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"Subject: A story I never heard" Topic


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27 Jul 2022 4:52 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Subject: I story I never heard" to "Subject: A story I never heard"

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35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2022 1:29 p.m. PST


What happened when a Pearl Harbor attacker crash landed in Hawaii (msn.com)

link

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2022 2:11 p.m. PST

I have heard about it before. While it doesn't mention FDR by name, it was one of the reasons he made the presidential executive order for Japanese-American internment.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2022 2:23 p.m. PST

I had always heard there was no justification for the internment, but it seems there was actually some.

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2022 2:32 p.m. PST

I wonder what would have happened if this guy had not decided to help the Japanese pilot, and instead turned him into the authorities. Would he have been hailed as a hero, and would the Japanese-Americans been interned?

A great example of how one guy can make a whole group of people look bad.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2022 4:24 p.m. PST

I've never heard of the incidentbefore.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian27 Jul 2022 4:51 p.m. PST

I had always heard there was no justification for the internment, but it seems there was actually some.

As well as precedent. Some Germans were interned in WWI by US and UK, I believe.

R Leonard27 Jul 2022 4:59 p.m. PST

This story is nothing new. It appears earliest in Walter Lord's "Day of Infamy" published in 1957, 65 years ago.

Another journalist lacking in a history background jumping up with a lot of Puff Puff and saying "look! Look! this is new!"

It is not new.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2022 5:07 p.m. PST

I had always heard there was no justification for the internment, but it seems there was actually some.

Something that is often overlooked when discussing internment (probably because it is not widely known) is that it was only unconstitutional with regards to a portion of the internees, namely those born in the US (and thus citizens) who had shown no hostile intent.

Various immigration acts of the late 19th and early 20th centuries had not only limited or excluded the immigration of various Asian populations but had also barred them from naturalization. Prior to 1900, there were negligible numbers of Japanese in the US and the surge that occurred in the first decade of the century, ironically spurred in part by the Chinese Exclusion Act, was stifled and ultimately stopped in 1924. It is also important to understand that male Japanese immigrants massively outnumbered females throughout this period. Thus there was a much smaller number of births relative to the population size.

Thus in 1941 you had in the Japanese-American population a minority of people who are natural born citizens. The remainder, barred from naturalization, were still subjects of the Emperor of Japan and therefore, from December 8, 1941, enemy aliens. While morally repugnant, it was entirely legal to intern them. It was of course illegal and unconstitutional to intern those with citizenship without due process.

Speaking of due process, there was a small but not insignificant number of internees who legitimately earned their detention. When news of Pearl Harbor broke they announced their intention to sail to Japan and fight for the Emperor. Being generally young men and na´ve in the ways of the world, they fully expected to be allowed to leave, and thus made no bones about their intent to wage war on the US. It did not go well for them.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2022 5:16 p.m. PST

As well as precedent. Some Germans were interned in WWI by US and UK, I believe.

During WWII the US interned a significant number of Germans, Italians, Romanians, Bulgarians, and Hungarians. These were almost entirely non-citizens and thus "enemy aliens", although Fritz Kuhn's Bund crowd had some citizens who were interned. There was a great deal of consternation regarding the sizable numbers of Italian-Americans who were not naturalized citizens. There were too many to intern, so the government opted instead to monitor them.

35thOVI Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2022 5:27 p.m. PST

@R Leonard . I don't think the author said this was new. Many of us had just never heard the story. I personally have never read "Day of Infamy". So the story is new to us. The shows I have seen about the Japanese being in Interned, seem to gloss over this incident, as I assume, it detracts from the perspective they are trying to portray.

@Bill yes I believe you are correct.

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP27 Jul 2022 6:20 p.m. PST

It is not morally repugnant to intern enemy aliens. In fact in a major war it is the prudent thing to do. It is safer for the nation, and actually safer for them so they are not attacked by mobs, nor accused of crimes they did not commit.
That being said, it is morally repugnant for the US government to intern US citizens who have committed no crime and are not charged with any criminal act.
Other nations interned enemy aliens, the Japanese rounded up nearly all American, Dutch and UK citizens.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek

raylev327 Jul 2022 9:23 p.m. PST

Germans were also interned in WW2, although not in the same numbers as the Japanese.

Oddly enough, it's interesting to note that despite the incident noted in the article, Japanese on the Hawaiin Islands were NOT interred.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2022 11:10 a.m. PST

It is not morally repugnant to intern enemy aliens. In fact in a major war it is the prudent thing to do.

My statement applied to the wholesale internment of the Japanese-American immigrants. It was morally wrong because they were legally barred from seeking citizenship. No matter how long they had lived here, no matter how fervent their patriotism for the US, even if they had arrived as a young child and had known nothing but life as an American, they could never become a citizen. They were deprived of that opportunity solely on the basis of race*. Deliberately keeping people outside the protections of the law and then punishing them for the same is heinous.


* other "less desirable" groups that had limits on immigration, notably Jews, Slavs, and Greeks, had no bar to citizenship

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP28 Jul 2022 5:10 p.m. PST

Italian and German citizens were interned, though eventually most were released to Latin America. Only in the case of Japanese were US citizens interned, and then only on the mainland. Hawaii was, after all, massively garrisoned.

Everyone--including me, of course--disagrees with the internment now, but it was a tougher call then. Apart from that incident at Pearl and the young men attempting to leave to serve the Emperor, there was a Japanese espionage element, and, given the age distribution of the population, a lot of the locked-up citizens were minor children. We know now that Japan was incapable of a major attack on the Pacific coast, and that Axis use of "Fifth columns" was wildly exaggerated. FDR didn't know that, and the Japanese had already done things FDR's advisors hadn't thought them capable of pulling off. Easy to imagine an alternate history in which FDR is beaten up for NOT interning the Japanese, and so leaving the west coast vulnerable to attack.

Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP29 Jul 2022 8:19 a.m. PST

I also read of the crash-landed pilot in Lord's
book.

Don't recall that it had aught to do with the internnment
of west coast Japanese and Japanese-Americans. Could that
possibly have been due to a senior Army officer's
hysteria and/or 'Yellow Peril' induced racism?

If any good can be said to have come of it, the war
record of the 442nd RCT and the men who ssrved in it
stands prime.

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