Go For Broke: World War II Forever Stamp Honors Japanese American Veterans
* Updated June 5, 10:20 AM
The US Postal Service issued the Go For Broke: Japanese American Soldiers of WWII stamp on Thursday. This commemorative Forever stamp honors the second-generation Japanese Americans, also known as nisei, that formed one of the most distinguished American fighting units of World War II: the all-Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, whose motto was “Go for Broke.”
The stamp was dedicated during a virtual ceremony and is now being sold at Post Office locations nationwide and online at usps.com/shopstamps.
“As a military veteran, I have the greatest appreciation for the more than 33,000 nisei, or second-generation Japanese Americans, that served our nation during World War II,” said Donald L. Moak, a member of the US Postal Service Board of Governors, who served as the dedicating official for the ceremony. “Today, with this stamp, the Postal Service recognizes the contributions that Japanese American soldiers made while serving in the US Army during World War II.”
Joining Moak to dedicate the stamp were retired Army Gen. David A. Bramlett; World War II veterans Shinye Gima, Don S. Miyada and Yoshio Nakamura; and attorney Staci Toji.
The stamp was designed by Antonio Alcalá and is based on a photograph of a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The photograph was taken in 1944 at a railroad station in France. The stamp was printed in the intaglio print method. The color scheme of the stamp is patriotic, and the type runs up the side in manner suggestive of the vertical style in which Japanese text was traditionally written.
For a time after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, second-generation Japanese Americans were subjected to increased scrutiny and prejudice because of their heritage.
These second-generation Japanese Americans eventually formed what became one of the most distinguished American fighting units of World War II: the all-Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, whose motto was “Go for Broke.”
The Army also turned to nisei to serve as translators, interpreters and interrogators in the Pacific theater for the Military Intelligence Service. Nearly a thousand nisei served in the 1399th Engineering Construction Battalion and more than 100 nisei women joined the Women’s Army Corp. Altogether, some 33,000 Japanese Americans served in the US Army during World War II.
Representative Scott Y. Nishimoto (D-21, Kapahulu, McCully, Mōʻiliʻili):
“Japanese Americans who served our country during World War II from Hawai’i and the mainland were among the bravest and most highly decorated soldiers during the war. They faced discrimination at home and abroad but despite that these brave men fought, and many gave their lives, to preserve our country’s freedom. This recognition is well deserved.”
Rep. Nadine K. Nakamura (D-14, Hanalei, Princeville, Kīlauea, Anahola, Kapaʻa, Wailua) said, “The Nisei soldiers of the 442d Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion are exemplary role models who displayed perseverance, bravery, and aloha. This stamp includes their motto ‘Go for Broke’ which became the basis for their teamwork and victories on the battlefield. Their achievements live on as part of our collective memories of this turbulent time in our history.”
Rep. Della Au Belatti (D-24, Makiki, Tantalus, Papakōlea, McCully, Pāwa‘a, Mānoa) said, “The community efforts to bring this ‘Go for Broke’ forever stamp is to be applauded. This stamp not only honors the bravery and dedication of our Japanese American Nisei soldiers; it reminds us of our obligation to carry on the legacy of these soldiers to fight for a more equal and just world.”