Today in 1943, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was activated. The 442nd was a regimental size fighting unit composed almost entirely of American soldiers of Japanese descent who volunteered to fight in World War II even though their families were subject to internment. The 442nd, beginning in 1944, fought primarily in Europe during World War II. The 442nd was a self-sufficient force, and fought with uncommon distinction in Italy, southern France, and Germany. The 442nd is considered to be the most decorated infantry regiment in the history of the United States Army. The 442nd was awarded eight Presidential Unit Citations and twenty-one of its members were awarded the Medal of Honor for World War II. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team motto was, “Go for Broke.”
The video below depicts the story of the Distinguished 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Combat Regimental Team. The men in these units, comprised almost entirely of persons of Japanese ancestry, fought with uncommon bravery and valor against our nation’s enemies on the battlefields in Europe and Asia, even while many of their parents and kin were held in internment camps.