Japanese-American unit in World War II. Composed of all volunteers, the 442nd fought in the Italian campaign. The 442nd is the most decorated unit in United States history. In less than two years of combat, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team earned more than 18,000 individual decorations including one Medal of Honor, 53 Distinguished Service Crosses, 588 Silver Stars, 5,200 Bronze Star Medals, 9,486 Purple Hearts, and eight Presidential Unit Citations (the nation's top award for combat units). In June 2000, President Clinton awarded an additional 20 Medals of Honor to members of the 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team. One of these recipients was Hawaii's U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, whose right arm was shattered by a grenade while successfully destroying three German machine gun nests. The 442nd/100th sustained 9,486 wounded and over 600 killed suffered, the highest casualty rate of any American unit during the war. The plaque on the memorial reads: "This memorial is reverently placed here by the Japanese American Community, under the auspices of the Southern California Burial and Memorial Committee, in memory of American soldiers of Japanese ancestry who fought, suffered, and died in World War II that Liberty, Justice, and Equal Opportunity in the Pursuit of Happiness might come to all democratic and peace-loving people everywhere regardess of race, creed, color or national origin. Dedicated: May 30, 1949."
Bio by: Shiver