Shuji "Tak" Taketomo

Gender Male
Birth date 1916-12-16
Place of birth Hanford CA, U.S.A.
Inducted 1941-3-31, Hollywood CA
Enlistment type Volunteer
Service branch Army
Service type War
Unit type Combat
Units served F-Co., 163rd Inf. Reg.
41st Division, Hq & Hq Co.
1544th SU, Ft. Thomas, KY
Spl Weapons Training, Ft. McClellan, AL
I-Company, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Military specialty Rifleman, bugler, radioman, telephone man, supply clerk, anti-mine and demolition man.
Stationed USA: Washington, Kentucky, Alabama
Other Countries: France, Italy
Separated Camp Locket CA
Unit responsibility Infantry combat
Personal responsibility While with the I Company, 442nd RCT, radio & telephone communication and anti-mine.
Major battles (if served in a war zone) Po Valley Campaign
Central Europe Campaign
No. Apennines Campaign
Awards, medals, citations (individual or unit) Unit citation for the Lost Battalion rescue
Bronze Star for Lost Battalion rescue
Purple Heart w/cluster for action in France and Italy
Combat Infantryman Badge
Good Conduct medal
Europe-Africa-Middle East Campaign w/3 Battle Stars
American Defense Badge
American Campaign Badge

I was the 300 Radioman in Tak Senzaki's patrol and this patrol was the very first to contact the Lost Battalion. I believe a soldier by the name of Mut Sakamoto made the first contact.

Living conditions Oct./Nov. 1944, due to rain and snow, I slept in fox-holes sitting on my helmet. Usually fox-holes were muddy and cold.
We were very fortunate that I Company cooks were very active and brought us warm food whenever they could and they made a great effort to have rice and okazu Hawaiian style.
In our free time in rest camp, we got clean clothings and a bath in some public bath where available.
We all scampered around looking for perfumes.
Most vivid memory of military experience Following the Lost Battalion episode, I-Company pressed forward for several days and ended up with only 5 riflemen. T/5 Taba was leading us with some medics, litter bearers and artillery observers.

The Po valley push in Italy was a disaster for us as one day in April, 1955 our command post was hit by a direct fire and although I was injured with a couple of other soldiers, something like 15 men lost their lives with a single shell.

Our first contact with France, going from Dijon to Lyon, the train stopped and everybody jumped out of the 40 x 8 as they had no toilet facility, and going to the station restroom, we found our way to the water closet location. And as each one of us felt comfortable and relaxed, standing on a shower-pan like device, looked around and found a chain device and to our surprise, we all got our boots washed as well as the others.

Missed most whilst in the military We missed a good home cooked meal and a good rest.
Most important thing, personally, to come from military experience? We witnessed the devastation of what war can do - not only to material things but to people as well. France was not as bad as Italy where the Germans had sacked the country, people had no food, and it wasn't uncommon to hear of brothers pimping for their family. And they all needed U.S. money so they could deal in the black market.
Additional information Allthough I was injured twice and still disabled, I was able to go to school and get married. I had a good life, even worked for 18 years for the City of Gardena, before I retired. It could only happen in the good ole USA.

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