The 442nd Regimental Combat Team

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The Japanese-American battalion in WWII which was one of the most decorated units in American military history while many of their family members back home were imprisoned in internment camps.

The 100th performed so well in training that, on January 1, 1943, the U.S. Government reversed its decision on Japanese Americans serving in the armed forces, and approved the formation of a Japanese American combat unit. The U.S. Army called for 1,500 volunteers from Hawaii and 3,000 from the Mainland. An overwhelming 10,000 men from Hawaii came forth. However the announcement was met with less enthusiasm on the Mainland, where the vast majority of draft age men of Japanese ancestry were held in internment camps.

President Roosevelt announced the formation of the 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team (the “Go For Broke” regiment), famously saying “Americanism is not, and never was, a matter of race or ancestry”. Nevertheless, families of the regiment’s members remained interned.