1399th Engineer Construction Battalion
Sometime after December 7, 1941, Toshiyuki receives his draft notice.
After several attempts to secure airline passage, he reports to the draft board in Lahaina.
Inducted in February 1942, he is assigned to the 298th Infantry Battalion at Schofield Barracks.
Some months later, only the AJAs are disarmed. They remain on post while soldiers of other ethnicities in the battalion are assigned elsewhere.
[Sometime after December 7, 1941, or about ] January 1942, I got my [draft] notice.
I tried to come home [to Lahaina] and Hawaiian Airlines would put me on, then reschedule me for about two or three weeks.
Finally I told them, “Look, I got to go home because I got to report to the draft board in Lahaina.” Finally, I was able to go home.
I got drafted and I think it was February 22 or 23, 1942, that’s when I went into the service.
[When I got my draft notice] I was thinking, gee, they discriminate against me in various other areas and yet they want us to get in the army. But I figured, well, this is the law. You get drafted, you got to go. So we went.
298th Infantry Battalion
Then when we were in Schofield [Barracks], we were all in — all the local kids, the Japanese, the Hawaiians, the Filipinos, the Chinese, were all in one group. And I think at that time we were called the 299th Infantry Battalion. I'm not quite too sure already, that was a very short period. I think was 298th Infantry Battalion. Anyway, all the local guys were in it together, see.
Then after we went through basic training, then all of a sudden, I don't know when it was, but all of a sudden about, maybe about after three months or so, the Japanese Americans were left behind and they took away our weapons, and all the other local kids, they went someplace else. We don’t know where they went.
The Hawaiians, the Chinese, the Filipinos, the Portuguese, we don’t know where they went after that. And in fact, I didn’t get to know where they went until after the war was over when we came back to school, some of them came back.
Toshiyuki Nakasone's interview courtesy of the Center for Oral History. Photographs courtesy of Toshiyuki Nakasone.