Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County


Full Text Newspaper ArticleWatsonville Register-Pajaronian. Sept. 23, 1944. p. 3

HARRY F. MADOKORO'S LETTER BEFORE DEATH
[Editorial]

To the Editor:

Since the Japanese have been evacuated from Watsonville in April 1942, they have been trying to do their part as good American citizens. Most of them were born and raised in Watsonville and knew no other home. They were at first a bit bewildered by and cynical because of the evacuation, but like all other average American kids they quickly accepted matters and began to show what a good background of democratic training and education had done for them. Many of them volunteered for service when they were permitted to and are now in the battle fronts or army camps working hard to show their townspeople they were no different from any other kid born in Watsonville.

Friends of Harry F. Madokoro will be sorry to hear that he was killed in action in Italy on Aug. 25. He volunteered for service in August of 1943 and had been overseas since April, 1944 with the infantry, an all American-Japanese division now fighting under the Fifth Army.

In a letter written eight days before his death on being told his outfit was receiving recognition in the news, he wrote: "As for the combat team doing its work you can rest assured we'll do our darnest so that we needn't take off our hats to any other outfit. I only wish I could get those bigots, those hate mongers - those super patriots here to see what Hell war is. Here in the front we're respected as fellow Americans fighting for the same cause and we're proud as hell to be in there pitching - doing our share of the work. My only hope is that I'll be able to go back just to see if it's all worthwhile."

Two other former residents of Watsonville, Raymond Matsughita and Tak Handa, who are members of the same infantry division were wounded in action in Italy in July.

BESSIE MATSUDA
20 Ogden St
Denver, Colo.

Copyrighted by the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. Reproduced by permission.