WWII 442ND MEDIC JAPANESE AMERICAN GO FOR BROKE BAG BOX MEDICINE PATCH MAP For Sale
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WWII 442ND MEDIC JAPANESE AMERICAN GO FOR BROKE BAG BOX MEDICINE PATCH MAP:
WWII 442ND JAPANESE AMERICAN MEDIC MINATA LOT PHOTO BAG BOX W/MEDICINE PATCH MAP You are looking at a lot of WWII related items from the estate of George Akira "Ike" Minata, , who was a Staff Sergeant with the medical company of the US 442nd Infantry Regiment. The 442nd is the most highly decorated unit for its size and length of duty in American history. The lot includes the following:
1) Original canvas Flyers Kit Bag made by Apollo Bedding Inc.
2) Original wooden medical supplies box with 12 medicine boxes inside. The top of the box has directions to the medical barracks hand written in Japanese. The cardboard medicine boxes have both English and Japanese text. Some have the original vials inside.
3) Original color photo of Minata in uniform.
4) Original theater made patch of the WWII 34th Infantry Division.
5) 4 page hand drawn and written map and key pages of the "barracks of Okayama Dispatched Division". This is dated October 10th 1945 so it must have been the barracks installed after Okayama was overrun by the US military.
6) Minata's personal copy of Our Leave In Switzerland book. His name is signed inside the front cover. The cover of the book is starting to peel
The Japanese American Nisei Congressional Gold Medal is an award made for the Japanese American World War II veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service. The Congressional Gold Medal is the most prestigious award given to civilians in the United States for achievements and contributions. The medal was approved to be made by Congress in 2010 to honor the Japanese Americans who had served in the American representatives, including Soldiers, widows and family members associated with the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442d Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service, collectively known as "Go for Broke," will descend upon the nation's capital this November to receive the Congressional Gold Medal.
The three-day event, with speeches and presentations at the World War II Memorial, U.S. Capitol Emancipation Hall, and the Washington Hilton, will recognize many whose families spent years in prison as a result of political persecution.
On Feb. 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the internment, allowing local military commanders to designate military areas as exclusion zones from which "any and all persons may be excluded."
As a result, about 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese were relocated to War Relocation Camps, though the policy was applied unequally.
The power was used to declare all people of Japanese ancestry excluded from the entire Pacific coast -- including all of California and most of Oregon and Washington. In Hawaii, however, where more than 150,000 Japanese-Americans made up over one-third of the territory's population, only about 1,500 were interned.
SUS ITO DRAFTED BUT FAMILY INTERNED
"I just turned 21 in 1940," said Sus Ito, who was born on July 27, 1919, and raised in Stockton, Calif.
"About the second draft call in October or November, my number came up. About five of us in Stockton were drafted and our families showed up at the train station.
"They were so proud of us, even before we were inducted. We had to take a train from Stockton to Sacramento where the physicals were conducted. I had flat feet but the Army took me and sent me to Quartermaster school where I repaired trucks at Camp Haan near Riverside, Calif.," Ito said.
Born in a farming community, Ito's parents were sharecroppers where he grew up in an unpainted shack with no running water and a latrine outside they had to dig themselves.
But after Pearl Harbor happened, things changed.
"They took the rifle I had away, and they didn't know what to do with us. The Army wanted me to go to MIS -- intelligence -- to learn Japanese which I said was limited. But on Dec. 7, some Japanese in the area were rounded up and I was told to help interview them. I refused because I was never keen on the type of war the intelligence did," Ito said.
He ended up at Fort Sill, Okla., but he said he was bored with the civilian-like activities.
"I was a mechanic in the motor pool and about the only time we all got together was at 6 a.m. at reveille, where we had to have our heads counted. The rest of the day was not at all like the Army," Ito said.
Then, in 1943, after about a year there, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team was formed.
"They chose a number of us to become cadre as a basis of forming a combat team, and I was among those selected and very happy about that to get out of the boring civilian job," he said.
He was sent to Camp Shelby, Miss., not far from Fort Sill, where he thought he'd end up in the infantry.
"But they put me in artillery and I don't know, maybe they had a record of my flat feet, but I could walk with the rest of them. And again I had a very boring job of being a motor sergeant in charge of trucks. I wished for a more active environment," Ito said.
Always open for new assignments, Ito heard that a staff sergeant, the same rank as he was in a gun battery learning how to direct artillery fire and reconnaissance, and was about to resign his position.
"So I went and volunteered and got accepted. It was almost like being inducted in the Army again. I was so happy about this," Ito said.
Soon after Pearl Harbor, though, his whole community was interned.
"I got to visit them once, but I was not there when they were taken off to camp. We kept in touch by mail and my mother wrote at least once a week. I recall vividly in those letters, she was proud I was in the Army, as most Japanese were, because they respected Soldiers as much as teachers," Ito said.
"But she always wrote saying, 'don't expose yourself or volunteer for any hazardous duty.' I never told her what I did until I got back in December 1945," Ito said.
Despite all of the hazardous duties and experience he had, Ito said he never had the fear or thought that he would not come back.
"I suppose now I'd be scared out of my pants but I wasn't even wounded. And throughout the war, I don't recall any incident when there was anyone who was really afraid of becoming a casualty," Ito said.
Throughout the war, Ito carried three cherished items: a bible, "which I didn't read too much;" a little Argus 35mm camera, with which he took more than 70-some odd rolls of photos he gave to the Japanese American National Museum in L.A., Calif.; and a senninbari -- a thousand-stitch belt his mother made for him.
"When she was in Rowher (War Relocation Center) Camp in Arkansas, my mother made me this nice looking belt she made out of a bleached flour sack with about a thousand red French knots and a picture of a tiger painted on it, but I never wore it. It was such a nice looking thing that I wrapped it up in cellophane and carried it in a waterproof packet the whole time. I was ashamed to have a Japanese Soldier's item with me, so I never told anyone," he said. "I think in retrospect, that probably brought me back."
HISTORY OF 442nd RCT
The 442nd fought in Italy, southern France and Germany, becoming the most highly decorated regiment in the history of the United States armed forces for its size and length of service. More than 18,000 individual decorations were awarded for bravery, 9,500 Purple Hearts and seven Presidential Distinguished Unit Citations, including 21 Medal of Honor recipients.
When the United States entered World War II in 1941, there were 5,000 Japanese Americans in the U.S. armed forces. Many were discharged when Pearl Harbor was attacked and those of draft age were classified as 4-C, "enemy aliens," despite being U.S. citizens.
In Hawaii, however, a battalion of Nisei (first generation born in America) volunteers was formed in May 1942. As the 100th Infantry Battalion, they were sent to North Africa in June of 1943 where they joined the 34th Division in combat.
By September 1943, they were sent to Italy where they saw fierce combat and came to be known as the "Purple Heart Battalion" due to their high casualty rate.
Then in January 1943, the War Department announced the formation of the segregated 442nd Regimental Combat Team made up of Nisei volunteers from Hawaii and the mainland. In June of 1944, the 442nd joined forces with the 100th Infantry Battalion in Europe and incorporated the 100th into the 442nd.
Because of the success of Nisei in combat, the draft was re-instated in January 1944 for Nisei in the detention camps. The effort was meant to bolster the ranks of the 442nd. Eventually, the 442nd RCT consisted of the 2nd, 3rd, and 100th Battalions; the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion; the 232nd Engineering Company; the 206th Army Band; Anti-Tank Company; Cannon Company; and Service Company.
LAWSON SAKAI AND HIS FAMILY ESCAPED INTERNMENT
For Lawson Sakai, it was a little different growing up in Los Angeles, Calif., thanks to certain circumstances.
"We were not interned. In 1941, I was attending Compton Junior College and of course with the evacuation I had to leave school, so then we were able to leave on our own and go to Colorado. I was 19 and living in Grand Junction and attending Mesa College from the fall of 1942 to the spring of 1943," he said.
When he tried to enlist in the military, he was rejected based on his enemy alien government classification. In Hawaii, he remembered, 10,000 boys signed up immediately because they weren't in prison.
He said in the beginning of 1942, the government split the west coast states by drawing a line, north and south. Those on the east of the line were safe and those on the west, the ocean side, had to evacuate.
"We were on the ocean side where we lived in L.A., so we moved to the east side of the line and thought we'd be safe. But then a few weeks later, they said everybody in California had to be evacuated," Sakai said.
Thanks to a Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Colorado, the FBI sent his family a post card saying they could drive out, because the church was sponsoring them.
"Somehow we were picked, so we decided on the way we would stop at Manzanar (War Relocation Center in California) to visit friends," he said.
They drove through the gate to the main headquarters of the camp and were told to "look around at the barbed wire fences, machine gun towers, Soldiers with weapons," so get out while they can.
"We decided not to see our friends, so we got in the car and drove back to the fence and the same guard let us out. We were there 30 minutes," Sakai said.
When enlistment opportunities opened up for Japanese Americans to serve in a segregated unit, recruiters ran into trouble, remembered Sakai.
"On the mainland, most of the Japanese population was in prison camps, so the recruiters had to go to each camp and try to talk the prisoners into volunteering and for the most part they said, 'go to hell. Give us our freedom and we'll go to war,' so the recruiters had a very tough time. For the rest of us not in prison, we had it a little easier," Sakai said.
In 1943, though, he immediately volunteered for the 442nd RCT.
"In the Army, we were treated just like any other GI. But when we were training in Camp Shelby, Miss., Gen. Dwight Eisenhower didn't want us, so we continued training for a whole year," Sakai said.
Things changed for the 442nd when in September 1943, the 100th Battalion from Hawaii was shipped to North Africa to join the 34th Division where they became known as the Purple Heart Battalion because of their fierceness in battle in Italy, Sicily, Enzio and up into Rome.
They were so highly regarded that Gen. Mark Clark of the 5th Army told his senior leaders that he wanted more Japanese.
"So that's why the 442nd finally, in May of 1944, got shipped from the mainland to Italy to join the 5th Army," he said.
For a year and a half, Sakai served in all of the 442nd campaigns in Italy and France, including the liberation of Bruyeres, France and the rescue of the Lost Battalion where he was seriously injured. For his actions, he received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman Badge.
FOLLOWING THE WAR
Sus Ito got out of the Army and "used every bit of the GI Bill" to receive a PhD in biology and embryology. He taught at Cornell Medical School in New York City and then joined the Harvard Medical School in Boston where he became a tenured professor in 1967, and stayed until his retirement in 1990.
At 92, he still goes into work for the fun of it.
After leaving the service in December 1945, Lawson Sakai attended Pepperdine College and operated a travel agency in San Jose, Calif.
Recently, he led a group of 53 to Bruyeres, France, for the 60th anniversary of the liberation. He also hosted a group from Bruyeres when they stopped in San Francisco before leaving to visit their sister city in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Even though he has a bad back at 88, he reports he's still able to walk upright.
CONGRESS APOLOGIZES FOR INTERNMENT
In 1988, Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed legislation which apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government. The legislation said that government actions were based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership." The U.S. eventually disbursed more than $1.6 billion in reparations to Japanese Americans who had been interned and their heirs.
This year, Soldiers and their families, many of whom were interned during that "failure of political leadership," who fought and died for their country, will be presented with a Congressional Gold Medal by one of their own, Sen. Daniel Inouye.
Inouye fought with the 442nd RCT and later won the Distinguished Service Cross which was upgraded to the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton, alongside 19 other Nisei servicemen who served with him.
THOUGHTS ON THE GOLD MEDAL
For Sus Ito and his fellow Nisei veterans, to serve in the military was in itself an honor, he said, as well as a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate their dedicated patriotism.
"We tried to accomplish this by living up to the tradition of "Go for Broke" or going all out for everything asked of us," Ito said. "Having the Congressional Gold Medal bestowed on the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team and the MIS will be a most cherished award that must be dedicated to those among of us who lost their lives in WWII, to the many veterans no longer with us, and to those who cannot be here for the medal presentation. We who are still able to be here accept the Congressional Gold Medal with pride and humility."
Lawson Sakai said he doesn't care about the honor of the Gold Medal.
"But I think it's great. We did what we did and we got our freedom back," he said, remembering those years of internment.
"It was just one of the bad times when politics and military took over and there was no common sense. But this recognition, it's nice because it's the highest honor that the government can give, so it's nice," Sakai said.
Honor Flight Network, a non-profit organization created solely to honor America's veterans for all their sacrifices, is transporting the 427 veterans of the 442nd to attend the Congressional Gold Medal ceremonies in Washington, D.C.
George Minata, a combat medic staff sargeant with the “Go for Broke” 442nd Regiment serving in World War II passed away peacefully at Hospice House South on April 13, 2016, age 93.
George was born January 5, 1923 in Troy, MT., the middle child between sisters Marie and Grace of Kansuke and Haruko Minata.The family moved to Bonners Ferry, Idaho where his parents owned and operated a hotel and restaurant.
George was a three sport athlete in high school excelling in football, wrestling and track.
He attended the University of Idaho on a football scholarship, majoring in Chemistry, Pre-med classes and enrolled in the ROTC program.
When World War II broke out, the Minata family’s businesses were boycotted and they were forced to sell pennies on the dollar.
George was prevented from playing road games on the coast with his team, the Vandals.
Even so, when the Army in 1943 asked Japanese Americans to help fight the Germans, he eagerly enlisted.
Their unit, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team served in Italy.
George was a Purple Heart and Bronze Star recipient.
In November 2011, the 442nd plus the 100th Infantry Battalion and Military Intelligence Service were honored at a Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony and gala in Washington D.C.
After the war, George changed his major to study Pharmacy on the G.I.
Bill at Washington State College in Pullman, WA.
It was in Spokane where he met the sister of an Army buddy in 1946.
Aiko Heyamoto became the love of his life and they married December 19, 1948 (67 years).
He obtained his Pharmacy degree in 1951, a Rho Chi and Kappa Psi Society member.
After graduation he worked at Whitlock’s Pharmacy in the Paulsen Bldg.
in downtown Spokane.
Despite an attractive offer to stay and manage the pharmacy, George opted to open his own independent store in 1958.
Esmeralda pharmacy was a fixture in Hillyard next to the Bend Restaurant.
He owned the business until 1982 when he sold the prescription files to pharmacist Steve Moore.
Another pharmacist Henry Tombari worked for him for years.
George’s wife Aiko did the bookkeeping and he couldn’t have done without his front-end team, the ‘girls’ Marlene, Theresa.
Mena and Marsha.
Also his buddy, Gale Starmer, kept the floors shining like mirrors.
It was like family.
George had a long and wonderful retirement.
He now had the time to fish, hunt, pursue real estate opportunities.
He resumed playing golf, a sport he could share with his wife and family.
He was a member of the Spokane Nisei Golf Club and shot his ‘age’ several times in his seventies and eighties.
George is survived by his wife Aiko, his two daughters, Laura (Bill) Kodama, Sydnee (Chris) Snowden, grandson Matt (Kellie) Kodama and two great-granddaughters Lan and Lia.
He is also survived by his sister Grace (Kaz) Kayahara and their sons Ken and Geoff.
Along with his parents, George is preceded in death by his sister Marie Minata and his infant grandson Brett Ellison Kodama.
Visitation will be Saturday, April 16th from 8am 5pm at Heritage Funeral Home, 508 N. Government Way.
Cremation to follow.
A memorial service is being planned on May 23, 2016.
An announcement with further details will be made in the future.
In lieu of floral tributes, those who wish may make a contribution to the Highland Park United Methodist Church at E. 919 Hartson, Spokane, WA.
George Minata was born in Troy, Mont. He moved with his family to Bonners Ferry, where his dad ran a restaurant and owned a half-block downtown, leasing to several businesses. He played football and basketball, graduating from high school and earning a football scholarship to the University of Idaho.
He was an all-American boy.
Right up until he became an “enemy alien.”
Minata, a first-generation Japanese American, found himself swept up in one of the most shameful chapters of American race relations: the anti-Japanese fever that followed the attack on Pearl Harbor, leading to the internment of American citizens in camps or forced removal from coastal areas. Minata’s family lost their land and businesses after community boycotts; he was prevented from playing road games on the coast with the Vandals.
“I could play the home games in Moscow,” Minata said. “It was just hysteria. I had to even fight with my own teammates.”
And so, when the country came calling in 1943, asking Japanese-Americans to help fight the Germans in World War II, you’d think Minata would have had a quick, dismissive answer. But he, along with thousands of other Japanese Americans, enlisted. Their segregated unit – the 442nd Regimental Combat Team – became the most decorated of the war for its length of service.
All for the privilege of coming home and facing the same racism they’d seen before.
“There were times,” said Minata’s wife, Aiko, “that we’d go into a restaurant and would sit there and wouldn’t be served.”
A measure of recognition and appreciation has come to members of the 442nd as the years have passed, and they’re being presented with the Congressional Gold Medal next week in Washington, D.C. The Minatas are among a small Spokane contingent traveling to the Capitol for the ceremony.
George – who goes by “Ike” – is as effusive about this honor as he is about his experiences in the war or the way he was treated before he went.
“I don’t have too many feelings about it,” he said. “It’s nice. … The only problem is, we hate to travel anymore.”
Minata was a medic during the war. An ROTC student at Idaho, he’d seen most of his fellow students go on to become officers. He was among the first members of the 442nd when it was formed in 1943; in the fall of that year, he and his fellow soldiers were in Italy, in the thick of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.
In July 1944, as they were fighting in the hills around Cecina, he and another medic were hauling away an injured soldier on the front lines when mortar fire rained down on them.
“I got hit through the neck and back and both legs,” Minata said.
His fellow medic’s arm was shredded. “The fella we were carrying before we got hit” – and here Minata starts to chuckle – “he got up and took off. I don’t how, but he did.”
Minata’s companion carried him to safety in a nearby barn; eventually he was hospitalized in Rome for a month, and then spent more time in a rehab unit. And then he rejoined the 442nd until the end of the war.
