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1944

January 1944
Military Intelligence Service Language School begins sending Nisei graduates to the Army Air Forces to help intercept radio traffic from Japanese aircraft. Over six months, more than 100 Nisei join this effort.

Military Intelligence Service Nisei support British forces in Central Assam and Commonwealth forces in Imphal and Kohima in northeast India.

January 14, 1944
Nisei eligibility for the draft is restored.

January 19, 1944
Ten officers and 165 men of the 442nd RCT 1st Battalion leave Camp Shelby to serve as replacements for the 100th Infantry Battalion (Separate) in Italy.

January 24, 1944
The 100th begins its engagement in the battle at Monte Cassino, making their way across the muddy flats beneath the monastery that will serve as the focal point of the bloody battle.

A view of the rebuilt abbey on Monte Cassino, taken from one of the war cemeteries at Cassino. 2010. Courtesy of Dennis Jarvis.

January 27, 1944
US Army Signals Intelligence Service (SIS) makes its first request for 25 MIS Nisei for their Vint Hill Farms intercept station in Virginia. Security prohibits 14 of the Nisei from staying there because they have relatives in Japan or had visited Japan.1

By June, about 50 Nisei report to Vint Hill to translate intercepted messages.

February 1944
Merrill's Marauders enter combat near Nphum Ga in Burma (also known as Myanmar).

Merrill's Marauders and Chinese troops march down the Ledo Road. February 15, 1944. Courtesy of the United States Army Signal Corps.

February 1, 1944
MIS linguists accompany soldiers and marines on the landing in the Marshall Islands.

February 15, 1944
The 100th is relieved after fighting in the first two assaults at Monte Cassino. The high casualties they suffer earn them the moniker, "The Purple Heart Battalion."

Ruins of Monte Cassino following the Allied bombing. February 1944. Courtesy of the German Federal Archives.

March 1944
MISers Hideo Imai and Robert T. Honda parachute into northern Burma to assist Office of Strategic Services (OSS) Detachment 101. After eight months of living with the Kachin Rangers, two other Nisei take their place.

March 26, 1944The 34th Division, with the 100th and 200 Nisei replacements, lands at Anzio.

Anzio Annie, the German long range railway gun that rained shells on the beaches at Anzio, preserved today at the United States Army Ordnance Museum in Virginia. Courtesy of Jeffrey Jung.

April 22, 1944
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) departs Camp Shelby for its first assignment. During the long overseas voyage, they learn their final destination to be Naples, Italy, with a stop at Oran, North Africa.

MIS Nisei accompanying the 163rd Regimental Combat Team land at Aitape in Dutch New Guinea. From there, they continue on to Hollandia, where they translate scores of captured documents and interrogate thousands of POWs.

Kaz Takusagawa in Oran. Courtesy of Hiroshi Mizuki Family.
Hollandia air strip in New Guinea. 1944. Courtesy of Vincenzo Peluso and Toyoko Yamane-Peluso.

April 26, 1944
The 1399 Engineer Construction Battalion is activated at Schofield Barracks on Oahu, Hawaii. It is the only Nisei unit of its kind in the Pacific war.

May 21, 1944
Top Allied Translator and Interpreter Section Nisei translators Yoshikazu Yamada and George Kiyoshi Yamashiro (later, Sankey) assist in the translation of the captured document, the "Z Plan."

June 2, 1944
The 100th captures Lanuvio, helping to clear the path to Rome. Rome is captured within the next three days.

A modern image of Lanuvio. Courtesy of Ferdinando Chiodo.

June 10, 1944
The 100th, its ranks depleted due to its high casualties, meets up with the 442nd at Civitavecchia.

The 442nd is assigned to the Fifth Army. The 100th becomes attached to the 442nd RCT as a replacement for their absent 1st Battalion, which had remained at Camp Shelby to train replacement troops.

