During the early years of World War II, Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated from their homes in the Pacific coast states because military leaders and public opinion combined to fan unproven fears of sabotage. As the war progressed, many of the young Nisei, Japanese immigrants' children who were born with American citizenship, volunteered to serve in the United States military.
Servicemen in the U.S. Army
The majority of Japanese Americans serving in the American armed forces during World War II enlisted in the army.
100th Infantry Battalion
The Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion was engaged in heavy action during the war taking part in multiple campaigns. The 100th battalion was made up of Nisei from Hawaii originally a part of the Hawaii National Guard. Their exemplary military record and the patriotism established by the Varsity Victory Volunteers paved the way for the creation of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which was also an all-Nisei force.
442nd Regimental Combat Team
The Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team was an all-Nisei U.S. Army regiment which served in Europe during World War II. The 442nd arrived in Europe after the 100th Infantry battalion had already established its reputation as a fighting unit. In time, the 442nd became, for its size and length of service the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.
522nd Field Artillery Battalion
The all-Nisei 522nd Field Artillery Battalion was organized as part of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team; but towards the end of the war, the 522nd became a roving battalion, shifting to whatever command most needed the unit. The 522nd had the distinction of liberating survivors of the Dachau concentration camp system, from the Nazis on April 29, 1945. Nisei scouts west of Munich near the small Bavarian town of Lager Lechfeld encountered some barracks encircled by barbed wire. Technician Fourth Grade Ichiro Imamura described it in his diary:
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