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-02-0050

<Begin Segment 50>

TI: Now, going back, right after the battle of the "Lost Battalion," General Dahlquist, who we talked about earlier, wanted to address the troops right after the battle. And I believe it's called a retreat parade, where he, he asked the colonel to assemble the troops so he could address them?

RT: Yeah.

TI: Were you there when that happened?

RT: No. When that happened, I wasn't there. But the way I caught the drift of everything was, he turned around -- now this was told to me by the colonel...

TI: Which colonel, Colonel Pursall?

RT: Yep. And the chaplain also, Chaplain Yamada, was there, and also he verified all this, was that the 36th Division commander wanted the 442nd to pass in review. And so, and he said, "All personnel of the 442nd will pass in review." So the 442nd passes in review. And like I say, you got three battalions plus headquarters, and they don't even have a battalion out there, passing in review. So General Dahlquist turned around, and he said to the colonel, "When I order everyone to pass in review, I mean the cooks and everybody will pass in review." And Chaplain Yamada said, "This is the first time I saw the colonel cry." And he said, "This is all I have left." [Cries] Can you imagine the feeling he musta had to think that he had to order people to go out and get killed, when it was these people that put the families into concentration camp, and they're still there? You know, I felt that, and I've always felt bad that he had to explain to the general why they're not there.

And so I have never had any respect for the general of the 36th Division. Because you're the one, he's the one that's ordering our colonel to do all this, and to think that our colonel wasn't gonna get everybody to participate. And to think that more of our people were still alive, and he couldn't stop to figure that, "These guys, they gave a hundred and fifty percent so they can rescue my boys." So I have never, I have never, even today, I will never feel that I would like to give Dahlquist any kind of a hurrah. Because I don't believe in him. I can't. To be in an outfit where we start, start going in to fight this war, and we got damn near 300 guys going in. And like I said, when I went back to get patched up, I just got patched up, and I had to go back to the front lines because we didn't have any guys. And to think that these guys, after all they had given, this general felt that they should be giving a little more respect to him. You can't. I have no respect for a man, because it was his screw-up that caused all of it. And I've never for, it took me for the longest to get to even think about, "Well, what the hell was this damn deal, where he has three times the amount of men that we have. Why didn't they go in and make the risk? It was their own people. Why us? Was it because we were Japanese?"

<End Segment 50> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.