George Oiye

Date: May 20, 2004, San Jose, California
Interviewers:
Ryan B, Sydney A, Bryce R, Jaime R, with Howard Levin

George Oiye was a second generation Japanese American who was born on February 19, 1922 in Mountain Creek, Montana.  He grew up in a small town in Montana called Trident with his two older sisters and younger brother.  In September of 1941 he enrolled at Montana State University where he studied to become an engineer and participated in the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC).  In the ROTC, Oiye was classified as 4C or “enemy alien,” which kept him from joining the military and even from taking certain classes at the university. Oiye wanted to join the Air Force and aid in the war efforts but was not allowed to join the military.  In 1943 President Roosevelt established the 442nd Regimental Combat Team – a military group assembled of Japanese American volunteers.  With the creation of the 442nd, Oiye was finally able to join the military and set off for Europe to fight in the war.  Oiye served throughout Italy and Germany – fighting in the Battle of the Lost Battalion and participating in the liberation of Dachau. George Oiye passed away on Feb. 28, 2006