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Oral history interview with Don Shimazu

Oral History | Accession Number: 1990.481.36 | RG Number: RG-50.062.0036

Don Shimazu, born in Punei, Maui, Hawaii, describes his role as a staff sergeant in charge of the 522nd Battalion survey section, with the responsibility for accurately locating targets; growing up on a plantation on Maui, where there was a subtle discrimination against all minorities; beginning ROTC at the university in September 1941; his memories of the attack on Pearl Harbor; experiencing some animosity for being Japanese immediately after the attack; how he had been schooled in the Japanese samurai tradition, which taught him to have loyalty to his country (the U.S.) first and how this tradition led to the success of the 442nd and 522nd; enlisting and the disbanding of his first unit; becoming a carpenter’s apprentice; learning about the Japanese internment camps; volunteering for the army on March 24, 1943; going to Camp Shelby; being made second in command of his cadre; how his division was known for being the most accurate artillery division; his combat experiences in Italy in the towns of Grosseto, Livorno, Castellano, Pisa, and Florence; going to Marseille, France; joining the 7th Army and traveling through the French Riviera, Dijon, and Lyon; crossing a minefield without realizing it; saving the lost battalion (131st Field Artillery, 2nd Battalion); staying in Southern France until March 1945; serving with various battalions, including the 63rd, 45th, 44th, and the 101st to assist in the Allied crossing of the Rhine; travelling through Mannheim, Germany and the Siegfried Line; entering Dachau; being told not to feed the camp survivors as they would be unable to cope with the soldier’s food; going to Munich, Germany; returning to Dachau in 1984; the similarities and differences between the German and American internment camps; his memories of the concentration camps in Germany; and ways to prevent the Holocaust from happening again.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Shimazu, Don
Mirikitani, Andrew
Weightman, Judy
interview:  1987 December 21
2 videocassette (U-Matic) : sound, color ; 3/4 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, acquired from the Hawaii Holocaust Project
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:09:45
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