Ralph Hisao Wakayama

Sexo Male
Birth date 1916-1-20
Local de nascimento Maui HI, U.S.A.
Inducted 1942-2-8, Honolulu HI
Tipo de alistamento Draftee
Ramo das Forças Armadas Army
Tipo de serviço War
Tipo de Unidade Combat
Unidades onde serviu A Company, Engineers Battalion
Company D, 442nd Regimental Combat Team
Company D, 100th Battalion
Military specialty Infantryman
Stationed USA: Schofield Barracks, HI, Camp Shelby, MS
Other Countries: North Africa, Italy, France
Separated Honolulu HI
Unit responsibility Supervised the operation of 4 heavy mortars in the Italian and French campaigns.
Personal responsibility Used maps to determine range and deflection of weapons for effective fire on targets. Issued firing orders and with binoculars, made adjustments and ordered adjustments.
Major battles (if served in a war zone) Rome-Arno Campaign; North Apennines Campaign; Po Valley Campaign; Rhineland Campaign
Awards, medals, citations (individual or unit) European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Good Conduct Medal - 100th Inf. Bn.
Distinguished Unit Badge - 5th and 7th Army.
Living conditions Lots of outdoor living in fox holes - sometimes in deserted homes.
Bathed from wells or streams. If you're lucky, you get a hot bath and change of clothings, once in 3 mo.s.
Combat rations were lousy. 'C' rations consisted of a. 3 meat cans, b. scrambled eggs, c. beans and sausage or d. beef stew. All cold. Sometimes heated w/ portable Coleman stove issued one to a squad.
Played checkers carried by one comrade who later was killed. Re-hashed some funny incidents occurring in combat. Someone came across vino cellars - 'Happy Hour'.
Most vivid memory of military experience I was drafted in the 5th draft. When the 442nd was formed, a General from Schofield Barracks gathered our units - Engineers Bn. and asked for combat volunteers. 1st meeting - not enough men. General request 2nd meeting - still shy of total needed. I was one of the 125 men signed up. That's why # 10 (Draftee & Volunteer) is checked as it is.

It happened in final 'push' of the war. Our units attacked and walked all day and night. Finally about 4AM (sleepy and tired) we were half-settled. Unfortunately, our 81mm unit were too far forward, in order to support the rifle Co.s. So, Sgt Eric Abe, Co. D, longer in combat than our platoon officer, suggested we should move to a hill behind us about 400 yds. (strategic withdrawal). Officer agreed. So we ran at daybreak to a better and safer position w/ our heavy weapons and ammo. As soon as we pulled out from our first position, which was in a ravine, the enemy 'shelled' that area up and down w/ countless rounds - seen through my binoculars. Without Sgt. Eric Abe's advice, we all would have been 'wiped out'. Thanks to Eric. So sorry to report, in the 2nd position, the Germans knew where we were, so they 'shelled' our area. A tree burst got one of our boys - 'Red' Yamashita.

It happened in the Vosge Forest in France. Our unit was isolated, came time for our rations - our boys could not contact the supply unit. So the usual SOP is to pick a different comrade to get the rations. Instead, the same person volunteered to go, which was after midnight. Later the enemy started shelling w/ artillery and one shell landed in the empty fox-hole, of the person who chose to contact the ration train. Fortunately he came home alive.

Missed most whilst in the military Letters from home.
Most important thing, personally, to come from military experience? The hardship of war.

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