Source: Club 100 30th Anniversary Reunion, June 1972
Unknown veteran talks about how the AJA’s were treated after Pearl Harbor
On Sunday morning, December 7, 1941, I got up around 11:00 a.m., no one having awakened me earlier, walked down to the barber shop Mom operated, a cut-rate shop which opened on Sundays also. At which time I was told by mother softly that I had to report back to Schofield Barracks immediately — that Japan had declared war on the United States and that Pearl Harbor had just been bombed this morning at dawn.
Also that older brother had been injured by a bomb fragment and was in Queen’s — but that it wasn’t a serious wound. One of our own Ack-Ack shell had misfired after failing to explode in the air, only to explode on ground contact.
Turned on the radio and was able to catch a news flash that stated that all military personnel were to report back to their base; that the last bus to leave for Schofield was at 1 o’clock from the Army and Navy YMCA. Bid a hasty good-bye to Mom and walked to the Y in time to catch the 1 o’clock bus.
Approaching Pearl Harbor, we could see smoke, heavy and black, overcasting the sky above this area. As the bus made the turn around the bend near what is now Makalapa Gates 4 and 5, vessels were still visible, in flames, some lying on their sides, while others were protruding out of the waters, half sunken. It was a fiery site, a very awesome gruesome one!
Finally reached Boom Town just in time to join the ranks of our company for a roll call, to be accounted for, and given instructions for the night. And what a night it was! The Alert sounded three times that night. Planes droned overhead, friend or foe? Who knows? Gas masks were issued. Did the Japs have landing units? Will they make a landing? Who knows what might have happened had the enemy task force included landing units?
As a precautionary measure, so the orders stated, the arms (rifles and bayonets) of all us AJA draftees in Boom Town were taken away from us. And arms were not restored to us until three weeks later when we were assigned to units to do sentry work at the fire stations and other strategic stations throughout Schofield Barracks.
Had there been discussions in higher circles, regarding our allegiance and loyalty? Maybe many outsiders thought that us Japs should be run out. Surely one could not trust the sons of treacherous Japanese of Japan who had dared to attack Pearl Harbor? Some of their fathers must have tipped off information?
Although imbued with filial piety, obedience, and loyalty to country — our loyalty was to the land of our birth, America! There was never a doubt in my mind nor were any thoughts contrary expressed by my parents even after Pearl Harbor.
They also said to me, “Kuni no tame” for your country! Father even had all his children expatriated from Japanese citizenship before my induction. And CIC checks must have borne out the fact that the Japanese, both Isei’s and Nisei’s were above suspicion, because shortly after, those of us who had had ROTC training were herded together, given an excelerated [sic] advance training program (a two-day range firing exercise for familiarization only, with the old 03 rifles included), gas mask drills, very extensive, running with them on for miles at a time, and mock skirmishes. Then we were ‘graduated’ and attached to units of the 298th and the 299th to have these units come up to full authorized strength.
On New Year’s Eve 1941, I arrived at Waimanalo where Co. G, 298th Inf. Regt. was stationed with the mission of guarding the beach from Bellows Field to Makapuu lighthouse. Upon arrival, I was transferred to a company truck and taken to one of the several MG positions located in Bellows Field to relieve some one there who hadn’t gone out on pass since December 7.”