Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Veteran's Day Tribute

... Honoring the 442nd Regimental Combat Team from Hawaii that fought in World War II.

Two years ago, I paid tribute to the U.S. Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team from Hawaii that fought in World War II by issuing this cover picturing the color guard at attention. I made 50 of these.

The 442nd, aka “The Purple Heart Battalion,” was composed primarily of Japanese-Americans, and served in Europe in Italy, France and Germany. It was the most highly decorated unit in the history of the U.S. armed forces, with 21 Medal of Honor recipients.

During a time when Japanese-Americans were being interned in camps by the U.S. Government, many soldiers of the Hawaii National Guard, along with volunteers, joined the Army (2,900 men from Hawaii, and 1,500 from the mainland). The battalion was designated the 100th Infantry Battalion – the “One Puka Puka” (“puka” means “hole” in Hawaiian) – and was a part of the 442nd.

According to Wikipedia: “The 442nd is commonly reported to have suffered a casualty rate of 314 percent, informally derived from 9,486 Purple Hearts divided by some 3,000 original in-theater personnel.” Compare this to the official U.S. casualty rate in World War II of 93 percent.


casch said...

Your tribute is really great! Loved the history background you included.

Montee said...

They were true Americans. Fighting for freedom, no matter their circumstances.