Leo Morishita oral history interview, part 2 of 4, September 11, 2007


Dublin Core


Leo Morishita gives a little fun fact about his last name Morishita. Morishita means underwood in English. Before his high school graduation, on December 7, Leo is at the Japanese American Citizen League (JACL) planning on an early Christmas party. The Sheriff advises everyone to go home for safety.

After the Pearl Harbor attack, there are some restrictions in place. One of them being curfew time. Leo's basketball coach has to get a permit for Leo to be out past curfew to participate in the basketball game. Later, President Truman signs Executive Order 9066 placing thousands of Japanese Americans into camp. Leo discusses the effects of EO9066 and his family in Salinas, California. Leo's family farm also is searched by the FBI.

Before volunteering for service, Leo attends Northern Montana College for a year. The Morishita family is proud of Kenzo, Leo, and Yukata for joining the Army. The Morishita brothers are inducted at Fort Douglas, Utah. Leo does don't leave at the same time with his brothers because of his feet. Leo joins Kenzo and Yutaka six weeks later at Camp Shelby.

At Camp Shelby, Leo does nine months of basic training, He describes the different training he learns and the discrimination in the South. Even though there is discrimination, there is one kind person Leo meets. He shares his story about Earl Finch and his acts of kindness towards the Nisei.

Overseas, Leo lands in Naples, Italy, and learns there is a need for riflemen. He is no longer a medic. Leo is given a browning automatic rifle.



Oral History Item Type Metadata

Date of Birth

1923 Dec 24

Location of Birth

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service

Location of Basic Training


Morishita, Leo: narrator, Garvey, John: interviewer, and Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Leo Morishita oral history interview, part 2 of 4, September 11, 2007,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed April 20, 2024, https://ndajams.omeka.net/items/show/1053467.