As previously mentioned, the past several months have been occupied with planning for an exhibit celebrating the 75th anniversary of the formation of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT).
Early on in WWII, all Japanese American citizens were classified by the Selective Service as 4-C, ‘enemy aliens’. Even after that blanket classification was lifted, however, some branches of the U.S. military never accepted more than a handful of Americans of Japanese Ancestry (AJAs). The Army was the major exception, eventually fielding tens of thousands of Japanese Americans in various units, including the 442nd RCT.
Using documents and artifacts from the collections of UH-Mānoa Library’s University Archives & Manuscripts Department, ‘Loyalty Honored’ first looks at the 442nd’s wartime service in Europe, with detours along the way to examine AJA units like the 100th Battalion and the Varsity Victory Volunteers that paved the way for the RCT on the one hand and those like the Military Intelligence Service and the AJAs of the Women’s Army Corps that served primarily in the Pacific. It then touches on a few of the ways the 442nd’s legacy has endured and grown more widely recognized since the veterans returned home, reunited with their comrades, and started sharing their stories.
The exhibit is split into two parts: two cases of highlights in Hamilton Library’s main lobby, and the main exhibit in the University Archives & Manuscripts Department’s Moir Reading Room. The highlight cases are on view March 5th-30th; while the main exhibit is on view through May during the Archives’ open hours, M-F 9:30-3:30. (To see the exhibit when the Archives isn’t open—Mondays 9:30-5 and Tuesdays-Fridays 3:30-5—please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.)
Additional exhibit photos: