Two Kauai Men Who Served with the 100th Are Remembered
Hawaii Herald, June 19, 1992
By: Karleen Chinen
The following is an edited version of a story which appeared in the January 1, 1991 edition of The Hawaii Herald. In this version, we profile two Kauai “sons” who were killed in action while serving with the 100th Infantry Battalion in Italy.
“…Though the color of these men’s skin differed, the shape of their ideals did not…(b)ecause they died, we who are left can still work to build that better world for which they fought…” wrote Territorial Gov. Ingram Stainback in the preface of the 1949 publication, “In Freedom’s Cause: A Record of Men who Died in the Second World War.”
They were like you and I-just ordinary people. Yutaka Fujii, Satoru Hiraoka, Kazuyoshi Inouye, William turned [Jerves?]. Neither did 43 other Kauai men who lost their lives in World War II.
Although Fujii, Hiraoka, Inouye, Jerves and Nakamura were probably no more exceptional than the other Kauai sons who died in the war, one factor set them apart from the 43 others. They had all worked for Lihue Plantation Company prior to going off to war. According to retired Lihue Plantation employee Joe Shiramizu, the plantation decided to name the streets in its new subdivision after its five employees who had died during the war.
Oldtimers like Shiramizu refer to the area on the mauka side of Kuhio Highway, just behind the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, as “Block A,” or “Camp A.” Its residents are mainly Lihue Plantation workers who moved into the area from Hanamaulu, Kealia and other parts of Lihue, with a sprinkling from Kapaa and Wailua.
There was no fanfare surrounding the naming of the streets. The men’s families were never informed of the company’s plans.
The company apparently submitted the five names, along with the names of two cross streets-Oxford and Poinciana-to the County Engineer, who gave it his stamp of approval and then turned it over to the seven-member Kauai Board of Supervisors (the forerunner of today’s Kauai County Council) or consideration.
Resolution 117, naming the seven streets, was adopted unanimously on June 5, 1958.
The street signs went up shortly after. Once again, no fanfare. The families of the five men learned that a street in Block A had been named for their son or brother through the Kauai grapevine.
Life is quiet and laid back on Fujii and Nakamura streets. But who were these two young men? What were they like as kids? As soldiers? What kinds of dreams filled their world?
We wanted to know.