Susumu "Sus" Toyoda

Gender Male
Birth date 1919-10-3
Place of birth San Gabriel CA, U.S.A.
Inducted 1941-3-11, Fort MacArthur CA
Enlistment type Volunteer
Service branch Army
Service type War,peacetime
Unit type Combat,sup
Units served Co. A, 56th Med Bn, Ft Lewis, WA
Reception Center, Camp Wolters, TX
MISLS Graduated Savage, Dec. 1942) Camp Savage, MN
173rd Language Detachment, 37th Inf. Div.
MISLS, Ft Snelling, MN
MISLS, Presidio of Monterey, CA
OCINC, GHQ, Tokyo, Japan
ACSI, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
Military detailee to CIA
Military specialty Military Intelligence
POW Interrogation Officer (9316)
Interpreter (9332)
Instructor-Interpreter (89332)
Administrative Officer (2120)
Stationed USA: Ft. Lewis, WN; Camp Wolters, TX; Camp Savage, MN; Ft. Snelling, MN; Presidio of Monterey, CA; Pentagon, Washington, D.C.; Fort Holabird, MD
Other Countries: Noumea, New Caledonia; Bougainville, Solomon Islands; Luzon, Philippines; Tokyo, Japan; Tongnae, South Korea
Separated Camp Chinen, Okinawa
Unit responsibility 173rd Language Detachment, G-2, 37th Inf. Div. (Dec '43 - Aug '45): The division along with the Americal Div under the XIV Corps was responsible for the security of the Piva fighter and bomber strips used by our air units to attack Rabaul where there were Japanese air units. This entailed the defense of the perimeter set up around Empress Augusta Bay. Enemy units confronting us consisted of the main elements of the 6th Inf. Div. (23rd Regt.,45th Regt.,one Bn of 13th Regt.)(6th Div was known for the Rape of Nanking), an independent mixed brigade and other sundry units.

The 173rd Language Detachment was responsible for the exploitation of captured enemy documentation and materiel and interrogation of prisoners-of-war to develop enemy intelligence.

Personal responsibility My personal responsibility was to supervise the 6-men team and to participate in the translation of documents and interrogation of POWs. Also looked after the well-being of the team members.
Major battles (if served in a war zone) Defense of Torokina Bay Perimeter, Bougainville, Mar-Apr '44.
Lingayen Bay landing and drive south to and capture of Manila, Philippines.
Baguio Operations, Balete Pass operations, Cagayan Valley operations, in the Philippines.
Awards, medals, citations (individual or unit) Soldier's Medal - for saving life of a war correspondent from drowning when caught in a rip tide, Bougainville.
Bronze Star Medal in Bougainville, in recognition of meritorious service during combat operations while servings as a master sergeant.
Oak Leaf Cluster for Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service while serving as interpreter-aide to Commander-in-Chief, Far East Command, GHQ.
Living conditions BOUGAINVILLE: Living conditions in the jungle back in division Hqs area was much better than those experienced by men on the front lines. At least we slept in jungle hammocks slung between banyan trees. Later we were able to sleep on cots under 4-men pyramidal tents.

We first had to bathe and wash our fatigues in the nearby river. Later we dug a well and through bartering, equipped our solar heated shower with pipes, hand pump, shower head and a half of a 50 gallon drum mounted on a wooden tower. Water was pumped up into the exposed tank in the morning and by late afternoon we had the luxury of warm water bathing.

Initially our food was limited to rations (C and K) but as the combat subsided we were treated to such delicacies as spam, powdered eggs, dried potatos, and powdered milk. At times this fare was supplemented by tasty, captured Japanese field rations obtained from the quartermaster unit through bartering.

Our primary source of entertainment was the movies under the stars whenever the Japanese bombers failed to show. At times, we went swimming at the beach. Or we went to the bomber strip, like half of the guys on the island, just to ogle the army nurses who had flown in on medevac planes.

