‘Go for Broke’ stamp to honor WW II Nisei soldiers

Posted on Apr 26, 2021 in Capitol Connection, Featured, Main
Governor and Mrs. Ige with photos of their dads.

Governor and Mrs. Ige with photos of their dads.

A commemorative “Go for Broke” U.S. postage stamp with special meaning for Hawai‘i will be issued nationwide June 3. The recognition is based on the “Go for Broke” motto of the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team who defied all odds during WWII to become the most decorated unit in U.S. military history. The stamp honors the contributions of some 33,000 Japanese-American soldiers at a time when some members of their own families were sent to internment camps.The veteran pictured on the stamp is Shiroku “Whitey” Yamamoto from Hawai‘i island, who served in the 442nd unit. Yamamoto passed away a few years ago after decades of volunteering at the Army Museum at Fort DeRussy.

The fathers of both Governor and Mrs. Ige served in the 442nd unit — two-thirds of whom were Nisei from Hawai‘i. “I truly believe their generation was the greatest because they had to fight prejudice while the U.S. government was incarcerating  110,000 individuals of Japanese ancestry,” said Governor Ige. “In spite of that, they decided to sign up to fight for freedom and democracy and prove their loyalty to the United States.” Both the governor and First Lady said their fathers never talked about the war or the suffering they endured. In fact, the governor and his brothers always wondered why his dad referred to Oct. 30 as his “lucky day.” “My dad was in the battle to save the Texas ‘Lost Battalion’ under German attack in France,” said the governor. (In that battle, 211 men were rescued. The 442nd suffered over 800 casualties.) “We learned after he passed that Oct. 30 was the day he was injured in that battle, survived and earned his Purple Heart.”

Read more in the May Capitol Connection newsletter.

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