I found Go for Broke! on Prime. You can also find it on imdb.
I saw Go for Broke! a teenager in the 1950s and assuming the movie was from the 1940s, as the action and message was all about working together and fighting for America; but I was wrong, the film was only produced in 1951. I liked the film and have seen it a number of times since.
I attended Clover Park High School and graduated in 1964. There was a Japanese internment camp on the grounds of the Puyallup Fair (Camp Harmony). There were many farmers in the area around Puyallup and Sumner of Japanese descent. There were racial problems even before the internment. Two of my high school friends had parents who fought with the 442. My boyfriend Larry Miki, maybe had a dad who fought in the 442 and appeared in the movie.
At the end of August 1965, I was sitting on the beach at Ocean Shores with my friends, Rich and Larry Miki. They asked me what my plans were for the coming year in college. I had done a full year at Olympic College in Bremerton. I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Go back to the Olympics, I guess. They said, ‘Why don’t you join us at the University of Puget Sound? By the end of the week, I was registered with UPS. . . and by the end of the first trimester, Rich and Larry had failed. I stayed. Larry wrote letters to Rich and me. He was stationed in Mississippi. Racial problems remained. He had to ask his commander if he was white or colored when he needed to drink water or use the toilet. The officer looked at Larry and said, “You are white.”
“A tribute to the 442nd United States Regimental Combat Team, formed in 1943 by presidential authorization with Japanese-American volunteers. We follow the training of a platoon under the sad command of Lieutenant Mike Grayson who shares the common prejudices of the time. The 442nd served in Italy, then in France, distinguishing itself in skirmishes and battles; Gradually and naturally, Grayson’s prejudices evaporate with the growing realization that his men are better soldiers than he is. Not judgmental. – Rod Crawford [email protected]
Official trailer: imdb.com/video/vi3250503705/
Van Johnson is a brand new officer who has just graduated from Officer Training School. He grew up in Texas and expected to reunite with his Texas buddies after graduation. His command office lets him know that there will be no transfer. Johnson attacks his troops. Henry Nakamura as Tommy is an ideal example. Tommy is short and his uniform is far from fitting. He has his sleeves rolled up and wears gaiters to cover his too long rolled-up pant legs. Johnson goes through the book for barracks inspections, uniforms and training. Tommy is a character you want to take under your wing, but he’s not a slacker. All of 442’s soldiers are Nisei, American-born Japanese Americans who were born in the United States, and they are also dedicated and rising in rank. Johnson comes to appreciate the value of his troops. Several of the main characters in the film were played by actual members of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team.
Also, as a 1950s movie: it’s interesting to see familiar faces for TV shows a few years later: a thinner John Banner (Sgt. Schultz) from Hogan’s Heroes, Hugh Beaumont from Leave it to Beaver and Richard Anderson, a multiple guest on The Rifleman.
“The 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the United States Army was a regiment-sized combat unit composed almost entirely of Japanese American soldiers who fought in World War II, despite the fact that many of their families were placed in internment. The 442nd, from 1944, fought primarily in Europe during World War II. The 442nd was a self-sufficient force and fought with unusual distinction in Italy, southern France and Germany. The 442nd is considered the most decorated infantry regiment in the history of the United States Army. The 442nd received eight Presidential Unit Citations and twenty-one of its members received the WWII Medal of Honor. The high distinction of the 442nd during the war and its record number of decorations earned it the nickname “Battalion of the Violet Heart”. The motto of the 442nd Regiment’s combat team was “Go for Broke”. – Military-history.fandom.com/wiki/442nd_Infantry_Regiment_(United_States) ”
“To the astonishment of many, including many in his own party, on July 26, 1948, Harry Truman made one of the greatest contributions to racial integration and equality to date. By issuing Decree 9981, Truman ordered the desegregation of the armed forces. These documents trace what some call the beginning of the civil rights movement. – trumanlibrary.gov/education/presidential-inquiries/harry-s-truman-and-civil-rights
An excellent film revealing a little-known aspect of WWII
robertaharold7 August 2004
I have watched GO FOR BROKE a few times and will do it again at random. It irritates me not knowing that we had Japanese American troops fighting in Italy and France until I met the GO FOR BROKE technical advisor at Tyler Junior College in 1977. He was my English teacher, having retired from the army. The time he spent with the Nisei, whom he trained at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, and continued to wage war in Europe with them, was very important to his military career. He was heartbroken at the deaths of so many of his valiant warriors. He said they saved his life time and time again during battle. Some time later, one of the Japanese Americans, Jack Wakamatsu, wrote a book “Silent Warriors” about their experiences. I couldn’t find it locally so I contacted the author after finding it on the internet. We have had several conversations during the three years of acquaintance. He was on set during the filming of GO FOR BROKE. He told me that the red haired Texan portrayed by Van Johnson was the technical advisor in real life. Fictitious names were used in the film. The technical advisor and Jack Wakamatsu are now dead. I feel that Van Johnson would be interested in what became of them and I would like to contact him. I have no idea how. GO FOR BROKE is my favorite of the Van Johnson movies. I wish there could be a follow-up to the lives of those brave Nisei, those who are lucky enough to survive, that is. Too many are buried at Épinal near Bruyères, France, not far from where they rescued the encircled 36th Battalion of Texas.
Please watch the movie and if you like it share it with others to enjoy it.