Willie Tanamachi oral history interview, part 3 of 3, May 19, 2006


Dublin Core


Willie Tanamachi discusses his tours. The first time he goes to Berlin is in 1958 when he is stationed at the American Embassy. Willie lives in Germany for nine years, from July 1945 to October 1953. During those nine years, he did come home on leave a few times when his Dad becomes ill. However, when his dad passes away, his request for leave is denied by the Redcross.

While stationed in Germany, Willie meets his future wife Ingeborg. He describes what he does for socializing. Two examples Willie mentions are eating at Wienerschnitzel and going to the opera house.

Besides being stationed in Germany, Willie is also stationed in the United States and Vietnam. This included Fort Lee Virginia, American Embassy in Germany (until 1959), Fort Huachuca Arizona (about a year), American Embassy in Vietnam (Saigon and Cam Ranh Bay), Eglin Army Base in Florida (training camp for Rangers for jungle and swap training stay a few months), Strike Command Headquarters MacDil Air force Base 1962 and Fulda Germany Army Base. Willie says there are not many military setups. He works with the Military Assistance Advisory to help set up the German military-diplomatic Corps.

In November 1971, Willie retires from his service and works at various companies such as Toyota, Defense Contract Administration Service, and University of Houston Procurement Technical Assistant Services.

Willie and Ingeborg have four children together - Linda, Judy, Tim, and Tom. Their grandchildren are a dog and a cat. Willie's purpose of doing oral history is to share what lessons his Issei parents taught him and what childhood experiences shaped his thinking.

From racism in the military, life lessons, and his military service, Willie wants his children to do their best and tell the truth. He gives an example of reparations and how not every Japanese American did not receive reparations.

At the end of the interview, Ingeborg speaks and says their marriage is like Rocky Road ice cream and she hopes their children will appreciate their dad after watching the oral history.







Spatial Coverage




Tanamachi, Willie: narrator Horsting, Robert: interviewer Go For Broke National Education Center: publisher, “Willie Tanamachi oral history interview, part 3 of 3, May 19, 2006,” Japanese American Military History Collective, accessed March 3, 2024, https://ndajams.omeka.net/items/show/1058006.