The 442nd Infantry Regiment in World War II

This Monday is Memorial Day, a day in which we take time to honor the brave men and women who have given their lives for their country in war.  It’s also important to remember that May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. With that in mind here is a story that covers both.

The 442nd Infantry of the United States Army, was an Asian American unit composed of mostly Japanese Americans who fought in Europe during World War II.  The families of many of the Japanese American soldiers were subject to internment, the forced relocation of 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese along the Pacific Coast of the United States to “relocation camps”.  This was in response of Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

The 442nd was a self-sufficient fighting force and fought with uncommon distinction in Italy, southern France and, Germany.  The unit became the most highly decorated regiment in US Armed Forces history, with over 21 Medal of Honor winners.

The motto of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was “go for broke.” It’s a gambling term that means risking everything on one great effort to win big. The soldiers of the 442nd needed to win big. They were Nisei – American-born sons of Japanese immigrants. They fought two wars: the Germans in Europe and the prejudice in America.

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~ by daroldingram on May 28, 2010.

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