Kaji, 07/19/1944

Same old place,
Somewhere in Italy,

July 19, 1944

Dear Col Turner:

Received your massproduction letter of June 10 couple of weeks ago but somehow got delayed in answering it. Then I got a few days’ rest in Rome so you can see what that did to my correspondence in general.

However, I’m back again at the old job and will do my best to catch up on the letters.

I got a great deal of pleasure in reading about your return to good old Hawaii Nei. I only hope that the day when the 100th can return to Hawaii isn’t too far in the future. And the way things are beginning to shape up here in Europe, I am inclined to believe that I can almost see Diamond Head in the hazy horizon already. Yes, Colonel, I have seen many clippings about your varied talks about the 100th. It gives me a great deal of pleasure to read about you, Colonel, and I am sure that that goes for all the rest of the men of the 100th.

Your relief from the 100th was hard to take and I am sure that it was harder for you to take but our keen disappointment has been somewhat tempered by the knowledge that you are paving the way for the return of the 100th. A better man could not have been selected for the advance party, Colonel. That’s the way I’ve been taking it, Colonel, that you’re the advance party for the 100th men now returning and will return in the future, individually or completely as one unit.

Kometani is now with us, getting the swimming team in condition. In the near future, they will be having the finals in one of the big cities here and I am sure that Kome will make good. He and I have talked about the Club, especially about the letter that you wrote to him recently about the lot and the buildings that have been offered to the club. It seems that it would be a darned good idea to take advantage of that offer while it’s good, as well as that raising of the amount held for the club from $24,000 to $100,000. Perhaps I still have Jew blood in my system, but it seems to me that this money too should be gotten together while we still have the chance.

My girl friend mentioned in her last letter that they are starting on the memorial for the men killed in this war. Who’s back of that? Is that territorial project or municipal? Or is it something else?

I imagine that by this time Hiroki has called on you. He mentioned in one of his letters that he hadn’t called on you yet but was planning to do so in the near future.

Have you received your award of Legion of Merit, Colonel? Perhaps they haven’t had enough time to get the notice to Shafter. It has already been announced in orders from NATOUSA so if you haven’t got it already, you should be in the near future. There is more of a story back of this award but guess that will have to wait.

Looks as if I’ve run of things to say already. The awards have been coming through excellently lately, more Silver Stars than you can shake a stick at. Quite a few DSC’S also. Some Bronze Stars.

Am trying to get up papers on Lovell but having a hell of a hard time. Will let you know the final outcome some time in the future.

By the way, Colonel, Kometani and I were talking with Col Haugen and Ritchie this afternoon. Col Haugen especially was very highly pleased to get that letter from you. He’s shown it to me twice already and I am rather inclined to believe that it won’t be the last time. Conversation naturally turned to you and we had a very enjoyable chat. But you can be sure that in those two at least you have two men who are back of you 100%.

I see where General Montgomery is still confident that we can knock Germany out of the war before this year is up. It seems strange that my wild prediction that I made in Honolulu before we left in 1942 should come so close to fulfillment. I predicted that I would be back in Honolulu by New Year’s Eve, 1944 and I still think that there is chance for its fulfillment. At any rate, if I do miss, it won’t be very much off.

I still have on hand some $4,000 to be sent back to Hawaiian Trust but because of a foul-ball that occurred (losing of the list of men from one of the companies), I haven’t been able to get rid of the money yet. I’m having a headache trying to figure this one out but I am afraid that it will never be ironed out completely and satisfactorily.

Looks like I’ve run out of things to write about, Colonel, so I guess I’ll have to be saying Aloha for this time.

I’m looking forward to the time when I can start commuting to YL&P again daily.