History June 8, 2018
An Interview with Virgil Westdale
In this interview, Virgil Westdale tells of his experiences growing up Hapa and fighting in World War II. After experiencing discrimination as a Japanese American pilot, Virgil changed his last name from Nishimura to Westdale. When the World War II draft came around however, Westdale was still identified by the U.S. government as Japanese-American, and was assigned to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a team composed of almost all second-generation Japanese-Americans, who fought in Europe. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team became the most decorated unit in the history of the American army. Westdale was later transferred to the 552nd Regimental Combat team, and tells of his experience in the liberation of a concentration camp in Germany.