Frank Tadao Matsuda oral history interview, part 2 of 3, August 25, 2007


Dublin Core


Frank Matsuda hears the news the Army is accepting Japanese American volunteers. Frank signs up to volunteer and returns to camp to take his physical exam. He passes the physical exam and goes to Camp Shelby for basic training. Frank is a BAR man (Browning Aumotatic Riffle man) assigned to the first squad, 3rd platoon.

Frank discusses the treatment of African Americans in Mississippi. Frank shares some experiences he sees in Hattiesburg regarding segregation. The people in Hattiesburg are indifferent to the Japanese Americans in the South.

At Camp Shelby, there are mainland and Hawaiian soldiers. Frank addresses the division between the mainlanders and Hawaiian. There are talks of disbandment of the Japanese American unit and Frank explains how the issue is resolved.

Frank goes overseas to Europe. His first artillery fire happens north of Rome and he sees a dead body for the first time. This is a moment he cannot forget. The day after the Last Battalion, Frank encounters a mortar barrage (Vosges Mountain) and is hit in four places on his body. James Okubo (medic) helps him, and Frank wakes up in the hospital.

After being wounded, Frank is on limited service and works in the mortar pool unit. Frank hears the 442nd is going back to Italy and asks his Captain if he can go back with the outfit. Frank receives approval and is assigned back to K Company.

Frank did not interact with civilians much because he is in battle. Frank recalls the civilians knowing the war is over before he did. Frank returns to the United States after a month or two when the war ends. He is discharged at Fort Douglas, Utah, and goes back to Seattle, Washington. Shortly after, Frank goes to live in Chicago with his sister. Post-war, Frank gets married and has children.



Oral History Item Type Metadata

Date of Birth

1922 Jan 09

Location of Birth

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service


Location of Basic Training


Matsuda, Frank Tadao: narrator, Horsting, Robert: interviewer, and Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Frank Tadao Matsuda oral history interview, part 2 of 3, August 25, 2007,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed April 20, 2024,