Military

Military

In January 1943, the US War Department announced the formation of the segregated 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) made up of Nisei volunteers from Hawaii and the mainland. There were 953 Amache men and women who served in the segregated Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 100th Infantry Battalion, Military Intelligence Service (MIS), Women’s Army Corps, and Nurses Army Corps during WWII. This number was nearly ten percent of the people at Amache and the highest percentage of all the incarceration sites.

Thirty-one Amache men gave their lives in the war, including Medal of Honor recipient Kiyoshi K. Muranaga.  While their families were detained behind barbed wire, memorial services were held for Amache servicemen killed in action. Their names are inscribed on a monument at the Amache cemetery. A few Amache servicemen are buried in a US military cemetery in France. 

Thirty-two became language instructors in Army intelligence. The 442nd/100th is the most highly decorated unit for its size and length of service in the history of the U.S. Armed Forces, fighting in Italy, France and Germany, receiving eight Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses 559 Silver Stars, 4,000 Bronze Stars, and 9,486 Purple Hearts.

In April 1945, the 552nd Field Artillery Battalion of the 442nd RCT helped to liberate part of the Dachau death camp. Japanese Americans in the MIS served as interpreters in the Pacific theater and later during the Occupation of Japan; many served in both the 442nd and MIS. In 2010, Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian award, to the 100th/442nd/MIS. A bronze duplicate of the medal is on display at the Amache Museum in Granada, Colorado.

The Granada Pioneer newspaper published the Amache Honor Roll in its December 30, 1944 issue.