Information: "Valor with Honor" is an independent documentary film based on over 35 interviews of Japanese American veterans who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team during WW2. This small segregated unit of 3500 men is the most decorated American unit for its size and length of service (3 years). By the end of WW2, the 442nd would be awarded with 8 Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor (upgraded from DSC), over 500 Silver Stars, and over 9000 Purple Hearts. In 2012, the 100th Battalion, 442nd, and MIS were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for outstanding service in WW2. The 85 minute feature film describes the harrowing stories of 442nd's battles in Italy, the Lost Battalion Rescue in France, the assault up Mount Folgorito, and witness to the holocaust at Dachau, Germany. The film concludes with the vets bittersweet return home to America. The entire film is woven through stories told by the veterans themselves. Currently, the film is being shown at select screenings across the US. Link to the Facebook film group "Valor with Honor" for online updates and news about this documentary film.
"Valor with Honor" not only records the deeds and emotions of the veterans of the 442nd, but highlights the difficult struggle of the brave Nisei both on and off the battlefield. It is a suburb documentary." Professor Joe Roth SJSU
"Valor with Honor" is an independently produced documentary that is emotionally powerful and thought provoking! Unlike many historians, Takeuchi does not interpret history. The story of the 442nd is carried forward by the actual veterans telling their own stories, as they experienced it. I felt like I was in their living room, sitting across from them, as they spoke to me. The stories flowed , thanks to the superb editing...." Henry Sakaida (historian)
"Valor with Honor" preserves vivid first hand accounts of fierce battles, dramatic rescues, and the liberation of Jewish prisoners at Dachau" Esther Newman, Discover Nikkei
"The love and dedication you put into your film was so obvious and inspiring. I think what was most touching was that its completion was for the vets and their legacy, which I feel exemplifies the spirit of their own heroic actions and sacrifices." Tadamori Yagi (writer and actor)
"Mesmerizing! Made me more aware of the rights and privileges I have today which I often take for granted. Thanks in part to the tremendous sacrifices of those who came before me. I dont really want to admit it...but watching this film brought tears to my eyes..." George So (teacher)
"Valor With Honor" is a moving important film that captures history from those who lived it. I hope it finds a large audience so that they may become as touched and informed as I was. My deepest thanks to its dedicated filmmaker, Burt Takeuchi. Thank you so much." Dennis Sakamoto (Acting and filmmaking instructor "Just for Actors")
"Valor With Honor" was great! It's amazing to see the actual 442nd vets telling their stories. I'm not Japanese & I hope they know that they weren't just heroes to the Japanese Americans but carried all Asian Americans with them. Thanks for telling their story & helping me learn a little more of their emotional journey & grace during such horrifically challenging times both at home & abroad. Lisa Bremer (fan)
"Thank you for making this movie. These stories should be remembered forever and these men not forgotten." George Ow Jr. (fan)
Trailer#1: "Valor with Honor"
Trailer#2: "Valor With Honor"
"Independent Filmmaker Gives 442nd a Voice" by Kenji Taguma, Nichi Bei Foundation
"Valor with Honor: An Emotional Experience for Audiences" by JK Yamamoto, Rafu Shimpo
"Burt Takeuchi Lauds Heroes with Valor with Honor" by Esther Newman, Discover Nikkei
"Sansei Director Completes Tribute to Nisei Soldiers" by JK Yamamoto, Nikkei West
"Documentary Spotlights Japanese American Experience During WW2" by Cynthia Cheng, The Santa Clara Weekly
"Film Boosts Lost Battalion Memorial Project" by Pacific Citizen
Historical Timeline: World War Two
1926: The US stock market crashes causing the Great Depression. Nearly 20 percent of the US population is looking for work.
1941: December 7th the Japanese Imperial Navy attacks Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. The US enters WW2 against Japan, Germany, and Italy.
1942: February 19th, President Roosevelt signs Executive Order 9066 sending all persons of Japanese ancestry (110,000) into "relocation" camps.
1943: (September to January 1944)The US 100th Battalion composed of Japanese Americans from Hawaii fights bravely at Salerno, Anzio, and Monte Cassino, Italy. Nicknamed the "Purple Heart Battalion" for the number of casualties it suffered. At Monte Cassino, only about 400 men from the original 1200 men unit remain after the battles.
1943: (Summer) 442nd Regimental Combat Team (3500 men) trains at Camp Shelby Mississippi. The 442nd, 1st Battalion replacements are sent to the 100th Battalion in Italy.
