Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Fred Shiosaki Interview
Narrator: Fred Shiosaki
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Spokane, Washington
Date: April 26 & 27, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-sfred-01-0029

<Begin Segment 29>

TI: So you got pulled back to Naples, and then you were then shipped to France?

FS: Yes, went in, went into Marseilles.

TI: And did you guys know what... so you were actually being transferred from...

FS: The Fifth Army to the Seventh Army. But hey, a poor old dogface doesn't know anything. They said, they came around and said, "Hey, get ready, we're going to France." Well, that's interesting. [Laughs] No, no, we didn't know.

TI: So did you have a sense that you were, but you were going from, like General Clark to General Dahlquist, anything like that?

FS: No, no, we didn't. We, maybe the colonel knew, the regimental commander, but we didn't know where the hell we were going, what was, what was going to happen to us, but we knew that we were going to France, and that we were, we were going to join a different outfit, be attached to a different outfit. The thing about a regiment, a regimental combat team, is that a division is made out of three, three regiments. So when a, when a general got a fourth, fourth regiment, he had a square division. And so that way, when he, when he prosecuted combat, he could put three of his regiments on line and hold one in reserve. Otherwise, if you only got three, you'd get... if you only got three regiments, you'd put two on line and hold one. So he had, a square regiment had more clout, and that's, that's the way we ended up in Italy with the Thirty-fourth Division, and then ultimately in France with the Thirty-sixth Division. But we didn't know, we were, were dumb kids. Anyway, so we were in Marseilles, and staged north of, north of Marseilles, out in the open country there.

TI: So when you're in, in places like France, how do they transport a regiment? I mean, how do you get from place to place?

FS: Well, the army travels with trucks, but the roads north from Marseilles, towards, well, we went in through Dijon and then Lyon, or Lyon and Dijon, the roads were in bad shape and overtaxed, and so they loaded part of the regiment, our battalion, we rode in, in those old boxcars. You know, from World War I, the famous 48-8 cars? It holds forty men or eight horses. Well, anyway, they loaded us in those things, and they would only travel during the daytime 'cause they, the tracks were in poor shape. And they could only get twenty-five troops with their combat gear in that, so, but it was still crowded. You couldn't, you couldn't hardly lay down, and you couldn't, and when jockey along at slow speed, it was a, it was long time as I recall, it was a long, hard trip. But they, the, recall that, I don't remember when they landed in the south of France. It was much later than, than after, than D-Day on the English coastline. It was, it was a major coup, because they, they destroyed miles and miles of truck and German equipment. The air force caught those German troops moving north, and they just riddled the hell out of 'em. So we would drive along the road, I mean, on the train you could see all these German trucks and half-tracks and tanks and stuff, and that had to be a major loss. Big, big loss for the German army, because they lost equipment and men and all sorts of stuff. But we saw that, too, and that was a pretty good feeling. Got, we got these guys. But you know, you think this next, next thing is going to be a walk in the woods. [Laughs] Little did we know that, what was coming up.

<End Segment 29> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.