Even then, the Army asked Minata to stay on. He politely declined. He returned to America, landing in New York on Christmas Day 1945 after losing all his money gambling on the way home. Eventually he found his way to Spokane, where his family had moved.
Aiko, whose family had been relocated to the Minidoka camp in Southern Idaho, had come to Spokane with her brother, who had served with Minata. The two met in 1946 and married in 1948. George went to pharmacy school in Pullman and returned to Spokane, where they raised their daughters.
Among the topics that were not part of regular family conversation were George’s experiences in Italy.
“I didn’t know very much about any of this until we started going to (442nd) reunions in Hawaii,” Aiko said. “All the veterans would talk about the old days. That’s how I learned about these things. He didn’t say anything.”
The heroism of the 442nd is made all the more poignant by how little right America had to ask it of them. Minata doesn’t talk about this much – when I asked him why he hadn’t been angry and resentful, why he’d been willing to risk his life, he referred me to a written history of the Nisei fighters that mentions their strong sense of honor and loyalty and that included this line: “There is an old Japanese proverb that goes: If you do something really good and you don’t talk about it, it must be really, really good.”
Mike Mukai is a Spokane man whose late father, Tomeo, also served with the 442nd. Tomeo Mukai hadn’t been forced into a camp, but his family had to leave behind a West Side farm and move to Moses Lake.
Mukai said that for many Japanese-Americans, the decision to serve was a complicated one. They felt horrified by the attack on Pearl Harbor, and they were ashamed that their loyalty was called into question.
“I think that there was a lot of shame for the Niseis that were in camps themselves,” he said. “They were loyal Americans and they were stuck away in a camp and there was no way to prove their loyalty, and so it was kind of shameful.”
In the end, the 442nd compiled an amazing record. They served a crucial role across Europe in the final battles of the war. To the 14,000 Japanese-Americans who served, there were more than 18,000 medals awarded.
And if, like many of the World War II generation, Minata is subdued about the award, the rest of his family is not.
“Our two daughters think it’s great,” Aiko said. “We’re taking both of them.”
On Nov. 2, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) joined in honoring 33 World War II Japanese American veterans from Washington state with the highest civilian award in the United States.
The Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony took place in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center’s Emancipation Hall, where hundreds of Nisei veterans from across the country were honored.
The Nisei veterans from Washington honored hail from communities across the state, including Auburn, Bellevue, Bothell, Edmonds, Friday Harbor, Gig Harbor, Issaquah, Kent, Seattle, Shelton, Silverdale, Spokane, and Vancouver.
The ceremony honored members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Services of the United States Army. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was one of the most decorated units in military history, bringing home 21 Congressional Medals of Honor, 33 Distinguished Service Crosses, 559 Silver Stars, 22 Legions of Merit, 4,000 Bronze Stars, and 9,846 Purple Hearts.
Honorees from Washington state:
Daniel E. Takehara — AuburnRobert Y. Handa — BellevueShigeru Momoda — BellevueYukio B. Yoshihara — BellevueWilliam T. Yasutake — BothellMasaru H. Odoi — EdmondsRoy H. Matsumoto — Friday HarborJimmie Kanaya — Gig HarborRoy H. Inui — IssaquahFrank T. Matsuda — IssaquahMitsuru Hayashi — KentSakae S. Aoyama — SeattleRoy N. Fujiwara — SeattleFrancis M. Fukuhara — SeattleHiroshi H. Hirano — SeattleTsuguo Ikeda — SeattleGeorge Iwasaki — SeattleThomas T. Kobayashi — SeattleFrank K. Nishimura — SeattleToshikazu Okamoto — SeattleMatthew M. Seto — SeattleTed T. Yasuda — SeattleArt S. Yorozu — SeattleMitsuru Takahashi — SeattleSaburo Tsuboi — SeattleJames T. Suzuki — SheltonStanley S. Segawa — SilverdaleCharles T. Furumasu — SpokaneGeorge A. Minata — SpokaneFred A. Shiosaki — SpokaneGeorge T. Yamada — SpokaneEisaku Hiromura — VancouverTeruo Yamashita — Vancouver (end)
The 442nd Infantry Regiment is an infantry regiment of the United States Army and is the only infantry formation in the Army Reserve. The regiment is best known for its history as a fighting unit composed almost entirely of second-generation American soldiers of Japanese ancestry (Nisei) who fought in World War II. Beginning in 1944, the regiment fought primarily in the European Theatre, in particular Italy, southern France, and Germany. Many of the soldiers from the continental U.S. had families in internment camps while they fought abroad. The unit's motto was "Go for Broke".
The 442nd Regiment is the most decorated unit in U.S. military history. Created as the 442nd Regimental Combat Team when it was activated February 1, 1943, the unit quickly grew to its fighting complement of 4,000 men by April 1943, and an eventual total of about 14,000 men served overall. The unit earned more than 18,000 awards in less than two years, including 9,486 Purple Hearts and 4,000 Bronze Star Medals. The unit was awarded eight Presidential Unit Citations (five earned in one month). Twenty-one of its members were awarded Medals of Honor. In 2010, the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and associated units who served during World War II, and in 2012, all surviving members were made chevaliers of the French Légion d'Honneur for their actions contributing to the liberation of France and their heroic rescue of the Lost Battalion.
Arriving in the European Theatre, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, with its three infantry battalions, one artillery battalion and associated HQ and service companies, was attached to the 34th Infantry Division. On 11 June 1944, near Civitavecchia, Italy, the existing 100th Infantry Battalion, another all-Nisei fighting unit which had already been in combat since September 1943, was transferred from the 133rd Infantry Regiment to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Because of its combat record, the 100th was allowed to keep their original designation, with the 442nd renaming its 1st Infantry Battalion as its 100th Infantry Battalion. The related 522nd Field Artillery Battalion liberated at least one of the satellite labor camps of Dachau concentration camp and saved survivors of a death march near Waakirchen.
The 442nd saw heavy combat during World War II, and was not inactivated until 1946, only to be reactivated as a reserve unit in 1947 and garrisoned at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. The 442nd lives on through the 100th Battalion/442nd Infantry Regiment, which has maintained an alignment with the active 25th Infantry Division since a reorganization in 1972. This alignment has resulted in the 100th/442nd Infantry Regiment's mobilization for combat duty in the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, in which the unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation. With the 100th/442nd Infantry Regiment the last infantry unit in the Army Reserve, the 442nd's current members carry on the honors and traditions of the historical unit.Contents1 Background2 Training and organization3 Reunion with the 100th4 First contact5 Hill 140 and Castellina6 Antitank Company7 Vosges Mountains7.1 Bruyères7.2 Biffontaine8 Lost Battalion9 General Dahlquist's legacy10 Champagne Campaign11 522nd Field Artillery Battalion12 Gothic Line13 Service and decorations14 Original Fight Song15 After the war15.1 Revolution of 195416 Demobilization and rebirth17 Notable members18 In popular culture19 See also20 References21 External links21.1 Resources21.2 Media21.3 OrganizationsBackground
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "442nd Infantry Regiment" United States – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (March 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)Most Japanese Americans who fought in World War II were Nisei, born in the United States to immigrant parents. Shortly after the Imperial Japanese Navy's attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Japanese-American men were initially categorized as 4C (enemy alien) and therefore not subject to the draft. On 19 February 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing military authorities
to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion.
Although the order did not refer specifically to people of Japanese ancestry, it was targeted largely for the internment of people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast. In March 1942, Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, head of the Western Defense Command and Fourth Army, issued the first of 108 military proclamations that resulted in the forced relocation from their residences to guarded relocation camps of more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast, the great majority of the ethnic community. Two thirds were born in the United States.The 442nd Regimental Combat Team hiking up a muddy road in the Chambois Sector, France, in late 1944In Hawaii, the military imposed martial law, complete with curfews and blackouts. As a large portion of the population was of Japanese ancestry (150,000 out of 400,000 people in 1937), internment was deemed not practical; it was strongly opposed by the island's business community, which was heavily dependent on the labor force of those of Japanese ancestry, unlike businesses on the mainland. There, business interests competed with those of Japanese Americans, and many bought up Japanese American properties that had to be surrendered. It was accurately believed that an internment of Japanese Americans and Japanese immigrants in Hawaii would have had catastrophic results for the Hawaiian economy; intelligence reports at the time noted that "the Japanese, through a concentration of effort in select industries, had achieved essential roles in several key sectors of the economy in Hawaii." In addition, other reports indicated that those of Japanese descent in Hawaii "had access to virtually all jobs in the economy, including high-status, high-paying jobs (e.g., professional and managerial jobs)," suggesting that a mass internment of people of Japanese descent in Hawaii would have negatively impacted every sector of the Hawaiian economy. When the War Department called for the removal of all soldiers of Japanese ancestry from active service in early 1942, General Delos C. Emmons, commander of the U.S. Army in Hawaii, decided to discharge those in the Hawaii Territorial Guard, which was composed mainly of ROTC students from the University of Hawaii. However, he permitted the more than 1,300 Japanese-American soldiers of the 298th and 299th Infantry Regiment regiments of the Hawaii National Guard to remain in service. The discharged members of the Hawaii Territorial Guard petitioned General Emmons to allow them to assist in the war effort. The petition was granted and they formed a group called the Varsity Victory Volunteers, which performed various military construction jobs. General Emmons, worried about the loyalty of Japanese-American soldiers in the event of a Japanese invasion, recommended to the War Department that those in the 298th and 299th regiments be organized into a "Hawaiian Provisional Battalion" and sent to the mainland. The move was authorized, and on 5 June 1942, the Hawaiian Provisional Battalion set sail for training. They landed at Oakland, California on 10 June 1942 and two days later were sent to Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. On 15 June 1942, the battalion was designated the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate)—the "One Puka Puka".
