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The 442d Regimental Combat Team
 
Books
 
The Nisei Soldier : Historical Essays on World War II and the Korean War
by Edwin M. Nakasone
Paperback - 204 pages 2nd Rev edition (April 30, 1999)
In The Nisei Solder: Historical Essays On World War II And The Korean War, Edwin Nakasone draws upon his expertise having taught Asian-American and World War II history from more than 25 years to write a highly informative account of Japanese-American soldiers called "Nisei", who fought to defend American interests, despite discrimination accorded them and their families by the people and government of the United States. The narrative text is rich in descriptive detail, based on Nakasone's own experiences (he served as a Nisei in the U.S. Army's occupation forces in Japan at the end of the war), supplemented with extensive interviews with Nisei soldiers. In addition to offering the reader an informative Japanese-American perspective, Nakasone's essays also explore the Japanese perspectives on World War II not often available to an American reader. The Nisei Solder is a very highly recommended addition to any personal, professional, academic, or community library World War II collection" Midwest Book Review, January 16, 2001
 
Unlikely Liberators : The Men of the 100th and 442nd
by Masayo Duus, Peter Duus
Hardcover.University of Hawaii Press, October 1987
"A very thorough and well-researched book on a heroic group of young Americans facing adversity at home and on the battlefield. The author skews the book more toward the Hawaiian Nisei in general, and the 100th Battalion in particular, than the mainland Nisei. Still, this is a must-have if you want to learn more about this chapter in our nation's history." Claude Chung
 
Boyhood to War : History and Anecdotes of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team
by Dorothy Matsuo
Hardcover. Mutual Publishing, April 1992

Lost Battalions: Going for Broke in the Vosges, Autumn 1944
by Franz Steidl
Hardcover. Published by the Presidio Press. 208 pages (May 1997)
 
Describes how the 141st Infantry, left stranded for six days in the Vosges Mountains with no food and little water while fighting the Germans, were rescued by the Japanese-American Nisei of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, in a story of heroism during World War II.
 
"A sacred trust to preserve the stories of these brave men. If it hadn't been for Joe Hattori, my wife's uncle, this story would not have been written. Joe carried the artillery forward observer's radio during the rescue of the American lost battalion. He used to tell of his experiences while visiting us in Los Angeles and later in Santa Cruz. Challenged by these stories I decided to write an article which would draw from the Japanese-American experience of my wife's family as well as my own German upbringing. Naively I began by calling the German consulate in San Francisco, requesting addresses of German veterans groups. Many months and many letters later, Vitus Kolbinger of Mountain Battalion 201 offered some glimpses of what the Germans had experienced. Fortunatly I spoke Bavarian dialect, crucial in winning the confidence of the mountain troops. It was quite a revelation when I learned that Mountain Battalion 202 from Salzburg had been decimated within three days, a story that probably would have been lost had it not been for the good services of Vitus Kolbinger. German records, even the archives in Salzburg, held virtually no factual information. As my work progressed I realized that these deeply personal stories, the trust of these veterans, had to be preserved. And so, over three years, the article grew into a book. Most rewarding are the comments made by veterans from both sides, that I've told their stories honestly and accurately." The author, Franz Steidl , November 18, 1999
 
 
 
Videos and DVDs
 
 
Beyond Barbed Wire
VHS or DVD
1997
Producer/Writer: Terri DeBono
Director/Camera/Editor: Steve Rosen
Producers: Yuko Sumida, Sherry Lapham Thomas, Charles Richard Woodson
**** (four stars) "Riveting . . . a stirring story of the human spirit." --Joe Baltake, Sacramento Bee
 
". . . a moving look at a neglected chapter in US history." --Kathleen Craughwell, Los Angeles Times

 

 

 

 
Narrated by Noriyuki "Pat" Morita, this exceptional documentary outlines the W.W.II battlefield accomplishments of the 100th Infantry Battalion/442 Regimental Combat Team by featuring stories recounted by Japanese Americans who fought in these segregated units to prove their loyalty to their country. The ironies are not lost as the revelations unfold. As their civil liberties and rights were being stripped away and their families imprisoned in internment camps in the US, they faced further prejudice from the upper ranks of the military, in the trenches of Europe and in the Pacific Theatre. Personal accounts begin with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, continue through Italy and France, building to the rescue of the Texas "Lost Battalion" in northern France. Also included are the recollections of the little known MIS (Military Intelligence Service) linguists who served in the Pacific interrogating POWs, intercepting radio messages and translating documents.
Go for Broke!
VHS or DVD
1951
Robert Pirosh wrote and directed this little-known World War II drama from MGM that commemorates the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a combat unit composed of Japanese-Americans who fought valiantly during World War II, with many of the actual veterans of the combat unit appearing as actors in the film. For the most part, the film follows the standard Battleground plot line -- there is Sam (Lane Nakano), the wise sergeant; Chick (George Miki), a lazy private; the enervating Ohhara (Henry Oyasato); and Tommy (Henry Nakamura), a crack sharpshooter. Van Johnson plays Lt. Michael Grayson, a bigoted Texan assigned to shape these men into a fighting unit and who learns to respect their valor and bravery. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

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Updated 8 February 2016