Yoji Ozaki

Gender Male
Birth date 1922-5-6
Place of birth Los Angeles CA, U.S.A.
Inducted 1944-6-19, Camp Robinson AK
Enlistment type Draftee
Service branch Army
Service type War
Unit type Combat
Units served Company L, 442 Regimental Combat Team
Military specialty Squad Leader - 745
Stationed United States, France, Italy
Separated Fort Sheridan IL
Unit responsibility Fight the german military
Personal responsibility To prove that Japanese American people are loyal citizens of the U.S. and to help release Japanese American people from America's concentration camps so we can live free in America.
Major battles (if served in a war zone) North Appenines, Po Valley, Rhineland
Awards, medals, citations (individual or unit) Victory Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with thee bonze battle stars. Three overseas service bars, Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge
Living conditions On the front line,we slept in fox hole or dugout. In the rear, we slept in tents. We ate K rations on the front lines and ate in the mess hall in the rear. We took no baths in the front, but had showers in the rear area. For entertainment we played cards, read, visited towns, slept and told stories.
Most vivid memory of military experience I remember a member of our platoon sat by the trail and cried because his twin brother had just been killed. I was informed that a professor at the University of Chicago had his office trashed and a sign left - 'Go Home Dirty Jap'. The University president dismissed it as 'vandalism'. His name was Najita. I called him because my squad leader, killed in the next to the last fire-fight was named Najita. The professor was his brother. I wrote to the university president to inform her of this. She apologized and an article appeared in the school paper regarding this.
Missed most whilst in the military I missed my sleep, rest and privacy
Most important thing, personally, to come from military experience? I am proud that I fulfilled my duty as a U.S. citizen by serving in the armed forces. I can face anyone who challenges me because of my Japanese ancestry. However, I want to make clear that I do not consider myself a patriot. I was fighting for the rights of Japanese American people to live free in the United States. This freedom can be extended to all Asian American people because the general public identifies us as one and the same.
Additional information As minority spokesperson and member of the National Legislative Council of the AARP, I have been asked to speak to groups about America's concentration camps and being part of the effort to free the Japanese American people by serving in the 442. I organized the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society, in order to continue to inform the public about us and to record our continuing efforts to adjust to the racism through our oral history project.

Search the database

Tips on searching the database

Use Keyword to search for words and phrases occurring anywhere in the record other than in a personal name, for example: “ammo dump” “Lost Battalion” “Minidoka”.

Use Name to find the personal name of any veteran in the database.