Keiji "Kay" Yata

Gender Male
Birth date 1927-1-25
Place of birth Los Angeles CA, U.S.A.
Inducted , Los Angeles CA
Enlistment type Volunteer
Service branch Army
Service type War
Unit type Combat
Units served 7th Div. MECZ. Cav. Rcn. Trp. Seoul, Korea
Military specialty Jeep driver/ interpreter
Stationed USA: Camp Beale, CA; Ft. Knox, KY;
Other Countries: Seoul, Korea; Shizuoka, Japan
Separated Camp Stoneman CA
Unit responsibility To patrol the 38th parallel and monitor the N. Korean Army.
Personal responsibility Jeep driver in scout section of platoon also drove company commander.
Awards, medals, citations (individual or unit) W.W. II Victory Medal
Korean Occupation Medal (Japan)
Living conditions We were stationed in Japanese Army barracks in a large area with 7th Div. Q.M., 7th Div. Band, 601st Malaria Detachment Grp.
Most vivid memory of military experience The Korean people couldn't understand how a Japanese could be in the U.S. Army. They wanted to know how I, a Japanese, was in a U.S. Army uniform. The Koreans didn't realize Koreans and Japanese had emigrated to Hawaii and U.S. and we were born there and citizens.
Missed most whilst in the military Rice, plain (steamed) rice
Most important thing, personally, to come from military experience? As a boy of 14 years of age, I and both parents were interned at Heart Mtn., Wyoming. As a U.S. born citizen and to be interned as an enemy of U.S. was an outrage. We are Orientals, our facial and physical feature are not Anglo. We will always be a minority even after all these generation in America. Are we totally intergrated now or just tolerated?
Additional information After service in the Army, my father, mother and I started a business. We three worked very hard from early morning to late at night. After 2 years, my father passed on. My mother and I had to work harder to pay off debts. I am now nearly 70 years of age. The last 50 years of work and play has produced 3 children and 1 grand child. A good wife makes me a very contented retiree.

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