In service to their country, more than 33,000 Japanese American men gallantly served in the Army during WWII. With many of the men feeling they had to fight abroad to prove their loyalty to this country, they did so with families behind barbed wire in internment camps. The Topaz Internment Camp in Topaz, UT was once such site with as many as 9,000 internees making it the fifth largest city in Utah.
From Topaz, four hundred and fifty-one internees volunteered to fight in Europe with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team made up of only Japanese American men. During WWII, this regiment would become the most highly decorated unit in military history with 9,486 Purple Hearts, 559 Silver Stars, 4000 Bronze Stars, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 21 Medal of Honors. The regiment would become world famous for their heroic actions when they rescued an American battalion that had been trapped for eight days behind enemy lines in the mountains in France. At wars end, approximately eight hundred Japanese Americans would be killed in action.
Topaz Service Flag- Courtesy of Utah Division of State History