Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: George Yoshinaga Interview
Narrator: George Yoshinaga
Interviewer: Alisa Lynch
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: August 10, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-ygeorge_5-01-0016

<Begin Segment 16>

AL: So were you disappointed when you were pulled out to go to language school?

GY: Yeah, 'cause we were... everything was aimed towards replacing the infantry and then to go from there I didn't go to language school, I went to CIC school. That's where the difference... they gave us a test and they thought we were proficient in Japanese.

AL: What does CIC stand for?

GY: Counterintelligence Corps.

AL: Okay.

GY: So the thing was when I got to CIC school in Maryland, the first test they give us was in Japanese. That's where the fun started. [Laughs]

AL: So what is the difference between the CIC and the MIS?

GY: CIC was more of a... we were classified as agents. We were more involved in intelligence work like captured documents, information on the deployment of Japanese troops.

AL: So were you assigned to a specific unit?

GY: Yeah, I was with the 60th, what they call 60th CIC unit and that's another thing was that we were initially assigned to the British Army because there's no such thing as a British Japanese, you know, or Japanese Englishman. So the U.S. Army loaned the Niseisto the British Army.

AL: Did you learn Japanese or did you --

GY: No, so they just kept pushing me around, you know.

AL: So what would they do when they found out you didn't speak Japanese?

GY: The first thing that my CO said, "Do you know how to drive?" I said, "Of course," he said, "Well, you could be my jeep driver." [Laughs]

AL: Where did you go from Camp Blanding?

GY: I went to the Pacific.

AL: Which country?

GY: Well, the war was almost to the end. So Northern Luzon in the Philippines. But by that time there was really no hazard. Things were coming down and then I got on the ship and we were at sea when somebody said, "Did you know we dropped some kind of bomb in Japan?" I said, "What's new about that?" He said, "No, this one was some kind of thing they call an atom bomb and they killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese." And I, "You're kidding me."

<End Segment 16> - Copyright &copy; 2010 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.