Densho Digital Archive
National Japanese American Historical Society Collection
Title: George S. Matsui Interview
Narrator: George S. Matsui
Interviewer: Marvin Uratsu
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 11, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-mgeorge-01-0004

<Begin Segment 4>

MU: So, did you finish your basic training...

GM: (...) (Yes.) I (was assigned) to 40th Division, San Luis Obispo.

MU: Then what happened?

GM: And then we went, we had maneuver, Hunter-Liggett Reservation with Washington Division. What year was that? That was summer of '41.

MU: Before Pearl Harbor.

GM: Yeah. Then before Pearl Harbor we had another big maneuver up here in Chehalis, Centralia area and I had to take a squad out for reconnaissance -- or reconnoiter the area one night. I had six, seven guys with me. We got lost. I mean, I got lost. Had a compass that didn't work. We were out of water. We came to a farmhouse early in the morning and this lady was so nice to us. She fed us farmer's breakfast. And to this day, I regret not getting her address to thank her.

MU: That would be somewhere in this area?

GM: (Yes, Washington.) Chehalis or Centralia area. This is south of here.

MU: Okay. Now, that, that...

GM: We had big maneuver with the Washington Division and our 40th -- 7th Division at that time.

MU: This is kind of a practice war (military maneuver).

GM: Oh, yeah.

MU: Was this unit mixed racially?

GM: Yes. (Well, no not too much as far as I can remember) This was before Pearl Harbor.

MU: Okay. So, then what happened...?

GM: Well, that morning they found us and I caught hell from our captain. (...)

MU: For getting lost?

GM: Yeah, that they found out later that that area, for some reason the compass didn't work. Somethin' like, there's iron in those mountains. It -- our compass didn't...

MU: So it wasn't actually your fault?

GM: No.

MU: But you got hell for it?

GM: Yeah. I got hell for it. [Laughs] Then came Pearl Harbor.

MU: Okay.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.