Densho Digital Archive
gayle k. yamada Collection
Title: Roy Matsumoto Interview
Narrator: Roy Matsumoto
Interviewer: gayle k. yamada
Location: Washington, D.C.
Date: November 8, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-mroy-02-0013

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gky: Tell me, what was the saddest thing you experienced with Merrill's Marauders?

RM: Well, not myself, but I felt sorry for Bob Landis. He was one of my boy and he talked to me. He was young boy about eighteen or nineteen years old, young boy. And getting killed, you know. He was from Ohio, Youngstown, Ohio. And I wrote them letter because commanding officer, Lieutenant Grissom, we discuss about it and sorry but he didn't know how to say it and how get killed, see.

gky: So what did you write? Do you remember what you wrote in the letter?

RM: Me? Well, I knew him and, "Sorry, but you know he died for country," something like that, that more or less a consolation, you know.

gky: Are you proud that you served your country?

RM: Yeah, well, I mention that to the country.

gky: No, but are you proud of your service to the country?

RM: Yeah, well, at least, the thing is I don't want to praise myself or want to be recognized, but what I did, my experiences, we've been discriminated knowingly or unknowingly, or I may not realize, but they talk behind me, in back of me, and treat me like a second-class citizen, but I may not be better than the other guy, but at least, you know, I'd be just as good as the next guy and show them that. That's why... this is nothing to do with the Marauders thing like that, but anyway, when I see my MIS President of Northern Cal, Marvin Uratsu, and I told him, "I'm not official capacity in public relation, anything, I'm not a representative." So happened that they made me the board member, but my job is to get the Nisei recognized. That's why I paid my own way to attend these meeting and show, expose myself, and the people treat me nice and they tell me, "See, we save a lot." Everybody ask, I mean appreciate what I've done, but I was scared. I may be crazy, but this is the thing I just want to mention, that two years ago came down there and my name is called. The member says, "Oh, name is familiar," but I didn't know that at the time. Oh, I knew a lot of people same unit, see. But he told me, "I was the guy with your foxhole, see." "Oh, you the guy ask me, you know, why I do the crazy things like that. And he said, "Sarge, why you do crazy things like that? You might get killed, you know. Shouldn't do that." But, I mean, I have to do it because if I don't do that, all of 'em get wiped out. That's about seven week or so you been surrounded, so I been going out every night. People don't realize because didn't see me, total darkness. They don't know what I'm doing. Then, come to think of it, I was single at the time. I didn't have any girlfriend and I didn't have any family home. I had a brother but he's in the army. But, anyway, more or less of revenge. I was going to show 'em, you know, even though I'm Japanese descent, just as good as American citizen and I'm very proud that I'm native born, yet they classify me as 4-C. That hurt me. So I want to show them. Of course, I cannot tell them, "See what I did," but I cannot say that. But, anyway, in my heart, you know, I want to, other people get recognized, see. Me, already I'm, more than I deserve, all kind of recognition. It's not out yet, but I ordered the -- I don't know whether I should mention or not -- but they consider, already approve, they make me a distinguished member of the Special Forces, that's Green Beret, and I cannot claim that, but already I've been notified that soon I should be inducted, but that's beside the point. I got more than recognition I deserve, but anyway, I want other people get recognized. That's why right here I'm telling what other people should get recognized, and fortunately...

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2000 Bridge Media and Densho. All Rights Reserved.