Military Intelligence Service
Takejiro returns home on December 23, 1945.
Discharged in early January 1946, he resumes studies at Farrington High School and graduates in 1947.
So I came back in December 45. I think I got home about December 23, our time. I stayed overnight at Tokyo from Korea. And on the way to Tokyo from Korea, army plane, BC-3, two-engine plane. We flew around Mount Fuji once, and the pilot of the plane, he said that was his last flight. So he said, "Oh, hell, I'm going home tomorrow, let's go one more time." So we saw Mount Fuji twice, from the air. And that mountain is beautiful. No matter from what angle, you see the same shape.
And stay overnight in Tokyo one night. And in the few hours we had, I had the opportunity to go visit the Imperial Palace.
And then came home by way of, I think it's Midway. In those days, DC-4, the four-engine plane, not enough to make a direct flight from Tokyo to here. Have to stop somewhere in between to refuel. So I'm not sure whether it was Guam or Midway. But anyway, we stopped at one island and flew back to Hawaii.
And in the meantime, my brother had enough points to be discharged right away so he remained in the Philippines, waiting for shipment back home. But those days transport, all went back to main[land] - West Coast. Hawaii guys came by plane.
And coming back on the plane according to ranks. Higher ranks get higher priority. My brother was only tech sergeant so they would push back, push back. Then finally, he came on January 46. He was supposed to be home before me. So when he came back, I was waiting for him at Hickam. So he look at me, "How come you got home already?" He knew I was sent to Korea. And then after that, I don't have correspondence with him.
My brother-in-law and my sister had just opened a store on Kukui Street. Grocery store. I just came home on the bus from Hickam. Catching the bus, and stop over at the Kukui Street store. I walked in, my sister look at me, "Huh? When you got home?" "I just got home few minutes ago, few hours ago." So I talk story. They didn't know, they didn't expect me coming home.
Farrington High School
I wouldn't have signed up [for occupation duty]. I was going back to school. I told you, I only finished high school one year. So I was determined to go back to school. And we knew the G.I. Bill was in there, so I knew I could afford to go school.
I got discharged January, early part of January, 46, and I went back to Farrington High School.
I just went to Farrington and applied. And being a G.I., I guess they gave me first semester credit without taking any courses. So I was assigned to Flora Ching. Miss Ching's class. So at the end of the semester, she gave me small gifts. "What this for, Miss Ching?"
"You know, Take. . .when you came into my class, I told myself, what did I do wrong to get this guy in my class?" She thought, being a G.I., ex-G.I., going to give her trouble. But I was determined to be a good student. I studied like hell. So when the kids making noise, all I got to do is look like that, eh, then you can hear a pin drop. Quiet. Because those days, we used to get a discharge pin, we used to call 'em "gooney bird." Discharge pin. They look at that, they respect. Highest respect. Anyway, all I got to do is just look like that, hoo, quiet. "So, I'm grateful that you kept my class real quiet so that everybody studied."
Yeah, actually she was a brand-new teacher, about three, four years older than me. I was what, 46, I was twenty-three already.
I was determined to get education, basic education. So I never thought about anything other than study, study, study. And at the same time, I was working, too. Full-time work. I went back to Farrington, 46, September. In 47, graduated, senior year.
Takejiro Higa's interview courtesy of the Center for Oral History. Photographs courtesy of National Archives and Takejiro Higa.