The 111 letters that were written to Lt. Col. Farrant Turner give the reader an indication of the high regard and affection the men that had been under his command held for him. They also give firsthand accounts of the writers’ experiences in combat or as they were recuperating from their wounds.

Probably, most descendants of the men who wrote these letters will be seeing them for the first time. This was the case for a 100th daughter who has been part of the team developing this website. When she first saw a letter written by her father, she expressed her reaction in Island slang – “It was a chicken skin moment.”

The letters in the Saburo Nishime collection were written from late December 1941 to March 1946 to his brother Ralph on the mainland. Nishime lived in Japan for many years after the war, returning to Hawaii in 1987. He became a frequent contributor to the Club 100 newsletter, the Puka Puka Parade.

Stanley Izumigawa’s letters were written over a four year period. His letters are valuable as he describes their grueling and often boring basic training at Camp Shelby. He also includes some observations about the social dynamics between the African American and Caucasian population in Mississippi. Izumigawa also mentioned learning about the experiences of Japanese American soldiers from the U.S. mainland who were in Army units at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack and were later transferred to the 100th and 442nd.  They talked about the “shame and humiliation” they had to endure. Some were made to stand in front of their companies and stripped of their weapons. Called the derogatory term “Jap,” they were assigned the least desirable tasks. Ranks were taken away.

As more letters become available, they will be scanned, transcribed, and added to this collection.