Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Tosh Yasutake Interview
Narrator: Tosh Yasutake
Interviewers: Alice Ito (primary), Tom Ikeda (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: November 14, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-ytosh-01-0013

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TI: At this point were you assigned to a particular company or platoon --

TY: Pardon?

TY: Were you assigned to a particular company or platoon at that point?

TY: I wasn't, no. But each company did have their own medic. Each -- they had three medics to each company. And I was with the headquarter company. And we take care of taking sick calls for the troops and the headquarter had quite a few medics also attached to them. So we weren't assigned to a company so I was with the headquarter company and the headquarter company had pharmacists and dentists and doctors and what have you.

TI: Okay. So for my benefit, let's see if I can explain this.

TY: Okay.

TI: So at Camp Shelby you were divided up into, was it at that point three battalions?

TY: Uh-huh.

TI: And then each battalion had several companies.

TY: Three companies.

TI: Three companies. And each company --

TY: And each company had --

TI: -- had three platoons.

TY: Three platoons. Yeah

TI: Three platoons. And every platoon had one medic.

TY: Yeah.

TI: And then in addition to that there was a headquarters company.

TY: Yeah.

TI: And there was, because of their function, probably a larger contingent of medical people assigned.

TY: Yeah.

TI: Okay. Good. Okay. I just want to make sure --

TY: And then during, in battle, each comp-, each battalion had a battalion aid station. And several medics attached to the battalion aid station. And when people got wounded in the field, the aid man in the company would bandage him up, give him the first aid, give him the initial first aid, and then he'd go back to the battalion aid station and they will fix you up more, re-dress you and then the doctor would decide whether you need to go to the hospital or your wound is slight enough so they send you back to the company after they take care of you. So each, each battalion had three battalions, there were three battalions, each battalion had their aid station. So when your companies were on the front lines, well the first battalion would have the aid station in the back. And people get wounded they send them back to the aid station and then from the aid station they go to the hospital, depending on how badly they were wounded.

TI: And the hospital is different from the headquarter, headquarters sort of medical team.

TY: Yeah. Well, it's kind of a line, there's a line there. There's the front line and then the battalion aid station, and then the regimental aid station and that's the headquarter medic aid station. So he'd go through there and then at the headquarters they send you back in the ambulance to wherever you need to go.

TI: Okay.

TY: So it's kind of a line of...

TI: So every platoon would have one medic.

TY: Right.

TI: So that within a battalion with three companies and three platoons there were like nine aid men out there on the front. Then they have a battalion sort of aid station.

TY: Battalion aid station.

TI: And roughly how many people would be there, do you think?

TY: Oh boy. Oh, I'd say maybe twenty.

TI: Twenty?

TY: Yeah.

TI: Okay, so they have that --

TY: Approximately, approximately, yeah

TI: -- and then back, and then you have your regimental which is --

TY: See, within the battalion aid station they have litter bearers also. They send out litter bearers from there as needed. So, it might be more than twenty, maybe, because each litter needs four individuals to carry on the litter. So, and then when things get bad, well, we enlist other, like service company who's in, always in the rear, and they get people from service company and other companies to be litter bearers. So, I mean, right in the middle of battle, well, almost anything can happen really. It's not that well-organized. Whatever is expedient.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.