Partly because of the actions of the 100th and the Varsity Victory Volunteers, the War Department directed that a Japanese-American Combat Team should be activated comprising the 442d Infantry Regiment, the 522d Field Artillery Battalion, and the 232d Engineer Combat Company.
The order dated January 22, 1943, directed, "All cadre men must be American citizens of Japanese ancestry who have resided in the United States since birth" and "Officers of field grade and captains furnished under the provisions of subparagraphs a, b and c above, will be white American citizens. Other officers will be of Japanese ancestry insofar as practicable."
In accordance with those orders, the 442d Combat Team was activated February 1, 1943, by General Orders, Headquarters Third Army. Colonel Charles W. Pence took command, with Lieutenant Colonel Merritt B. Booth as executive officer. Lieutenant Colonel Keith K. Tatom commanded the 1st Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel James M. Hanley the 2d Battalion, and Lieutenant Colonel Sherwood Dixon the 3d Battalion. Lieutenant Colonel Baya M. Harrison commanded the 522d Field Artillery, and Captain Pershing Nakada commanded the 232d Engineers.
Colonel Charles W. Pence, a World War I veteran and military science professor, commanded the regiment until he was wounded during the rescue of the "Lost Battalion" in October 1944. He was then replaced by Lieutenant Colonel Virgil R. Miller.
The US government required that all internees answer a loyalty questionnaire, which was used to register the Nisei for the draft. Question 27 of the questionnaire asked eligible males, "Are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the United States on combat duty, wherever ordered?" and question 28 asked, "Will you swear unqualified allegiance to the United States of America and faithfully defend the United States from any or all attack by foreign or domestic forces, and forswear any form of allegiance or obedience to the Japanese emperor, or any other foreign government, power or organization?"
Nearly a quarter of the Nisei males answered with a no or a qualified answer to both questions in protest, resenting the implication they ever had allegiance to Japan; some left them blank. Qualified answers included those who said, yes, but criticized the internment of the Japanese or racism. Many who responded that way were imprisoned for evading the draft. Such refusal is the subject of the postwar novel No-No Boy. But more than 75% indicated that they were willing to enlist and swear allegiance to the U.S. The U.S. Army called for 1,500 volunteers from Hawaii and 3,000 from the mainland. An overwhelming 10,000 men from Hawaii volunteered. The announcement was met with less enthusiasm on the mainland, where most draft-age men of Japanese ancestry and their families were held in internment camps. The Army revised the quota, calling for 2,900 men from Hawaii, and 1,500 from the mainland. Only 1,256 volunteered from the mainland during this initial call for volunteers. As a result, around 3,000 men from Hawaii and 800 men from the mainland were inducted.
Roosevelt announced the formation of the 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team, saying, "Americanism is not, and never was, a matter of race or ancestry." Ultimately, the draft was instated to obtain more Japanese Americans from the mainland and these made up a large part of the 14,000 men who eventually served in the 442nd Regiment.
Training and organization
The 442nd in training: building then attacking across a pontoon bridge at Camp ShelbyThe 100th Infantry Battalion relocated to Camp Shelby in Mississippi. Eventually, the 100th was joined by 3,000 volunteers from Hawaii and 800 from the mainland camps. As a regimental combat team (RCT), the 442nd RCT was a self-sufficient fighting formation of three infantry battalions (originally 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions, 442nd Infantry, and later the 100th Infantry Battalion in place of the 1st), the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, the 232nd Engineer Company, an anti-tank company, cannon company, service company, medical detachment, headquarters companies, and the 206th Army Band.
Although they were permitted to volunteer to fight, Americans of Japanese ancestry were generally forofferden to fight in combat in the Pacific Theater. No such limitations were placed on Americans of German or Italian ancestry, who were assigned to units fighting against the Axis Powers in the European Theater. There were many more German and Italian Americans than Japanese Americans, and their political and economic power reduced the restrictions against them. Many men deemed proficient enough in the Japanese language were approached, or sometimes ordered, to join the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) to serve as translators/interpreters and spies in the Pacific, as well as in the China Burma India Theater. These men were sent to the MIS Language School at Camp Savage, Minnesota to develop their language skills and receive training in military intelligence. While the 442nd trained in Mississippi, the 100th departed for Oran in North Africa to join the forces destined to invade Italy.
Reunion with the 100th
Organization chart of the 442nd RCT after its reunion with the 100th Battalion in 1944The 442nd Combat Team, less its 1st Battalion, which had remained in the U.S. to train Nisei replacements after many of its members were levied as replacements for the 100th, sailed from Hampton Roads, Virginia, on 1 May 1944 and landed at Anzio on 28 May. The 442nd would join the 100th Battalion in Civitavecchia north of Rome on 11 June 1944, attached to the 34th Infantry Division. The 100th was placed under the command of the 442nd on 15 June 1944 but on 14 August 1944, the 100th Battalion was officially assigned to the 442nd as its 1st battalion, but was allowed to keep its unit designation in recognition of its distinguished fighting record. The 1st Battalion, 442nd Infantry at Camp Shelby was then redesignated the 171st Infantry Battalion (Separate) on 5 September 1944. The 100th Battalion's high casualty rate at Anzio and Monte Cassino earned it the unofficial nickname "Purple Heart Battalion."
A 442nd RCT squad leader, Sergeant Inouye, checks for German units in France in November 1944.The newly-formed Nisei unit went into battle together on 26 June 1944 at the village of Belvedere in Suvereto, Tuscany. Although the 100th was attached to the 442nd, its actions earned it a separate Presidential Unit Citation. Second and Third Battalions were the first to engage the enemy, in a fierce firefight. F Company bore the worst fighting. A, B, and C Companies of the 100th were called into combat and advanced east using a covered route to reach the high ground northeast of Belvedere.:34 The enemy did not know that the 100th was flanking the German exit, trapping them in Belvedere. C Company blocked the town's entrance while A Company blocked the exit. Meanwhile, the 442nd's 2nd Battalion was receiving a heavy barrage by the Germans from inside Belvedere, and the Germans remained unaware of their situation. B Company stayed on the high ground and conducted a surprise attack on the German battalion's exposed east flank, forcing the Germans to flee and run into C Company, which then drove the Germans to A Company.
All three companies went into action boldly facing murderous fire from all types of weapons and tanks and at times fighting without artillery support.... The stubborn desire of the men to close with a numerically superior enemy and the rapidity with which they fought enabled the 100th Infantry Battalion to destroy completely the right flank positions of a German Army.... The fortitude and intrepidity displayed by the officers and men of the 100th Infantry Battalion reflects the finest traditions of the Army of the United States. Presidential Unit Citation Review
The 442nd, along with its first battalion, the 100th, kept driving the enemy north, engaging in multiple skirmishes until they had passed Sassetta. The battle of Belvedere showed that the 442nd could hold their own and showed them the kind of fighting the 100th Battalion had gone through in the prior months. After only a few days of rest, the united 442nd again entered into combat on 1 July, taking Cecina and moving towards the Arno River. On 2 July, as the 442nd approached the Arno, 5th Battalion engaged in a hard-fought battle to take Hill 140, while on 7 July the 100th fought for the town of Castellina Marittima.
Hill 140 and CastellinaFor the first three weeks of July, the 442nd and its 1st Battalion, the 100th, were constantly attacking German forces, leading to 1,100 enemy killed and 331 captured.:51
Hill 140 was the main line of enemy resistance. A single German battalion held the hill and, along with the help of artillery, had completely wiped out a machine-gun squad of L Company of the 3rd Battalion and G Company of 2nd Battalion except for its commander.:36 A constant barrage of artillery shells were launched against the 2nd and 3rd Battalions as they dug in at the hill's base. The 442nd gained very little ground in the coming days only improving their position slightly. The 232nd Engineers aided the 442nd by defusing landmines that lay in the 442nd's path. The entire 34th Division front encountered heavy resistance. "All along the 34th Infantry Division Front the Germans held more doggedly than at any time since the breakthrough at Cassino and Anzio.":37 Hill 140 had been dubbed "Little Cassino" as the resistance by the Germans was so fierce. "Hill 140, when the medics were just overrun with all the casualties; casualties you couldn't think to talk about." The 2nd Battalion moved to the eastern front of Hill 140 and 3rd Battalion moved to the western front, both converging on the German flanks. It wasn't until 7 July when the last German resistance was taken down that the hill came under the 34th Division's control.
