Capt K Kometani, 12/15/1944

Dec 15.

Dear Col,

Your letter of Nov 7 reached me, in fact was here when I returned from Paris – from school. They made me the Orientation or the Education & Information Officer to give me the break to make the trip to Paris. Still the SS officer & Rx officer & liquor officer – besides the other duty – “dental” and then in the bn aid station – when we’re up there – But its better this way. As it keeps me busy.

Delegate Joe Farrington gave us a surprise visit – though I had a sneaking hunch he would visit us. As he said – this trip was not complete unless he came to see the “100th” – made a deep impression on the boys. He gave us a short resume of things happening in the island – as he saw them; & the best was his reassurance that you & the people of Hawaii are awaiting the return of the men overseas – and the improved positions of the people – (our kind) & the way they are talking this war. He shook hands with the men & even carried messages back for us. There were mostly old timers present & it was really a treat.

Sat next to him for coffee & he spoke of you & Mr Hemenway. He understands that we’ve been away from home for some 31 months. At the little gathering, I was able to ask him to accept the honorary membership of Club 100 – which was voted by the delegate in Italy. He proudly accepted it before the boys

I can understand the sentiment of the people – now that the 442 is here with us – taking the same punishment – giving of life & blood for the same cause. – But the club was started in Shelby – for the 100th & by the 100th. We did not see this present picture of 2 units joining in this war then. Our by-laws were voted & there is nothing we can do – as the members present are few & scattered. I had a talk with Chaplain’s Higuchi & Yamada of 442 & few other non-coms; & they feel at present they cannot meet our standards in organization & financial setup – but will be very anxious to be considered in our postwar plans. There is no question in my mind that when the day of reorganization for post war club comes the 100th will consider the boys who fought side by side

It is going to take time but eventually we will all come under the category of war veterans. The people who donate or willing to donate must be given the assurance that we’ll give all over sea soldiers the privilege – the Club 100 could really help the service men of Hawaii. We had many 442 boys asking to join, & also, last evening, we had a talk about refunding membership fees as some were ineligible for membership. The boys from Hawaii stick together & the mainlanders are coming our way too. I have my doubts as to whether the 442 as a unit can organize like the 100th. Then there is the 522 & 232 – & I have a feeling that the 2 later outfits rather stick to us. The situation boils down to the true fact that we have organized & are ready to help our boys.

Capt Takahashi will be going home, as when I visited the hospital on my way home, he received word. There will be plenty returning. My visit to the hospitals gave me renewed courage and inspiration to carry on. The kids have an unequaled spirit – of “I can take it and there isn’t a soldier, no matter how serious, who doesn’t think of the others, remaining on line, wishing them all the luck. They worry & pray for the others. Some were in bad shape, but the spirit was high and keen. Capt Kim expects to be back as when I saw him, he seemed O.K. though once he had orders to be [Z led?] to England. Mits is near & ready for duty with Kitaoka – Now when I look the o rosters, I see where everyone has landed in the hospital – wounded or sick, except me, Koga just came back from sickness & Kawano is in for his ears & George is going in for a “reaming”. I sure have been lucky & wonder if it’s going to hold out. When I get it, I expect the worst. Kunimura should be there & Kaji on his way. He’ll give you the list of those decorated – as it is impossible to mail it – as some of them may not have been released as yet. Conrad Tsukayama – the boy (corporal) wounded by mine – first is the latest battle field commission with Katano of medics as Mac. I told you, also that Micky Nakahara made it. Guess this letter is not complete, unless I mention Paris. It certainly is “Gay Paree” inspite of the war & the night life is still there with all the chic & beautiful dames. The follies are going strong & its an eye opener. If you sit on the first row, it may poke your eyes. Its an eye opener. It’s a great life – if the pocketbook can last & your body – but a field soldier usually lasts a few nights & he’s broke in money & “spirit”. Champagne at $12.00 a bottle & you have to tip even to take a “pea”. The subway system is probably better than New York – but the engineering of the highways & streets there is worst than the Chinatown. Now that I’ve been in Rome & Paris, – the overseas will be complete if I can take in Berlin & London. There may be a possibility for both. It’s good to be back to the outfit though. I’m running a rest center – a hotel about the size of Young – & beautiful. We are in a dream section We hope we can be here for the duration but I doubt it. The action is static – & no damage. Take good care of yourself, Col, as the kids will be coming back & need your kokua. My good wishes & when Xmas & New Year comes, our thoughts will be in Hawaii. Aloha to Mrs.