Governor Honors Utah's Nisei Veterans
Nov. 11, 2011
Whereas, at the inception of World War II pursuant to Executive Order 9066, 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were incarcerated in America's internment camps. The Nisei (second generation American born citizens) were classified 4C (enemy alien, unfit for military duty), and through unwarranted fear and discrimination were prevented from active service in the United States military;
Whereas, in 1943, the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Nisei soldiers from Hawaii and the mainland United States totaled 13,000, many from internment camps where their families remained incarcerated as they entered combat in Europe with their motto "Go for Broke;"
Whereas, they fought in seven campaigns in Italy and France, suffering extremely heavy casualties, a high rate for its original infantry strength. The 100th/442nd Battalion rescued the Texas First Battalion sustaining casualties 2 to 3 times that of the 211 Texans who walked to safety. After 10 days of bitter combat, they liberated the towns of Bruyeres, Belmont and Biffontaine.
Whereas, due to their bravery and valor, the 100th/442nd became one of the most decorated units in United States military history with more than 18,000 individual and unit decorations. Among those awards were 7 Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Congressional Medals of Honor, 29 Distinguished Service Crosses, one Distinguished Service Medal, 560 Silver Stars, more than 4,000 Bronze Stars and over 4,000 Purple Hearts;
Whereas, the Nisei Military Intelligence Service (MIS) conducted highly classified operations vital to the United States military successes in the Pacific Theater. During the Allied post war occupation of Japan, they were invaluable in assisting Japan in a peaceful transition to a new, democratic government;
Whereas, Congressional Gold Medal Bills H.R. 347 and S1055 unanimously passed the House of Representatives and the United States Senate, respectively to award the highest civilian award to the veterans of the 100th/442nd/MIS;
Whereas, on October 4, 2010, President Barack Obama signed S1055, awarding the Congressional Gold Medal collectively to the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service; and
Whereas, on November 2, 2011, members of the United States Congress and Senate, awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the 100th/442nd/MIS in a Ceremony held in Washington D.C.;
Now, Therefore, I, Gary R. Herbert, Governor of the State of Utah, do hereby declare November 11, 2011, as the
100th Infantry Battalion,
442nd Regimental Combat Team,
Military Intelligence Service
Day in Utah