Ray Nosaka
100th Infantry Battalion, B Company

December 7, 1941 and Home Front

On guard duty at Schofield Barracks, Ray witnesses bombs falling when the attack on Pearl Harbor begins.

Normally, he carries no bullets; now he is supplied with live ammunition.

E Company guards Waimanalo, Wailea Point.

Rumors abound that haole troops are ready to shoot nisei soldiers if they flee or act traitorously during an invasion.

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I was on guard duty at Schofield Barracks. Four o'clock to eight o'clock was my hour of watch. But before eight o'clock came, I could see all the bombs falling down. Wheeler Field, the airfield, with bombs, too.

Pearl Harbor damage from Japanese attack

But I still had no idea if it was war or not. Although we were alerted that something's going to happen but they didn't say Japan's going to attack. They just said, "Be alert, you carry real bullets."

Before, we don't carry bullets, "But this time, you carry live ammunition." And then so just about nine o'clock, when I got off from guard duty, my sergeant came and said, "Raymond, get on the jeep." He brought a jeep. "This is war," he told me.

I didn't even know it was war. So he took me to Kaneohe naval base, on the top of it and then we stayed there for the night before we were assigned where we're going to go. And we saw some Japanese old man walking and we ran down, just like this is the enemy. I told the man, "Don't come out here anymore, very dangerous." And then he said, "All right." So he went back to his home.

Home Front

And then from there, they assigned us to various places. I was assigned to Waimanalo, which was a battlefield. That's where all the airplanes go up, six o'clock in the morning and then they check and then they come back. So all those, I used to record what time they leave, what time they come back.

I was in - they call it Wailea Point. And during that time, rumors went around that in the back of us were American soldiers, haole soldiers, that in case they should invade the Waimanalo Beach, they think that we're going to run away, backwards, so they're ready to shoot us.

Ray Nosaka, Wailea Point, Bellows AFB, Hawaii

That's what they told us, just like they don't trust us. They think we're going to go back and attack them. So that's what rumors went around. And I believe that, because all the whole beach, we're all - hundred boys, all buddhaheads [slang for Japanese].

And that's where the first prisoner of war was taken. This guy Sakamaki. He was the first one. And when he came in, all he asked for is cigarette and then right away, they put a blanket on him. They thought that he might kill himself, you know, suicide. No, he just asked for cigarette. And we call the officer and the officer took him away. That's the last time I saw him.

Ray Nosaka's interview reprinted courtesy of the Center for Oral History. Photographs courtesy of Ray Nosaka and Franklin D. Roosevelt Digital Archives.

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