On the day Hill 140 fell, the battle for the town of Castellina Marittima began. The 100th began its assault on the northwestern side of the town taking the high ground. Just before dawn, 2nd Platoon C Company moved into town, encountering heavy resistance and multiple counterattacks by German forces but held them off. In the meantime Company B moved north into Castellina, encountering heavy resistance as well. First they helped defend 2nd and 3rd Battalions in the taking of Hill 140. Then with the help of the 522nd Field Artillery, they lay down a heavy barrage and forced the Germans to retreat by 1800 hours on 7 July.:38 The 100th dug in and waited for relief to arrive after spending an entire day securing the town.
Until 25 July, the 442nd encountered heavy resistance from each town when they reached the Arno River, ending the Rome-Arno Campaign. The 100/442 suffered casualties of 1,272 men (17 missing, 44 non-combat injuries, 972 wounded, and 239 killed) in the process, a distance of only 40 miles (64 km). They rested from 25 July to 15 August, when the 442nd moved to patrol the Arno. Crossing the Arno on 31 August was relatively uneventful, as they were guarded the north side of the river in order for bridges to be built. On 11 September the 442nd was detached from the Fifth Army and then attached to the 36th Infantry Division of the Seventh Army.
Antitank CompanyOn 15 July the Antitank Company was pulled from the frontlines and placed with the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Airborne Task Force. They had trained at an airfield south of Rome to prepare for the invasion of Southern France which took place on 15 August, landing near Le Muy, France. They trained for a few weeks to get used to, prepare, properly load, and fly gliders. These gliders were 48 feet (15 m) long and 15 feet (4.6 m) high, and could hold a jeep and a trailer filled with ammunition, or a British six-pounder antitank gun.[dead link] The Southern France Campaign, 15 August to 14 September, led the 442nd to its second Presidential Unit Citation for invading in gliders and the Combat Infantryman Badge for fighting with the infantrymen of the 7th Army. The soldiers of Antitank Company received the Glider Badge.:56–57 After many rough landings by the gliders, hitting trees or enemy flak, they held their positions for a few days until relieved by Allied troops coming in by sea. For the next two months the Antitank Company guarded the exposed right flank of the Seventh Army and protected the 517th Parachute Infantry. The unit also cleared mines, captured Germans, and guarded roads and tunnels. In mid-to-late October, the Antitank Company rejoined the 442nd during the battle to find the "Lost Battalion."
Vosges MountainsAfter leaving Naples, the 442nd landed in Marseille on 30 September and for the next few weeks they traveled 500 miles (800 km) through the Rhone Valley, by walking and by boxcar, until 13 October. On 14 October 1944 the 442nd began moving into position in the late afternoon preparing the assault on Hills A, B, C, and D of Bruyères. Each hill was heavily guarded, as each hill was key in order to take and secure the city. Hill A was located Northwest of Bruyères, Hill B to the North, Hill C Northeast, and Hill D to the East. The 442nd had experienced mainly prairie in Italy, but the Vosges Mountains provided a very different terrain. The unit faced dense fog, mud, heavy rain, large trees, hills, and heavy enemy gunfire and artillery while moving through the Vosges. Hitler had ordered the German frontline to fight at all costs as this was the last barrier between the Allied forces and Germany. On 15 October 1944 the 442nd began its attack on Bruyères. The 100th Battalion moved on Hill A, which was held by the SS Polizei Regiment 19, as 2nd Battalion moved in on Hill B. Third Battalion was left to take Bruyères.
A team of Japanese-American G.I.s from the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion fire 105mm shells at Germans in support of an infantry attack in Bruyères, France.After heavy fighting dealing with enemy machine guns and snipers and a continuous artillery barrage placed onto the Germans, the 100th Battalion was eventually able to take Hill A by 3 a.m. on 18 October. 2nd Battalion took Hill B in a similar fashion only hours later. Once Hill A and B were secured, 3rd Battalion along with the 36th Infantry's 142nd Regiment began its assault from the south. After the 232nd broke through the concrete barriers around town hall of Bruyères, the 442nd captured 134 Wehrmacht members including Poles, Yugoslavs, Somalis, East Indians of the Regiment "Freies Indien", 2nd and 3rd Company of Fusilier Battalion 198, Grenadier Regiment 736, and Panzer Grenadier Regiment 192. After three days of fighting Bruyères fell but was not yet secured. Germans on Hill C and D used that high-ground to launch artillery barrages on the town; Hills C and D needed to be taken to secure Bruyères.:60
The 442nd initially took Hills C and D but did not secure them and they fell back into German hands. By noon of 19 October, Hill D was taken by 2nd and 3rd Battalions, who then were ordered to take a railroad embankment leaving Hill D unsecure. As the 100th began moving on Hill C on 20 October, German forces retook Hill D during the night.:57 The 100th Battalion was ordered back to Bruyères into reserve, allowing a German force onto Hill C, surprising another American division arriving into position. Retaking Hill C cost another 100 casualties.:62 Hill D fell back into Allied hands after a short time, finally securing the town. The 232nd Engineers had to dismantle roadblocks, clear away trees and clear mine fields all in the midst of the battle.:51,54 The 100th rested, then was called to the battle for Biffontaine.
Go for BrokeThe 100th was ordered to take the high-ground but was eventually ordered to move into the town, leading to a bitter fight after the 100th were encircled by German forces: cut off from the 442nd, outside radio contact, and outside artillery support. The 100th were in constant battle from 22 October until dusk of 23 October, engaging in house to house fighting and defending against multiple counterattacks. 3rd Battalion of the 442nd reached the 100th and helped drive out the remaining German forces, handing Biffontaine to the 36th.:182,183 On 24 October the 143rd Infantry of the 36th Division relieved the 100th and 3rd Battalion who were sent to Belmont, another small town to the north, for some short-lived rest.:139 Nine days of constant fighting continued as they were then ordered to save T-Patchers, the 141st Regiment of the 36th Infantry, the "Lost Battalion."
Lost BattalionAfter less than two days in reserve, the 442nd was ordered to attempt the rescue of the "Lost Battalion" two miles east of Biffontaine.:139 On 23 October Colonel Lundquist's 141st Regiment, soon to be known as the "Alamo" Regiment, began its attack on the German line that ran from Rambervillers to Biffontaine. Tuesday morning, 24 October, the left flank of the 141st, commanded by Technical Sergeant Charles H. Coolidge, ran into heavy action, fending off numerous German attacks throughout the days of 25 and 26 October. The right flank command post was overrun and 275 men of Lieutenant Colonel William Bird's 1st Battalion Companies A, B, C, and a platoon from Company D were cut off 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) behind enemy lines. The "Lost Battalion" was cut off by German troops and was forced to dig in until help arrived. It was nearly a week before they saw friendly soldiers.
At 4 a.m. on Friday 27 October, General John E. Dahlquist ordered the 442nd to move out and rescue the cut-off battalion. The 442nd had the support of the 522nd and 133rd Field Artillery units but at first made little headway against German General Richter's infantry and artillery front line. For the next few days the 442nd engaged in the heaviest fighting it had seen in the war, as the elements combined with the Germans to slow their advance. Dense fog and very dark nights prevented the men from seeing even twenty feet. Many men had to hang onto the man in front of him just to know where to go. Rainfall, snow, cold, mud, fatigue, trench foot, and even exploding trees plagued them as they moved deeper into the Vosges and closer to the German frontlines.:185,187 The 141st continued fighting—in all directions.
When we realized we were cut off, we dug a circle at the top of the ridge. I had two heavy, water-cooled machine guns with us at this time, and about nine or ten men to handle them. I put one gun on the right front with about half of my men, and the other gun to the left. We cut down small trees to cover our holes and then piled as much dirt on top as we could. We were real low on supplies, so we pooled all of our food.
— SSgt. Jack Wilson of Newburgh, INAirdrops with ammo and food for the 141st were called off by dense fog or landed in German hands. Many Germans did not know that they had cut off an American unit. "We didn't know that we had surrounded the Americans until they were being supplied by air. One of the supply containers, dropped by parachute, landed near us. The packages were divided up amongst us." Only on 29 October was the 442nd told why they were being forced to attack the German front lines so intensely.
The fighting was intense for the Germans as well. Gebirgsjäger Battalion 202 from Salzburg was cut off from Gebirgsjager Battalion 201 from Garmisch. Both sides eventually rescued their cut-off battalions.
As the men of the 442nd went deeper and deeper they became more hesitant, until reaching the point where they would not move from behind a tree or come out of a foxhole. However, this all changed in an instant. The men of Companies I and K of 3rd Battalion had their backs against the wall, but as each one saw another rise to attack, then another also rose. Then every Nisei charged the Germans screaming, and many screaming "Banzai!":83 Through gunfire, artillery shells, and fragments from trees, and Nisei going down one after another, they charged.
