Gus Tanaka was released from Minidoka in late fall 1942 to attend Haverford College, a Quaker school in Pennsylvania. Two years later he was drafted into the Army, assigned to a training unit that would be providing replacements for the much-decorated all-Japanese American 442nd Battalion. But instead of sending him to the European front, the Army packed him off to language school in the Midwest and later to Japan to join the Army of Occupation. When the war ended he went back to Haverford to complete his degree, then to Long Island College of Medicine in Brooklyn to earn his M.D. After an internship and residency in New York, he and his young family moved to Ontario, Oregon, where his wife had lived as a child. There he practiced medicine for 35 years, including a stint as president of the Oregon Medical Association.

Hattie Kawahara, Ruth Nishino, and Gus Tanaka never came home to Portland. But they never forgot Reed.


Hattie Kawahara

Ruth Nishino

Gus Tanaka
Lauren Kessler is professor of journalism and coordinator of the creative nonfiction program at the University of Oregon. She won a 1994 Oregon Book Award for Stubborn Twig: Three Generations in the Life of a Japanese American Family. Other books include After All These Years: Sixties Ideals in a Different World and Full Court Press: A Season in the Life of a Winning Basketball Team and the Women Who Made It Happen.






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