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Original U.S. WWII 442nd Regimental Combat Team Named Ike Jacket For Technician 5th Grade Charles Reiko M. Endo - Japanese American Nisei

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Original Items: Only One Available. Calling this ike jacket incredibly rare is an understatement. Technician 5th Grade Charles Reiko M. Endo was assigned to the 442nd Combat Team during World War Two. Endo was a very common last name encountered for the 442nd, making this a wonderful research opportunity.

The 442nd is best known for its history as a fighting unit composed almost entirely of second-generation American soldiers of Japanese ancestry (Nisei) who fought in World War II. Beginning in 1944, the regiment fought primarily in the European Theatre, in particular Italy, southern France, and Germany. Many of the soldiers had families in internment camps while they fought abroad. The unit's motto was "Go for Broke". The 442nd Regiment is the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.

This is an excellent condition Ike jacket named on the interior with a simple written name as “Endo”. Wonderful condition patches, ribbons and awards though the devices appear to have been added to complete the appearance, patched insignia is period applied. Medal ribbons as follows: Purple Heart, European-African-Middle East Campaign with three battle stars, Army Good Conduct, American Defense, Presidential Unit Citation. Overseas service bars on left cuff indication 12+ months of overseas service. Jacket size is 34R.

Comes more than ready for further research and display.

The 442nd Regiment is the most decorated unit in U.S. military history. Created as the 442nd Regimental Combat Team when it was activated February 1, 1943, the unit quickly grew to its fighting complement of 4,000 men by April 1943, and an eventual total of about 14,000 men served overall. The unit earned more than 18,000 awards in less than two years, including 9,486 Purple Hearts and 4,000 Bronze Star Medals. The unit was awarded eight Presidential Unit Citations (five earned in one month). Twenty-one of its members were awarded Medals of Honor. In 2010, the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and associated units who served during World War II,[7] and in 2012, all surviving members were made chevaliers of the French Légion d'Honneur for their actions contributing to the liberation of France and their heroic rescue of the Lost Battalion.

Arriving in the European Theatre, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, with its three infantry battalions, one artillery battalion and associated HQ and service companies, was attached to the 34th Infantry Division. On 11 June 1944, near Civitavecchia, Italy, the existing 100th Infantry Battalion, another all-Nisei fighting unit which had already been in combat since September 1943, was transferred from the 133rd Infantry Regiment to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Because of its combat record, the 100th was allowed to keep their original designation, with the 442nd renaming its 1st Infantry Battalion as its 100th Infantry Battalion. The related 522nd Field Artillery Battalion liberated at least one of the satellite labor camps of CC Camp prison camp and saved survivors of a death march near Waakirchen.

The 442nd saw heavy combat during World War II,[10] and was not inactivated until 1946, only to be reactivated as a reserve unit in 1947 and garrisoned at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. The 442nd lives on through the 100th Battalion/442nd Infantry Regiment, which has maintained an alignment with the active 25th Infantry Division since a reorganization in 1972. This alignment has resulted in the 100th/442nd Infantry Regiment's mobilization for combat duty in the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, in which the unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation. With the 100th/442nd Infantry Regiment the last infantry unit in the Army Reserve, the 442nd's current members carry on the honors and traditions of the historical unit.

Most Japanese Americans who fought in World War II were Nisei, born in the United States to immigrant parents. Shortly after the Imperial Japanese Navy's attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, Japanese-American men were initially categorized as 4C (enemy alien) and therefore not subject to the draft. On 19 February 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing military authorities to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion.

Although the order did not refer specifically to people of Japanese ancestry, it was targeted largely for the internment of people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast. In March 1942, Lieutenant General John L. DeWitt, head of the Western Defense Command and Fourth Army, issued the first of 108 military proclamations that resulted in the forced relocation from their residences to guarded relocation camps of more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast, the great majority of the ethnic community. Two thirds were born in the United States.

