Go for Broke: A Pictorial History of the Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442d Regimental Combat Team
The Japanese-American Nisei warriors of the 100th/ 442d earned 9,486 purple hearts and numbered 680 of their comrades in arms as killed in action. Their individual decorations for bravery include a Congressional Medal of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 588 Silver Stars, and 5,200 Bronze Stars. Their unit recognitions include 87 Division Commendations, 36 Army Commendations, and a truly remarkable seven Presidential Unit Citations. Dubbed "the little men of iron, " their valorous service made the 100th/442d the most highly decorated unit in American military history. Who were these men? Why did they fight so hard? First and foremost, they were Americans, no different from the millions of other GIs who served in World War II. Still, there were differences, differences that at the beginning of the war made them feared, their loyalty suspect. Over 100,000 Japanese Americans, 70,000 of whom were native-born American citizens, were summarily rounded up and transported to ten concentration camps scattered around the United States. When they were allowed to volunteer, male Japanese-American internees stepped forward in droves, going for broke individually in order regain the honor that had been stolen by an ignorant and fearful country.
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