422nd RCT Color Guard in Vosges, France in November 1944. Photo: U.S. Signal Corps.
Press Release of 1st Division Museum at Cantigny Park
Wheaton, Ill. The First Division Museum at Cantigny Park continues its acclaimed Date with History series with a virtual program about Japanese American soldiers who fought hard for America in World War II. Filmmaker and historian Neil Yamamoto will present “Go for Broke! The 442nd Regimental Combat Team” via Zoom on Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 7:00 pm Central Time ( 8:00 pm ET/ 5:00 pm PT / 3:00 pm HT). The program is free, but registration is required at https://www.fdmuseum.org/event/go-for-broke-the-442nd-regimental-combat-team/.
The presentation will explain 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, served with the utmost distinction during the war and were the most 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.
Yamamoto, a fifth generation Japanese American, specializes in Japanese American history and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team specifically. His grandfather and uncles served in the unit during World War II. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Northern Colorado and created the educational curriculum for two 442nd Regimental Combat Team projects—“Journey of Heroes,” a comic book detailing the formation, combat exploits and legacy of the 442nd, and “Go For Broke: An Origins Story.” The latter is a Hawaii-produced feature film about the formation of the Varsity Victory Volunteers and 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Fimmaker Neil Yamamoto. Photo: Laura Sears.
The First Division Museum, part of Robert R. McCormick Foundations, promotes public learning about America’s military heritage and affairs through the history of the “Big Red One”—the famed 1st Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. The museum’s main exhibit hall, First in War, transports visitors to the trenches of World War I, the beaches of World War II and the jungles of Vietnam. Outside, tanks are displayed from every era, along with artillery pieces and a personnel carrier. The Robert R. McCormick Research Center, open to the public, houses the museum’s library, archival and photo collections.
The First Division Museum reopens for the 2021 season on Friday, February 5, and will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in February. For more information, visit FDMuseum.org.