Roy Sato

Roy Sato was born in Stockton, California in 1926. Soon after Roy was born, the family moved to Fresno, California, where Roy attended elementary school and high school. Roy was a junior in high school when WW II began and President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. The Sato family was held in the Fresno Assembly Center until October 1942 and then transported to Jerome Internment Camp in Arkansas. Later when Jerome closed, the family was moved again to the Rohwer Internment Camp. When Roy turned 18, he moved to Chicago and looked for a way to join the military. He finally managed to be drafted, after a series of half truths and not sharing the true condition of his health. Roy arrived overseas and joined up with the 442nd Regimental Combat Unit. After the war, he resettled in Sacramento and began a career first in aircraft repair and eventually the air conditioning business.

Video Timeline

Note: To listen to a specific clip, move the slider on the video to the designated clip time listed below.

00:00 – Introduction

00:18 – Clip 1
Life after Executive Order 9066; The last day of school before going to internment camp. Family unit created by his immediate family and 49 church members upon going to internment camp in Fresno.

02:03 – Clip 2
Life in camp after family is sent to internment camp in Jerome, Arkansas. School and getting his first job in camp in Jerome, Arkansas.

04:34 – Clip 3
Signs up for the draft at age 18; army lists him as 4C “Enemy Alien”; qualifies to join the navy, but forced to join army to replace 442 casualties.

07:20 – Clip 4
Military training; leave and going to France by boat (zig zag trip across Atlantic) met the 442nd.

10:02 – Clip 5
442nd moves back slightly from the front line, but still in great danger;dentist’s office gets hit while he’s having his teeth drilled.

11:59 – Clip 6
Arrives in Italy on first day of the Spring Offensive;Trained as a flame thrower and driver; While making a delivery one friend is captured by enemy, one friend drops supplies and runs, the rest return safely.

14:05 – Clip 7
Life after leaving camp, settling in Sacramento and how he was treated after the war.

Video production provided by the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium –

Photo Gallery

Primary source images to accompany Roy Sato’s story. Images provided by Roy Sato – Elk Grove Unified School District.

More Interviews

Select another World War II interview