The newly-formed Nisei unit went into battle together on 26 June 1944 at the village of Belvedere in Suvereto, Tuscany. Although the 100th was attached to the 442nd, its actions earned it a separate Presidential Unit Citation. Second and Third Battalions were the first to engage the enemy, in a fierce firefight. F Company bore the worst fighting. A, B, and C Companies of the 100th were called into combat and advanced east using a covered route to reach the high ground northeast of Belvedere. The enemy did not know that the 100th was flanking the German exit, trapping them in Belvedere. C Company blocked the town's entrance while A Company blocked the exit. Meanwhile, the 442nd's 2nd Battalion was receiving a heavy barrage by the Germans from inside Belvedere, and the Germans remained unaware of their situation. B Company stayed on the high ground and conducted a surprise attack on the German battalion's exposed east flank, forcing the Germans to flee and run into C Company, which then drove the Germans to A Company.

All three companies went into action boldly facing murderous fire from all types of weapons and tanks and at times fighting without artillery support.... The stubborn desire of the men to close with a numerically superior enemy and the rapidity with which they fought enabled the 100th Infantry Battalion to destroy completely the right flank positions of a German Army.... The fortitude and intrepidity displayed by the officers and men of the 100th Infantry Battalion reflects the finest traditions of the Army of the United States.

The 442nd, along with its first battalion, the 100th, kept driving the enemy north, engaging in multiple skirmishes until they had passed Sassetta. The battle of Belvedere showed that the 442nd could hold their own and showed them the kind of fighting the 100th Battalion had gone through in the prior months. After only a few days of rest, the united 442nd again entered into combat on 1 July, taking Cecina and moving towards the Arno River. On 2 July, as the 442nd approached the Arno, 5th Battalion engaged in a hard-fought battle to take Hill 140, while on 7 July the 100th fought for the town of Castellina Marittima.

Hill 140 and Castellina
For the first three weeks of July, the 442nd and its 1st Battalion, the 100th, were constantly attacking German forces, leading to 1,100 enemy killed and 331 captured.

Hill 140 was the main line of enemy resistance. A single German battalion held the hill and, along with the help of artillery, had completely wiped out a machine-gun squad of L Company of the 3rd Battalion and G Company of 2nd Battalion except for its commander.A constant barrage of artillery shells were launched against the 2nd and 3rd Battalions as they dug in at the hill's base. The 442nd gained very little ground in the coming days only improving their position slightly. The 232nd Engineers aided the 442nd by defusing landmines that lay in the 442nd's path. The entire 34th Division front encountered heavy resistance. "All along the 34th Infantry Division Front the Germans held more doggedly than at any time since the breakthrough at Cassino and Anzio." Hill 140 had been dubbed "Little Cassino" as the resistance by the Germans was so fierce. "Hill 140, when the medics were just overrun with all the casualties; casualties you couldn't think to talk about." The 2nd Battalion moved to the eastern front of Hill 140 and 3rd Battalion moved to the western front, both converging on the German flanks. It wasn't until 7 July when the last German resistance was taken down that the hill came under the 34th Division's control.

On the day Hill 140 fell, the battle for the town of Castellina Marittima began. The 100th began its assault on the northwestern side of the town taking the high ground. Just before dawn, 2nd Platoon C Company moved into town, encountering heavy resistance and multiple counterattacks by German forces but held them off. In the meantime Company B moved north into Castellina, encountering heavy resistance as well. First they helped defend 2nd and 3rd Battalions in the taking of Hill 140. Then with the help of the 522nd Field Artillery, they lay down a heavy barrage and forced the Germans to retreat by 1800 hours on 7 July. The 100th dug in and waited for relief to arrive after spending an entire day securing the town.

Until 25 July, the 442nd encountered heavy resistance from each town when they reached the Arno River, ending the Rome-Arno Campaign. The 100/442 suffered casualties of 1,272 men (17 missing, 44 non-combat injuries, 972 wounded, and 239 killed) in the process, a distance of only 40 miles (64 km). They rested from 25 July to 15 August, when the 442nd moved to patrol the Arno. Crossing the Arno on 31 August was relatively uneventful, as they were guarded the north side of the river in order for bridges to be built. On 11 September the 442nd was detached from the Fifth Army and then attached to the 36th Infantry Division of the Seventh Army.

