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-01-0037

<Begin Segment 37>

TI: Well, the Gothic Line was one of the last battles before the war ended. When the war did end, what were your thoughts when you found out that the war was over? And that you had survived?

MW: Well, finally, that I had survived, but I had a bad leg, after the climb. So that I didn't, I didn't participate in the going up through the Po Valley in trucks. I missed that. [Laughs] I was in the hospital, but my thoughts when I knew that they had gone across Po Valley was, I guess relief. I mean, you know, "it's about time" kind of a thing. That was a very happy day in my life.

TI: And this next question might seem a strange one, but -- because you're in a war -- but, I'm wondering if you had, when you think back to that period in Europe -- were there any fond memories that you can remember? When you think back to the war, whether it's a special moment with your buddies or whatever, but can you think of a...?

MW: Well, I think we who grew up in sports and camaraderie and stuff, maybe we're a little more sensitive on buddies and teams, and things like that. But I think, well, I have fond memories of what I saw in Europe, Italy, whether it was Italy or France. I think it was based on our reputation as a unit that enabled us to become the first to go on some of these tours in Switzerland and... a lot of places opened up to us very quickly, because of our reputation, I think. And gee, we got special passes to France and Switzerland and northern Italy. So I have very fond memories. In fact, I think that's the reason that I ski. I still -- you know, not the last year, but I've gone back to France and Switzerland and Italy, I mean, Austria, quite a few times. And I think it's based on my enjoyment of the physical beauty and the scenery of the Alps. So I've got very, very fond memories.

<End Segment 37> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.