Photo Credit: U.S. Army Center of Military History
"Go For Broke" was more than a motto for the 442d Regimental Combat Team.
In France, October 1944. The rain and chill which precedes winter in the Vosges mountains had started. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was weary and battle-scarred after fighting in Italy. Most of its members were Americans of Japanese ancestry. Men with names like Sumida, Miyamoto, Takemoto and Tanaka would write a bright page in the history of the U.S. Army.
The 442nd was called on to rescue a surrounded U.S. battalion. They attacked the heavily fortified defenses of a superior German force, October 27. Fighting was desperate, often hand-to-hand. By October 30, nearly half the regiment had become casualties.
Then, something happened in the 442nd. By ones and twos, almost spontaneously and without orders, the men got to their feet and, with a kind of universal anger, moved toward the enemy positions. Bitter hand-to-hand combat ensued as the Americans fought from one fortified position to the next. Finally, the enemy broke in disorder.