Ben Kuroki - Shige Kuroki Interview Segment 3

Description of flying in a B-24 bomber during World War II (ddr-densho-122-21-1) - 00:07:25
Returning to the West Coast after flying thirty missions for the Air Corps (ddr-densho-122-21-2) - 00:02:08
Reasons for wanting to fly a B-29 in combat, the only Japanese American to do so (ddr-densho-122-21-3) - 00:06:40
Shige's description of Mike Masaoka (ddr-densho-122-21-4) - 00:05:28
Shige and Ben recount how they first met (ddr-densho-122-21-5) - 00:02:38
Shige's thoughts on Nisei soldiers and the Fair Play Committee at Heart Mountain, Wyoming (ddr-densho-122-21-6) - 00:04:19
Ben's discussion of growing up in Nebraska (ddr-densho-122-21-7) - 00:03:20
Witnessing the arrest of Mike Masaoka on December 7, 1941 (ddr-densho-122-21-8) - 00:04:55
Reasons for joining military: "that was the only way I was going to be able to prove my loyalty" (ddr-densho-122-21-9) - 00:04:51
Memories of being assigned to a bomber crew: "that was a great feeling" (ddr-densho-122-21-10) - 00:04:08
Being asked to speak at Heart Mountain concentration camp (ddr-densho-122-21-11) - 00:04:52
Thoughts on the incarceration: it was grossly unfair; looking at it from a different perspective (ddr-densho-122-21-12) - 00:04:55
Memories of speaking at Heart Mountain concentration camp: mixed reactions (ddr-densho-122-21-13) - 00:05:29
Preparing to testify at the resisters' trial: disagreeing, but understanding their point of view (ddr-densho-122-21-14) - 00:06:11
Comments to the media after the resisters' trial versus feelings many years later (ddr-densho-122-21-15) - 00:03:41
(ddr-densho-122-21-16) - 00:01:47
Decision to stay out of the limelight: "I don't want to be criticized anymore for what I've done or said many years ago" (ddr-densho-122-21-17) - 00:04:08
Thoughts on the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (ddr-densho-122-21-18) - 00:02:50
Clarifying a misunderstanding: "[the government] did not tell me what to say or what to do" (ddr-densho-122-21-19) - 00:03:02
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ddr-densho-122-21-3 (Legacy UID: denshovh-kben_g-01-0003)

Reasons for wanting to fly a B-29 in combat, the only Japanese American to do so

This interview was conducted by filmmaker Frank Abe for his 2000 documentary, Conscience and the Constitution, about the World War II resisters of conscience at the Heart Mountain incarceration camp. As a result, the interviews in this collection are typically not life histories, instead primarily focusing on issues surrounding the resistance movement itself.

00:06:40 — Segment 3 of 19

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January 31, 1998

Frank Abe Collection

Frank Abe Collection

Courtesy of Frank Abe

ddr-densho-122-21

Ben Kuroki
Shige Kuroki

Ben Kuroki - Shige Kuroki Interview

01:22:47 — 19 segments

January 31, 1998

Camarillio, California

Nisei male. Born May 16, 1917, in Hershey, Nebraska. Admitted to the Army Air Corps and flew thirty missions in Europe in a B-24 as a tailgunner and top turret gunner. Earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses and was acclaimed as the first Nisei war hero. Spoke at Heart Mountain, Wyoming, and two other camps in order to help encourage draft recruitment. Subpoenaed as a witness in the conspiracy trial of Heart Mountain's Fair Play Committee leaders. Later became the only Nisei to service in active combat with the Air Corps in the Pacific Theater, and flew twenty-eight additional missions over Japan. After World War II, became the first Japanese American editor of a general newspaper in Nebraska, and later edited newspapers in suburban Michigan and Southern California. Ben Kuroki passed away in September of 2015.

(This interview was conducted by filmmaker Frank Abe for his 2000 documentary, Conscience and the Constitution, about the World War II resisters of conscience at the Heart Mountain incarceration camp. As a result, the interviews in this collection are typically not life histories, instead primarily focusing on issues surrounding the resistance movement itself.)

Frank Abe, interviewer; Frank Chin, interviewer

Frank Abe Collection

Courtesy of Frank Abe

API