Distinguished service. This is the word with which the US military describes many enlistees of the 100th Orphan Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. But to do this would be similar to describing the Pacific as surmountable, for the members of the 100th and the 442nd are some of the most decorated soldiers of World War II, and for good reason. Both of these units fought some of the bloodiest battles of the war and have the Purple Hearts to show for it. Often invited to take the most difficult ground at tremendous cost, the men of these units had a price to pay and they should rightfully have their story told. Merely a synopsis of the actions in which these units have performed is not sufficient, however, as the soldiers of the 100th and the 442nd were poorly managed throughout the war, and endured harsh conditions other than solely in the heat of battle, for these men were second generation Japanese American soldiers – Nisei – who fought under Caucasians for Caucasian goals and yet fought perhaps better and harder than those above them. This is their story.


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