100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) - Honolulu, HI
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
N 21° 16.962 W 157° 49.898
4Q E 621203 N 2353883
Quick Description: The 100TH INFANTRY BATTALION (Separate) is one of four units of Japanese-American soldiers honored in this imposing monument in Waikiki - "Brothers in Valor."
Location: Hawaii, United States
Date Posted: 2/20/2012 1:40:30 AM
Waymark Code: WMDRQ3
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 9

Long Description:

“The Purple Heart Battalion”

The 100th Infantry Battalion, except for some officers, was the first combat unit in the history of the United States Army to be comprised of Hawaii-born Japanese Americans. The unit was made up of 1,432 men and officers, most of whom were pre-war draftees serving in the 298th and 299th Infantry Regiments, guarding Hawaii after the Pearl Harbor attack on December 7, 1941.

On May 29, 1942, Japanese naval forces were approaching Midway. In anticipation of a subsequent Japanese attack on Hawaii, all Japanese-American soldiers in the 298th and 299th Infantry Regiments and others were placed into the Hawaii Provisional Infantry Battalion and then shipped off on June 5, 1942, to Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, for combat training. Redesignated as the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate), the unit received extensive training at Camp McCoy and Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for the next 16 months. All the while, the Army remained in doubt as to whether the 100th should be sent into combat, and if so, where and with which unit.

Finally, in September 1943, the 100th shipped out to Oran, Africa, attached to the 34th (“Red Bull”) Division, and landed at Salerno, Italy, on September 22, 1943. For the next nine months, the 100th fought in the Salerno-to-Rome campaign through the bitter winter against a tenacious enemy, most notably in the battle for Monte Cassino. Here, it suffered huge casualties and earned itself the title “The Purple Heart Battalion.”

The 100th landed on the Anzio Beachhead in March 1944, took over and held defensive positions, and thereafter participated in the break out towards Rome and beyond.

On June 11, 1944, the 100th was assigned as the “first battalion” of the newly arrived 442nd Regimental Combat Team. While retaining its original unit designation, its casualty-depleted ranks were bolstered by replacements from the 442nd. Thereafter, as part of the 442nd RCT, the 100th significantly contributed to driving the German army northward to the Arno River, earning its first Presidential Unit Citation in the Battle of Belvedere. In October-November, the 100/442nd was assigned to the 36th Infantry Division for the Vosges Mountains campaign in northeastern France, where the 100th participated in the taking of Hill A and in the liberation of Bruyeres, Biffontaine, and the rescue of the Texas “Lost Battalion.” For this effort, it earned a second Presidential Unit Citation. In April 1945, the 100/442nd was reassigned to the 5th Army in Italy, where it pierced the long-held Gothic Line and drove the German enemy back into Po Valley, forcing the German surrender on May 2, 1945. For its part in the Gothic Line campaign, the 100th received its third Presidential Unit Citation.

For its total 18 months in combat, the 100th was honored with 3 Presidential Unit Citations and suffered 337 KIA. Its men were awarded 1,703 Purple Hearts, one Congressional Medal of Honor, 24 Distinguished Service Crosses, 147 Silver Stars, 2,173 Bronze Stars and 30 Division Commendations. From undeserved distrust in the wake of the Pearl Harbor attack, this “Guinea Pig Battalion” earned the distinction of being the most decorated battalion for its size and time in combat, and won the right for other Japanese-American soldiers to follow and prove their loyalty to America in battle in World War II.

The "Brothers in Valor" memorial commemorates the heroic lives of thousands of Japanese-Americans who served in the U.S. Military in World War II. Judy Weightman conceived this memorial after interviewing Japanese-American soldiers who had liberated the Dachau concentration camp. The sculpture was created by Bumpei Akaji, a veteran of the 442nd, and dedicated on July 4, 1998. It is situated on a 5,100 square foot site on Ft. DeRussy along Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki.

The bronze sculpture consists of four metal prongs reaching skyward, intertwined at the base, each about ten feet tall. The base is polished black marble about six-feet tall, and on each of four faces is a bronze plaque with the history of each group honored - the :442nd Regimental Combat Team, 100th Infantry Battalion, Military Intelligence Service, and the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion

The monument is centered in a circle of paving stones and at the outer edge of each quadrant are individual bronze plaques mounted on granite stones identifying each of these groups. Within the base of the monument is a time capsule with scrolls containing the names of those killed in action, all members of the groups honored here, and of contributors to the creation of the memorial.

MAY 22, 1941 - MARCH 4, 1998



Website pertaining to the memorial: [Web Link]

List if there are any visiting hours:
5:00 a.m - 10:00 p.m.

Entrance fees (if it applies): none

Type of memorial: Monument

Visit Instructions:

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*(2.)* If you have additional information about the memorial which is not listed in the waymark description, please notify the waymark owner to have it added, and please post the information in your visit log.
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