Segment 1


Michael J. Doi was born in California. On 19 January 1942 Doi was inducted into the US Army at the age of 21. The army did not want to give him a rifle so he was sent to Camp Grant, Illinois which was a medical training center. Doi spent two and a half years at Camp Grant. After basic training he worked in the base hospital for a while before being assigned to run a clinic. At some point Doi was reassigned as a replacement to the 442nd, 100th Battalion [Annotators Note: 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team]. He was sent to a reception center in Chicago then on to Camp Blanding, Florida where he was issued a rifle and told that he was a rifleman now and no longer a medic. Doi was trained as an infantryman. His oldest and youngest brothers were also sent to Camp Blanding. His oldest brother could not keep up with them and was given a medical discharge and immediately went back to the internment camp. Doi was never in an internment camp. He was inducted before the evacuation. Doi was shipping out for overseas when his youngest brother was starting his training at Camp Blanding. Doi was very sick on the boat during the trip overseas. When they arrived in Naples, Italy Doi was assigned to A Company, 100th Battalion as a mortar man. Doi boarded a ship in Naples that took him to Marseilles, France. From Marseilles Doi went to Bruyeres where he saw his first combat. Every company had its own objectives. One of those objectives was the town of Bruyeres itself. The people of Bruyeres still remember what the men of the 100th Battalion did for them and have even erected a monument to them. Doi was sent back to a rest camp after the battle for Bruyeres for a shower and hot chow. They were only there for a short time when they got word that an outfit from the 36th Infantry Division had been cut off in the Vosges Mountains. This was the Lost Battalion. They were told that elements of the 36th Infantry Division had tried to get to the Lost Battalion but could not so they asked them to do it. Doi and the other Japanese American soldiers were mad because they had not gotten enough rest time but they went up there anyway. The fight to get to the Lost Battalion was the biggest battle Doi took part in. They lost a lot of men but they got to the Lost Battalion. After the battle General Dahlquist [Annotators Note: US Army General John Ernest Dahlquist was the commanding officer of the US 36th Infantry Division at the time of the rescue of the Lost Battalion in October 1944] wanted to see all of the guys from the 442nd to congratulate them for the battle they had done. When they formed up there were only a few of them. Some of the companies were down to 15, 20, or 30 men. Doi was one of only about 50 men left in his Company A. When General Dahlquist asked the colonel commanding the 442nd [Annotators Note: US Army Colonel Charles W. Pence] where all of his men were he told Dahlquist that he was looking at all that was left. Dahlquist finally pulled the 442nd back and assigned them to positions near Nice, France. Right after they moved to the Nice area they got a lot of replacements. His brother was one of them [Annotators Note: his younger brother Jimmy Doi]. Doi met his brother in France. Doi’s younger brother had heard that he was dead. There were five Doi’s in the company and Michael Doi was the only one to finish the war without a scratch. When they first went into action they dug in. Right about the time Doi was finishing his position they were told to move out. Doi was mad. The next day he went back to where he had dug his foxhole and it looked like it had been hit during the night. Doi feels that he was very lucky.


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