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Hall of Honor

A distinction of historic significance
In 1944 and 1945, in less than eleven months of fighting, the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team became world renowned for being the most decorated unit in the history of the United States for its size and length of service.

This incredible distinction remains true to this day.

The honor in perspective
The sheer quantity of decorations that the soldiers received is remarkable alone. But the context within which they earned these awards and gained their colleagues' respect is perhaps even more noteworthy.

These Nisei soldiers fought to honor their families and their country when their loyalty was challenged, their citizenship taken away, and their loved ones held in incarceration centers. Their fierce tenacity on the battlefield led them to be sought after by other Allied units in the European Theater.

These are the Nisei soldiers of World War II
Here we pay special tribute to the soldiers who served under the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) and the 442nd RCT, which have been officially recognized for their extraordinary valor. These units fought in eight major campaigns in Italy, France, and Germany. Although the US government concedes that there has not been an official count of the medals awarded to the unit and its individuals, it is widely accepted that they received more than 18,000 individual decorations.

We also pay special tribute to the 6,000 Nisei linguists of the Military Intelligence Service who took part in the Pacific Theater campaigns on the front lines and behind the scenes as interpreters, translators, and interrogators. Their actions were held in secret and their contributions to the war effort unacknowledged until the 1970s.

A tribute to all Nisei veterans
It would be impossible to mark every single act of courage or heroism performed by the Japanese American soldiers of World War II. There are no doubt countless instances of bravery and self-sacrifice that have gone unrecorded.

While we are able to recognize many of those who were formally awarded with a military or civilian decoration, we also acknowledge the sacrifices made by all the Nisei soldiers who fought with determination and courage during World War II.

More Information:

The 442nd RCT receives a Presidential Unit Citation at a ceremony in Leghorn, Italy. September 1945. Courtesy of the US Army Signal Corps.
The Silver Star is posthumously awarded to Sgt. Charles K. Harada of Honolulu, for gallantry in action near Castellina, Italy, in July of 1944. The presentation is made to his mother, Mrs. Hana Harada, by Chaplain (Col.) Corwin H. Olds, on August 25, 1945. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.
Pvt. Henry Koda of Oahu is awarded the Purple Heart by Col. Ernst T. Barco. He was wounded while fighting in the Italian Campaign. June 6, 1945. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

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