442nd IRCT

Asian Americans in World War 2

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The 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team was a team in World War 2 made up of mostly Asian Americans. But getting to get them in the war was a very hard part for some military leaders.

´´Several months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, a fearful and distrusting America barred its Japanese-American citizens from military service, altering their draft status from 1-A draft eligible to 4-C “enemy alien.”(442nd Regimental Combat Team).


Colonel Pettigrew saw an oppurtunity for the Japanese part of America to show what they were made of. He gave them a chance they deserved. He was going to show to America that the Japanese Americans weren’t the Japanese in Japan but instead they were just the same if not more loyal than the ones opressing them.

Considering the hysterical fear, distrust and prejudice against all Japanese following the Pearl Harbor attack, Colonel Pettigrew displayed remarkable foresight, conviction, and courage to even suggest that U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry be organized into an American fighting unit.

The great majority of second-generation citizens of Japanese ancestry was unquestionably loyal. (He recommended) that a Division of these men be formed in the Army of the United States for combat duty in the theater of war where they would not have to fight Japanese” Many people in the military disagreed with Pettigrew, but after a suggestion and stating that they were just as loyal as every other soldier and marine in the war. He stated to help the situation to help ease tension that they could stay away from the Pacific war thearte but they could go fight over in Europe.

The Japanese Americans didn't like the names that some of the White Soldiers would call them. In their eyes they were just the same and they weren't the enemy.

The men proved from the beginning to be willing, conscientious, loyal, and anxious to prove their devotion to their country. Colonel Pettigrew stated. This even showed how loyal the Japanese Americans were.