Requested assignment in Europe to avoid combat in the Korean War

Transcripts available in the following languages:

I graduated high school in 1953. Of course my father told me you’re going to go into business, so therefore you’re going to go to business school. I started off in engineering and finally ended up going to school of business and did the normal thing. In those days it was primarily economy, economics, and marketing. So that’s what I did.

And that was a period in which the Korean War was just ending but still I was afraid of the draft. Most of my friends… when they graduated high school they were subjected to the draft. I was afraid of the draft. When I went to the University of Santa Clara my option was to go to the ROTC (Reserve Officers' Training Corps) program, or not to. Well I figured it was safe to say…because I wasn’t very smart, and I could flunk out of school. If I flunk out of school, I’m going to get drafted. So I joined the ROTC program. Naturally when I graduated I was commissioned. Otherwise I would’ve…if I said I wanted to go to Japan after my commissioning, I was afraid I was going to end up in Korea. So I said I want to go to Europe. After I graduated Santa Clara University I was assigned to France and my branch of service was the Quartermaster corps because I was afraid to go into combat (laughs).

Date: March 22, 2018
Location: California, US
Interviewer: John Esaki
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

draft education ROTC

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