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(September 1943)
After completing training at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) was deployed to North Africa, arriving in Oran on September 2, 1943. The unit was assigned to guard supply trains but their commander, Lieutenant Colonel Farrant L. Turner, insisted that they be given a combat mission. One week later, the 100th became part of the 133rd Infantry Regiment, which was part of the 34th "Red Bull" Division.

Just over two weeks later, they set sail for Italy.

The men of the 100th were eager to fight, driven by their desire to prove their national allegiance and to honor their own families. Their determination puzzled Allied commanders, other American soldiers, and war correspondents, who viewed them with suspicion. But during the next few months, this wariness would turn to respect, and the Japanese American and Caucasian soldiers of the 34th Division would form lifelong friendships as they bravely fought their way up the boot of Italy.

Oran, ca. 1944-1945. Courtesy of the Hiroshi Mizuki Family.

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