This is the first collection of letters by a member of the legendary 442nd Combat Team, which served in Italy and France during World War II. Written to his wife by a medic serving with the segregated Japanese American unit, the letters describe a soldier's daily life.Minoru Masuda was born and raised in Seattle. In 1939 he earned a master's degree in pharmacology and marrThis is the first collection of letters by a member of the legendary 442nd Combat Team, which served in Italy and France during World War II. Written to his wife by a medic serving with the segregated Japanese American unit, the letters describe a soldier's daily life.Minoru Masuda was born and raised in Seattle. In 1939 he earned a master's degree in pharmacology and married Hana Koriyama. Two years later the Japanese struck Pearl Harbor, and Min and Hana were imprisoned along with thousands of other Japanese Americans. When the Army recruited in the relocation camp, Masuda chose to serve in the 442nd. In April 1944 the unit was shipped overseas. They fought in Italy and in France, where they liberated Bruyeres and rescued a "lost battalion" that had been cut off by the Germans. After the German surrender on May 3, 1945, Masuda was among the last of the original volunteers to leave Europe; he arrived home on New Year's Eve 1945.Masuda's vivid and lively letters portray his surroundings, his daily activities, and the people he encountered. He describes Italian farmhouses, olive groves, and avenues of cypress trees; he writes of learning to play the ukulele with his "big, clumsy" fingers, and the nightly singing and bull sessions which continued throughout the war; he relates the plight of the Italians who scavenged the 442nd's garbage for food, and the mischief of French children who pelted the medics with snowballs.Excerpts from the 442nd daily medical log provide context for the letters, and Hana interposes brief recollections of her experiences. The letters are accompanied by snapshots, a drawing made in the field, and three maps drawn by Masuda....
|Title||:||Letters from the 442nd: The World War II Correspondence of a Japanese American Medic|
|Number of Pages||:||290 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Letters from the 442nd: The World War II Correspondence of a Japanese American Medic Reviews
A compilation of letters from WWII, written by Min Masuda, a medic with the storied 442nd, the Japanese-American combat team, from the war in Italy and France, to his young wife left behind in an American relocation camp. This compilation was supplemented and edited by his wife, after his death, but unfinished at the time of her death. The University of Washington archivist responsible for Masuda's papers--he became a UW professor of psychiatry--completed this compilation after she retired. The book is a treasure of personal observations and concerns, letters that focus on descriptions of day-to-day life, not the war, and reflect the intelligence, humanity, and extraordinary grace of the correspondents. Dr. Masuda, like all the other soldiers in the 442nd, volunteered from the isolated relocation camps in the West to fight for the US governent that interned them and their families--and although there were political and economic reasons for internment, this was about race and racism. The volunteers from Hawaii, members of the 100th battalion, did not face this conflict because most did personally experience internment. (Disclosure: My mother is second-generation Japanese-American and was interned during the war. My father is seond-generation Korean-American from Hawaii and was deployed in Hawaii and the Pacific in WWII with his National Guard unit.)
This book contains the letters of a 442nd medic to his wife from the European Theater. Min Masuda was very literate and his letters reflect his eloquence. For the most part, he avoids discussing the horrors of war, but the letters present an excellent description of the life of a serviceman in combat during WWII--long periods of nothing happening including even pleasant times such as attending Italian opera (where the soprano singing the title role in Madame Butterfly was--ironically--a Japanese woman), and other periods of intense activity, discomfort, and fear. Highly recommended.
Wish I could write letters like this. Obviously trying not to frighten his wife, so very descriptive of areas they go through while minimizing dangers, although he does tell her when mutual friends are hit. Beautiful book.