11. JOE TAKATA FIELD
The “Shafter Bowl” was constructed in 1930 by the 64th Coast Artillery Regiment (AA), who occupied the cantonment area from 1922 to 1943. The structure consists of a set of curved permanent bleachers built against the hillside. The wall fronting the field is lava rock, and the bleachers are continuous steps of concrete-covered lava rock. Many baseball games were held from its completion through the present time.
The U.S. Army Pacific celebrated the Army’s 228th birthday on 12 June 2003 by renaming the ball field to Joe Takata Field in honor of Sergeant Shigeo “Joe” Takata, a member of the famed 100th Infantry Battalion. Takata became a local baseball star playing for the Azuma and Asahi, two well-known island teams. He enlisted in the Army in 1941 and served with the 100th Infantry Battalion. On the morning of 29 September 1943 during action in the Salerno to Cassino Campaign, Takata was leading his squad when German soldiers opened fire mortally wounding him. He continued his men through intense gunfire to locate enemy positions and pinpoint their locations to his platoon leader. He later died from his wounds. He received the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary gallantry in the face of the enemy.
USARPAC postures and prepares the force for unified land operations, responds to threats, sustains and protects the force, and builds military relationships that develop partner defense capacity in order to contribute to a stable and secure U.S. Pacific Command area of responsibility.
Vincent K. Brooks