Ken Nihei oral history interview, part 2 of 5, August 20, 2004


Dublin Core


Ken Nihei was a 16 years old high school student when he went to Topaz, Utah. The perimeter was open at camp, and there were no barb wires yet. Life was different at Topaz.

Ken received his draft letter to report to Fort Douglas when he was 18 years old. From Fort Douglas, he boarded a troop train with 40 others to Camp Blanding for basic training. Ken was assigned to the 232nd Battalion.

After completing 16 weeks of basic training, he visited his family in Topaz before going overseas. The voyage was ten days, and Ken was seasick. Ken recalls his good friend, Tom Nishimoto. Tom was KIA, and Ken made contact with Tom's sister, Lilly, after 50 years.

In Marseille, he joined L Company. Ken boarded a landing craft ship on an overnight trip to Leghorn. For three-night, they practiced night marching. On the fourth day, General Clark gave a pep talk to the soldiers before they left for the frontlines in Azzano. The next day Ken was going to attack Mount Fogarito.



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Date of Birth

1925 May 14

Location of Birth

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service

Location of Basic Training



Nihei, Ken: narrator, Hanamura, Wendy: interviewer, and Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Ken Nihei oral history interview, part 2 of 5, August 20, 2004,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed May 23, 2024,