George Matsunaga oral history interview, part 2 of 3, October 9, 2010


Dublin Core


George Mitsuru Matsunaga completed training at Camp Ritchie CIC School. In 1945, he went overseas for occupation and was part of the 187th paratroopers. Briefly, George had guard duty at Camp Kuwae. Later he went to Morioka and worked for the CIC. George's duties included being an interpreter for the CIC personnel, investigating complaints, getting supplies, and managing Japanese nationalist CIC workers.

He explains he used diplomacy to treat everyone fairly. George gave an example of using diplomacy when he interpreted for a Colonel in Morioka for rice rationing. George learned to treat others equally from his mother. He recalls the situations with the Koreans being oppressed. George tried to help them and acted as the middle man to make peace.

During the occupation, George saw the effects of war from starvation and death. One thing that upset George was seeing two to three funerals every day for soldiers killed in action (KIA). Overall, George felt the occupation was a success in rebuilding Japan.

After the occupation, George returned to Hawaii and graduated from the University of Hawaii on his GI Bill. In 1950, George worked in Okinawa for the Department of Army Civilians as a court interpreter for a Judge and collect property deeds in Naha.

George recalls in 1945 a plane crashed with 12 linguists aboard the flight. George knew some of the men well because they were from Hawaii and Mainland -Joe Kuwada, Motokane, Ueoka, and the Inouye brothers.



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Date of Birth

1925 May 28

Location of Birth

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service


Matsunaga, George: narrator et al., “George Matsunaga oral history interview, part 2 of 3, October 9, 2010,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed May 24, 2024,