June 15, 1944
MIS Nisei linguists participate in the Western Pacific Campaign, assisting in the invasions of Saipan, Tinian and Guam in the Marianas.

American ships during the battle of Saipan. June 15, 1944. Courtesy of the United States Navy.

June 23, 1944
Terry Mizutari is the first MIS Nisei to die in combat when Japanese soldiers attack his division command post near Aitape, New Guinea. Risking his life to warn his team, Mizutari is shot in the chest. He is posthumously awarded a Silver Star for his bravery.

Terry Mizutari's grave marker in New Guinea, 1944. He was killed in June of that year. Courtesy of Vincenzo Peluso and Toyoko Yamane-Peluso.

June 26, 1944
The 442nd sees its first day of combat at Belvedere, Italy.

View near Belvedere. Courtesy of Glen Bowman.

June 30, 1944
Jerome becomes the first incarceration center to close. Inmates are moved to Rohwer.

A truck full of Jerome residents upon the camp's closing. June 1944. Courtesy of the War Relocation Authority.

July 1944
MISers serve under Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in Chungking, China.

Chiang Kai-shek

July 5, 1944
Technician Fourth Grade George Sawada becomes the first medic of the 442nd to die in combat. A volunteer from Minidoka, T/4 Sawada was killed by a sniper near Molino a Ventoabbato.2

July 15, 1944
The Anti-Tank Company is detached from the 442nd RCT and assigned to the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment to train as glider infantry. They participate in the invasion of Southern France on August 15, 1944.

A glider of the type flown by members of the Anti-Tank Company of the 442nd RCT. Courtesy of the United States Army.

July 22, 1944
The first group of MIS linguists with the "Dixie Mission" arrive at Chinese Communist Headquarters in Yenan, China. Over the next two months, they are joined by more MIS Nisei, working to gather intelligence about the common Japanese enemy and Chinese Communists.3

July 26, 1944
Hoichi Kubo earns the Distinguished Service Cross, the highest award given to any Nisei in the Pacific war, when he persuades Japanese soldiers to release more than 100 civilian hostages near Marpi Point on Saipan.

Sergeant Bob Hoichi Kubo. Courtesy of the United States Department of Defense.

July 27, 1944
The 100th is awarded the Presidential Unit Citation, the highest Army unit award, for action at Belvedere.

Lt. General Mark Clark pins ribbon awards to each member of the 100th to designate the Presidential Unit Citation. July 27, 1944. Vada Area, Italy. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

August 2, 1944
The 100th is renamed as the 100th Battalion/442nd RCT, allowed to maintain its signature designation as the "100th."

August 3, 1944
Merrill's Marauders, joined by Nisei soldiers assigned to both American and Chinese units, capture Myitkyina in Burma.

L to R: Herbert Miyasaki, Howard Furumoto, Akiji Yoshimura. Northern Burma. May 1, 1944. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

August 31, 1944
The 442nd, less the 100th, reaches the Arno River in Italy near Florence. The 100th leads the crossing of the Arno and the capture of Pisa.

Vada countryside near Pisa, ca. 1944. Courtesy of Hiroshi Mizuki Family.

September 1944
American media coverage of the Nisei Marauders makes them the first Japanese American heroes of the war against Japan.4

Brig. Gen. Frank Merrill, Commander of "Merrill's Marauders," poses between T/Sgt. Herbert Miyasaki and T/Sgt. Akiji Yoshimura. Burma. May 1, 1944. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Mid-September 1944
MIS Nisei join soldiers and Marines in the Palaus, landing on Peleliu and Angaur, to help with POW interrogations and translations of captured documents.

September 6, 1944
Pacific Military Intelligence Research Section (PACMIRS) opens at Camp Ritchie, Maryland, with seven Caucasian officers and 24 Nisei.

October 1944
More than 120 MIS Nisei accompany American troops fighting at Leyte Island, Philippines.

