Despite facing extreme race-based scrutiny and suspicion, Japanese Americans served in the U.S. military during WWII in disproportionate numbers—even as many of their families were stuck in government-run concentration camps. Most served in the segregated 442nd Regimental Combat Team and its predecessor, the 100th Infantry Battalion, but many others served as translators and interpreters in the Military Intelligence Service, and nearly 500 Nisei women served as nurses, Women’s Auxiliary Corps members, and MIS translators and teachers. This Veteran’s Day, we honor those who served by sharing some gems from collections recently added to the Densho archives.
To learn more, check out the Densho Encyclopedia articles on Japanese American military service during World War II, Japanese American women in the military, and the Military Intelligence Service, or visit the Go For Broke National Education Center.
Do you have objects from a veteran you’d like to add to the Densho Digital Repository? Please fill out this form to get in touch with our collections team. Know someone whose story should be captured in an oral history? Fill out the narrator nomination form here!
[Three soldiers acting as Honor Guard during a military parade, c. 1943-1944. Courtesy of the Matsui Family Collection, Densho.]