1399th Engineer Construction Battalion - Honolulu, HI
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
N 21° 16.962 W 157° 49.898
4Q E 621203 N 2353883
Quick Description: The 1399TH ENGINEER CONSTRUCTION BATTALION 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 3:03:37 AM
Waymark Code: WMDRQC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 6

Long Description:

The “Chowhounds”

The 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion, except for its officers, was an all Japanese-American military unit stationed in Hawaii during World War II, the only one of its kind to serve in the Pacific War against Japan.

The 1399th was activated April 26, 1944 at Schofield Barracks. It was a composite unit made up of Japanese-American soldiers from the pre-war 395th Quartermaster Battalion, the 370th Engineers, the 1536th Dump Truck and 1525th Base Equipment Companies, and draftees from the April-August 1944 drafts. It rose to peak strength of 993 men in November 1944.

Throughout the war, the 1399th and its predecessor units constructed vital military defense installations on the island of Oahu. Their contributions were considered so essential to the defense of Oahu that Japanese-Americans of this unit were not assigned like others to form the 100th Infantry Battalion in May 1942.

The 1399th completed more than 54 major defense projects all over the island of Oahu, including construction of a million-gallon water tank in Wahiawa (still in use), jungle training villages, artillery emplacements, ammunition storage pits, water systems, warehouses, Flying Fortress airfield at Kahuku, auxiliary roads in the mountains, rest and recreation camps, bridge repairs and rock quarry operations, and other military defense facilities.

In recognition of its sterling services and contributions, the 1399th was presented with the Meritorious Service Award in October 1945. General MacArthur twice requested the 1399th to be assigned to the Philippines, but the War Department considered them more important to the defense of Hawaii and refused to put them in direct conflict with the Japanese enemy.

Always in the shadows of the other Japanese-American combat units, the 1399th’s proud record of achievements truly make them stand out as the “unsung heroes of the Hawaii front” during 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:

*(1.)* Please submit a photo(s) taken by you of your visit to the location (non-copyrighted photos only). GPS photos are also accepted with the location in the background, and old vacation photos are accepted. If you are not able to provide a photo, then please describe your visit or give a story about the visit.
*(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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