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-01-0014

<Begin Segment 14>

TI: And so during basic training, as you're learning about this sort of system in place, they did give you some training with weapons. Was there ever --

TY: Minimal. Yeah.

TI: Right. Was there an understanding that in the field there might be times when you would have to pick up a firearm and use it? Was that -- how was that explained to you?

TY: No. I understand that in Korea, medics carried arms. But we never did. We never did.

TI: Were there ever a situation or instructions that they'd say, in this situation, even though you're a medic, go ahead and fire the weapon, or what instructions --

TY: No, I don't think, I don't think, I don't think anything was said about that. It's just that we were given training with the, just minimal training with the arms. I guess in case of emergency, just in case we had to for some reason or the other. But there was, it was never specified that maybe you might have a, you might one day have to use arms. I don't think that was ever mentioned. They might have mentioned it, but I don't recall.

TI: How about when you eventually were in a platoon, and so you're the one person who's not carrying arms, everyone else is, was there ever discussion with the other men about, well, in this situation you have to help me out and shoot something or anything like that, or was there anything like that? Or were the medics always sort of separate from all that? I'm curious how that all worked.

TY: Well, I have thought about that because, I thought, well, one of these -- when I was up there, I thought one of these days maybe I'll have to pick up an arm and shoot somebody. But fortunately the situation never arose. I was so busy bandaging people up on their, during thick of battle that you just don't -- the situation never occurred, arose that I had to even think about it. I don't -- I was so busy that -- bandaging people up that -- because when I, in fact, when I, the day I got wounded, we were on an intense barrage and the instant the barrage started, well of course there were people hurt, and then they'd call, "Medic, medic," and so I must have bandaged about four or five people before I got wounded myself. And so, you're so busy that you don't, you just felt like, I mean, and the situation never occurred that I had to even think about that.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.