Author: Bob Sato
Puka Puka Parades, May 1961, v. 14 no. 5
Bob Sato writes of Club 100’s formation and ways they are active in the community
The Club 100 is an organization of World War II veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion. Its clubhouse, the home of 1,200 strong, is located at 520 Kamoku Street. This blue wall modern structure was built in 1952 and the main hall recently was named Turner Hall.
The One Puka Puka Battalion literally translated to mean One Zero Zero was referred to as the Purple Heart Battalion by GI’s of many other outfits who fought side by side with us in European Theatre. The 1703 personnel who received combat wounds during World War II was the basis of this popular designation. The Presidential Unit citation was awarded on three different occasions for heroic conduct in the field of major battle. Individual awards are as follows:
|Congressional Medal of Honor
(Pvt. Sadao Munemori, Co.A)
|Distinguished Service Cross||
|Legion of Merit||
|Bronze Star (for valor)||
|Bronze Star (for Meritorious Service)||
|Croix De Guerre (France)||
|Medaglia Al Valore Militia (Italy)||
The motive or very beginning of Club 100 is quite unique. Story goes back to the hot summer days of 1942 when the 100th Battalion was stationed in Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. A movement to build a clubhouse and to perpetuate the bonds of friendship established in the armed forces was initiated. Subsequently, each member of the unit, including our first commander, “Grand Old Man” Farrant L. Turner, contributed $2 from their monthly Army pay into the building fund. Even in the combat zone, this system was strictly enforced for the company clerk was always there on pay day to make the collection. The money accumulated in this manner was the foundation on which the Club 100 Memorial Building, which cost approximately $70,000 in 1952 was built. Payment by deceased buddies prior to being mortally wounded thus form an integral part of the structure and grounds.
“For Continuing Service” is the motto of Club 100. In line with this guiding principle, participation in various civic affairs on an individual and collective basis have been emphasized. The Kuakini Hospital Building Fund Drive, Boy Scout troops, contemporary veterans organizations, recreational groups, individuals, schools and firms utilize the clubhouse facilities for meetings and socials.
Many years back, Club 100 participated in selling of Christmas cards for the War Orphan Scholarship Fund.
In cooperation with the Honolulu Blood Bank, a healthy blood bank is maintained and administrered [sic] by a full time Executive Secretary.
Best company trophies are donated to the R.O.T.C. units of the University of Hawaii and various high schools on Oahu since 1946. Best soldier trophies are also donated each year to the Summer Camp of the 442nd Infantry Reserve.
Every year, aliens, especially the Next of Kin, are given assistance in filing their registration cards at the clubhouse.
Recently Club 100 sent $3,000 as relief fund to those typhoon victims in Japan work and $600 to orphanages in Osaka, Japan.
Next of Kin deceased comrades are rendered assistance and guidance on veterans legislation and benefits. The Gold Star parents are invited as special guests to all commemorating functions of the organizations such as Anniversary Luau, Parents’ Day and Memorial services at National Cemetery of the Pacific.
When the little familiar town of Sparta, Wisconsin suffered flood damages in 1942 a collection was started immediately and the money sent for relief purposes from the Puka Puka outfit then stationed at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. The Memorial Park in Sparta today acknowledges this aid with an appropriate sign at the entrance of the park.
A cage in the La Crosse Zoo was donated by the members of the 100th Battalion in appreciation of the manner in which the residents of La Crosse, Wisconsin opened their homes and befriended them. Understand two timber wolves with a fresh litter of baby wolves are occupants of the cage.
Memorial Services are conducted on the Sunday falling closest to September 29th of each year. For it was on that day in 1943 that the 100th Battalion was first committed into action and suffered its first casualty in the vicinity of Monte Marsano, Italy.
The Club organ “Puka-Puka Parade” is published monthly to disseminate information to the membership. The bulletin, which has approximately 1,500 circulation, gained a reputation for its humor and newsy contents. Ben Tamashiro, editor of the “Puka-Puka Parade”, was highly praised by Mr. Gregg M. Sinclair, former president of the University of Hawaii, for his splendid editorial section in the March issue. Mr. George Chaplin editor of the Advertiser, also congratulated Ben’s fine work.
According to our estimation, the average member is about 43-44 years old. His occupation varies from clerical work to any trade which one normally can think of. His place of residence covers practically every community in the islands.
He may be found in the United States or somewhere in the Far East. However, we noticed that no one has settled in Italy, France or Germany after marrying a signorina, mademoiselle or a charming fraulein.
Due to rather advanced age, the more strenuous events have been de-emphasized. Monthly golf tournaments, an annual bowling league and a makule softball league are the extent of the club’s athletic program. We, the 1,200 strong of the Club 100, look optimistically to the future with high hopes to be able to serve its membership and the community by striving “For Continuing Service” in our American Way of Life.