Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Masao Watanabe Interview
Narrator: Masao Watanabe
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 19, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-wmasao-01-0024

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TI: Quite a few people from Seattle and Minidoka volunteered, and they were sort of scattered all around. Were there instances or times when you tried to get together, the Seattle people?

MW: Not so much during recruit school or our training, because we were so busy, on bivouacs and, gee, these training deals, maneuvers. So we never had occasion to get together. But whenever we could, we sure got together. I think from the old days, we... there was a certain amount of togetherness of those of us from Minidoka or Seattle and the valley.

TI: How about just like games, sporting events like football or basketball, because I know there was quite a few good athletes from Seattle who went into the 442. Was there occasions when they would get together and play against like the California team or a Hawaiian team?

MW: Yeah, we... okay. The free time was very limited in camp. We were so busy getting the basic training and maneuvers. But a good example is when we first got to Italy. We had more free time. And whenever possible, the Seattle guys -- we knew who was in which company, we'd get together. And we had our own baseball teams and football teams, and we had a bunch of pretty good athletes. Most of 'em were high school lettermen and quite a few good athletes. And we had pretty good games with the Hawaiians or Californians or something like this.

TI: And was it pretty common when you were forming these teams in Italy that, like a city like Seattle would have a team, and there'd be a, possibly a Portland team or a San Francisco team, L.A. team?

MW: No. It was not common, if that was the word you used.

TI: Right.

MW: Whenever possible we used to let some of the Portland guys play with us -- [laughs] -- and it was more mainland versus Hawaii if -- we didn't have too many chances overseas.

TI: But it sounds like the Seattle group was particularly close in things like this.

MW: Whenever we got together, or whenever we had breaks. I don't know. There was a special way we knew where A Company was or B Company was or L or K. We used to get together, go to town together. There was a camaraderie of sorts because of our upbringing.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.