Colonel Rolin's grenadiers put up a desperate fight, but nothing could stop the Nisei rushing up the steep slopes, shouting, firing from the hip, and lobbing hand grenades into dugouts. Finally the German defenses broke and the surviving grenadiers fled in disarray. That afternoon the American aid stations were crowded with casualties. The 2nd platoon of Company I had only two men left, and the 1st platoon was down to twenty." On the afternoon of 30 October, 3rd Battalion broke through and reached the 141st, rescuing 211 T-Patchers at the cost of 800 men in five days. However, the fighting continued for the 442nd as they moved past the 141st. The drive continued until they reached Saint-Die on 17 November when they were finally pulled back. The 100th fielded 1,432 men a year earlier, but was now down to 239 infantrymen and 21 officers. Second Battalion was down to 316 riflemen and 17 officers, while not a single company in 3rd Battalion had over 100 riflemen; the entire 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team was down to less than 800 soldiers. Earlier (on 13 October) when attached to the 36th Infantry, the unit was at 2,943 riflemen and officers, thus in only three weeks 140 were killed and a further 1,800 had been wounded, while 43 were missing.:83,85
General Dahlquist's legacy
A Japanese-American unit moves out of its old command post. The unit, Company F, 2nd Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, is holding a section of the front lines near St. Die Area, France, 13 November 1944.As the division commander, General Dahlquist's utilization of the 442nd received mixed reviews, chiefly from the unit's officers who believed that Dahlquist considered their Nisei soldiers to be expendable cannon fodder. Despite examples of ostensibly courageous behavior, his decisions were undermined by the failure to tally victories without considerable costs. A particular example was when his aide Lieutenant Wells Lewis, the eldest son of novelist Sinclair Lewis, was killed while Dahlquist was issuing orders standing in the open during a battle.:82 When Dahlquist ordered the 442nd to take Biffontaine, it was despite the sparsely populated farming town being militarily insignificant, out of the range of artillery and radio contact. In another example, Lieutenant Allan M. Ohata was ordered to charge with his men up a hill toward the enemy, who were dug in and well supplied. Ohata considered the order a certain suicide mission. Despite the threat of court-martial and demotion he refused, insisting that the men would be better off attacking the position "their own way.":190 Lt. Ohata's Distinguished Service Cross, for his actions in Italy as a Staff Sergeant, was ultimately upgraded to the Medal of Honor.
On 12 November, General Dahlquist ordered the entire 442nd to stand in formation for a recognition and award ceremony. Of the 400 men originally assigned, only eighteen surviving members of K Company and eight of I Company turned out. Upon reviewing the meager assemblage Dahlquist became irritated, ignorant of the sacrifices that the unit had made in serving his orders. He demanded of Colonel Virgil R. Miller, "I want all your men to stand for this formation." Miller responded simply, "That's all of K company left, sir.":95
Some time later, while the former commander of the 1st Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Singles was filling the role of brigadier general at Fort Bragg (North Carolina), General Dahlquist arrived as part of a review. When he recognized Colonel Singles he approached him and offered the colonel his hand saying, "Let bygones be bygones. It's all water under the bridge, isn't it?" In the presence of the entire III Corps, Colonel Singles continued to salute General Dahlquist but refused to take Dahlquist's hand.:91
During and after the war, the 442nd was repeatedly commemorated for their efforts in the Vosges Mountains. A commissioned painting now hangs in The Pentagon depicting their fight to reach the "Lost Battalion.":89 A memorial was erected in Biffontaine by Gerard Henry, later the town's mayor. A monument was established in Bruyeres to mark the liberation of that city. At first a narrow road led to the monument, but the road was later widened to accommodate four tour buses and is now named "The Avenue of the 442nd Infantry Regiment" in honor of those brave soldiers.:201
Champagne CampaignFollowing the tough battle through the Vosges Mountains, the 442nd was sent to the Maritime Alps and the French Riviera. It was an easy assignment compared to what they had experienced in October. Little to no action occurred in the next four months as they rested. The 442nd guarded and patrolled a twelve to fourteen-mile front line segment of the French-Italian border. This part of the 442nd's journey gained the name "Champagne Campaign" because of the available wine, women, and merry times. The 442nd experienced additional losses as patrols sometimes ran into enemy patrols, or sometimes soldiers stepped on enemy and allied land mines. Occasionally, soldiers of the 442nd captured spies and saboteurs.
The 442nd also captured an enemy submarine. A Nisei soldier noticed what looked like an animal in the water but upon closer look it was actually a one-man German midget submarine. The German and the submarine were captured and handed over to the U.S. Navy. On 23 March 1945, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team sailed back to Italy and returned to the Gothic Line.
522nd Field Artillery BattalionFrom 20 to 22 March, the 442 and the 232 shipped off to Italy from France but the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion was sent to another part of Europe. They traveled northwards some 600 miles (970 km) through the Rhone Valley and stopped at Kleinblittersdorf on the east bank of the Saar River. The 522nd aided the 63rd Division on the Siegfried Line defenses south of St. Ingbert from 12–21 March.:99 The 522nd became a roving battalion, supporting nearly two dozen army units along the front traveling a total of 1,100 miles (1,800 km) across Germany and accomplishing every objective of their fifty-two assignments.:239 The 522nd was the only Nisei unit to fight in Germany. On 29 April scouts of the 522nd located a satellite camp of the infamous Dachau concentration camp next to the small Bavarian town of Lager Lechfeld, adjacent to Hurlach. Scouts from the 522nd were among the first Allied troops to release prisoners from the Kaufering IV Hurlach satellite camp, one of nearly 170 such camps, where more than 3,000 prisoners were held.
As we came around the way, there were a lot of Jewish inmates coming out of the camp, and I heard that the gate was opened by our advanced scouts. They took a rifle and shot it. I think it was a fellow from Hawaii that did that. I think it was a Captain Taylor, Company B was one of them, but another person from Hawaii, he passed away. They opened the gate and all these German, I mean, Jewish victims were coming out of the camp.
Then, when we finally opened the Dachau camp, got in, oh those people were so afraid of us, I guess. You could see the fear in their face. But eventually, they realized that we were there to liberate them and help them.
They were all just skin and bones, sunken eyes. I think they were more dead than they were alive because they hadn't eaten so much because, I think, just before we got there the S.S. people had all pulled back up and they were gone. But, we went there, and outside of the camps there were a lot of railroad cars there that had bodies in them. I had the opportunity to go into the camp there, but you could smell the stench. The people were dead and piled up in the buildings, and it was just unbelievable that the Germans could do that to the Jewish people. I really didn't think it was possible at all actually.
The only thing the Nisei could really do was give them clothing and keep them warm. Nisei soldiers began to give the Jewish inmates food from their rations but were ordered to stop because the food could overwhelm the digestive systems of the starved inmates and kill them. As they continued past the subcamp, they discovered the eastward path along which Jewish inmates were approaching Waakirchen, as the concentration camp survivors had been driven on a death march to another camp from Dachau starting there on 24 April, headed south through Eurasburg, then eastwards for a total distance of nearly sixty kilometers (37 miles), originally numbering some 15,000 prisoners.
No, my first encounter was these lumps in snow, and then I didn't know what they were, and so I went and investigated them and discovered that they were people, you know. Most of them were skeletons or people who had been beaten to death or just died of starvation or overworked or whatever. Most of them I think died from exposure because it was cold.
They discovered more subcamps and former inmates wandering the countryside. Following the German surrender, from May to November, the 522nd was assigned to security around Donauwörth, which consisted of setting up roadblocks and sentry posts to apprehend Nazis who were trying to disappear. The 522nd returned to the United States in November 1945.:99 A memorial to the rescue by the 522nd on May 2, 1945, exists at 47°46′6.15″N 11°38′55.30″E, just under two kilometers west of the Waakirchen town centre.
Gothic LineOn 23 March 1945 the 100/442 shipped out from Marseille and traveled to Leghorn, Italy, attached to the 92nd Division. The Fifth Army had been stalemated at the Gothic Line for the prior five months. The 442nd faced extremely tough terrain, where the saw-toothed Apennines rose up from the Ligurian Sea. Starting from the northeast, the peaks hugged the east coast of Italy and stretched diagonally southward across the Italian boot. To the west, on the other side of the mountains, was the wide flat Po River Valley that led to the Austrian Alps—the last barrier to Germany. For nine months German Field Marshal Albert Kesselring directed the construction of the Gothic Line along the top of the Apennines. The Todt Organization (known for its fortifications at Monte Cassino) used 15,000 Italian slave laborers. They drilled into solid rock to make gun pits and trenches, which they reinforced with concrete. They built 2,376 machine gun nests with interlocking fire.:105–7
On the Italian Front, the 442nd had contact with the only segregated African-American active combat unit of the U.S. Army in Europe, the 92nd Infantry Division, as well as troops of the British and French colonial empires (West and East Africans, Moroccans, Algerians, Indians, Gurkhas, Jews from the Palestine mandate) and the non-segregated Brazilian Expeditionary Force which had in its ranks ethnic Japanese.
