From the 442nd Regiment to the 100th Battalion: One “replacement’s” story by Stanley Izumigawa
The following is an account of my personal overseas or battlefield experience as a member of the 100th-442nd Infantry in World War II. It is written from the point of view of an infantryman at the squad level, the smallest and lowest level of organization, and is therefore limited in scope.
Battlefield action is usually confusing and the individual GI only knows what is happening in his immediate surroundings, and often not even that. Within the same campaign or battle, the experience of each GI varies, and the following describes only my personal doings, happenings, recollections, and thoughts.
It is rarely that the GI actually sees the enemy. Most of the time he is advancing with his unit, gets shelled by artillery or mortars, and fired upon by machine guns and rifles. The enemy then withdraws and sets up in the next defensive position, we move up to attack them, and the pattern is repeated. On occasion things work out differently for one side or the other. Sometimes action is very intense, but it is mostly very intermittent.
This relating is some fifty years after, and if the telling is sometimes disjointed, it is because I simply do not remember many of the details or their sequence. Much of the time nothing of consequence occurred. In the interest of reality, I have used much GI language, which says it the way it was as best as I can recall.
TO refresh my memory I have referred to “Ambassadors in Arms, The Story of Hawaii’s 100th Battalion,” by Thomas D. Murphy to guide me in recalling events of fifty years ago.
That I survived the war I attribute in part to having been one of the lucky ones, as I have noted throughout in describing certain occurrences.
Read Stan Izumigawa’s Memoirs (PDFs):
From the 442nd to the 100th
The Breakthrough to Rome
Belvedere and Sassetta
Up the Italian Boot
The Vosges Mountains
The Champagne Campaign
The Last Campaign
The Final Weeks and Going Home