During World War II, a combat team solely comprised of Japanese-Americans fought fearlessly on the European front. The 442nd battalion pushed back enemy forces, rescued their comrades in the Vosges Mountains, and liberated Jewish prisoners in Dachau. Back home, however, their families were incarcerated in government camps—it was a crime to have Japanese blood since the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Susumu “Sus” Ito, 96, was one of the 9,000 men that served in the 442nd combat team. Born and raised in Stockton, Calif., his parents and sister, too, were evacuated to Rohwer, Ark. The segregation took his family, and his fight to prove his loyalty paved way for the acceptance of future generations of Japanese Americans.