Antitank Company
On 15 July the Antitank Company was pulled from the frontlines and placed with the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Airborne Task Force. They had trained at an airfield south of Rome to prepare for the invasion of Southern France which took place on 15 August, landing near Le Muy, France. They trained for a few weeks to get used to, prepare, properly load, and fly gliders. These gliders were 48 feet (15 m) long and 15 feet (4.6 m) high, and could hold a jeep and a trailer filled with ammunition, or a British six-pounder antitank gun.[26][dead link] The Southern France Campaign, 15 August to 14 September, led the 442nd to its second Presidential Unit Citation for invading in gliders and the Combat Infantryman Badge for fighting with the infantrymen of the 7th Army. The soldiers of Antitank Company received the Glider Badge. After many rough landings by the gliders, hitting trees or enemy flak, they held their positions for a few days until relieved by Allied troops coming in by sea. For the next two months the Antitank Company guarded the exposed right flank of the Seventh Army and protected the 517th Parachute Infantry. The unit also cleared mines, captured Germans, and guarded roads and tunnels. In mid-to-late October, the Antitank Company rejoined the 442nd during the battle to find the "Lost Battalion.

Vosges Mountains
After leaving Naples, the 442nd landed in Marseille on 30 September and for the next few weeks they traveled 500 miles (800 km) through the Rhone Valley, by walking and by boxcar, until 13 October. On 14 October 1944 the 442nd began moving into position in the late afternoon preparing the assault on Hills A, B, C, and D of Bruyères. Each hill was heavily guarded, as each hill was key in order to take and secure the city. Hill A was located Northwest of Bruyères, Hill B to the North, Hill C Northeast, and Hill D to the East. The 442nd had experienced mainly prairie in Italy, but the Vosges Mountains provided a very different terrain. The unit faced dense fog, mud, heavy rain, large trees, hills, and heavy enemy gunfire and artillery while moving through the Vosges. AH had ordered the German frontline to fight at all costs as this was the last barrier between the Allied forces and Germany. On 15 October 1944 the 442nd began its attack on Bruyères. The 100th Battalion moved on Hill A, which was held by the SS Polizei Regiment 19, as 2nd Battalion moved in on Hill B. Third Battalion was left to take Bruyères.

After heavy fighting dealing with enemy machine guns and snipers and a continuous artillery barrage placed onto the Germans, the 100th Battalion was eventually able to take Hill A by 3 a.m. on 18 October. 2nd Battalion took Hill B in a similar fashion only hours later. Once Hill A and B were secured, 3rd Battalion along with the 36th Infantry's 142nd Regiment began its assault from the south. After the 232nd broke through the concrete barriers around town hall of Bruyères, the 442nd captured 134 Wehrmacht members including Poles, Yugoslavs, Somalis, East Indians of the Regiment "Freies Indien", 2nd and 3rd Company of Fusilier Battalion 198, Grenadier Regiment 736, and Panzer Grenadier Regiment 192. After three days of fighting Bruyères fell but was not yet secured. Germans on Hill C and D used that high-ground to launch artillery barrages on the town; Hills C and D needed to be taken to secure Bruyères.

The 442nd initially took Hills C and D but did not secure them and they fell back into German hands. By noon of 19 October, Hill D was taken by 2nd and 3rd Battalions, who then were ordered to take a railroad embankment leaving Hill D unsecure. As the 100th began moving on Hill C on 20 October, German forces retook Hill D during the night. The 100th Battalion was ordered back to Bruyères into reserve, allowing a German force onto Hill C, surprising another American division arriving into position. Retaking Hill C cost another 100 casualties. Hill D fell back into Allied hands after a short time, finally securing the town. The 232nd Engineers had to dismantle roadblocks, clear away trees and clear mine fields all in the midst of the battle. The 100th rested, then was called to the battle for Biffontaine.

The 100th was ordered to take the high-ground but was eventually ordered to move into the town, leading to a bitter fight after the 100th were encircled by German forces: cut off from the 442nd, outside radio contact, and outside artillery support. The 100th were in constant battle from 22 October until dusk of 23 October, engaging in house to house fighting and defending against multiple counterattacks. 3rd Battalion of the 442nd reached the 100th and helped drive out the remaining German forces, handing Biffontaine to the 36th. 182,183 On 24 October the 143rd Infantry of the 36th Division relieved the 100th and 3rd Battalion who were sent to Belmont, another small town to the north, for some short-lived rest. Nine days of constant fighting continued as they were then ordered to save T-Patchers, the 141st Regiment of the 36th Infantry, the "Lost Battalion."

