It's Go for Broke Day!
The unit's motto, "Go for Broke," reflected their determination to give their all, no matter the cost. The phrase was slang among gamblers in Hawaii, where many soldiers had grown up before the war. It meant to wager everything, to risk everything for the chance to win big. For the soldiers of the 442nd, it meant putting their lives on the line to serve a country that had treated them as second-class citizens.
The 442nd Infantry Regiment was sent to Europe, where they would fight in some of the war's deadliest battles. They were tasked with rescuing the "Lost Battalion," a group of American soldiers surrounded by German forces in the Vosges Mountains. The 442nd soldiers fought through heavy enemy fire and rugged terrain to reach the Lost Battalion, eventually rescuing over 200 soldiers.
Throughout their time in Europe, the soldiers of the 442nd faced unimaginable danger and hardship. They fought in Italy, France, and Germany, earning numerous medals for bravery and sacrifice. The unit became the most decorated in the history of the United States military, with 21 Medal of Honor recipients and over 9,000 Purple Hearts awarded.
The soldiers of the 442nd Infantry Regiment knew that they were fighting for their country, their families, and their community. They had been labeled as "enemy aliens," forced to leave their homes and businesses, and sent to camps far from everything they knew. But they refused to let that define them. Instead, they embraced their motto and gave everything they had in service to their country.
After the war, the soldiers of the 442nd returned home to a changed world. The internment camps had closed, but discrimination and racism persisted in their communities. Many of the soldiers had lost family members or returned home to find their homes and businesses destroyed. But they continued to "go for broke" to give their all to make their communities and their country a better place.