A Fellow Veteran Remembers

Author: Stanley Izumigawa, A Company
Puka Puka Parades, October-December 1985, v.39 no. 4

Letter to the editor remembering Sadao ‘Spud’ Munemori

Dear Editor,

As a former buddy of his, I read with interest that your next story in the centennial series saluting the men of the l00th Infantry will be about Sadao Munemori.

Spud, as he asked that we call him, joined us only a few months after we ourselves had joined the outfit as
replacements. We were then near the bombed-out town of Cisterna, in the Alban foothills on the way to Rome.

We quickly found that he did not fit our image of the typical “kotonk.” He was very friendly, outgoing, accepting and it didn’t take him long to pick up pidgin and become one of us.

There is much about those years that I do not recall but two incidents involving Spud I do, if it is of any interest to your writer.

The first occurred in the Vosges Forest in France just before the 442nd’s rescue of the “Lost Battalion.” Our
platoon had taken heavy casualties in the thick woods and had been pulled back for a brief respite. The night before we were to go back to the front Spud came to me and said,” I’m not going back up. I don’t care what they do to me, I’m not going back up. I don’t care what they do to me, I’m not going back up!” Not knowing what else to do I just heard him out and responded something like, “Don’t worry. You’ll be all right.”

Before down the next day we went back up and he was right there.

The other happened in April, in or near the town of Carrara, about the time of President Roosevelt’s passing. Spud and I were at company headquarters (I don’t remember why) and were to go back to the lines the next day. We noticed several cartons of Christmas candy which we concluded were unwanted. It was early evening and we each loaded up a musette bag with the candy, walked into the town, and started giving out handfuls of candy to any kids we had come across. Within minutes we had unintentionally started a small riot.

Suddenly, it seemed, kids were coming from everywhere, yelling, push clawing for the candy. I don’t know what happened afterwards. We just dumped the candy on the street and ran. I don’t recall what we said to each other on the way back, but the experience is one I always remembered. It wasn’t long afterward that Spud was killed in action.

Stanley Izumigawa
Kula, Maui