Tony Koura oral history interview, part 2 of 3, January 17, 2010


Dublin Core


Tony Koura goes to Manchuria to observe the mission of the repatriates returning to Japan. Tony says the repatriates are older men, women, and children who are malnourished. However, they are happy to be going to Japan.

Tony arrives back in Kyushu, Japan, after Manchuria. He visits several areas in Japan. He goes to Kyoto to see what Japan would look like pre-war. Kyoto is the only city not bombed during World War Two because there were no war industries, and Kyoto is not a military center.

In May 1946, one of the other interpreters visits his family in Hiroshima, and Tony goes with him. Tony describes the devastation of the atomic bomb. The hills are blackened, and all the buildings are destroyed. Tony says it is a sight you can never forget. Despite the destruction of Hiroshima, the locals are trying to survive. In contrast, Tokyo has a few standing buildings.

Tony is discharged from the Army in December 1946. He attends the University of Washington and joins the reserves to make extra money, and the Korean War starts. However, Tony is not called to active duty due to his classification. Tony graduates college in June and is hired to be an Air Force interrogator in Tokyo, Japan.

Japan has changed drastically change from 1946 to 1951. Almost all the damages from the bombing are repaired. With the Korean War happening, the American Army needs the assistance of Japan. Tony says Japan is a tremendous help with the Korean War. In Japan, Tony's job is to interrogate Japanese soldier prisoners from Siberia. The Japanese prisoners have all of the strategic intel from working in the area. The American air Forces is in dire need of this information because of the Cold War.

Tony is in Japan from 1951 to 1956. Tony is an interrogator until the Peace Treaty is signed. Afterward, he works on special projects such as invasion and escapes studies for aircrews as a Department of Air Force (DAF). Later, he becomes a historian at Headquarters Pacific Air Forces and documents current Air Force History.



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 2 of 3, January 17, 2010,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed March 2, 2024,