1944 The 442nd lands in Naples and marches toward Rome, Italy. The 100th Battalion becomes the veteran first battalion of the new 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The 100th spearheads the attacks on German strong points outside of Rome. Rome is taken by the Allies on June 5th, 1944
1944 (July) Hill 140, Italy is where the Germans hold up the advance of US forces. The 442nd spearheads a night attack suffering heavy casualties. The Germans retreat after losing the battle.
1944 (October 15th to 25th) The 442nd is send to France to fight in the Vosges Mountain Campaign. The 442nd is attached to the Texas 36th Division. The 442nd take hills A, B, C and D after a series of sharp firefights in a few days. Elements of the 442nd liberate Bruyeres, Biffontaine, and Belmont.
1944 (October 25th to 30th)Lost Battalion Rescue: During the five day rescue mission to make contact with the a battalion (215 men) of the 36th Division surrounded in the Vosges Mountains. 442nd suffered over 800 casualties. Nearly all the infantry companies are whittled down to a handful of men each. After the mission was completed the 442nd was awarded 5 Presidential Unit Citations.
1944 (November) Champagne Campaign: Rest and time to regroup near Nice, France. New replacements, mostly from the Mainland, arrive to the 442nd. The Nisei 522nd Field Artillery Battalion is detached from the 442nd and sent to support the Allied advance into Germany.
1944 (December) The US Supreme Court decided in favor of Mitsuye Endo and that all persons "loyal" could not be interned in relocation camps. Japanese Americans could return to the West Coast in Janurary 1945. The last camp at Tule Lake was closed in 1946.
1945 (April 4-5th) Po Valley Mount Folgorito: The 442nd rejoins the 5th Army in northern Italy (Po Valley). The 5th Army is stalled near the Gothic Line for several months. The 442nd launches a surprise attack with the 3rd Battalion climbing a narrow goat path behind the German defenders. Mt. Folgorito falls after a short 30 minute fire fight. The German defenses along the Gothic Line collapse.
1945 (April 29th to May 2nd) Liberation of Dachau: At the close of the war, patrols from the 522nd Field Artillery Battalion come in contact with holocaust survivors from the Dachau concentration camps.
1946 Return home Truman speech: The 442nd is honored by President Harry S. Truman who stated : "You have not only fought the enemy, you have fought prejudice and have won"
1998 Redress and Reparations for all Japanese American internees sent into "relocation" centers is named HR442nd signed by President Ronald Reagan.
2000 (20) Medal of Honor upgrades awarded to 442nd RCT veterans from DSC. Senator Daniel Inouye was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Bill Clinton.
2012 Congressional Gold Medal: Awarded to all WW2 Japanese American veterans that served in the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service.
2013 Croix de Guerre medal to awarded to 442nd vets who fought on French soil during WW2: "France will not forget you. We will not forget you....." commented a French diplomat at ceremony in Los Angeles,CA.
List of Decorations awarded to 442nd: 1943 to current
Congressional Gold Medal awarded to 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team , Military Intelligence Service for outstanding service in WW2.
8 Presidential Unit Citations
20 Medal Of Honor
52 Distinguished Service Crosses
560 Silver Stars
4000 Bronze Stars
9400 Purple Hearts
12 French Croix De Guerre (more medals were awarded to 442nd vets 2013-present)
Merchandise: Dvd's and "Go For Broke" tee shirts
Organizations that are interested in hosting a community screening or fundraiser with "Valor with Honor". Please contact Torasan Films.
"Valor with Honor" dvd's are 20$ each plus shipping (see below). Payments can be made by Paypal, check, or money order. Paypals are sent to the email below. Contact us by email to place your orders.
"Go For Broke" tee shirts are available for sale for 20$ each (plus CA sales tax and shipping). Available in S, M, L, XL, and XXL sizes. A fundraiser to help support a dramatic independent film "442nd". The companion film for Valor With Honor.
Torasan Films Po Box 640831, San Jose, California 95164
"442nd" is the working title for a dramatic independent feature film on the famous WW2 Japanese American Regiment. This film project is the companion film to "Valor With Honor" (2009). The project is currently in development and we are building a budget to move into pre production. A tee shirt campaign has started in 2014 to bring awareness about the history of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and help raise funding. Locations have been scouted and plans are to shoot mostly in Northern California. Support the film project by purchasing merchandise and telling your friends/family. A new spec trailer will be produced this year 2017. 442nd Trailer
Visit Facebook for the Valor with Honor group page
Copyright Torasan Films 2008 Library of Congress, USA