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Letter 2022.24.3

    Letter 2022.24.3

    First Platoon, Co. B, 100th Bn.
    442nd Infantry Regiment
    A.P.O. #758
    ℅ P.M. New York
    New York
    January 7, 1945
    U.S. Army
    So. France

    Hood River American Legion Post
    Hood River, Oregon
    Dear Sir:

    I am writing to you in regards to the recent actions of your organization. I am referring to the announcement you made as of the month of December 1944, concerning the Niseis, the so called “Japanese-Americans.” I believe your announcement read to the effect that all Japanese people who had any interests, property, etc. in Oregon had better quickly sell or otherwise relinquish them, that all Americans of Japanese ancestry in the U.S. Army have already been crossed off the American Legion Posts’ honor roll, and in general, all Japanese were not wanted in Hood River, Oregon. It is written in the Dec. 16th, 1944, issue of the Pacific Citizen, “It was explained that the Legion posts’ action had been taken as a protest against the return of Japanese Americans to the valley” of Hood River, Oregon.

    We, several members of Co. B of the 100th Bn., have taken a tremendous dislike toward your organization since reading of your action in a recent issue of “Stars and Stripes,” our G.I. daily paper of the European Theater of Operations.

    I, personally, cannot understand why some people, fellow Americans speaking the same tongue, can be so narrow-minded, so selfish, and so regally particular. I am a member of the first platoon of Co. B of the 100th Bn., of the 442nd Infantry Regiment. I am nineteen years of age, have been in the U.S. Army since April, 1944, and have been overseas almost three months.

    I have only completed my high school education, worked about eleven months before enlisting in the U.S. Army. I am very, very proud of the fact that I am a member of the famed 100th Bn. and also of the 442nd Combat Team. So, naturally, it makes my blood boil to read your announcement concerning us Niseis. Don’t you people realize that we are fellow Americans? We are not the old Japanese generation. We are a young, eager generation of Japanese people willing to try anything once and willing to sacrifice a lot of things to live the American way of life. I know I am yellow-skinned, have black hair, and am slant-eyed, but so are many, many other Americans black-haired, black skinned, etc. It is not the outward appearance that determines an American, but the soul, the heart, the inner self. No present-day American can truthfully say that he has 100% American blood in him. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, etc, all had foreign blood in them, as you know. So I believe that the sooner you people realize the foolishness of your actions the better we’ll all be and a better American society we’ll have. We are not being egotistical, but we have many good qualities lacking among Caucasian people.

    I am now in the Army fighting for my Country because I love it, and I want to preserve it. I know no other way of life. I believe I am a typical American boy of nineteen. I have my hopes, ambitions, and goals, some perhaps too high for me to attain. But I mean it when I say that I’m going to get all the education I can and make a name for myself; I mean to leave this world a better place to live in than I found it.

    We, members of the 442nd Combat Team, a majority being volunteers, are sacrificing ourselves in order that you people may be secure. We have left our sweethearts, wives, parents, etc. to fight for our country. Doubtless you have heard of our Combat Team in Italy and
    in France. We can proudly say that we are doing our part. Therefore, when we hear and read of such things as your recent announcement, we wonder if the whole affair is worth fighting for and just what we’re fighting for.

    How about it, will you send me a reply real soon, please?

    Yours sincerely,
    Mits Robert Oshita
    Private, U.S. Army