the 442nd was onl- activated for about one year, it would berndifficult, if not impossible, to track down another group of likernsize and time served to make a valid comparison, whatever therntrue figures are.rnGeneral Clark, in his 1950 book Calculated Risk, makes nornmention of the 442nd at all, but he does briefly mention thatrnthe 100th Battalion earned 89 personal awards and decorations.rnWinston Churchill, in his six-‘olume The Second World War,rnnever mentioned the Japanese-American unit. Nor did GeneralrnEisenhower in Crusade in Europe, or General OmarrnBradlev in A Soldier’s Story, and not a word about the unit isrnfound in A Soldier’s Record by Field Marshal Kessclring of thernGerman Army in Italy. Simply put, the reputation of thern442nd is largeK a postwar phenomenon.rnAs for the seven Presidential Unit Citations awarded thern442nd, this is certainly impressive, and unprecedented. It isrnalso well known that President Harry Truman was smittenrnwith this unit. In addition to awarding it numerous decorations,rnhe even held a White House reception for the entire regimentrnafter the war, another unprecedented act. This oldrnArmv guv from World War I who had an ingrained dislike forrnmarines—he denigrated them as “the Navy’s police force”rnwhose “propaganda machine . . . is almost equal to Stalin’s”rnand tried to have the Corps disarmed and disbanded—evenrngranted full presidential pardons to 267 Nisei draft dodgers.rnRoger Daniels, in his 1971 book Concentration Camps USA:rnJapanese-Americans and World War U, gives an accurate accountrnof how the military fawned upon the 442nd from the very start:rnFrom the very beginning, the Army gave special treatmentrnto the Japanese-American units. In May 194> .. .rndue to a suggestion by Assistant Secretar- of Wir JohnrnMeCloy, the 442nd was given its own band even thoughrnthe normal Army T.O. [Table of Organization] did notrnauthorize a band for a Regimental Combat Team. . . .rnMilitary honors of all kinds were showered upon the Niseirntroops as thev became the “most decorated” unit inrnthe Armv. Historians must insist that this particular accoladernbe largely meaningless.rnThere is also great controversy concerning those Nisei whornserved in the Pacific during the war. Known as “Nisei LanguagernPersonnel” or “Nisei Interpreters,” they later assumed therntitle “Nisei Military Intelligence” and claimed that because ofrntheir intelligence services the war was shortened by two yearsrnand a million American lives were saved. This accolade reportedlyrncame from General Douglas MacArthur, or from hisrnintelligence chief, General Willoughby. It was directed, however,rnat the true World War II Militarv Intelligence personnel,rnwhich the Nisei took to mean themselves. According to DavidrnLownran—former Special Assistant to the Director of the NationalrnSecurity Agency, former intelligence officer, andrnrenowned authority on Worid War II intelligence—”It is absolutelyrnuntrue that Japanese-Americans were involved in thesern[intelligence] aetiities. Rightly or wrongly, they were excludedrnfrom these operations throughout the Pacific War—becausernof securit} considerations.” Admiral Edwin Layton,rnChief of Intelligence for the Pacific Fleet under admirals Kimmelrnand Nimitz, states in his book And I Was There that “thernintelligence obtained from enem’ radio traffic provided AdmiralrnNimitz with the tactical and strategic key to his Pacificrncampaign. Even General MacArthur was to concede that radiornintelligence ‘saved us many thousands of lives and shortenedrnthe war by no less than two years.'” Admiral Layton wasrnreferring to Caucasian naval intelligence officers. He makes nornmention at all of the work or services of Nisei or Japanese-rnAmericans.rnAn artillery unit of the 442nd even claims to have liberatedrnthe concentration camp at Dachau. Goernor John Waihee ofrnHawaii said point-blank in August 1991 that the Nisei 442ndrnwas responsible for “liberating Dachau” and “ending the holocaust.”rnThe fact is that I Company 3rd Battalion, 157th Infantryrnof the 45 th Division, was the unit that liberated Dachau;rnits lead scout was Pfc. John Degro, the first American to enterrnthe camp. After the capture of more than 50 SS Nazi guards,rnthe infantry dispensed food, clothing, and medical supplies tornthe camp’s prisoners—all of which occurred long before the arrivalrnof supporting forces of the 7th Army, which the 522ndrnField Artillery Battalion, also a combined force of Caucasiansrnand Japanese-Americans, had joined after being separatedrnfrom the 442nd. Now, the 522nd ma’ at some later timernhave entered Dachau as part of the 7th Army. But again, thern522nd—like the 442nd in general—was never an “all Japanese-rnAmerican” unit. All of the officers at the 522nd’s BattalionrnHeadquarters were Caucasian. Of 11 officers in the HeadquartersrnBattery, eight were Caucasians. Of the 27 ofhcersrnleading Batteries A, B, and C, only four were ]apanese-Americans.rnAs retired Colonel Howard A. Beuehner, author ofrnDachau and the first medical officer to enter the camp upon itsrnliberation, concludes: “I am familiar with the claim that thernJapanese 442nd Regimental Combat Team liberated thernDachau concentration camp. This claim is absolutely invalid.rn. . . This is erroneous information.” As erroneous as the claimrnmade by a recent “documentary” that the “real” liberator wasrnan all-black unit of the U.S. Army.rnRetired Lt. Col. Homer R. Ankrum, author of The 34thrnDivision, adds this:rnThe 442nd RCT surelv had—and still has—an outstandingrnpublic relations and press capability. . . . I can’trneen venture to guess how the 100th Battalion andrn442nd awards could show such a variance over the years.rnIf my memory serves me right, awards recommendationsrnhad to be substantiated within three years afterrnthe action for which the award was recommended.rnEeryone I interviewed had a high regard for the 100thrnBn. . . . Some stated they felt the 100th had morernawards approved due to the fact they were Japanese-rnAmericans and the publicity was good for other Niseirnback in the States.rnThe Nisei’s public-relations ‘entures have neer ceased. Thevrncontinue to push for a memorial to their wartime achievementsrn—specifically, their names engras’ed on a wall of graniternin downtown Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo, a project for which therncity government has generously offered tax money.rnIt is doubtful if many World War II veterans can recite thernnumber of awards issued to his battalion or regiment; I know Irncannot. I do not even remember the number of awards issuedrnme. Most combat veterans have also long since abandonedrnwhatever beefed-up tales they may have told of their war experiencesrnto impress the ladies or to awe noncombatants. Is itrnnot time the Nisei followed suit?rnFEBRUARY 1995/25rnrnrn