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-02-0040

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TI: Talk about some of the, were there some dangerous moments? You said that you were on your own. Sometimes you had to find K Company. And you might be a ten-mile sort of area to look for them. Were there times when you would sort of not find them, and instead find the Germans?

RT: Oh, yes. There was many times when, you see, a lot of times, what you do is you listen for such things as people's voices. Or what you like to hear is movements. And so, you say, "Oh, K Company's supposed to be in this area," and then in the area you hear the movement. "Oh, that must be them over there." But see you never walk into a place, because there've been many times when I'd get up there, and I'd still be a little ways. And you stop and you listen. "And what the hell? They speakin' German." And you get on your belly and you look around real close. "Oh, man, I'm in the wrong place." [Laughs] But it does happen.

And so it's a -- everybody used to think when we first started out that we had a real easy job. All we'd do is, we'd stay back in battalion. And battalion, generally, is out of the rifle range and stuff like that. So you stay back in battalion, and once in a while you bring some messages up and you go back. And I've had, when I got wounded, where they had to change the messenger twice. Because the guys refused. They don't want to no more. And I've had them tell me, "You could keep your damn job. I don't want that kinda job." Because, see, you're on your own. There's nobody that you can talk to, to say, "Hey, what shall we do?" You're on your own. You gotta make your own damn decision. You make your own wrong decision, you gotta figure, well, "Gee, I made a wrong decision, I'm goin'." It's, well, like we used to always say, a runner was a man that everybody liked to talk to, because then from him they could find out what's going on, but nobody wanted to be your friend.

TI: Why not the friend part?

RT: Well, they don't wanna be your friend, because they don't wanna have to be the next guy that's gonna be picked to take your place.

TI: Oh, so if they got too close to you...

RT: Yeah.

TI: ...nd if anything happened to you, they'd say, "Well, you knew what Rudy did, so you're the runner."

RT: "You go in," see. And I've had, one fella that was in Los Angeles, right after, it was right after we went back to, from France to Italy, and I ended up in the hospital. And he got the job that I had. And he says, "Hell," when I finally met him afterwards, he says, "Hell, they gave me the job. Two hours later, I told 'em the hell with it. I'm goin' back to Company K. Get somebody else. I don't want that job. How in the hell? You must be crazy to have that job."

<End Segment 40> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.