Young Oak Kim
Interview Length: 2:43
INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT: And the first evening I spent primarily with Doc Kometani, and he didn't go out in the field either so he was in the tents. And so we spent the evening talking. The next morning, a soldier came, and I was assigned to a tent and so I stayed there. And he woke me up and told me that the tank commander was coming in just to meet you. So I got dressed and ready, and they told me about 8:00. So 8:00, I was in the building and reported to, and it's the first time I had met Lieutenant Colonel Farrant Turner. And I just entered, dropped it on his desk, saluted and said, “Lieutenant Young Kim reporting for duty.” It was that simple because that was all that you were required to do. He looked up at me and he says, “you know, I don't think you realize that this is a Japanese unit, and of course you're Korean.” He says, “historically, you know, the Japanese and Koreans don't get along.” He said, “I'll have you transferred.” And I said, “Sir,” I said, “they're Americans and I'm an American, and we're going to fight for America, so I want to stay.” He looked kind of startled. He said, “well, you know, all the other officers who have preceded you were not Japanese Americans.” Well, they didn't have the term "Japanese American" in those days. Those who were not Japanese all wanted out. “And so the process has been set up. I can have you transferred first thing in the morning.” I said, “no sir, I want to stay.” He said, “well…” He was startled and stunned I think for a moment. And, all of a sudden, he smiled. He said, “well, you can stay, but you are going to be on probation. See how well you can get along with the men.” With that I saluted, turned around and left.
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