Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Ramsay Yosuke Mori Interview
Narrator: Ramsay Yosuke Mori
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda, Kelli Nakamura
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: February 28, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-mramsay-01-0015

<Begin Segment 15>

TI: So let's talk a little bit about your parents now. So, so they're taken away on December 7th, both your father and mother, where did they go? Where were they taken?

RM: They were, one of the interesting parts of their trip to Crystal City, Texas, was the boat trip. They were placed on an ordinary, an ordinary freighter, nondescript, and they traveled, just one ship, across the Pacific. Back in those days, during the war, everybody traveled in a convoy. The first ships would start comin' out of Pearl Harbor and they were naval ships, armed, and then from there on the merchant ships would start going into the middle of the convoy where they would be surrounded by military ships, and there might be as many as, like -- do you happen, I better not give you any numbers because I'm not sure. I can't, I'm not sure about, it seems to me there were like thirty, forty, sixty ships in a convoy. And then, of course, the destroyers would slice around and through to make sure that no enemy submarines or anything like that would come between, and it was a very impressive movement. And you could get, get to Diamond Head and watch these things take about hours getting through from out of the harbors in Pearl Harbor and then go off to the mainland. And that's the way they used to travel, but the ship that, that my parents were sent out on was just a single freighter, and in the middle of the night they were so afraid of being torpedoed by a Japanese submarine that they would wake everybody up and line them up around the railing of the ship. And of course they're, anywhere, even in the Pacific, in the middle of the night it's cold out there, and all these old women, elder, older men were lined up along the railing of the ship and then they'd put these floodlights on 'em so that if there were any submarines around they would not torpedo their own people.

KN: That was the thinking of the crew?

RM: Pardon me?

KN: Thee crew thought of this?

RM: Yes. And they did get across the ocean safely. There's no tellin' if there were any Japanese submarines out there ready to torpedo 'em, but they got there safely.

TI: But before they went on this, this freighter ride, where in Hawaii were they held?

RM: Sand Island.

TI: Did you or any of the other family members visit?

RM: Yes. We were permitted to go once a week, and of course that was another huge adventure for me. I loved it. You'd see these navy guys on a little gig come in and pick you up and I could watch them steering the boat, and it was just fascinating, going over to Sand Island. They had a, they've all, the Coast Guard station's always been there, so the navy probably had taken that area over and then from the ships, they were driven to the camp.

TI: Now, were you able to bring anything for your parents, like food or anything like that?

RM: If they asked for things specifically we would take 'em things, yeah. But I just held my mother's hands and, well, a little old for that already, but... like I say, it was a great adventure.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.