Submitted by Cadet Captain Virgil Lin, Blackhawk Company Executive Officer
“I never realized the history behind this unit, it is amazing.” “Inspiring.” “These guys musta kicked butt.” “Sad.” ” I cannot believe one of their soldiers was 4’11” and size 2 shoes – I’m 4’10” and size 6.” These are the reflections of cadets who were treated to an interesting field trip in Honolulu recently.
Our magnet JROTC Company was able to take a field trip to “Club 100”, an older medium size building that has a large meeting space and hallways full of interesting memorabilia. Mr. Kitaoka, a descendant of one of the soldiers in the unit, welcomed us and told us the story of the clubhouse. “This is a place where the Veterans could come and talk story about the war and really heal. They did not talk about what they experienced to their families, but here, they could. “We learned the 100th Battalion was organized by Japanese-Americans who wanted to serve their country after the attack on Pearl Harbor. All of their leaders were white and they were shipped to Wisconsin for training. They fought bravely in WW II in Europe and they are the most decorated unit of their size in the United States Army. We were able to handle one of the rifles they carried- it was heavy and longer than one of the soldiers described in the unit. Mr. Chen, a member of the Pan Pacific American Leaders and Mentors (PPALM) organization, led us in a sand table exercise depicting one of the 100th Bn battles. Other PPALM mentors talked to us about their careers and education and all of them encouraged us so well. This was truly an educational experience we won’t forget!