Tony Koura oral history interview, part 1 of 3, January 17, 2010


Dublin Core


Tony Koura is born on June 26, 1926. Before being drafted into the military, Tony is at Manzanar. Despite the discrimination after the Pearl Harbor attack, Tony wants to volunteer for the Army because of patriotism.

After the draft notice, he receives his Military Intelligence Service (MIS) training. Tony is trained for occupational work and is assigned to the translation group for the invasion of Japan.

Tony's knowledge of the Japanese language and Japanese culture comes in handy for his training and during the occupation. At Fort Snelling, the training focuses on interpreting. After training, the overseas trip is delayed, and Tony ships out in November to Yokohama, Japan.

When Tony arrives in Yokohama, Japan, he sees the destruction of Japan first hand. He goes to Camp Zama, the Replacement Depot. He recalls the Japanese locals carry themselves very well despite going through the war. When Tony meets locals in Japan, they are curious about internment camps and the Japanese Americans on the mainland.

Tony gets his assignment and is assigned to the 5250th Technical Intelligence Company located at the former Tokyo First Armory at Camp Oji (Northern Tokyo). He is the interpreter for US Army scientists, engineers, chemists, and physicists whose responsibility is to investigate war crime activities of Japanese scientists and institutions. The US Army scientists are researching what the Japanese scientists were working on and discovered during the war.

When Tony has free time he goes on jeeps rides with a few other linguists and explores the countryside and beaches. Tony takes pictures during the occupations and describes a few of them.



Oral History Item Type Metadata

Date of Birth

1926 Jun 06

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service

Location of Basic Training



Koura, Tony: narrator et al., “Tony Koura oral history interview, part 1 of 3, January 17, 2010,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed April 12, 2024,