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In 1941 Hawaii, a private is cruelly punished for not boxing on his unit's team, while his captain's wife and second in command are falling in love.

In Hawaii in the months preceding the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Pvt. Robert E. Lee Prewitt reports for his hew assignment as an infantryman. At his previous Post, Prewitt was a bugler and his unit's top boxer. After a man died in the ring however, Prewitt wants nothing to do with the sport. Trouble is, his new company commander, Captain Dana Holmes, has the championship boxing team and Prewitt's refusal to box results in most of the NCOs giving him a pretty hard time. Prewitt forms a close friendship with another GI, Angelo Maggio, who makes the mistake of crossing Sgt. Fatso Judson, the man in charge of the stockade. When Judson effectively beats Maggio to death, Prewitt seeks his revenge. Meanwhile, Company First Sgt. Milt Warden pursues and has an affair with Capt. Holmes's beautiful wife, Karen.


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