442nd Regimental Combat Team
The 100th Infantry Battalion began as part of the Hawaii National Guard. On June 5, 1942, 1,432 men left Hawaii for training at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin, and later at Camp Shelby, Mississippi. The 100th shipped out to North Africa on August 23, 1943, and saw heavy action in Italy. Because of its heavy casualties and many honors, the 100th became known as the "Purple Heart Battalion." The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was initially formed in 1943 from Japanese American volunteers from Hawaii and the mainland. Perhaps not surprisingly, only about 1,250 Japanese Americans volunteered from the concentration camps. In Hawaii, where there was no mass removal, almost 10,000 volunteered. The 442nd arrived in Italy in June 1944 where the battle-tested 100th Infantry Battalion became its 1st Battalion. In seven major campaigns, the 442nd became the most decorated unit for its size and length of service; the unit suffered 9,476 casualties, more than 300 percent of its original strength.
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