Today is National “Go For Broke” Day. It is a day to push your limits and accomplish the unthinkable. It’s rich origins can be seen in this classic film, and it is a tale you should know about our nation’s history.
While Japanese citizens were being placed in camps in the United States during World War II, men of their community did this. From National Day Calendar :
“Our strongest research points to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the United States Army as the reason for this day. 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. “Go for Broke” was the 442nd Regimental Combat Team motto.
The story doesn’t end there, though. The date of April 5 is significant. On that day, the first Medal of Honor recipient from this regiment was killed in action near Seravazza, Italy in 1945.
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. The unit continued in battle near Serravezza, Carrara and Fosdinovo, Italy until April 14, 1945, and received the Presidential Unit Citation for outstanding accomplishments in combat. 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, 21 of the Medals of Honor were 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.
The 1951 movie Go for Broke depicts the story of the 442nd RTC for the big screen.”
Photo: Flickr/David Robert Bilwas