Able Co. History Replete With Action

Author: unknown
Puka Puka Parades, December 1949, vol. 4 no. 7

Details the history of Able company from the 298th Regimental Infantry to WWII and postwar.

“All right men. Get ready to go aboard!” barked Captain Phillip Peck, commander of Co. A, Hawaiian Provisional Battalion on June 5, 1942. The one hundred and forty men under his command hastily adjusted their full field packs, marched orderly up the gangway of USAT Maui and embarked on a trip across the Pacific with the rest of their battalion comrades.

Capt. Peck’s men who comprised the original Company “A” were personnel drawn from companies “A” and “H” of 298th Infantry Regiment when the Provisional Battalion was formed.

During the Camp McCoy and Shelby training days the Able men gritted their teeth and tightened their belts while keeping stride with the high standard of efficiency maintained by the other companies of the 100th. To Francis Nakamura, the top kick, went the pleasant task of making out the KP roster, the guard duty line-up, the latrine details, the issuing of sick call slips for everything from chigger bites to appendicitis, the granting of privileged passes to visit nearby cities, and, serving as buffer between the officers and enlisted men whenever “wrong dope” poked its nose.

Captain Peck was followed in command by Captain Christopher who relinquished the reins to Captain Arnold as the outfit headed for overseas duty.

When the Jerries opened fire with their 88’s and burp guns on the memorable morning of September 29, 1943, Able Company was committed into action. Subsequent actions at Alife and the first Castle Hill saw the Able men right in the midst of things. While acting as battalion reserve before the last Volturno crossing the company was subjected to its first taste of bombing at which time casualty was heavy.

Prior to the Coli battle companies “E” and “A” were reorganized under the single banner of “A”. 1st Lt. Mitsuyoshi Fukuda took over the C.O.’s post and the unit performed creditably in the Coli and Radicosa Hill skirmishes. Like men in the other companies, Able personnel found out that thirteen days was too short a time to capture Cassino in view of the number of trench feet cases and only 10% of the company strength available on the line.

Fresh replacements who joined Able prior to debarkation for Anzio added new vigor to the outfit. Once past Rome, the most notable engagement saw Able “sharing” honors with Baker in the battle of Belvedere. (Reference: The Yank magazine, September 1, 1944).

Later Captain Fukuda returned to the United States on rotation, whereupon Lt. Harry Schoenberg steered the unit to Arno River. There Capt. Samuel Sakamoto took over the driver’s seat and led the troops into France for the battles of Bruyeres and Biffontaine. Capt. Sadami Katahara was Able C.O. in the rescue of the Lost Battalion.

For the final push in Italy Captain Schoenberg again was in command and Able men assaulted brilliantly in bringing about the capitulation of German troops.

Since their return to Hawaii the eligible list in “A” has rapidly dwindled until today, except for a few so-called “confirmed bachelors”, most of the members have settled down and are doing KP duties under first sergeants of their respective households. The population in Able Chapter is increasing and many vigorous off springs will soon be strutting their wares in all endeavors in a manner most worthy of their dads.

Stag parties have been S.O.P. with Able for these past few years. However, picnics and other socials have afforded the families of these men to become gradually acquainted.