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-02-0032

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RT: And like I say, when the 100th ran over, they landed in Africa. And in Africa, Eisenhower was the boss man. Hence, the reason why I've never had respect for Eisenhower. He would not send them to the front lines. They worked as a work battalion.

JN: This is the group from Hawaii.

RT: Yeah. This is the group...

TI: The 100th Battalion, right? Correct.

RT: Yeah, 100th Battalion. They went over and they worked as a work battalion. So finally, when they cleaned up Africa, then the colonel of the 100th was really perturbed. And he says, "My boys are really angry, because they're being held back as a work battalion. They want to go and show you what they can do." See, this is the reason why I respected Mark Clark, General Mark Clark, so much. Because now he was the only general in the United States army that would accept us as fighting men. Even Douglas MacArthur did not want us as fighting men. Here he had all the MISers, and he had nerve enough at the end to say, "The MISers shortened the war by two years."

In the military, you train for eight months, and then you're sent overseas. We trained for twelve months. At the end, we were wondering what was going on. That's what it was all about. They had no place to send us. And finally, when General Mark Clark took over Eisenhower's job, and Eisenhower got booted up, that's when the colonel of the 100th went to the general, and said, "My men want to get into the battle. They don't feel that they should be left out as a work battalion." And General Mark Clark said, "Yeah, I read a lot about these people. Show me how good they are." And that's when they went into action in Salerno. They made the landing in Salerno. And they did one hell of a job, all the way into Anzio.

<End Segment 32> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.