Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Bill Thompson Interview
Narrator: Bill Thompson
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: June 30, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-tbill-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

TI: So I'm gonna get started here. And, I guess the first question I wanted to ask you was, how did you first hear about the efforts to clear Shiro Kashino's name?

BT: Okay. I was at the 442 clubhouse. I go there off and on. And it just happened that Sadaichi Kubota was there that day. And we got to sitting down and talking story. I think we had coffee and doughnuts. And then he mentioned what he was doing about this case. And I said, "Oh, you gonna need records. Since I'm familiar with the 442 archival records, oh, let me help you." And he said, "Oh, that's good. We need that sort of help or information." Then he went back to Hilo and he wrote me a letter saying, give me the background of this. And besides giving me the background, he wrote why he was helping Kashino. And his letter was a beautiful letter. Reading the letter, I got carried -- well, I don't say carried away, but it took my mind back to the battlefields. What Sadaichi mentioned about Kash reminded me of the guys that I had gone to battle with, about unselfishness, helping another guy carry the load. When I got through reading that, I thought, "Gee, if I can help him I'm gonna help him whatever way I can." And that started the ball rolling.

TI: Now how did you know Sadaichi Kubota? How did the two of you know each other?

BT: Okay. I was born in Hilo. I went to the 442 from Hilo. After I came back from the army, I was at the university. After I graduated, I went back to Hilo and worked for the Water Department. We have a veterans' club of Hawaii on the Big Island in Hilo. And Sadaichi was an active member, and I got to know him. He was working for the plantation off and on, different functions. So I knew him quite well. And, I guess he knew me quite well enough to ask for help.

TI: Okay. Good.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.