A New Stamp Honors Japanese Americans Who Served In WWII – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-06-10 13:42:40 –

Being expelled from your home by the government, detained behind barbed wire under armed guards, and required to join the army to fight for a country that has trapped you and your family. Imagine.

That’s what happened in a lesser-known chapter in American history. There, many of them became American military heroes, some at the ultimate sacrifice. These soldiers, along with all other Japanese Americans who served in the U.S. military during World War II, New United States Postal Service Stamp June 3, 2021.

Since the arrival of the first immigrants from Japan in the 1880s, Japanese ancestors of the United States have faced decades of discrimination, whether they are American citizens or not. Inequality arose from tensions associated with politicians promoting anti-immigrant sentiment, workers and businesses fearing economic competition, and the rise of Japan as a military force.

These Japanese-American soldiers were part of a fierce battle to recapture Europe from the Nazis. US Army Communications Unit via Wikimedia Commons

The attack on Pearl Harbor swept the country, engulfing these prejudices in a frenzy of horror. Since December 7, 1941, anyone with a Japanese face, especially on the west coast, has had an enemy face.

More than two months later, on February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt Executive Order 9066Approved to forcibly remove approximately 120,000 Nikkei from California, Oregon, Washington, and parts of Arizona. These people, including my grandparents, parents, and their families, were rushed to a detention facility built in a desolate inland area during the war, without evidence of disloyalty or accusation. Was sent.

Two-thirds of those imprisoned were “second generations.” This is an American citizen born to the parents of Japanese immigrants in the United States. Their first-generation parents, called “Issei,” were prohibited by federal law from becoming citizens. The community was incapable of fighting removal and imprisonment due to lack of political influence and effective allies.

My next book, “When can I return to America?Voices of Japanese American imprisonment during World War II, ”Record the stories of many who have experienced this Tragedy of justice Just for their race. I also bravely served the U.S. military during the war, Unconstitutionally treated them unfairly, Their family and friends.

Separated unit

On January 5, 1942, the Ministry of the Army reclassified Japanese-American men from draft eligibility. “Enemy aliens” who are not draftedHowever, as the war continued until 1943, the US government called on Japanese-American volunteers to join the army.Thousands of them rushed to sign up and agreed to serve in the isolated all-second unit below. White Officer Command..

Most of these volunteers came from Hawaii, where Japanese Americans were generally allowed to stay in their homes. Future U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye, then college student, Was one of the first to attend..

On the mainland, about 1,500 second-generation men volunteered from ten euphemistically named “relocation centers.” these, 805 accepted for service, Meet the loyalty test conducted only on the imprisoned second generation. Some used Japanese skills in the Military Intelligence Service of the Pacific War, while others formed the 100th Infantry Battalion, which fought in Europe, including those belonging to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of Nisei personnel. ..

The barracks at the Manzanar War Relocation Authority in California relied on cloth dividers to provide privacy. Courtesy: US National Archives via Wikimedia Commons


By the end of 1943, U.S. military leaders were terribly aware of the shortage of personnel. The commander had heard an impressive report of a second-generation volunteer in training, and the political decision to reclassify Nisei as ineligible for the draft was being reconsidered. Mike Masaoka of the Japanese American Citizens’ Alliance was also lobbying in the brass of the military. “Demonstration in blood” Japanese Americans were loyal Americans.

On January 20, 1944, Secretary of the Army Henry Stimson announced the resurrection of the draft for all second-generation men. Today, young Japanese-American men were considered loyal enough to force military service. These drafts from the camp then fought in some of Europe’s bloodiest battles.

The second generation soldiers shared the spirit and motto of “Go for Broke”. This is a Hawaiian gambling slang where you bet everything with just one roll. They wanted to protect their country and give it all to prove their patriotism.

Japanese American soldiers helped Drive German troops out of Italy Then I went to eastern France and fought non-stop for almost two months. Vosges Mountains. Their last effort Rescue more than 200 soldiers from Texas, Stuck behind the German line for almost a week.

By the time the Nisei army emerged from Vosges, the number of dead and injured was higher than the living.A company started with 185 men, but eventually Only 8This horrific casualty rate earned the nickname of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.Purple Heart Battalion

Approximately 18,000 second-generation soldiers serve a total of 100th and 442nd, and together they and their units Won over 14,000 awards, Make it The most decorated military unit due to its size and length of service In all US military history.

One of the best military personnel in the Pacific War Nisei MIS interpreter It saved the lives of tens of thousands of Americans and shortened the war by two years.

Their heritage

The second-generation soldiers may have beaten the European Nazis and the Pacific Japanese, but they have returned to intensified racial prejudice only during the war. In 1981, MIS veteran Mits Usui wore a U.S. military uniform when he returned to his hometown of Los Angeles. The bus rider called him “Damn J * p”. How Inoue described San Francisco as a decorated second lieutenant with a hook instead of an arm lost in battle after being released from the hospital. The barber refused to cut his “J * p hair”.

The vigilantes terrorized the veterans’ families and prevented them from returning to their homes on the west coast. Some were under threat of physical harm. The government advertised the story of the courage of second-generation soldiers as part of a Japanese-American promotional campaign to combat terrorism.

The new stamp is based on a photo of US Army senior soldier Shirok “Whity” Yamamoto with the 100/442 Regimental Combat Team of the Antitank Company in Touët-de-Rescarene, France. Courtesy: United States Postal Service

For US Senator Spark Matsunaga, President Ronald Reagan’s signing of the Civil Liberty Act of 1988 was an important recognition of the wartime sacrifice of Nisei. The law officially apologized for the imprisonment and provided token compensation to the surviving prisoners. Matsunaga, the decorated 100/44 second member, recalled as follows.Efforts on the front – Giving up, injuring, injuring, and injuring our lives – all for over 45 years, a great purpose, a great ideal to get rid of the big stains in the Constitution. “

In 2005, the surviving second-generation veterans and their families joined the United States Postal Service. Postage stamps honoring all Japanese Americans who served in World War II, Including women who served. The campaign is supported by bipartisan locals, state and parliamentarians, as well as French citizens and French citizens and officials. Second generation hero They liberated their town from the German army. stamp Is one of the few in US postal history to feature Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders.conversation

This article will be republished from conversation Under a Creative Commons license.Read Original work..

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