Go For Broke

National Education Center

The question of loyalty. The loyalty of Japanese Americans came under fire. Many of the Issei, or first-generation immigrants, had lived and worked in the US for decades. Their children, the Nisei, were American citizens by birth. Yet every individual of Japanese descent was viewed with distrust and fear.

The proof of loyalty. When confronted with such distrust, many Japanese Americans responded with resounding demonstrations of national allegiance. For many Nisei men, they chose to join the Allied fight. More than 30,000 Japanese Americans served in the military. These included volunteers from incarceration centers, where their families remained behind barbed wire fences.

The 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, consisting of nearly all Nisei men, would become the most decorated unit in US history for its size and length of service, with more than 18,000 individual awards shared among them. Together with those who served in the Pacific Theater and China-Burma-India Theater in the Military Intelligence Service, these Nisei were credited with saving countless lives at the cost of many of their own.

The question of loyalty.
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