Hubert Yoshida: Marine Corps Platoon Commander | Vietnam Veteran | Operation Utah


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By Ryan Fugit. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Hubert Yoshida is a Vietnam Veteran who served as a U.S. Marine Corps Platoon Commander from 1965-1966 near Chu Lai in the central part of Vietnam with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines. He and his platoon fought in the bloody Operation Utah, a significant battle from March 4-7, 1966, which saw over 700 KIA between the North and South Vietnamese forces and Marines. Hubert has a fascinating story that begins as a child in a Japanese prison camp in the U.S., to leading Marines on the front lines, and then transitioning to an exceptionally successful career in senior executive roles in the private sector. Today, he’s writing a book about Operation Utah to tell the story of the hundreds of Marines who fought there and is looking for anyone who may have served in that battle.

  • 2:20 - Growing up in a prison camp for US citizens of Japanese ancestry.
  • 7:17 - Family history in both the Japanese and US military.
  • 8:41 - Had to enlist to serve in Vietnam to then earn a commission.
  • 9:15 - Gets put in a data processing unit.
  • 10:56 - Parents were disappointed he joined the Marine Corps after a degree in physics and math from Berkely and not going to grad school.
  • 15:17 - First sighting in Vietnam was an Army Sergeant in underwear drinking a beer on the beach.
  • 18:06 - Gets permission from the CO to go on a mission to a nearby village in first contact.
  • 18:34 - The unit is ambushed on their first mission.
  • 33:17 - Lead up to Operation Utah. Intel on the 21st NVA Regiment moving into Chu Lai.
  • 36:17 - Initial flights into the battle were shot down, including an A-4 Skyhawk and H-34 by fifty caliber machine guns.
  • 39:26 - Call from Battalion Commander to support another company to close a gap in the flank and recover a separated platoon.
  • 41:14 - A suicide mission.
  • 49:57 - Guilt in leaving the dead behind to make sure the wounded were carried out.
  • 50:55 - Secures perimeter one of his men gets killed they call in air strikes.
  • 58:23 - Recognizing the importance of the battle in your life and something you think about almost every night.
  • 58:59 - The story of believing he lost a radio man haunts him to this day and only later found out the radio man lived through the event.
  • 1:05:41 - Returning home from Vietnam and assigned to Camp Pendleton.
  • 1:06:19 - Having to notify a young widow of her husband’s passing in Vietnam.
  • 1:07:52 - Leaves the Marine Corps after the death notification and joins IBM.
  • 1:08:45 - Returning to Vietnam in 2016 to revisit his steps.
  • 1:15:34 - Never provided direction to children in terms of joining the military.
  • 1:17:45 - Would have done it again.
  • 1:18:21 - Really proud to have been in the Marine Corps.
  • 1:20:33 - Carrying a pocket bible through the deployment (one in English, one in Korean).

45 episodes