Kenneth Hagino
1399th Engineer Construction Battalion

Varsity Victory Volunteers

In 1942, the Varsity Victory Volunteers (VVV) and Company C of the 370th Engineers are both attached to the 34th Combat Engineer Regiment at Schofield Barracks.

Kenneth often spends time socializing with the VVV who are housed in nearby barracks and are said to have better food.

34th Engineers

When I was in Schofield, our unit was attached to the 34th Engineers, where the VVV group was attached, also. They were only about two or three barracks away. And that's how we used to get together.


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That's when we had, at that time, the Varsity Victory Volunteers [VVV]. We were at the 34th Engineers' barracks, they were two, three barracks away. Half of the time, we were down there. Even when we go out on construction jobs, they used to be there, too, on a different area because they came under 34th Engineers, too.

VVV Mokuleia Road project, bridge repair

And every time, chee, when they were near, we used to go there. Chee, eat their sandwiches (chuckles). Because those guys, they were with the army but they were more or less a civilian group. I think they used to get paid highly. [The VVV were paid ninety dollars per month, roughly the same as a U.S. Army private.] And naturally, they get all the nice sandwiches (chuckles), juices, and whatnot.

Like us, we just get the hot dogs, oh, just go eat with them. And at night, they used to get movies like that at their barracks. So we used to go watch theirs. So we had a good relationship with them.

[VVV boys] were different. They were a civilian group. But, they were just attached to the 34th Engineers. Like us, we were in the army already. But when the enlistment for the 442nd came up, they disbanded the VVV's and most of them joined the 442nd.

[I knew] maybe two or three. But after that, well, after the war, I still talk to like Ted Tsukiyama.

34th was a larger group. And, since we were a smaller group, we were attached to them. So whatever projects they did, they told us to do this and that. Now, the other - this was when we were Company C - the other groups like Companies A and B, were down with another engineer group, the 47th Engineers. So they were attached to them. So whatever 47th Engineers did, you would see the other groups. Like we were doing with the 34th Engineers.

[The VVV] were civilian group. And, I don't think they were, like being with the 34th Engineers, you'll say "Yes sir, no sir," things like that. Those guys just like informal. But they had officers with them. When I say "officers," like they had offices in the army you know. They had, you've heard of [Richard] Lum, Tommy Kaulukukui? They were with them. But among themselves, when they get together, just informal. They don't salute or anything. Not like us, oh, we have to salute at the CO, this and that. So they were really informal.

VVV Officers Richard Lum and Tommy Kaulukukui

Kenneth Hagino's interview reprinted courtesy of the Center for Oral History. Photograph courtesy of Ted Tsukiyama.

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