Oral History Interview with Homer Yoshio Takashi
Nisei male, born June 9, 1918 in Sacramento, California. His father and uncle were partners in a general merchandise store in Loomis. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in October 1941 at the age of twenty-three and chose the horse cavalry as his branch of service. His unit was racially integrated. On December 8, 1941, stationed in El Paso, Texas, he was on patrol along the American border. When the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was formed in 1943 Homerï¿½s commander wrote a letter of commendation to join. Homer then went to Fort Shelby, Mississippi for infantry training. Initial rancor between Hawaiians and mainland Nisei dissipated after the Hawaiians visited an internment camp. Homer took leave to help his family prepare for evacuation. His father was gravely ill in a hospital and soon died. His mother and siblings went to Arboga Assembly Center, then Tule Lake, California, and then to Amache, Colorado. The Loomis store was closed; friends saw to its safety and rented the house. Four of the five brothers were in the army; one remained in camp to help their mother. Homerï¿½s unit landed in Naples, Italy and led the assault against Germans in Italy and France. Homer was among the troops to rescue the Lost Battalion of Texans. He was discharged in March 1945 and went to the University of Illinois on the G.I. Bill of Rights and bought a home with a Cal Vet Loan. The Takahashi family returned to Loomis by the time Homer was discharged. Loomis was a hot bed of racism but Auburn was worse. Store windows held ï¿½We do not serve Japsï¿½ signs and gas stations would not sell gas to Japanese. Fritz Kramer, of German descent, helped by delivering gas and oil to the Takahashis and other ranches. Charles De Costa formed the California Preservation League which stirred up hatred. The Veterans of Foreign Wars of Auburn denied Nisei vets membership but the Loomis American Legion was amenable and several Nisei Commanders served the Post. Eventually, the Nisei vets in the Sacramento area formed their own VFW Post #8985.
Transcript available at Sacramento State University, Sacramento University Library
3 Tapes of 3
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