25 July 2010

Order of Battle: 442nd Regimental Combat Team in WWII

First of all, we were struggling with this being either a "War Heroes" entry or an "Order of Battle" entry. We're tagging it with both, but we're putting it in a regular feature instead of an occasional one.

The order of battle is also found on a site with an outstanding history of the unit.

-442nd Infantry Regiment
---1st Battalion (100th Infantry Battalion) - Companies A, B, C, D
---2nd Battalion - Companies E, F, G, H
---3rd Battalion - Companies I, K, L, M
-522 Field Artillery Battalion - 16 Mar 1945, reassigned to 7th Army
-232 Combat Engineering Company
-Anti- Tank Company
-Cannon Company
-Service Company
-206 Army Band

** Supporting Units
-599th Field Artillery Battalion of 92nd Division

As recounted by Cracked.com, it was one of the most impressive units in the US Army in WWII.

What you may not know is that some Japanese-Americans not stranded behind barbed wire actually fought in the U.S. military, a few thousand of them in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. And they performed pretty well.

And by "pretty well" we mean the 3,800 Japanese-American Rambos in the 442nd won 18,143 awards. That's not a typo. While serving in Africa, Italy, France and Germany, they won a mind-boggling 21 Medals of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars, 4,000 Bronze Stars and 9,486 Purple Hearts.

Wait. See that last number? Did you remember that those 9,486 Purple Hearts were earned by just 3,800 men? That's two and a half serious battle wounds per soldier.

This is the list of CMOH awards for the 442nd, according to Wikipedia.

Barney F. Hajiro
Mikio Hasemoto
Joe Hayashi
Shizuya Hayashi
Daniel K. Inouye
Yeiki Kobashigawa
Robert T. Kuroda
Kaoru Moto
Sadao Munemori
Kiyoshi K. Muranaga
Masato Nakae
Shinyei Nakamine
William K. Nakamura
Joe M. Nishimoto
Allan M. Ohata
James K. Okubo
Yukio Okutsu
Frank H. Ono
Kazuo Otani
George T. Sakato
Ted T. Tanouye

The symbolism of the unit crest comes from The Institute of Heraldry:

A silver color metal and enamel device 1 1/8 inches (2.86cm) in height overall consisting of the shield and motto of the coat of arms.

Blue and white are used for Infantry. The taro leaf, from the coat of arms of the 100th Infantry Battalion, is identified with Hawaii and the Mississippi River steam boat symbolizes the place of activation of the 442d Infantry Regiment.

The distinctive unit insignia was originally approved for the 442d Infantry Regiment, Organized Reserves Corps (Hawaii) on 22 May 1952. It was amended to withdraw "Organized Reserves Corps" from the designation on 30 Jun 1959.

By: Brant

1 comment:

werenotlostwereinfrance.com said...

Not to diminish the accomplishments of the 442nd, but about 14,000 men served in the Regiment over the course of the war, not just 3,800. 18,143 awards by about 14,000 men is still very impressive.