From the Editor’s Desk

Author: Kenneth W. Harada, A Company
Puka Puka Parades, April 1959, vol. 12 no. 4

Items of interest uncovered while looking through club records for information and early years and early years and early years pertaining to Col. Farrant Turner

A rambling look through the records of the club in search of material on the Old Man uncovered some interesting items. A communication of Headquarters Second Army, dated June 4, 1942, to Commanding General, Army Ground Forces reveals that three possible stations were considered for the provisional battalion designated the 100th Infantry Battalion: Camp Guernsey, Wyoming, Camp McCoy, Wisconsin and Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

The message tersely stated that “Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, possesses required facilities for a summer camp, but is not suitable for occupancy in cold weather.” Had we been sent to another camp, I wonder if combat destiny would have been the same. And I wonder if we would have had as fine a time.

The Old Man received on November 14, 1942, an important-looking manila envelope from the War Department addressed to: “Commanding General, 100th Infantry Division, Camp McCoy, Wisconsin”, on which the Old Man had printed “No Stars – No Packard Sedan”.

Wesleyan University attended by the Colonel had this to say of him and his group: “Out at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, a whole battalion of Japanese are being schooled in the art of war, and their Commanding Officer is a Wesleyan graduate of the Class of 1917…from the ranks of thousands of loyal Americans of Japanese descent there is being formed a unique battalion…, commanded by Lieut. Col. Farrant L. Turner who went through Wesleyan bearing the nickname of “Wahoo”.

Seems like his monicker came from the island of Oahu.

Then there is a newspaper clipping with the headline reading, “Army Has Whole Battalion of Japs”. But the article is complimentary.

Another communication dated October 26, 1943, from Headquarters, Army Ground Forces, states that the “combat record of an Infantry battalion composed of Japanese American personal emphasizes the fact that these people have earned the respect, admiration, confidence and friendliness of all members of our Armed Forces.”

Of all the mementos and honors the Old Man gathered as our C.O., there was one that he cherished above all else: the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. I think it meant a great deal to him not so much because he prided himself as a “field general, but because it was a symbol of all the experience he shared with his men.