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100th Battalion Memorial Service this Sunday

HANAPEPE — The West Kaua‘i Club 100 hosts the annual 100th Battalion Memorial Service Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Kaua‘i Veterans Cemetery in Hanapepe.

Every year, a memorial service is held at the cemetery on the Sunday closest to Sept. 29, when Sgt. Shigeo Joe Takata became the first 100th Infantry Battalion soldier to be killed in action shortly following the battalion’s arrival in Italy in 1943.

The memorial service remembers nisei from Kaua‘i who joined the 100th Infantry Battalion following the attack on Pearl Harbor in a time when residents of Japanese ancestry in Hawai‘i and on the mainland were viewed with suspicion and even hatred by many Americans.

The predecessor to the 100th was the Hawaiian Provisional Infantry Battation, established in May, 1942 as a racially segregated unit of primarily Americans of Japanese ancestry who had been serving in the Hawai‘i National Guard.

Later renamed the 100th Infantry Battalion, the unit served in Europe for 20 months, starting in Sept. 1943, and would become a legendary combat unit.
Source: The Garden Island

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