Paul Bannai oral history interview, part 1 of 8, September 15, 2002


Dublin Core


Paul Takeo Bannai is born July 4, 1920, in Delta, Colorado. Paul explains the meaning of this name. Paul grows up in Utah and Colorado before moving to Boyle Heights, CA.

On December 7, Paul hears about the Pearl Harbor attack, and he reports to the Elective Service Board in Exposition Park. Before December 7, Japanese Americans are classified as 1A. However, after Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans are classified 4C.

Due to the 4C classification, Japanese Americans cannot serve. Paul and a few others from the Japanese American Citizen League (JACL) write a letter expressing their rights as citizens. As a result, the Japanese American classification is changed, and Paul volunteers for the military.

When evacuation orders are announced, Paul's family goes to Manzanar first. Paul delays his evacuation to continue his work at the bank. Later, Paul joins his family at Manzanar briefly before going to Idaho for farming. Through the Quaker's Program, Paul applies for college and goes to Drake University, IA.



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Date of Birth

1920 Jul 04

Location of Birth

Incarceration Facilities

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service


Bannai, Paul: narrator, Nakaishi, Russell: interviewer, and Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Paul Bannai oral history interview, part 1 of 8, September 15, 2002,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed May 23, 2024,