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-01-0033

<Begin Segment 33>

TI: We have, you know, the 442 is well-known for the "Lost Battalion" as well as the Gothic Line. In your -- do you have any observations or thoughts about those battles?

MW: Okay. From a very selfish viewpoint, to me we got a lot of honors for going after the Lost Battalion. That was just a matter of mathematics. So many guys went to rescue so many people. Whereas in my mind, that had... that didn't compare at all to what we did on the Gothic Line.

TI: Before we get to the Gothic Line, when you say it was a matter of mathematics at the Lost, battle of the Lost Battalion, what do you mean by that? That you, you just had to have enough people willing to go in there?

MW: Or we had to, say, put so many people at risk to rescue so many.

TI: Because what I should probably just mention to give some background is the casualties the 442 were...

MW: Or the (possible) casualties.

TI: Right, were like four times the number...

MW: Yeah, was it worth it, or...

TI: ...of people that were actually saved in the Lost Battalion.

MW: Then it becomes a, that becomes a mathematical problem. How many guys go in to save so many and how many could be at risk? You know, it's just a matter of numbers.

TI: Well, from your perspective now looking back, when you think of the casualties that were suffered by the 442...

MW: Incurred, yeah.

TI: What are your thoughts about the numbers that, that...

MW: I wish you wouldn't have asked.

TI: ...and the lives really, more than...

MW: That's a tough question to answer. 'Cause I know what I would like to say, but I would hate to say it in front of a camera. Does that give you an answer?

TI: Yeah, that's fine.

MW: I mean, numbers just don't -- they don't match up.

TI: Okay.

MW: Just wasn't worth it.

TI: Uh-huh.

<End Segment 33> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.