An armada of US Navy vessels steams along the coast of Leyte Island in the Philippines. October 1944. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

October 15, 1944
The 100th/442nd engages in the battle at Bruyères in the Vosges Mountains, France.

Nisei soldiers walk past a knocked-out Nazi half-track in Bruyères. October 24, 1944. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

October 24, 1944
Martial law in Hawaii ends, but curfews and blackouts remain in effect until July 1945.

October 25, 1944
The 100th/442nd captures Biffontaine in France.

442nd Regimental Combat Team soldier in a hilly area of France near Bruyères and Biffontaine, Oct. 24, 1944. Courtesy of the United States Army.

October 26-31, 1944
The 100th/442nd makes a landmark rescue of more than 200 members of the "Lost Battalion" in the Vosges Mountains in France. The unit suffers several hundred casualties.

The fight to rescue the " Lost Battalion." Vosges Forest, October 1944. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.

The 100th earns its second Presidential Unit Citation for its action in Biffontaine and with the "Lost Battalion." Presidential Unit Citations are also awarded to 2nd and 3rd Battalions, the 232nd Combat Engineer Company, and F and L Companies of the 442nd.

November 13, 1944
The 100th/442nd begins four months of what they call the "Champagne Campaign" in the French Riviera.

Hiroshi Arisumi, member of the 232nd Combat Engineer Company, holding a champagne bottle during the "Champagne Campaign." Courtesy of Hiroshi Arisumi.

November 29, 1944
The American Legion post in Hood River, Oregon, removes sixteen Nisei names from the post's "roll of honor." Public outcry causes the post to reverse its decision and restore all names in April 1945.

Hood River in 2009. Courtesy of Sam Beebe.

December 1944
Dozens of Nisei join the MARS Task Force, or the 5332nd Brigade (Provisional). It includes the 475th Infantry, comprising surviving members of Merrill's Marauders, and the 124th Calvary. The Nisei are led by Kazuo Komoto and Kan Tagami.

Kazuo " Kaz" Komoto, prior to becoming a member of the MARS Task Force, with his younger brother Susumu. Gila River incarceration camp. October 31, 1943. Courtesy of the War Relocation Authority.

More than 100 MIS Nisei from ATIS assist American troops with the Luzon campaign in the Philippines in combat and in linguistic work.

The USS Pennsylvania leads the USS Colorado, USS Louisville, USS Portland, and USS Columbia into Lingayen Gulf before the landing on Luzon in January 1945. Courtesy of the United States Navy.

December 17, 1944
Exclusion and detention orders are rescinded.

December 18, 1944
US Supreme Court rules in favor of Mitsuye Endo in Ex Parte Endo, granting her an unconditional release from confinement. However, the Court also states that the removal of the Japanese Americans from the West Coast and their subsequent three-year detention without charges or trial were legitimate government and military actions during wartime.5

US Supreme Court rules against Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu in Korematsu v. US, who was charged with failing to report for evacuation and detention. The Court upholds the constitutionality of Executive Order 9066, determining that the government was justified in singling out a group of people based on their ancestry, and imprisoning them without trial or charges in a time of war.6

L to R: Fred Korematsu, Minoru Yasui, and Gordon Hirabayashi. Courtesy of the National Park Service.
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Footnotes

1James C. McNaughton, Nisei Linguists: Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service during World War II (Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 2006), p. 216.

2Dorothy Matsuo, Silent Valor: The Story of the 442nd Medics (Honolulu, HI: Honolulu Chapter of the 442nd Medics, 2002), p. 32.

3James C. McNaughton, Nisei Linguists: Japanese Americans in the Military Intelligence Service during World War II (Washington, DC: Department of the Army, 2006), p. 288.

4Ibid, p. 284.

5Jay M. Brown, " When Military Necessity Overrules Constitutional Guarantees: The Treatment of Japanese Americans During World War II," Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, 2015, accessed on January 27, 2015, http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1982/3/82.03.01.x.html.

6Ibid.


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