Skip Navigation and Jump to Page Content    The Library of Congress >> American Folklife Center  
Veterans History Project (Library of Congress) ABOUT  
Home » George Taro Sakato

“We rescued the lost battalion of 280 men. But 800 of us were shot or wounded or killed.” (Video interview, 41:12)

   George Taro Sakato
Collection image
George Sakato [detail from video interview]
War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Army
Unit: 3rd Squad, 3rd Platoon, Company E, 2nd Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT), 36th Infantry Division
Service Location: Camp Blanding, Florida; Camp Shelby, Mississippi; Oran, Algeria; Naples, Italy; Biffontaine, France; Germany; European Theater
Rank: Private
View Full Description

Like many young men of Japanese American descent who came of age during World War II, California native George Taro Sakato enlisted in the Army as soon as he was able, in order to prove his loyalty to and love for his country. Despite his passion for aviation, he was assigned to an infantry regiment, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Sent to the European Theater, Sakato saw intense fighting in the Vosges Mountains region in France, where he battled the enemy in dense forest conditions and helped to rescue the “Lost Battalion,” more than 200 soldiers trapped by the Germans. His valor in combat was not recognized until 2000, when he was awarded the Medal of Honor by President Clinton.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
» Part 1 
Download: video (56 min.)
More like this
»Medal of Honor
»75th anniversary of VE-day
 Video (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
Interest in aviation; bombing of Pearl Harbor; threat of incarceration. (02:05) Decision to enlist; classification as 4-C; being assigned to the 442nd RCT (02:14) Seeing a friend killed right in front of him; mental impact. (01:02)
Encountering a hometown friend during battle; friend was shot; anger of friend’s death gave him surge of energy; capturing the hill from the Germans. (05:07) Rescue of the Lost Battalion. (03:03) 

Home » George Taro Sakato
  The Library of Congress  >> American Folklife Center
  October 26, 2011
  Legal | External Link Disclaimer Need Help?   
Contact Us