George Matsui oral history interview, part 2 of 3, September 11, 1998


Dublin Core


George Matsui discusses his reaction to December 7 and the aftermath. His feeling was shikata ga nai. George evacuated to Santa Anita and Tule Lake.

At Tule Lake, George remembered the barbed wires around the parameter, barracks, and guards in the guard towers. George was at Tule Lake for a few months before reporting to Camp Savage for Military Intelligence Service Language School. George learned interrogation, translation, and interpretation in Japanese.

During the Pacific Theater, one of his worst memory for him was seeing dead bodies. George recalls trying to save Japanese civilians and soldiers. For his accomplishments in Saipan, George was awarded the Bronze Star. He could not talk about his war experience previously because of the effects it had on him.

After George's service in Saipan, he went to Honolulu for a rest period. He spent his time attending USO events and corresponding with his wife. George shared a story of how he sent a proposal letter and engagement ring to her. He also mentioned learning about the passing of Frank Hachiya.

Besides Saipan, George went to Marshall Island. Marshall Island was George's first operation with the 7th Division. For his accomplishment in deciphering the hydrographic map, George received a letter of accommodation.

When George learned the war had ended, he was happy. George felt he was lucky to serve in two campaigns in the Pacific Theater. He credited the men who served in China, Burma, and India for doing a great job.



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Date of Birth

1915 Mar 01

Location of Birth

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service

Location of Basic Training


Matsui, George: narrator et al., “George Matsui oral history interview, part 2 of 3, September 11, 1998,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed March 2, 2024,