Beachwood Canyon in the 1940 Census, Part III: The Domestics of Hollyridge Drive

May 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

The 2300 and 2400 Blocks of Hollyridge Drive in the 1940 Census/Courtesy

Scattered throughout the pages of the 1940 Census are Beachwood Canyon’s live-in servants, who were few in number except on this short stretch of Hollyridge Drive. The page above lists six: three housemaids and three houseboys. Two of the maids were African-Americans from Texas, while the other was a California-born Japanese-American. Of the houseboys, two were Japanese-Americans born in California, both of whom listed Hiroshima as their residence five years earlier. The third was a Guamanian who listed his 1935 residence as Guam.

The future of the three young Nisei–Shiro Masuda, 18; Shigeyuki Nakao, 20, and Nobuko Kanegai, 20–is sadly obvious. They were among the 20,000 Los Angeles area Japanese-Americans who were forcibly relocated in the spring of 1942, first to the Assembly Center at Santa Anita racetrack and then to internment camps in California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. Though my search of the National Archives registry of internees turned up no information on the three, it seems impossible that they would have escaped the fate of U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. It is possible that Masuda and Nakao, given their ages, might have volunteered for military service while interned. In that case they probably would have served in Europe, either in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team or the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion. My research continues in the Army’s archives; I’ll let you know if I find anything.

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