Hawaiian Provisional Battalion
Club 100 30th Anniversary Reunion, June 1972 Article explaining the transformation and early years and early years and early years of the 298th Infantry and 299th Infantry into the Hawaiian Provisional Battalion.
Colonel Whilhelm A. Anderson, CO of the 298th Regt at that time was called to Army Hqtrs, Ft Shafter, on May 29 and appraised of the situation and asked to recommend a commanding officer for this provisional unit to be known as the Hawaiian Provisional Infantry Battalion.
While talking this matter over with his Executive Officer, Lt Col Farrant L. Turner and Plans and Training Officer, Capt James Lovell, Col Turner asked for the job while at the same time asking Lovell to be his Executive Officer. As it turned out, although Col Anderson had recommended someone else, BG Collins, C of S of the Hawaiian Dept gave Turner the job, but with one specific stipulation — that NO AJA OFFICER WOULD BE GIVEN COMMAND OF ANY OF THE RIFLE COMPANIES.
On June 4, military communique reported the commencement of hostilities with the enemy for Midway Island. Fighting was reported still going on on June 5, 1942 when in the late afternoon, we entrained to Kapalama Basin from Schofield Barracks, via the O R & L train, from where we boarded the U.S. Army Transport Maui. As we were boarding we noted that the Mariposa was berthed at Pier 10-11 right under the Aloha Tower. Then at around midnight, the Maui steamed out of Honolulu Harbor, without fanfare, on a free trip to the USA for the boys aboard, but final destination unknown and the future hazy! Was it to be further training, or POW guard detail, or what? Five days on that stinking troopship, Maui, and in its cargo hold to boot! Hot as h. . .! A few of us were seasick all the way! A big crap game went on day and night in the hold until we arrived on land again! Then, a four-day overland train trip from the Oakland terminal to final destination for this phase — Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. We passed POW barbed wire concentrated compounds in this camp before the trains came to a grinding halt in front of a tent city?
Time to ponder our fate, where to, what for, when? Who the heck had us shipped to the Mainland, anyway? Must be those prominent “buggas” of our Japanese Community back home. Wait till we get back home! For the majority of us this was our first trip to the mainland USA and first train ride, sleepers, but at what time and circumstance — WAR! The US was at war!