|Roy Matsumoto post War|
|General Frank Merrill with Nisei interpreters (Roy Matsumoto at Left)|
Nobody understood all these people talking, so I went out there. I took my field jacket, pistol belt and carbine, and helmet off and left them there. I went down there to find out what they were saying. I crawled down the side (of the hill). It was in the evening, total darkness. I got to their position and listened. I found out that the following morning at dawn, they were going to attack McLogan's sector. I reported this to McLogan. They thought they got us, but it turned out the other way. When they attacked at dawn, they were charging and yelling and everything: 'Death to Americans! Die! Banzai!' They got no response because we were not there. (Laughs)
They came further up the hill, and we opened up. They tried to retreat, so I issued an order to countermand that order that said to charge. I told them to "Charge!' in Japanese. They they jumped into foxholes, which were booby-trapped. Grenades go off and we're throwing hand grenades after that and firing. The dead were scattered all over.
|Roy Matsumoto at Right; one of 14 Nisei Patriots in the 2,700 member Merrill's Marauders; one of only 200 to make it home|
There was a certain dialect from this area of Japan. My folks came from Hiroshima so we had this Hiroshima dialect. The people that were attacking came from the 18th Division. I learned their dialect because twice a week when I was younger, I was a delivery boy. I delivered groceries in the United States, but the people I delivered to came from the same prefect as the men from the 18th Division. When they heard my voice in their dialect, they charged. According to many of the men, I saved six hundred lives twice-- once at Walawbum and then at Nhpum Ga."
~excerpted from "INTO THE RISING SUN"
by Patrick K. O'Donnell
Purchase INTO THE RISING SUN HERE