Taira Fukushima oral history interview, part 3 of 3, August 11, 2008

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Taira Fukushima and his brother Jim are together for 442nd and replacements. On the mainland, Taira is a medic aide, and Jim is a litter bearer. Taira has limited training as a medic, but Tech Sergeant Hirata and Sergeant Matsuda give him support and encouragement to do his job well.

Taira gets ready to go overseas but is delayed by a measles outbreak. Traveling overseas in the Atlantic Ocean is rough. When he lands in France, the 442nd has gone to Italy. He goes to Leghorn to catch up with the 442nd.

He arrives in Italy to meet with the 442nd. Before going overseas, Taira received training as a rifleman but now is assigned as 3rd Battalion Medic, Company M. As a medic, the Tech Sergeant takes Taira under his guidance. Taira says the are some advantages to being under his position. Taira is treated well as a medic.

In Italy, Taira's first battle is the Gothic Line. When Taira is in the frontline, the hardest part for him is to let go of the idea do not mess up. His cultural value and his father's words stick with him. When the war ends, Taira returns to the 3rd Battalion in Pisa.

During the occupation, Taira goes to Switzerland for his rest period. Taira says the locals are friendly and recalls some of their nice gestures. Taira discusses the black market.

In October 1946, Taira is discharged, and he goes to Richton. With the GI Bill, Taira attends Drake University and then the University of Utah. He studies bacteriology. In 1951, Taira graduates from the University of Utah. He finds a job in a lab part-time while going to graduate school.

Taira's marries Nobuko Okumura and have a son together. After his parents lose their job at Seabrook Farm, they come live with Taira and Nobuko.

Taira hopes the treatment of the Japanese Americans will not happen to anyone else. He says the Japanese American situation is how you see it. The Japanese Americans did not have civil rights. As times are changing and the opportunities for the next generation are getting better.

Taira briefly talks about Ken Uchida and narrates a few photos from the evacuation.


Identifier

2008OH0902_03_Fukushima

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Date of Birth

1926 Feb 08

Location of Birth

Incarceration Facilities

War or Conflict

Branch of Service

Entrance into Service

Location of Basic Training

Citation

Fukushima, Taira: narrator, Horsting, Robert: interviewer, and Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Taira Fukushima oral history interview, part 3 of 3, August 11, 2008,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed April 20, 2024, https://ndajams.omeka.net/items/show/1056029.