Kenneth Muroshige

Drafted into Hawaii’s National Guard before war was declared, Kenneth Muroshige was an original member of the 100th Infantry Battalion. He kept a diary from June 5, 1942 when the battalion sailed from Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, until his return in December 1944.

Muroshige wrote of his experiences at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, including his friendships with local families, his furloughs when he visited Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C. and more briefly, the battalion’s training exercises in Louisiana and Mississippi.

He recorded his experiences on the ship that took the battalion to Oran, Africa where the ship docked on September 2, 1943. Wounded near Pozzilli, Italy on November 5, he wrote a detailed account of his combat experience and of being stranded for over 24 hours on a mountain before he could be evacuated. From a hospital in Italy, Muroshige was flown to Bizerte, Tunisia and transported on a train to Casablanca and then to a hospital in Oran, Algeria.

In March 1944, he left Oran on a ship which landed in Charlestown, South Carolina. About 9 days later, he was assigned to a hospital in Palm Springs, California.  He arrived there on March 31 after traveling through Augusta, Georgia; Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans, Louisiana; Houston, San Antonio and El Paso, Texas; Tucson and Yuma, Arizona and finally Palm Springs.

Three months later, Muroshige was transferred to a hospital in El Paso, and then in November finally assigned to Fort Lawton, Seattle where he boarded a ship to Honolulu on December 9, 1944. He wrote of his experiences while he was recovering from his leg wound, including his monthlong furlough when he went back to La Crosse, Wisconsin and stayed with families who had befriended him while he was at Camp McCoy.

Notes by his daughter Susan who transcribed his diary in May 2020:

The transcript includes his original spelling and punctuation.

He mentioned many places, some of them misspelled.

  • Toma = Tomah, Wisconsin, a town near Camp McCoy
  • Montecuvio = probably Montecorvino, Italy
  • Benevinto = Benevento, Italy
  • Alief = Alife, Italy
  • Pozzile = Pozzilli, Italy

He wrote of his comrades, many of them from Company B, Second Platoon. In parenthesis are most likely the first names of the men he mentioned. The manifest from the SS James Parker, the ship that transported the battalion to Oran, was used as a resource.

  • When they first arrived at Camp McCoy, they were housed in tents. He shared a tent with Shimazu (most likely Mootoo), Kajita (Isami), Tanaka (maybe Keichi) and Ochi (Tamotsu).
  • General Rider = Major General Charles W. Ryder, 34th Division commander.
  • 9/28/1943: description of combat mentions Furuta (Raymond), Asai (Ralph), Takaki (Yukio), Funaboshi (James G.), Amazaki (Eichi Larry), Okimoto (Yoshio).
  • Lt. Kim = Young Oak Kim, B Co, Second Platoon
  • 11/5/1943: Mentions Nagamine (Akitaka) wounded night before. Also Capt. Suzuki (Taro), Takeba (Masaharu), Takaki (Yukio) as wounded. Sees Hardy Kugiyama (may be Kenneth of D Co). Writes that Skini/Shikni (Joe Sekine) helps him after he was wounded.
  • 11/6/1943: Hears that Enemoto (Enomonto, Kiyozo), Asai (Ralph) and Piwee (?) were killed. Mentions Capt. Mizuha (Jack, D Co commander), Lt. Drolet (Raymond, D Co), Lt. Marzano (Rocco who replaced Capt. Suzuki as B Co commander). Hears that Capt. Kawasaki (Isaac, battalion surgeon) was wounded.
  • 11/8/1943: Also wounded were Hayakawa (Haruo?), Sekiya (Walter, mail clerk).
  • At hospital in Bizerte, Tunisia meets Major Lovell (James), Executive Officer of the 100th Infantry Battalion from its formation.
  • He mentions several men he met at the different hospitals. It’s harder to identify all of them as some were from different companies. Bizerte, Tunisia: Koizumi (Hayato, Second Platoon?), Stanley Inamura (B Co). Oran General Hospital: Yasui (Yasuo, A Co), George Ikegama (Ikegami, B Co). Palm Springs Hospital: Tom Fukuda (A Co), Raymond Furuta (B Co), Roy Miyashiro (?), Shinyama (Arthur, C Co?), Umetsu (Toshio, C Co).

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