Segment 1


Jimmy Doi was born in Oxnard, California in 1925. Growing up in California was great until the war started. Doi was 16 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. By the time he was 17 he was in an internment camp. A year and a half after his interment he was released from the camp so he could enter the workforce. He got job in Cleveland then moved to Chicago. He was working for about eight months when he got drafted. When Doi first reported after getting his draft notice he was told to go home because he had Japanese blood in him. He went back to Chicago and got a job in a defense plant. He had been there for about two weeks when he received a notice from the draft board notifying him that his classification had been changed from 1A to 4C. He was now considered an enemy alien even though he had only been to Japan one time when his parents took him to visit his grandparents when he was about five years old. About three months later he got another notice. This one told him that he had been reclassified from 4C back to 1A and that he was to report to Fort Sheridan. From Fort Sheridan he was sent to Camp Blanding, Florida. When he got to Camp Blanding his brother was there [Annotators Note: Jimmy Doi's brother, Michael Doi, served as a mortar man in Company A, 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team]. Had he been sent when he was originally drafted he would have ended up in the same unit as his brother. After completing his training he went aboard the Queen Mary and steamed to Glasgow, Scotland. From Glasgow they went to either Liverpool or Southampton then on to Le Havre, France. When they got to the 442nd Combat Team they were going to be assigned to a company. As soon as Doi got off the truck, another soldier who was a friend of his brother walked up to him and told him that his brother had been killed in action five or six days earlier. In November [Annotators Note: November 1944] Doi was sent down south to the Maritime Alps where they went into defensive positions. Around 12 December a friend of Doi asked if he wanted to go with him to Nice. He did. In Nice, Doi and his friend watched a group of girls in bikinis play volley ball. Doi and his friend watched the game for about an hour then left to go to a store so his friend could buy some perfume. Doi waited outside while his friend went in. While he was waiting outside Doi saw a group of about four soldiers approaching him. One of them looked very familiar. It was his brother [Annotators Note: Michael Doi] who he had heard was dead. The timing had been perfect. Had Doi not stopped to watch those girls play volley ball he would have missed his brother and not known that he was not dead until after the war. Doi went into the service on 12 April 1944 and was discharged on 8 March 1946. He reenlisted that same day and stayed in the army until 1949. Doi reenlisted because his parents had been living close to Hiroshima. He was the only one in his family who was single so when the army offered to send anyone who reenlisted where ever they wanted Doi stepped up. Doi did not speak any Japanese and had to rely on directions his sister had given him to find his parents home but he did. Doi approached his father and tapped him on the shoulder. His father was shocked to see him. It was the first time his father had ever hugged him. His mother was very sick at the time and was confined to the house. Doi had an uncle who told him through a translator that his father was always a suspect because he would always brag about having four sons in the United States Army. Doi's oldest brother, who was 17 years older than him, was drafted right out of the internment camp. His brother was so small that they could not find a uniform that would fit. He was eventually discharged and sent back to the internment camp.


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