Ken Tamura oral history interview, part 5 of 7, May 1, 2000


Dublin Core


Ken Tamura discusses his war experiences in Italy. He says it is scary times, but he is thankful to be alive. Ken believes the Nisei contribution in World War Two will help future generations against discrimination. Ken says he is an American, he has to serve and protect his country.

When Ken returns home after the war, he is contacted to volunteer for the Pacific. Ken takes the language exam and passes. He reports to Camp Snelling for Japanese Language School for six months. The Military Intelligence Service Language training ends in April, and Ken is sent to Japan.

Ken discusses the lack of food in Japan. At Camp Zama, Ken is there for three weeks on guard duty. The areas in Japan are burned down and destroyed from the bombing. He describes the differences between what Japan looks like in 1939 and post-war. After Camp Zama, Ken is assigned to Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) in Tokyo, Japan.

Later Ken is informed to return to the United States. However, Ken takes a civilian job to stay longer in Japan. Ken signs a one-year contract for civilian work. He describes his salary and living conditions as a civilian.



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Date of Birth

1923 Mar 27

Location of Birth

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service

Location of Basic Training


Tamura, Ken: narrator, Lim, Reuben: interviewer, and Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Ken Tamura oral history interview, part 5 of 7, May 1, 2000,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed May 28, 2024,