100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)
December 7, 1941
On December 7, Takashi awakens to noises. Outside of his house in Kaimuki, he sees flying planes.
The radio calls all enlisted reserve to duty. Takashi knows they are headed into wartime conditions. He reports and is assigned again to the 298th Infantry.
Takashi remains on guard duty for several months. Due to spotty coverage, he considers the protection of rural Oahu shores to be inadequate.
What was I doing on that particular day? I was sleeping. Then we heard that noise and everything. We went out of the house and saw all the planes flying. Where I lived was in Kaimuki and in the flats, so that I couldn’t see very much of the action.
But I heard over the radio that all enlisted reserve — that’s what they called us, enlisted reserve — to report back. So the very next day, I went back.
I knew what army life was and, this, we were going into wartime conditions. I anticipated what we were going to meet. So that’s why I was a sad sack at that time. I didn’t know how long we were going to be there. We don’t know what was going to happen.
Then I was assigned to the 298th [Infantry] again. But this time was with Company E. Our object was to guard the shores of rural Oahu.
We had machine guns and rifles. That’s the extent of what I know. We had mortars, too. But it was pitiful because — I don’t know if I should go on record, it was very inadequate to me. You would have a group of soldiers in one spot and maybe several hundred yards away, another group, that kind of a setup. So there wasn’t much protection as far as I can see.
I’m not a professional soldier, but then that’s my personal opinion. It seemed so inadequate for the protection of the islands. But that’s all they had, so what can you do?
[I was on guard duty] for several months until we were called to go to the Mainland.
Takashi Kitaoka's interview courtesy of the Center for Oral History. Photographs courtesy of Takashi Kitaoka.