The Nisei were second generation Japanese-Americans. During World War II, Japanese-Americans were incarcerated in internment camps by the U.S. government for fear that they might be disloyal and become spies for the enemies of the U.S. The Nisei were given the chance to join the military and fight for their country. They were still treated with suspicion and prejudice. Their mail was searched before they could read it, and their diaries confiscated.

They made up the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion, which were segregated. The 442nd/100th unit fought in the European and North African theaters of war where they proved their loyalty. They fought in seven major campaigns in Europe and also made two beachhead assaults. In France they rescued the 275 infantrymen of the Lost Battalion who were surrounded by Germans in enemy territory, but doing this was a high cost in casualties.

The 442nd/100th earned more than 18,000 individual citations and eight Presidential Unit Citations. After the war the unit became the most highly decorated in all of U.S military history. The unit was nick-named the Purple Heart Battalion. The reason being they had the highest casualty rate in the U.S. Army's history. More than 700 men were killed and 9,500 wounded in combat.

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