first member of the unit to be killed in action and the first to receive the Distinguished Service Cross.

    Members of Company C of the 100th, after crossing the Volturno River in Italy in November 1943.

    U.S. Army Signal Corps photo

  • Nov. 3, 1943: The 133rd Infantry Regiment, 34th Division and the 100th Infantry Battalion begin offensive attacks against the Germans crossing the Volturno River for the third time, south of Naples, Italy.


  • Jan. 24, 1944: The famous Battle of Monte Cassino begins. It takes four major assaults and four months to take the town, which was almost destroyed. The 100th Battalion fights in the first two assaults. By some estimates, the battle left a quarter of a million dead or wounded.

  • March 26, 1944: The 100th Infantry Battalion lands at Anzio, the second front between the Gustav Line and Rome. The unit is assigned a section in the Anzio beachhead in April.

  • May 1, 1944: The 442nd RCT ships out of Hampton Roads, Va. to Europe.

  • June 2, 1944: The 100th Infantry Battalion participates in the breakout to Rome by attacking and capturing Lanuvio. Rome falls three days later. The 442nd RCT arrives at Naples harbor, and on June 10 meets the 100th Infantry Battalion in Civitavecchia, northwest of Rome.

  • June 22, 1944: President Roosevelt signs into law the Servicemembers' Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the GI Bill of Rights.

  • June 26, 1944: The 442nd RCT is assigned to the Fifth Army and, in turn, is attached to the 34th Division. The battle-tested 100th Infantry Battalion is attached to the 442nd RCT and the 442nd goes into combat near Belvedere, Italy.

  • July 7, 1944: The 442nd RCT takes Hill 140 in Italy after a bitter battle.

  • July 9, 1944: The 100th Infantry Battalion occupies and controls Leghorn directly under the control of the Fifth Army in Rome.

  • July 27, 1944: Gen. Mark Clark presents the Distinguished Presidential Unit Citation to the 100th Infantry Battalion at Vada, Italy, for action at Belvedere.

  • Aug. 14, 1944: The 100th Infantry Battalion is formally made an integral part of the 442nd RCT.

  • Aug. 31, 1944: The 442nd RCT — minus the 100th — reaches the Arno River in Italy near Florence. The 100th Infantry Battalion spearheads the crossing of the Arno River and the capture of Pisa for the IVth Corps.

    The 100th's mortar crew practices firing in Italy on Sept. 7, 1944.

    U.S. Army Signal Corps photo

  • Sept. 26, 1944: The 442nd RCT leaves Naples for France.

  • Sept. 30, 1944: The 100th/442nd RCT is attached to the 36th Division (also known as the Texas Division) of the Seventh Army.

  • Oct. 15, 1944: The 100th/442nd RCT enters the battle of Bruyeres in the Vosges Mountains.

  • Oct. 18, 1944: At Bruyeres, after three days of fighting, the 100th Infantry Battalion takes Hill A, and the 2nd Battalion takes Hill B and enters the town. Bruyeres is an important road center and key to the heights overlooking the Meurthe River.

  • Oct. 20, 1944: The 100th Infantry Battalion captures Hill C.

  • Oct. 22, 1944: The 100th Infantry Battalion takes Biffontaine, suffering many casualties attempting to hold the village and liberate it from German occupation.

  • Oct. 26 to 31, 1944: The 100th/442nd RCT rescues 211 members of the "Lost Battalion," which was cut off and surrounded by Germans, in the forest two miles east of Biffontaine. These soldiers are from the 1st Battalion, 141st Regiment, 36th Infantry Division. The 100th/442nd RCT suffers more than 800 casualties.


  • Nov. 13, 1944 to March 23, 1945: The soldiers of the 442nd RCT leave eastern France and head south to the French Riviera. Less than half its strength, the 442nd has lost so many men that it can't be used as a regiment-sized force. Nearly 2,000 are wounded and in hospitals in England, Italy and France. The unit guards a roughly 12-mile stretch of the French-Italian border and keeps the enemy from breaking through to the southern coast of France. The men call this time "the Champagne Campaign."

  • March 20, 1945: The 100th/442nd RCT, minus the 552nd Field Artillery Battalion, leaves France for Italy to join the all African-American 92nd Infantry Division.

  • April 5 to 6, 1945: The 442nd RCT makes a surprise attack on Nazi mountainside positions in Italy, breaking through the Nazi Gothic Line in one day.

  • April 6 to 30, 1945: The 100th/442nd RCT drives the enemy up the Italian coast to Genoa and Turin.

  • May 2, 1945: The German army surrenders. The war in Italy is over. Nine days later, the war in Europe is officially over. Many of the 100th Infantry Battalion soldiers return to Hawai'i.

  • July 1945: A number of men from the 100th Infantry Battalion volunteer for interpreter service in the Pacific theater and depart for Army language schools in the United States.

  • Aug. 15, 1945: The Japanese surrendered on what's known as V-J day, signing the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on Sept. 2. The Japanese troops in China formally surrendered to the Chinese on Sept. 9, 1945.

  • Dec. 21, 1945: Club 100 is incorporated.


  • July 4, 1946: The 100th/442nd RCT sails on the SS Wilson Victory into New York Harbor, greeted by cheering crowds.

  • July 15, 1946: A reception is held in Washington, D.C. Under a driving summer rain, President Harry Truman pinned the Presidential Unit Citation on the 100th/442nd RCT colors. "You fought not only the enemy," he said, "but you fought prejudice — and you have won."

  • 1946: The site of a former Japanese language school is purchased by the club using dues collected by soldiers during their stay at Camp McCoy. (They contributed $2 a month.) This is the location of the club office headquarters until the property is sold for a permanent location.


  • 1949: The club purchases land at 520 Kamoku St., site of the current clubhouse.


  • July 1952: The clubhouse is completed. A committee of officers and members meets to select a slogan to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the club. They choose "For continuing service."