General Mark W. Clark welcomed the 442 and presented his plan to break the Gothic Line. General Clark had a disagreement with Supreme Commander Eisenhower. Clark had to negotiate for the return of the 100th and 442nd because Eisenhower wanted them for the Battle of the Bulge and General Devers, commander of the Sixth Army Group, needed fresh troops.:249–50 General Clark got his wish. The 442nd and 100th, minus the 522nd, along with the 92nd Division, mounted a surprise diversionary attack on the left flank. They intended to shift enemy attention to it from the interior, allowing the Eighth Army to cross the Senio River on the right flank and then the Fifth Army on the left.:107:145
In front of the 442nd lay mountains code-named Georgia, Florida, Ohio 1, Ohio 2, Ohio 3, Monte Cerreta, Monte Folgorito, Monte Belvedere, Monte Carchio, and Monte Altissimo. These objectives hinged on surprising the Germans. The 100th went after Georgia Hill and the 3rd Battalion attacked Mount Folgorita. On 3 April the 442nd moved into position under the cover of nightfall to hide from the Germans who had good sight lines from their location on the mountains. The next day the 442nd waited. At 0500 the following morning they were ready to strike. A little over 30 minutes later objectives Georgia and Mount Folgorita were taken, cracking the Gothic Line. They achieved surprise and forced the enemy to retreat. After counterattacking, the Germans were defeated. During this time, 2nd Battalion was moving into position at Mount Belvedere, which overlooked Massa and the Frigido River.
The 442nd made a continuous push against the German Army and objectives began to fall: Ohio 1, 2, and 3, Mount Belvedere on 6 April by 2nd Battalion, Montignoso 8 April by 3rd Battalion, Mount Brugiana on 11 April by 2nd Battalion, Carrara by 3rd Battalion on 11 April, and Ortonovo by the 100th on 15 April. The 442 turned a surprise diversionary attack into an all-out offensive. The advance came so quickly that supply units had a hard time keeping up.
The Nisei drove so hard that beginning on 17 April the Germans decided to destroy their fortifications and pull back to make a final stand at Aulla. The last German defense in Italy was Monte Nebbione, directly south of Aulla. San Terenzo lay East of Mount Nobbione and became the launching point for the Aulla assault. The final drive of the 442nd began on 19 April and lasted until 23 April, when the 3rd Battalion finally took Mount Nebbione and Mount Carbolo. Following the fall of San Terenzo, 2nd Battalion hooked right around the mountains and Task Force Fukuda (consisting of Companies B and F from 2nd Battalion) flanked left from Mount Carbolo creating a pincer move onto Aulla.:117 On 25 April Aulla fell and the German retreat was cut off. In the days that followed, Germans began to surrender in the hundreds and thousands to the Fifth and Eighth Armies. This was 442nd's final World War II action. On 2 May the war ended in Italy followed six days later by Victory in Europe.
Service and decorations
President Truman salutes the colors of the combined 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, during the presentation of the seventh Presidential Unit Citation. The Regimental Combat Team (less the 552d Field Artillery Battalion) received the Presidential Unit Citation for outstanding accomplishments in combat in the vicinity of Serravezza, Carrara, and Fosdinovo, Italy, from 5 April to 14 April 1945.The 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team is the most decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of American warfare. The 4,000 men who initially came in April 1943 had to be replaced nearly 2.5 times. In total, about 14,000 men served. The unit was awarded eight Presidential Unit Citations (5 earned in one month). Twenty-one of its members were awarded Medals of Honor. Members of the 442nd received 18,143 awards in less than two years, including:Sadao Munemori was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor after he sacrificed his life to save those of his fellow soldiers. He was the only Japanese American to be awarded the Medal of Honor during or immediately after World War II.21 Medals of Honor (the first awarded posthumously to Private First Class Sadao Munemori, Company A, 100th Battalion, for action near Seravezza, Italy, on 5 April 1945; 19 upgraded from other awards in June 2000). Recipients include:Barney F. HajiroMikio HasemotoJoe HayashiShizuya HayashiDaniel K. InouyeYeiki KobashigawaRobert T. KurodaKaoru MotoSadao MunemoriKiyoshi K. MuranagaMasato NakaeShinyei NakamineWilliam K. NakamuraJoe M. NishimotoAllan M. OhataJames K. OkuboYukio OkutsuFrank H. OnoKazuo OtaniGeorge T. SakatoTed T. Tanouye52 Distinguished Service Cross (including 19 Distinguished Service Crosses which were upgraded to Medals of Honor in June 2000)1 Distinguished Service Medal560 Silver Stars (plus 28 Oak Leaf Clusters for a second award)22 Legion of Merit Medals15 Soldier's Medals4,000 Bronze Stars (plus 1,200 Oak Leaf Clusters for a second award; one Bronze Star was upgraded to a Medal of Honor in June 2000. One Bronze Star was upgraded to a Silver Star in September 2009.)9,486 Purple Hearts
President Obama and his guests applaud after signing S.1055, a bill to grant the Congressional Gold Medal.On 5 October 2010, the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the 100th Infantry Battalion, and Nisei serving in the Military Intelligence Service.Pearl Harbor (July 2, 2014). Adm. Harry Harris Jr., commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, thanks Ralph Tomei, a 442nd Regimental Combat Team veteran, for his contributions during World War II. Tomei represented his friend Shiro Aoki as Rear Adm. Anne Cullere, commander in chief of French forces in the Pacific, presented him with the French Nation Order of the Legion of Honor aboard the French Floréal-class frigate FS Prairial. For more than a decade the government of France has presented the Legion of Honor to U.S. veterans who participated in the liberation of France during World War II.In 2012, the surviving members of the 442nd RCT were made chevaliers of the French Légion d'Honneur for their actions contributing to the liberation of France during World War II and their heroic rescue of the Lost Battalion outside of Biffontaine.
Original Fight SongOriginal fight song of the 442nd RCT Hawai'i Go For Broke Lyrics by Martin Kida -KIA, Score by T.Y.—
REMEMBER PEARL HARBOR
History in every centuryWe recall an act that lives forevermoreWe recall as into night they fallThe things that happened on Hawaii shore
Let's remember Pearl HarborAs we go to meet the foeLet's remember Pearl HarborAs we did the AlamoWe will always rememberHow they died for libertyLet's remember Pearl HarborAnd go on to victoryGO FOR BROKE
Four Forty-Second InfantryWe are the boys of Hawaii NeiWe will fight for youAnd the red white and blueAnd will go the frontAnd back to Honolulu-lu-luFighting for dear old Uncle SamGo for broke we don't give a damnWe will round up the HunsAt the point of a gunAnd victory will be oursGo for broke! Four Four Two!Go for broke! Four Four Two!And victory will be ours.
All hail our company.
After the warSee also: Japanese-American life after World War II
President Truman walks past members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team as they stand at attention on the Ellipse.The record of the Japanese Americans serving in the 442nd and in the Military Intelligence Service (U.S. Pacific Theater forces in World War II) helped change the minds of anti-Japanese American critics in the continental U.S. and resulted in easing of restrictions and the eventual release of the 120,000-strong community well before the end of World War II. In Hawaii, the veterans were welcomed home as heroes by a grateful community that had supported them through those trying times.
However, the unit's exemplary service and many decorations did not change the attitudes of the general population in the continental U.S. to people of Japanese ancestry after World War II. Veterans were welcomed home by signs that read "No Japs Allowed" and "No Japs Wanted", denied service in shops and restaurants, and had their homes and property vandalized.
On July 15, 1946, the 442nd Regiment marched down Constitution Avenue to the Ellipse south of the White House. President Truman gave a speech and honored the regiment by awarding them with the Presidential Unit Citation. The American Legion refused to allow Nisei veterans into their group and removed Japanese-American soldiers from their honor rolls. It was not until Caucasian officers from the 442nd regiment intervened that the Legion began to accept Nisei veterans into the organization. Many Nisei veterans had difficulty finding houses in the continental United States. Their homes were occupied with new tenants. Due to the housing shortage, many Nisei veterans resorted to using federal housing programs. Many Nisei veterans used the G.I. Bill as an opportunity to attend university. Many Nisei became doctors, dentists, architects, scientists, and engineers.
Anti-Japanese sentiment remained strong into the 1960s, but faded along with other once-common prejudices, even while remaining strong in certain circles. Conversely, the story of the 442nd provided a leading example of what was to become the controversial model minority stereotype.
Revolution of 1954According to author and historian Tom Coffman, men of the 100th/442nd/MIS dreaded returning home as second-class citizens. In Hawaii these men became involved in a peaceful movement. It has been described as the 100th/442nd returning from the battles in Europe to the battle at home. The non-violent revolution was successful and put veterans in public office in what became known as the Revolution of 1954.
One notable effect of the service of the Japanese-American units was to help convince Congress to end its opposition towards Hawaii's statehood petition. Twice before 1959, residents of Hawaii asked to be admitted to the U.S. as the 49th state. The exemplary record of the Japanese Americans serving in these units and the loyalty showed by the rest of Hawaii's population during World War II allowed Hawaii to be admitted as the 50th state (Alaska was granted statehood just prior).
In post-war American popular slang, the phrase "going for broke" was adopted from the 442nd's unit motto "Go for Broke", which according to the 1951 film Go for Broke! was derived from the Hawaiian pidgin phrase used by craps shooters risking all their money on one roll of the dice.
