Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Rudy Tokiwa Interview II
Narrator: Rudy Tokiwa
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary), Judy Niizawa (secondary)
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: July 2 & 3, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-trudy-02-0028

<Begin Segment 28>

TI: Before going to Europe, during training in the States, what was it like when you came across Caucasian soldiers? I mean, were there instances when, when the 442 guys would come across Caucasian soldiers, and there would be fights or things like that?

RT: Oh, yeah. Well, the funniest one that ever happened was, we spent the night in the stockade, because we went into Hattiesburg to drink some beer. And there was a colored guy sittin' over all by himself. So I hate to see a guy have to drink by himself, so I went over, and I said, "Hey, Mac, how about comin' and join us?" "Oh, no, no," he says. "You don't want no trouble." I says, "Well, you come over and join us, just don't give us any trouble." And I grabbed him and I pulled him over. And he enjoyed drinkin' with us and everything. Because now the funniest part was, when we, when they formed the 442nd in Camp Shelby, they didn't know which restrooms and stuff we were going to use, whether we were to go in the black one or whether we were going into the white one. Well, we automatically started to use the white ones. And then it finally came out, the orders were that we would use the white ones.

And so we got, you drink like that, you get feeling pretty good. Got time we had to report back, so we went down to catch the bus. And so this colored fella started to go towards the back door. I said, "Hey, Mac, where you goin'?" He says, "Well, the blacks all get in from the back." I said, "What the hell uniform you wearing?" Why, I says, "If we can walk to the front, you sure as hell could walk to the front door." So he said, "No, no," he says, "I don't wanna 'cause no trouble." So I grabbed him and I pulled him, and the other guys that were there drinkin', yeah, they felt as good as I was. So we started pushing him through the front door. So the bus driver says, "The black man either goes through the back door for the blacks, or this bus does not move." Oh, we solved that problem real good. We picked the bus driver, we threw him out, and we took the bus back to camp. I'll admit, when we got to the main gate, oh, all kinds of red lights flashing and everything. And they put us in the stockade overnight, but no report. So we were pretty lucky. Otherwise, I think things would've been pretty bad for us. But the MPs never really reported us anything, 'cause the bus, nothing happened to the bus. [Laughs] It's, this...

<End Segment 28> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.