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-02-0006

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gky: This is tape two with Roy Matsumoto on the 8th of November, the year 2000 in Washington, D.C. Roy, tell about your, you got shipped to the CBI [China-Burma-India Theater]. What is your first assignment with Merrill's Marauders?

RM: Well, first, we were sent to central India in high plateau and we learned from the British about long-range penetration in jungle fighting, so forth. So we took not the ranger training, but it that was a part of ranger training because we didn't, well, ranger type of training we did it, so that's why later on we've been awarded ranger tab. But that's what we did until March 27 or whatever. I know the exact date, 24 March. The reason I remember that is when I was awarded Legion of Merit, the general order says March 24 to -- no, February 24th. I corrected that. February 24 to March something.

gky: What year is this? 1943, right?


RM: Then and also we hike about 125 miles in ten days to reach a place called Hsamshingyang and that's where we start to form and then we went to jungle. So my assignment was the first assigned to the headquarters rifle company. But then when we get in, had to move out. They assign me to I&R Platoon. That stand for "Intelligence and Reconnaissance," in other words, scout platoon. In case we find the enemy documents, something like that, translate. If you happen to capture prisoner, we could interrogate. So I was assigned as intelligence NCO to platoon, this I&R Platoon.

gky: How many people were assigned with you?

RM: Two. Well, two -- this what happened. Our size was about regimental size, three thousand, so we had three battalions, so about 900, almost a thousand men to each unit. So we had fourteen Nisei linguists there, intelligence NCO they called them because all of them are non-commissioned officers, so they call NCO. My title was "intelligence NCO." Well, some people say just translator or interpreter. Of course interpret, but official army term is intelligence NCO, doing intelligence work, not only translating the language, but other, interrogate the...

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2000 Bridge Media and Densho. All Rights Reserved.