By Dr. Carl H. Marcoux American soldiers of Japanese ancestry made remarkable contributions to the Allied victory during World War II. The best known of their exploits was the outstanding fighting record compiled by the 100th Infantry Battalion and later the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during the European campaigns. The soldiers of the 442nd received more decorations than those of any unit in U.S. military history for its size and length of service. Less well known were the World War II contributions made by Nisei (American-born children of Japanese immigrants) troops on the other side of the globe in the Pacific and the China-Burma-India Theaters. The U.S. Army kept their service classified as secret until 1973 when the Freedom of Information Act finally provided the vehicle for the public release of this fascinating story. What were the reasons for this delay? Certainly, the story of the hazardous and valuable contributions of this group of soldiers merited the attention of the American public much sooner than 28 years from the war’s end to the ultimate release of the information. During the course of the war, some 6,000 AJAs (Americans of Japanese Ancestry) provided valuable language and information skills for Allied military and naval personnel throughout the Asian and Pacific areas. Their efforts proved to be doubly dangerous since, because of their racial identity, they could be mistaken for enemy soldiers by their own forces. In many cases, the linguists had to b


$2 / Month

Subscribe now for only $3.99 $2 a month!

Unlimited Website Access, Thousands of Searchable Articles, Warfare Newsletter, and more.

Back to the issue this appears in