France – December 14, 1944
Dear Mr. Deacon-
With all intentions to answer you sooner, during my stay in Paris, things happened so fast and furious that here I am, back to the old grind, and your letter of November 6th still unanswered. Two things of interest to you – the visit of Delegate Joe Farrington yesterday took us by surprise – and also when I returned to the hotel, Yoshi (1st Lieut. Edward M. Yoshimasu) was in the hospital from injuries incurred in a jeep accident. Lieut. (Yoshiharu) Nishida came back to the unit while I was away, but was sent back to the hospital. Personally, his fighting days are over, but you can’t convince a good man that he is through. Somehow they come bobbing up for more punishment. Neither are serious cases, but while Yoshi will be back, I have my doubts about Nishida. He may be knocking at your door – I hope.
It was certainly a very happy occasion for the men from Hawaii, especially the veterans of the 100th, of whom there are but a handful, to see one of our most respected citizens, one who has devoted so much to our welfare, both in this critical era and during peace time. He gave us a short resume of things as he saw them while in the Islands and also on the mainland, which primarily concerned the men overseas. It was good to hear him. It was also a gladdening feeling for me to grasp his hand again and to be reassured that you and the others are “pulling” for us. I also had the privilege to tell him that the boys of the Club 100 had voted him as one of our three Honorary Members. He accepted it before the boys – very proudly.
My trip to Paris was on order to attend the Information & Education School. If you know anything of Paris – what a town! – you can imagine what it meant to most of us. Outside of our classes, we had plenty of entertainment, on champagne that cost about $12 a bottle. You can imagine how far we would last financially, let alone physically. On our way, we stopped in at the hospitals to see the boys, and one cannot help but admire the soldiers in hospitals. It was good to see them and it gives us more courage to carry on. Many will go back to Hawaii, while many will be coming back here to carry on.
The boys are indeed happy to know of your acceptance (of appointment as an Honorary Member of the Club 100); we need all possible advice. Received letters from Mr. Turner and also from Jack Mizuha and others regarding the Club. There are many problems that will creep up. One is that of uniting the 100th with the others. As the Club was originally started by the 100th boys while in camp at Shelby, it was purely for the 100th. But the picture has taken a different slant, as the 442nd joined us here to devote their lives and blood for the same cause. Eventually, I feel personally, as time goes on, we will all come under the category of war veterans, and should so function for the welfare of our community and our country, regardless of what unit we were in. “United we stand – divided we fall”, and when the occasion demands, an amicable and good solution must be brought up to remedy the feeling of the two units. I do not think that there exist any antagonistic feelings, because we are all working forward to one goal, but to organize two clubs may result in feelings that could be avoided. Recently, I was approached by Chaplains Yamada and Higuchi on the subject, and we came to the conclusion that as the 100th has started a club with so much financial savings, the 442nd will await time and possibly will join the 100th at our invitation. This concerns men from Hawaii. That may be the best solution. In fact, we have had boys from the 442nd asking to join us. But, the by-laws have closed the membership doors as of August. In a few instances, money was refunded. However, this is a small matter which we can discuss when the time comes. Captain Takahashi, who is a member of the club, in fact, the vice president, is returning wounded. He has seen plenty. He is a good man. There also will be others, not only from the 100th, but from the 442nd. We appreciate the kindness shown to them.
Our life here now is grand. We hope it will last, though we cannot expect it. This will be our third holiday season away from home, and I’m certain that the next one will be in Hawaii. My very best wishes to you and Mr. H. A. Mountain.
Captain – Special Service Officer
100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment