December 7th, 1941, Pearl Harbor, a U.S. Naval Base in Honolulu Hawai’i, along with other military installations were attacked by Japan. This act completely launched the U.S. into War in the Pacific and the Europe theater.
Immediately after Japan attacked military installations in Hawai’i the U.S. Government apprehended all Japanese immigrants including the patriotic American citizens of Japanese descent (Nisei as they were called), mainly from Hawai’i and the West Coast. Men, women, children and entire families were put into internment camps under lock and key, like prisoners. U.S. Soldiers of Japanese descent were ordered to be disbanded from the military and aspiring soldiers were not allowed to enlist.
Executive Order 9066: Led to the internment of more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans
General Delos Emmons, stationed in Hawai’i, did not disband all enlisted soldiers, but a few groups. To the cry of patriotic Japanese-American citizens who wanted to serve the country, General Emmons suggested that willing American citizens of Japanese descent should be able to contribute in the war. On February 1st 1943. President Roosevelt approved of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) comprised of more than 4,500 Japanese-American volunteer soldiers at its inception. There was only a call for 1,500 Nisei soldiers from Hawai’i, however, overwhelmingly 9,950 Nisei from Hawai’i originally volunteered.
The 442nd RCT mainly served in the European Theatre. “Go For Broke,” was adopted as the slogan for the 442nd Infantry of the United States Army. “Go For Broke” is a Hawai’i pidgin English phrase commonly spoken in Hawai’i. It means, “give it your all and do not hold back anything.” It was commonly shouted on the battlefield while advancing in a fight. The Nisei Soldiers fought hard and diligently to prove to the U.S. Government, their fellow citizens and their families that they were more than worthy to be citizens of the United States, not that they needed to.
To date, the 442nd RCT is recognized as the most decorated unit in American History, comprising over 18,000 awards from the Purple Heart to the Distinguished Service Cross and the Medal of Honor. Truly, these were “Heroes, More Than Worthy”
*Please Share This! For those in Hawai’i on the Island of O’ahu you have a unique opportunity to be part of the docu-movie remake “Go For Broke” as an extra. Directors are looking for Japanese looking people to act as nisei soldiers and extras of any ethnicity to act as civilians.