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Primary Sources: America in World War II

Japanese Americans in World War II 

Japanese Americans faced unique challenges during World War II, as their loyalty to the United States was questioned due to their ancestry. Despite widespread discrimination and the internment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans, many individuals from this community demonstrated unwavering patriotism by serving in the U.S. military.

Approximately 33,000 Japanese Americans served in the armed forces during World War II, comprising the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and the Military Intelligence Service (MIS). These units became some of the most decorated in U.S. military history, earning numerous awards for their bravery and contributions to the war effort.

The 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, composed primarily of second-generation Japanese Americans, fought with distinction in Europe, often called the "Go for Broke" units. Despite prejudice and suspicion, these soldiers displayed extraordinary bravery and sacrifice, earning hundreds of Purple Hearts, Bronze Stars, and Distinguished Service Crosses.

The Military Intelligence Service, comprised mainly of Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans), played a crucial role in the Pacific Theater. They provided invaluable linguistic and intelligence support, translating intercepted Japanese communications and interrogating prisoners, which significantly aided Allied efforts in the Pacific.

The service and sacrifices of Japanese American soldiers during World War II challenged stereotypes and discrimination, earning them respect and recognition from their fellow soldiers and the nation. Their contributions helped secure victory for the Allies and paved the way for greater acceptance and opportunities for Japanese Americans in the post-war era. Despite enduring injustice and hardship, Japanese American veterans exemplified the highest ideals of patriotism, courage, and loyalty to their country.

Online Sources: Japanese Americans Serving in the U.S. Military 

Books - Japanese Americans Serving in World War II 

Videos on Japanese Americans Serving in World War II 

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