The U.S. Postal Service is set to launch a new stamp on June 3 commemorating the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, a unit comprised entirely of Japanese-Americans, who fought with distinction during World War II.
In a statement to American Military News, USPS said it created the new stamp as a way of honoring the all-Japanese-American unit and the contributions of Japanese-Americans throughout World War II.
“For a time after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, second-generation Japanese Americans were subjected to increased scrutiny and prejudice because of their heritage,” the USPS said in a description for the stamp. “Known as nisei, these second-generation Japanese Americans were eventually able to join the war effort. The Army turned to nisei to serve as translators, interpreters and interrogators in the Pacific theater for the Military Intelligence Service. Nearly a thousand nisei men served in the 1399th Engineering Construction Battalion and more than 100 nisei women joined the Women’s Army Corp. Altogether, some 33,000 Japanese Americans served in the U.S. Army during World War II.”
100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team primarily served in the European Theater of the war and saw action in Italy, France and Germany.
USPS noted 442nd Regimental Combat Team’s motto of “Go for Broke.” The USPS is subsequently promoting the new stamp with the hashtags #GoForBroke and #GoForBrokestamp. A virtual dedication ceremony will be held June 3 at 11 a.m. EST on USPS’ Facebook page featuring retired U.S. Army Gen. David A Bramlett and USPS Board of Governors member Lee Moak.
The commemorative stamps are part of the USPS’ Forever stamps series and will always be equal in value to standard First-Class Mail 1-ounce price. The stamps are set to debut on June 3.
The new stamp was designed by Antonio Alcalá and is based on a photograph of a member of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, taken at a railroad station in France in 1944.
USPS Stamps Services Director Bill Gicker told American Military News the new stamp comes after years of calls to commemorate the contributions of Japanese Americans during the war.
“The Postal Service and the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee received numerous suggestions over many years in support of a commemorative stamp to honor the contributions of Japanese American soldiers of World War II,” Gicker said.
The Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) is appointed by the Postmaster General and selects subjects for future stamp issues. The group considers new stamp issues with all postal customers, including stamp collectors, in mind.
The USPS has issued past military-related stamp issues, including the ones commemorating the USS Missouri, the Purple Heart Medal and Military Working Dogs, all issued in 2019.
The USPS also issued its “Healing PTSD” semipostal stamp, to raise funds for U.S. veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The “Healing PTSD” semipostal stamp was issued at 65 cents per stamp, a 10 cent markup over the cost of standard postal stamps. The stamp covered the equivalent cost of first-class mail, with the remaining revenue of the stamp sales going to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.