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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-01-0020

<Begin Segment 20>

TI: So, Tosh, so the next question I wanted to ask was, as you were treating the men who were on the front line, back at the aid station, did you ever get a chance to ask them how it was going up there, or did you get a sense of how it was up there and how they were feeling?

TY: I think, I don't think we ever asked them specific questions how things were going. Because we got the sense of how things were going because number of, by the number of casualty comes through. You have a feeling that, how many, whether there were lot of people being wounded, the casualty was large or small. And we were so busy treating them that I don't think we thought much about the battle itself, actually. And, at time I was at the 3rd Battalion aid station when casualties came in, too. And it was very -- up there it was lot more chaotic than there was in regimental aid station. Because you're closer to the line and more people, more fellows come in there. And half of them --

TI: How about just psychologically, were they, when they came there, were they... I imagine if you're sort of in that gray area of not knowing if you should go to the hospital or back to the front lines, it would, did they have --

TY: Well, some of the gray areas were people that were, people who were shell-shocked. Some of them were shell-shocked. And in fact, fellow that I replaced was one that was shell-shocked and they -- he was, it was, he was in pretty bad state, I think --

TI: I'm sorry, the person that replaced --

TY: That I replaced.

TY: -- that you replaced.

TI: As a company aid, Company I --

TY: I see.

TI: -- aid man. The reason that it happened, as I understand it, was that there were, he was company -- his platoon, it was, were at the point, and they were going up to a machine gun nest and they, and just as they approached it they, the fellow, the German fired the machine gun, and it was at night, and at night they, they put tracers about every ten bullets or something, they're tracers so they'll know where they're firing, especially at night. And apparently the medic was standing like this and the machine gun went "ttttt" like that, and just by bare miracle he didn't get hit. But he saw tracers going between his legs. And right at that point he just couldn't stand up. He was just, and they had to carry him back and he was in pretty bad state. So things like that happened and -- but some of the people, when they get that psychological condition, it really, not really bad, it was just, say, it's a mild case of shell-shock. And what do you do with him? It was a question -- so it was just a matter of judgment as to what to do with people like that, men like that. And many of them would just get flesh wounds. Just, small enough you just put a band-aid, like something like a patch, small band-aid and send 'em back. Others would be a little more serious, but, with a butterfly bandage you'll be all right in few days, so you send them back. So it, a lot of it is a matter of judgment about what the doctors and the medic who was attending the GI, so...

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.