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  • When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, a complicated predicament arose for the Japanese population in the USA. They looked just like the enemy.

  • President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, which opened the door for the relocation and incarceration of approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans. All incarcerated were forced to sell their homes and businesses at great losses.

  • The Japanese Americans were sent to Assembly centers and then to Concentration Camps located in California, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arkansas, and Texas.

  • The Japanese Americans in Hawaii remained relatively untouched. Their large numbers and vital labor sustained the Hawaiian economy rendering it impossible for the Japanese to be incarcerated or removed from the islands.

  • On June 5, 1942, enlisted Japanese American men from Hawaii secretly boarded the SS Maui bound for Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. On board were the 1,432 men and officers that formed the 100th Infantry Battalion, Separate.

  • The 100th Infantry Battalion "Separate" designation meant that it was an independent combat unit unattached to a parent regiment. The US government was unsure what to do with this unit.

  • The 100th Battalion landed in Italy September 1943. In five months the suffered 300 dead and 650 wounded.

  • The 100th was nicknamed the "Purple Heart Battalion" having earned 1,703 medals.

  • On June 11, 1944, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, made up of more Japanese American men from Hawaii and the mainland US concentration camps, joined the 100th Battalion soldiers in Italy.

  • The 100th/442nd campaigns' took them through Italy, France and Germany. The rescue of the "lost battalion" (a Texan unit of 211 men) in France brought the 100th/442nd a lot of recognition but at the cost of 800 casualties.

  • The 100th/442nd received 18,143 individual decorations for valor and seven Presidential unit citations, making the the most highly decorated unit for its size and duration in American military history.On August 2000, 22 Medals of Honor were added to the roster.

  • Japanese Americans provided invaluable work in Military Intelligence in the Pacific that shortened WWII by at least 2 years.

  • Japanese Americans also proved invaluable workers on the home front as the 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion.


100th/442nd Campaign Highlights:

Naples-Foggia, September 1943 - January 1944

Rome-Arno, January 1944 - September 1944

Rhineland, September 1944 - March 1944

Central Europe, march 1944 - May 1945

Po Valley, April 1945 - May 1945

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