Demobilization and rebirth
Soldiers of E Company, 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry prepare to clear the "shoot house" while training in Hawaii in 2011.The 442nd RCT was inactivated in Honolulu in 1946, but reactivated in 1947 in the U.S. Army Reserve. It was mobilized in 1968 to refill the Strategic Reserve during the Vietnam War, and carries on the honors and traditions of the unit. Today, the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, is the only ground combat unit of the Army Reserve. The battalion headquarters is at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, with subordinate units based in Hilo, American Samoa, Saipan, and Guam. The only military presence in American Samoa consists of the battalion's B and C companies.
In August 2004, the battalion was mobilized for duty in Iraq. Stationed at Logistics Support Area Anaconda in the city of Balad, which is located about 50 miles northwest of Baghdad. Lt. Colonel Colbert Low assumed command of the battalion only a few weeks after the battalion arrived at Logistical Support Area Anaconda. In early 2006, the 100th had returned home. One soldier was killed by an improvised explosive device attack. Four members of the battalion were killed in action, and several dozen injured, before the battalion returned home. During the year-long deployment, one of Charlie Company's attached platoons, discovered over 50 weapons caches. Unlike the soldiers of World War II who were predominantly Japanese Americans, these soldiers came from as far away as Miami, Florida, Tennessee, Alaska and included soldiers from Hawaii, Philippines, Samoa and Palau. For their actions in Iraq the unit received the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
California has given four state highway segments honorary designations for Japanese American soldiers:
State Route 23 between U.S. Route 101 and State Route 118 is named the Military Intelligence Memorial Freeway;State Route 99 between Fresno and Madera is named the 100th Infantry Battalion Memorial Highway;State Route 99 between Salida and Manteca is named the 442nd Regimental Combat Team Memorial Highway;The interchange between the I-105 and I-405 freeways in Los Angeles is labeled the Sadao S. Munemori Memorial Interchange.A nationwide campaign to urge the U.S. Postal Service to issue a commemorative postage stamp to honor the contributions of the Japanese American soldiers of World War II was begun in 2006 in California.
The USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, CA, has a permanent special exhibit honoring the 442nd Infantry Regiment.
The unit was once again deployed in 2009. The unit was called up alongside the 3rd brigade, 25th Infantry Division; and was assigned as an element of the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team. Nominally deployed to Kuwait, it conducted patrols into Iraq, leading to two fatalities; those patrols consisted of more than a million miles of driving conducting convoy duty. During the units deployment, several dozen of the unit's American Samoan servicemembers became naturalized U.S. citizens while in Kuwait.
Notable membersSee also: List of Japanese American servicemen and servicewomen in World War IIThis list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.Takashi "Halo" Hirose, first Japanese American to represent the United States in any international swimming competition, and the first to set a swimming world record; awarded five battle stars, the Combat Infantryman Badge and a Presidential Unit Citation. Inducted into Ohio State University's Sports Hall of Fame and the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Daniel Inouye lost his right arm to a grenade wound and received several military decorations, including the Medal of Honor. He would later become the highest-ranking Asian American in U.S. history (third in the presidential line of succession).Daniel Inouye, U.S. Representative from Hawaii (1959–62); U.S. Senator from Hawaii (1962–2012); President pro tempore of the Senate (2010–12); awarded the Medal of Honor and Purple Heart. Inouye had wanted to become a surgeon before he lost his right arm in the combat action for which he was later awarded the Medal of Honor.Dale Ishimoto, actor in many films, TV shows, and commercialsSusumu Ito, Emeritus Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Harvard Medical School (1960–90)Isao Kikuchi, graphic designer, illustrator, carver, and painter. Illustrated Welcome Home Swallows and Blue Jay in the Desert.Colonel Young-Oak Kim, the only Korean American officer during his service in 442nd Infantry. First officer from an ethnic minority to command a U.S. Army combat battalion.Spark Matsunaga, U.S. Representative from Hawaii (1962–76); U.S. Senator from Hawaii (1977–90)Sadao Munemori, the only Japanese American to be awarded the Medal of Honor during or immediately after World War IILane Nakano, actor, featured in the 1951 film Go for Broke!, father of writer and director Desmond NakanoShinkichi Tajiri, sculptor, member of the COBRA art movement, 1955 Golden Palm Winner at Cannes, Purple HeartJames Takemori, judoka and recipient of the Order of the Rising SunIn popular culture
This section appears to contain trivial, minor, or unrelated references to popular culture. Please reorganize this content to explain the subject's impact on popular culture, providing citations to reliable, secondary sources, rather than simply listing appearances. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2017)
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "442nd Infantry Regiment" United States – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (April 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)Allegiance the Musical: This musical, about the challenges faced by a Japanese-American family, is set in the present day with flashbacks to the 1940s. It was inspired by the experiences of George Takei, who spent his childhood in internment camps. It stars George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung.American Pastime: This 2007 fictional film depicts life inside the internment camps, where baseball was one of the major diversions from the reality of the internees' lives. Location scenes were filmed in bleak, desolate land, not far from the site of an actual camp. Lane Nomura, the oldest son enlists in the Army, as a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The unit motto, "Go for broke!", provides inspiration at a climactic moment, and reference is made to the losses taken by the 442nd during the rescue of the Lost Battalion.Go for Broke!: This 1951 film dramatizes the lives and wartime heroics of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The film stars Van Johnson as a young officer, reluctant about his assignment to the 442nd. He comes to respect the Nisei troops, eventually refusing a transfer back to his original Texas unit. The movie starred a number of veterans of the 442nd. It can be found on iTunes.The "One Puka Puka" episode of The Gallant Men television series featured the unit with guest stars Poncie Ponce and George Takei.The James Michener novel Hawaii has a chapter detailing the 442nd's experiences, although its designation is changed to the 222nd and many of the members appear under fictionalized names.Ed Sakamoto wrote a play about the 100th/442nd entitled Our Hearts Were Touched by Fire, which was performed in Honolulu and Los Angeles.In the series of four Karate Kid movies, Mr. Miyagi is a main character portrayed as a World War II veteran who had fought in the 442nd and received the Medal of Honor. The fourth film, The Next Karate Kid, begins with a reunion of the 442nd, in which Sen. Daniel Inouye gives a speech and Mr. Miyagi wears his Medal of Honor for the only time in any of the four films.The Nisei Project: In 2001, choreographer Marla Hirokawa premiered her "Nisei" ballet in Brooklyn, NY which was inspired by her late father, 100th Battalion veteran and gave honor to the men of the 100th/442nd. In 2003, Marla and sister Laurie Hamano produced a "Nisei" ballet tour across the Hawaiian Islands. (Lane Nishikawa toured and performed with the dance company.) In 2014, "Nisei" was re-staged and presented at the NY International Fringe Festival with a revised score that included songs about the Nisei veterans composed by ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro and singer/songwriter Harold Payne.In 2005, Lane Nishikawa directed and starred in the independent film Only the Brave, which is a fictional account of the rescue of the Lost Battalion."Family 8108", the 9 December 2007 episode of the CBS TV show Cold Case centers around the Japanese internment camps and discusses the 442nd Regional Combat Team.Ken Burns' 2007 PBS World War II documentary The War explores the stories of four American towns' experiences with the war. Burns' 15-hour documentary goes in depth in describing the many battles of World War II, including those of the 442nd Infantry Regiment.Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion #1–6 (2008) graphic novel99 Years of Love 〜Japanese Americans〜: In 2010 TBS produced a five-part, 10-hour fictional Japanese-language miniseries featuring many of the major events in Japanese-American history. Episode 4 features a key character who serves in the 442nd and portrays the rescue of the Texas Battalion.Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) features Kenneth Choi as the character of Jim Morita, a Nisei soldier separated from his unit that joins with Dum Dum Dugan and the Howling Commandos. Choi again reprised the role in an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Valor With Honor is an 85-minute independent documentary film on the last interviews of veterans of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Interviews, war footage, and photos are part of the un-narrated documentary.In Drunk History season 2 episode 15 "Hawaii", Phil Hendrie tells the story of Daniel Inouye of the 442nd Infantry Regiment enlisting after the Japanese-American ban is lifted and later losing his arm in the assault on Colle Musatello in Italy.In Hawaii Five-0 season 4 episode 10, the brother of the suspect whose family was placed in an internment camp is shown as a member of the battalion. It gives some information about the battalion and states that his brother who was of age did not want to stay in the camp, so he joined the Army in that battalion as did many of the other boys who were of age.The story of the 442nd Infantry Regiment appeared in an episode of the American Heroes Channel series What History Forget, entitled "Fighting for Freedom". The episode featured an interview with Susumu Ito that was shot shortly before his death in 2015.Go for Broke: An Origin Story (2018) follows a group of University of Hawaii ROTC students during the tumultuous year after the attack on Pearl Harbor, as they navigate wartime Hawaii and fight discrimination. Adaptation of the comic book by Stacey Hayashi.Repentance (2019) is an historical novel based on the history of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team by Andrew Lam (ophthalmologist).