Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Arthur Nishimoto Interview
Narrator: Arthur Nishimoto
Interviewer: Alisa Lynch
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: August 22, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-narthur-01-0013

<Begin Segment 13>

AL: Could you explain, if somebody doesn't know anything about the units, what the relationship is between the 100th and the 442nd? Like what is the difference? Like who's in which one, and does it matter? Could you just explain the difference in the units?

AN: Well, the 100th I have always considered as my older brothers. They were the people that were drafted prior to the war, and they were training in Hawaii. And then later on, they were transferred to Wisconsin to do more training there. Of course, then in the meantime, the 442nd was being formed. And, of course, they already had planned that the 100th would join us, which they did. So I have always considered the 100th as my older brothers, they were a couple, three or four years older than we were. And so after their training in Wisconsin they came over to join us. And after joining us, then they went to overseas, they were sent overseas. and once they went overseas, then after a few months of battle, obviously they needed replacement. And we had a full regiment with three battalions, and I was in the 1st Battalion. They took replacements from my battalion. So actually, the people in my battalion were being transferred to the 100th as they needed the replacements. I was transferred out of there, the 1st Battalion, and went to 2nd Battalion for those of us that didn't have to go. So their plan was eventually when we go there, the 100th will come in with us and they'll become the 1st Battalion, but we wanted them to hold their numbers, the 100th Battalion, instead of calling them the 1st Battalion, then we wanted them to hold their title as the 100th Battalion.

AL: Why is that important?

AN: Because of their... before we joined them, I guess they were about nine months ahead of us in combat, and we knew of the record and the way that... they were an outstanding outfit, and we had to follow in their footsteps. And so I'm sure they had a, already a plan, so when we went to overseas, they joined us and became the 1st Battalion. There were three battalions to make a regiment, but the 1st Battalion was used as all replacements. And so they became the 1st Battalion, but we told, that they'll keep their name as the 100th Battalion. But by that time, they made name for themselves, but they weren't making it for themselves, but because of the way they fought. So that became the 1st Battalion. That's the reason why we call them 100th and 442nd. We still like to have our older brothers have their identity. And yet, people like us with the 442nd were in there replacing the wounded.

AL: So the 442nd does not have a 1st Battalion, that is the 100th.

AN: Yeah.

AL: And then they have a 2nd Battalion and a 3rd Battalion.

AN: That's right.

AL: The 100th, when they went over and were fighting, where were they fighting?

AN: Southern Italy, a very fierce battle, yes. They were in major battles over there. Really, what I've seen and what I've read, before we went there, we said, "This is a hard act to follow." But they joined us and we listened to them, and then we learned from them how to fight.

AL: Did you know any of the guys in the 100th from your childhood or your neighborhood?

AN: Oh, yes. I had some good friends in there, the original. I had a couple of good friends in there.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.