Club 100 30th Anniversary Reunion, June 1972
Brief article covering the first days of combat, the first KIA, and the formation and early years of Club 100 officers.
On September 19, 1943, unit left Oran for the beach-landing at Salerno, Italy. THIS WAS IT! The 100th traveled in the USAT Frederick Funston. After landing on September 23, without incident, we started chasing the retreating “Jerries”. Ordered to truck to Monte Corvino Rovelle on the 27th of September. Enroute, captured first German prisoner who walked in and surrendered. “Ache! Soldiers of the super race?”
First KIA, SHIGEO JOE TAKATA of Company B, killed by ricocheting machine gun sniper bullet on the morning of September 28 in skirmish with a machine gun nest in the vicinity of Montemarono off the Avellino Rd. One more KIA plus several wounded were to be recorded before this first day of actual BAPTISM OF FIRE was to be over. Had he lived today, Joe Takata might have been a Yankee super-star, who knows? The legend of the Purple Heart Bn was born this day too! Soon thereafter, Gen Ryder authorized the wearing of the Red Bull patch by the 100th. And HOW the unit had won that right!!!
Then came events in succession, all written in the annuals of U.S. Military history — Rapido, Voltuno, hills, hills, hills, nothing but hills, and number — Casino!
“Old man Turner” relieved?” after first few skirmishes in Salerno! Had we failed the old man? Gillespie took over. Vino senorittas, “black market” days! Wine cellars, farm-yards. Bright days! Black days!
In July, 1944, in the vicinity of Leghorn, Italy, the first group of officers of the organization were elected as follows: President, Katsumi Kometani; Vice President, Sakae Takahashi; Secretary, Andrew Okamura, and Treasurer, Hideo Yamashita. At the same time Delegate Joseph R. Farrington, Leslie Deacon and the late Charles R. Hemingway were awarded Honorary memberships for their continuous and untiring efforts in helping families and friends of the 100th.