2021 55¢ Go For Broke: Japanese Soldiers of World War II
Value: 55¢ 1-ounce First-class rate (Forever)
Issue Date: June 3, 2021
First Day City: Los Angeles, CA
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Intaglio, offset
Format: Pane of 20
Quantity Printed: 20,000,000
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, distrust of Japanese Americans was widespread. In spite of this, some 33,000 Nisei (children of Japanese immigrants) volunteered to join the war effort, displaying inspiring valor and loyalty to America.
The 100th Infantry Battalion was the first Japanese American unit formed from the Hawaii National Guard. Based on their exemplary service, the Army created the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT). Together, they became the most decorated unit in US military history with more than 4,000 Purple Hearts, 560 Silver Stars, and 52 Distinguished Service Crosses among others. Initially, only one member received the Medal of Honor during the war. This was later reevaluated and 20 additional medals were awarded.
Japanese Americans also served in the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion, which helped liberate the Dachau concentration camp. And about 6,000 served in the Military Intelligence Service. They translated Japanese documents and went behind enemy lines to intercept and translate Japanese orders. They also shouted conflicting commands to confuse Japanese soldiers.
Over 800 Nisei gave their lives in the war. In the years since, they've earned increased recognition. This includes the adoption of April 5 as "Go For Broke Day," a reference to the 442nd RCT's motto.