This presentation will outline the formation, training, and combat exploits of the Varsity Victory Volunteers, 100th Infantry Battalion, and 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. These units, comprised of Japanese Americans in Hawaii and mainland internment camps would serve with the utmost distinction during World War II, and would be credited as the most highly decorated unit of their size and length of service in the history of the United States Armed Forces. Today, the 100th Battalion/442nd Infantry Regiment remains the only infantry unit in the United States Army Reserve. Presented by Mr. Neil Yamamoto, a descendant of the 442nd, this presentation seeks to prove that Japanese American soldiers in World War II had "but one loyalty...to the United States."
MEET THE SPEAKER: Neil Yamamoto is a 5th generation Japanese American. His family has roots in Hawaii since the 1890s. Neil specializes in Japanese American History, and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, specifically. His grandfather and uncles served in the unit during World War II. Neil is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He has created the educational curriculum for two 442nd Regimental Combat Team specific projects, “Journey of Heroes” a comic book detailing the formation, combat exploits, and legacy of the 442nd, and “Go For Broke: An Origins Story” a Hawaii-produced feature film about the formation of the Varsity Victory Volunteers and 442nd Regimental Combat Team.