After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Gene Takahashi’s family was sent by the US government to an internment camp for Japanese-American citizens in Poston, Arizona. He remembers living in a small room with about 25 other people with limited resources.
After graduating high school, Takahashi enlisted in the United States Army. By enlisting, he wanted to show that Asian Americans could be proud and loyal American citizens.
During World War II, Takahashi served as a platoon leader in Korea. After his contract ended, he remained in the inactive reserves, where he went to college and got engaged to his future wife.
After receiving his degree, Takahashi returned to active duty. Overseas, he was captured by Chinese forces while fighting. As a POW, he escaped to Seoul and later rejoined his unit. He earned the Combat Infantry Badge and the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat.
Thank you for your service, Gene!
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Veterans History Project
This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at http://www.loc.gov/vets/.
Graphic designer: Aisha Han
Editor: Ashley Levi
Fact Checker: Tavia Wager