Perhaps I should explain how we managed to barter for the various items from other army units on the island. We had on our language team imaginative and resourceful men and we decided we would reproduce near authentic Japanese flags much like those carried by the Japanese troops. We would not represent them as captured ones but those made by us for barter purposes.

First, we went to the parachute supply unit for discarded silk parachutes and promised them a reproduced flag. The parachute was then taken to the quartermaster unit for cutting to size and hemstitching with the same promise of a flag. We borrowed our detachment commander's wash pan, carefully centering it in the middle of bare flag, and dripped candle wax around the edge of the pan. When the wax cooled we lifted the pan off, leaving a perfect circle. Then inside this waxen circle we smeared indelible red ink obtained from the Signal Corps. After the ink dried we washed the wax off with white kerosene obtained from the kitchen crew for a promise of a flag. One of our crew was an excellent calligrapher who inscribed the Kanji often found on the authenic flags, and then the others added their fictitious signatures. Then the bartering began and we enjoyed some of the good things of life.

Our thriving enterprise ended on an unexpected development. One day a sailor from one of the ships in the Empress Augusta Bay harbor came into our tent and asked if we could translate the text on a flag he had just purchased for $150.00. Much to our surprise it was one of ours! Our detachment commander decided then that our spurious flag making capability would be terminated.

Most vivid memory of military experience My most memorable experience occurred in May of 1955, while serving as interpreter-aide to General Maxwell D. Taylor, Supreme Commander Allied Powers. The General asked me to accompany him to the Japanese Foreign Ministry to finalize the transfer of F-86 and T-33 aircraft parts to Japan for fabrication and eventual use by the fledgling Japan Air Self Defense Force.

U.S. and Japanese working teams had been negotiating the terms of the agreement for the past several months and there was only one sticking point in the 10 points on the agenda. This was which country was to defray the cost of transportation. Japan wanted the U.S. to pay for transportation costs. Our stand was directly the opposite. (The morning before we went to the Foreign Ministry I noted in the cable traffic that a State department message stated that if the Japanese insisted on their position that we would concede.)

At the Foreign Ministry we were joined by the US Ambassador Allison and three State Dept. representatives from Washington, our Chief of Staff Hickey, and several other staff officers and 'strap hangers' selected by General Taylor. Across the conference room arrayed along a long table, were Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu, who speaks perfect English, Defense Minister Keikichi Masuhara, the Finance Minister and several other ministers and their 'strap hangers.'

The negotiations proceeded very smoothly and quickly until the sticking point. Then Mr. Shigemitsu, known for his horse-trading tactics, startled both side by solemnly stating, 'The Japanese Government greatly appreciates the United States Government's assistance in this matter, but Japan regrets she cannot afford to accept the US position on point number ten.' It appeared as though all hell broke loose behind the Foreign Minister as I could clearly hear the Japanese advisors speaking in Japanese and telling the Foreign Minister, 'We cannot afford not to accept the US position.'

I took out my note pad and wrote 'We have them on the run. Recommend silence.' and passed it along our side of the table. For the longest time both sides kept their silence, then the Foreign Minister spoke up and said, 'I do not know how Japan will pay for the transportation but we accept the US position. '

My American colleagues criticized me for helping make Japan pay on point number ten; they derided me while being of Japanese ancestry that I did not have more empathy for the Japanese. I told them, in the first place, I am an American and that I did what I did because I wanted the Japanese side to retain their dignity in this agreement which in most part the costs were borne by the US.

Missed most whilst in the military Home cooking.
Most important thing, personally, to come from military experience? I shall be forever grateful for the privilege of having had the opportunity to serve under outstanding leaders. They instilled in me a strong sense that one could advance in grade only by hard work and thorough knowledge of one's position.
Additional information In retrospect, after 20 years in the service, I consider myself as having been the luckiest man in the Army. I had the distinct honor and privilege of serving four 4-star Generals, namely, Matthew B. Ridgway, Mark W. Clark, John E. Hull and Maxwell D. Taylor as their interpreter-aide during the occupation in Japan.

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