Minoru M. "Min" Kumagai

Gender Male
Birth date 1918-12-17
Place of birth Fresno CA, U.S.A.
Inducted 1941-11-17, San Pedro CA
Enlistment type Draftee
Service branch Army
Service type War
Unit type Combat
Units served 442nd RCT and 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment
Military specialty Surgical Technician
Stationed U.S.A. - Camp Lee, VA; Camp Shelby, MS; Fort Benning, GA; France; Germany
Separated Sacramento CA
Unit responsibility 517th Parachute Infantry was to overtake the Germans.
Personal responsibility I served in station hospitals. Sterilized instruments and prepared operating room for use. Prepared patients for operations and administered hypodermic injections. Assisted in transporting patients to and from operating rooms. Treated minor injuries and gave first aid treatments.
Major battles (if served in a war zone) Central Europe Go 40 WD 45
Awards, medals, citations (individual or unit) Good Conduct Medal; WWII Victory Medal; American Defense Service Ribbon; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; Sharpshooter M1 Rifle.
Living conditions I slept out in the field most of the time. I bathed by using my helmet by boiling the water. Meals were field rations. Entertainment was much of nothing.
Most vivid memory of military experience 1.I went overseas as a corporal T5 and after serving with the 517th unit just 2 months as a combat medic, I was promoted to staff sgt. (T3) 2. Serving as a medic with the 517th unit, we did not have the Geneva Cross on our helmets or wear armbands due to the fact medics were being shot at. 3. Being threatened by other GIs because I was a Japanese American. This happened to me 2 times. The GIs threatened to shoot me on sight. 4. I made one combat jump but Patton's Armor Division already overran the town. 5. When I finally got to see my parents in Jerome, after one year of not knowing where they were. I stood at the entrance of Jerome and looked at the barbed wire and the watch tower. Standing there, dressed in an Army uniform. I had tears in my eyes because my parents, brother and sister were in a concentration camp. I had written letters to my parents but they were censored. 6. My biggest thrill was being accepted to paratroop school at Fort Benning. I passed the rigid training and made 4 qualifying jumps. Then 2 months later, I was sent to Lille, France (Mar '45)
Missed most whilst in the military Freedom, I was restricted most of the time.
Most important thing, personally, to come from military experience? To get along with all peoples.
Additional information 1. Graduated parachute school earned paratroop wings. 2. On VJ Day, I was an MP. 3. Started a cigarette lighter collection when I received a lighter with my initials from a German POW.


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