Soldiers Who Died in Service

KIA wallThe men of the 100th Infantry Battalion have never forgotten their comrades who were killed in combat or died in service. After the Honolulu clubhouse was completed in 1952, a single marble slab was imported from Carrara, Italy and inscribed with the names of the 338 soldiers* of the battalion who had died during World War II and seven more who later died in the Korean War.

The battalion’s chaplain, Israel Yost, visited Hawaii in 1947 and conducted memorial services on the different islands. On September 1, 1948, the “Dalton Victory” arrived in Honolulu Harbor, carrying the remains from overseas cemeteries of 79 island soldiers. Representatives of the 100th, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service boarded a Coast Guard cutter to greet the ship and tossed floral wreaths into the ocean as the ship passed Diamond Head. Many uniformed veterans waited on the piers. Internment ceremonies were held in the newly opened National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl Cemetery) and in county cemeteries on the other islands.

Other soldiers who died are buried in cemeteries on the mainland United States and in American military cemeteries in Europe. The bodies of six soldiers were sent to their parents who had returned to Japan. Over the years, veterans and their families have visited Italy and France, stopping at the Epinal Cemetery outside of Bruyeres, France to honor Tomosu Hirahara and Yoshio Tengwan and the Sicily-Rome Cemetery near Nettuno, Italy where Jack Johnson, Lewis A. Key, Edward V. Moran, Neill Ray, and Kurt E. Schemel are buried as well as Daniel Anderson, Toshio Sasano, and Sunao Kuwahara who are memorialized. At Florence Cemetery, Edward Sweitzer is buried.

Every year a memorial service is held at Punchbowl on the Sunday near September 29th when Sergeant Shigeo Joe Takata became the first 100th soldier to be killed soon after the battalion’s September 1943 arrival in Italy. Services are held on Memorial Day in various locations during which those who died are remembered.

Besides the three stories located in this section about Matsuei and Tokio Ajitomi, Kiyoshi Jimmie Shiramizu and Hideyuki Hayashida, the special Hawaii Herald issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 100th included three stories about men from Oahu, Maui and Kauai who were killed in action.

* While the Memorial Wall listing has 338 names of men in the 100th who died during World War II, it is now known that there were 340 men who were killed in combat or while serving in the 100th Infantry Battalion. Years later, it was discovered that one name had incorrectly been included on the plaque when Kozo Watanabe traveled from the mainland to attend a battalion reunion and visited the clubhouse. Another veteran, Stanley Akita of Honolulu, had been captured at the same time as Watanabe. Since he did not see Watanabe again after they were prisoners of war, Akita assumed that he had been killed.

At least two men died on the mainland where the battalion had been assigned for training. Larry Ochiae of Company C died on June 23, 1942 in the Tomah Hospital after an appendectomy operation while the battalion was at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. Paul Kimura, also of Company C, died on July 6, 1943 at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.

The profiles from the Echoes of Silence project were added to the website in 2020. At this time, further discrepancies were discovered. Kay I. Horiba’s name was also inscribed on the marble memorial in the clubhouse, but he survived the war. Five mainland-born soldiers were not included in the original listing of those killed in action.

In 2023 the number of men who were killed in combat or while serving in the 100th Infantry Battalion was updated to 340.