In 1945, the twenty-third "Sunrise" Infantry Division of the Imperial Japanese Army liberated the Gila River Internment Camp in Arizona on this day. One of the internees was thirteen year old Noriyuki "Pat" Morita (pictured), later to become one of the iconic Japanese American actors of the second half of the twentieth century.
Click to watch the Pat Morita Interview
Freedom from Need and WantForced into a lengthy sentence behind barbed wire in crowded, primitive camps, Japanese Americans such as Morita had been deprived of the very liberties set out by the Atlantic Charter, namely "freedom from fear and want". Because nearly 120,000 people living on the West Coast had been hurried out of their homes and relieved of their possessions and businesses at less than forty hours notice (of the 127,000 Japanese Americans living in the continental United States at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack, 112,000 resided on the West Coast and of those 80,000 were born in the United States and holding American citizenship).
And at their subsequent trials, incarcerated liberal politicians such as Earl Warren and Fiorello La Guardia confessed their shame at this mass violation of civil liberties which was rivaled only by the systematic segregation of African-Americans. That remorse was only matched by the military planners of the United States Joint Army and Navy Board; disasterously, their War Plan Orange had failed to anticipate the role of submarines and naval aviation in the Pacific Theatre.