|100th Infantry Battalion comrades of Pvt. Fujii|
Richard Fujii could have been 100 years old today.
He was born on January 10, 1917, most likely in Hawaii, but perhaps somewhere in Japan. Like many fellow Japanese Americans, he had a closer affinity to America than his ancestral Japan. By 1941 he was 24 years old, single, a farm hand with 2 years of high school.
He enlisted in the Army on June 27, 1941, nearly six months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was 5' 6" and weighed 128 pounds.
Soldiers of Japanese decent from Hawaii were grouped together. Most served in the 100th Battalion, 34th Division, the most decorated battalion of the war. I read an excellent book on this unit back in the 1990's named Go for Broke: A Pictorial History of the Japanese-American 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442d Regimental Combat Team by Chester Tanaka. It is out of print, so unless you can find it at a library, you may need to find another history of this storied unit. Also check out the 100th Battalion website. It's a good thing the Japanese fighting against us in the Pacific were not like the quality of the 100th Battalion or the war would have been much tougher to win.
Richard Fujii was a private in the 100th Infantry Battalion. He died during the Naples Foggia Campaign in Italy on November 30, 1943 along with another 141 KIA/MIA in this time frame. On that date the 100th IB was fighting the Germans near Cerasuolo.
His remains were returned to be buried at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.
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