Honor Before Glory
The Epic World War II Story of the Japanese American GIs Who Rescued the Lost Battalion
By Scott McGaugh
On October 24, 1944, more than two hundred American soldiers realized they were surrounded by German infantry deep in the mountain forest of eastern France. As their dwindling food, ammunition, and medical supplies ran out, the American commanding officer turned to the 442nd Regimental Combat Team to achieve what other units had failed to do.
Honor Before Glory is the story of the 442nd, a segregated unit of Japanese American citizens, commanded by white officers, that finally rescued the "lost battalion." Their unmatched courage and sacrifice under fire became legend-all the more remarkable because many of the soldiers had volunteered from prison-like "internment" camps where sentries watched their mothers and fathers from the barbed-wire perimeter.
In seven campaigns, these young Japanese American men earned more than 9,000 Purple Hearts, 6,000 Bronze and Silver Stars, and nearly two dozen Medals of Honor. The 442nd became the most decorated unit of its size in World War II: its soldiers earned 18,100 awards and decorations, more than one for every man.
Honor Before Glory is their story-a story of a young generation's fight against both the enemy and American prejudice-a story of heroism, sacrifice, and the best America has to offer.
Praise for Honor Before Glory
"The legendary courage and tenacity of the Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team made it the most highly decorated unit in the history of the United States Army. The sacrifice of these young Japanese American volunteer soldiers also gave poignant new meaning and irony to America's understanding of patriotism. McGaugh's accurate account will put a lump in our throat."—Pete Wilson, former governor of California
"Well-researched and riveting, Honor Before Glory is a stirring tale of how Japanese American soldiers disregarded hatred, distrust, and overt racism to serve the nation with courage, dignity, and distinction. A page-turner with both depth and emotional punch."—Stephen Harding, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Battle
"On these beautifully written pages, the desperation, terror, and trauma of the infantry soldier's wold comes to life, as does the famous story of the 'Lost Battalion' and the remarkable men of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. A true page-turner—I could not put it down."—John C. McManus, author of The Dead and Those about to Die
"Men in combat pull no punches, and neither does author Scott McGaugh, who has crafted a stirring, superbly written account of the Nisei soldiers who fought a determined enemy, terrible weather, impossible terrain, command blunders, and racial injustice at home—and changed a nation's attitudes about Japanese Americans. Inspiring!"—Flint Whitlock, Editor, WWII Quarterly
"The best book yet written on the subject—a masterpiece of nonfiction, at once gripping in its narrative and definitive in its accuracy."—Chris Brusatte, Go for Broke Education Center
"A great read."—Alex Kershaw, New York Times bestselling author of The Longest Winter and Avenue of Spies
Library Journal, 10/1/16
“The author creates a suspenseful narrative that carefully recounts the actions, events, and personalities involved without bogging down the flow…World War II buffs will find this book to be a satisfying read and a necessary addition to the subject's literature.”
New York Journal of Books, 10/11/16
“The author has employed a wide variety of interviews, oral histories, and memoirs of many of the participants in addition to other relevant official primary and secondary sources.”