DA Poster 21-91 France, October 1944.

Remembering Hawaii’s 442nd

Bowfin Museum

The phrase “Go for broke” was the combat team's motto meaning,  “wager everything,” in Hawaiian Pidgin.  

The 442nd RCT was a regimental size fighting unit composed mainly of American soldiers of Japanese descent who volunteered to fight in World War II.  The 442nd RCT is considered to be the most decorated infantry regiment in the history of the United States Army.  

April 5 marks the day the first Medal of Honor recipient from this regiment was killed in action.  Private First Class Sadao Munemori sacrificed his life for the men in his unit when they were pinned down by enemy fire near Seravazza, Italy in 1945.  The unit received the Presidential Unit Citation for their outstanding accomplishments. This was just one of eight Presidential Unit Citations the unit would be awarded during their service.

Not only were they the most decorated unit for its size and length of service, but 21 Medals of Honor were also awarded.  The 442nd Regimental Combat Team also earned 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 1 Distinguished Service Medal, 560 Silver Stars, 22 Legion of Merit Medals, 15 Soldier’s Medals, 4,000 Bronze Stars and 9,486 Purple Hearts.