OBITUARY: Masaji Gene Uratsu

Masaji Gene Uratsu

URATSU, MASAJI GENE, 93, was born July 5, 1917 in Berkeley, CA; passed away on March 14, 2011 in San Rafael. Raised mostly in Placer County but spent 5 years in Japan with his grandparents. Graduated from Loomis Union Grammar School and Placer Union H.S.

Joined the U.S. Army in March 1941 and was a member of the first graduating class of the U.S. Army’s Military Intelligence Service (MIS) Japanese language program conducted at the Presidio of San Francisco’s Crissy Field. While his family was interned during WWII at the Tule Lake, CA and then Amache, CO relocation camps, he served in the South Pacific during the war with the MIS, 158th RCT, and 163rd RCT interrogating Japanese prisoners of war and translating captured documents. His WWII military service is documented in several history books and oral interviews.

Married Hiroko Mayeda in 1946. Additional military assignments included the U.S. Army’s G-2 Historical Section in post-war Japan; the Korean War; a second tour to Japan with the Japanese Liaison Section under United Nations Command; Japanese language aide to the U.S. military Civil Administrator in Okinawa; and final station at the Army Language School at the Presidio of Monterey before retiring from the U.S. Army in 1962 after 21 years of service.

Following his military career, he was a sales executive in the San Francisco office of Northwest Airlines from 1963-1981.

In retirement, he enjoyed traveling, gardening, golfing, Oakland A’s baseball, and his family. Survived by wife Hiroko, four daughters, two grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, two brothers, and many nieces and nephews. Private family burial in June at Newcastle Cemetery in Placer County. Family requests no donations or koden.

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