Lost Battalion
After less than two days in reserve, the 442nd was ordered to attempt the rescue of the "Lost Battalion" two miles east of Biffontaine.On 23 October Colonel Lundquist's 141st Regiment, soon to be known as the "Alamo" Regiment, began its attack on the German line that ran from Rambervillers to Biffontaine. Tuesday morning, 24 October, the left flank of the 141st, commanded by Technical Sergeant Charles H. Coolidge, ran into heavy action, fending off numerous German attacks throughout the days of 25 and 26 October. The right flank command post was overrun and 275 men of Lieutenant Colonel William Bird's 1st Battalion Companies A, B, C, and a platoon from Company D were cut off 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) behind enemy lines. The "Lost Battalion" was cut off by German troops and was forced to dig in until help arrived. It was nearly a week before they saw friendly soldiers.

At 4 a.m. on Friday 27 October, General John E. Dahlquist ordered the 442nd to move out and rescue the cut-off battalion. The 442nd had the support of the 522nd and 133rd Field Artillery units but at first made little headway against German General Richter's infantry and artillery front line. For the next few days the 442nd engaged in the heaviest fighting it had seen in the war, as the elements combined with the Germans to slow their advance. Dense fog and very dark nights prevented the men from seeing even twenty feet. Many men had to hang onto the man in front of him just to know where to go. Rainfall, snow, cold, mud, fatigue, trench foot, and even exploding trees plagued them as they moved deeper into the Vosges and closer to the German frontlines. The 141st continued fighting—in all directions.

When we realized we were cut off, we dug a circle at the top of the ridge. I had two heavy, water-cooled machine guns with us at this time, and about nine or ten men to handle them. I put one gun on the right front with about half of my men, and the other gun to the left. We cut down small trees to cover our holes and then piled as much dirt on top as we could. We were real low on supplies, so we pooled all of our food.
— SSgt. Jack Wilson of Newburgh, Indiana

Airdrops with ammo and food for the 141st were called off by dense fog or landed in German hands. Many Germans did not know that they had cut off an American unit. "We didn't know that we had surrounded the Americans until they were being supplied by air. One of the supply containers, dropped by parachute, landed near us. The packages were divided up amongst us." Only on 29 October was the 442nd told why they were being forced to attack the German front lines so intensely.

The fighting was intense for the Germans as well. Gebirgsjäger Battalion 202 from Salzburg was cut off from Gebirgsjager Battalion 201 from Garmisch. Both sides eventually rescued their cut-off battalions.

As the men of the 442nd went deeper and deeper they became more hesitant, until reaching the point where they would not move from behind a tree or come out of a foxhole. However, this all changed in an instant. The men of Companies I and K of 3rd Battalion had their backs against the wall, but as each one saw another rise to attack, then another also rose. Then every Nisei charged the Germans screaming, and many screaming "Banzai!"[24]:83 Through gunfire, artillery shells, and fragments from trees, and Nisei going down one after another, they charged.

Colonel Rolin's grenadiers put up a desperate fight, but nothing could stop the Nisei rushing up the steep slopes, shouting, firing from the hip, and lobbing hand grenades into dugouts. Finally the German defenses broke and the surviving grenadiers fled in disarray. That afternoon the American aid stations were crowded with casualties. The 2nd platoon of Company I had only two men left, and the 1st platoon was down to twenty." On the afternoon of 30 October, 3rd Battalion broke through and reached the 141st, rescuing 211 T-Patchers at the cost of 800 men in five days. However, the fighting continued for the 442nd as they moved past the 141st. The drive continued until they reached Saint-Die on 17 November when they were finally pulled back. The 100th fielded 1,432 men a year earlier, but was now down to 239 infantrymen and 21 officers. Second Battalion was down to 316 riflemen and 17 officers, while not a single company in 3rd Battalion had over 100 riflemen; the entire 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team was down to less than 800 soldiers. Earlier (on 13 October) when attached to the 36th Infantry, the unit was at 2,943 riflemen and officers, thus in only three weeks 140 were killed and a further 1,800 had been wounded, while 43 were missing.

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