SUBSCRIBE MY PROFILE
HOME | BREAKING NEWS | POLICE & FIRE | IN MEMORIAM | PEOPLE | OPINION | SPORTS
 JOBS  
 DINING & ENTERTAINMENT  
 HOMES  
 CARS  
 FUNERAL HOMES  
 GOODS & SERVICES

News of Otsego County

442 infantry regiment

NORTHRUP: While U.S. Soldiers Fought, Families Confined At Home

LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

While U.S. Soldiers Fought,
Families Confined At Home

To the Editor:

Racial animus against Asians, including snide remarks about the “Kung Flu,” has no place in America.

My father-in-law, Al Prather, was a lieutenant in the 442nd Infantry Regiment during World War II. Most of the enlisted men were Japanese Americans, most of the officers were not.

Many of the families of the Japanese-American soldiers were imprisoned in detention camps, as a form of racial profiling – the United States government assumed that they might be traitors: including the mothers, sisters, fathers and little brothers of the enlisted men of the 442nd.

When it came time to ship out overseas, the military attached the 442 to the 36th Texas Division and sent them to Europe to fight the Nazis, under the impression that Japanese Americans would have no qualms about killing Germans. They did not.

In one of the most famous battles of the war, “The Rescue of the Lost Battalion,” the 442 fought to save the survivors of the 141st Regiment, mainly Texans, who were surrounded in the Vosges Mountains near the German border.

In saving their Texas comrades, over half of the Japanese Americans were killed or wounded in less than 30 days.

Their valor was recognized with more Congressional Medals of Honor than any regiment in the war. All this while their families were in prison camps back in the US. The general understanding of their valor was that they fought as well as they did to make a point: that Japanese Americans are courageous, hard-working, loyal Americans. Not people to be belittled or mocked. Even by politicians.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

NORTHRUP: Greatest Generation Veterans Would Have Cringed
LETTER from CHIP NORTHRUP

Greatest Generation Veterans Would Have Cringed

To the Editor:

My father was a U.S. Army captain in World War II; Nancy’s stepfather was a lieutenant in the Navy and Nancy’s father, Alfred Valjean Prather, was an officer in the 442nd Infantry Regiment, which was composed largely of Japanese Americans.

The 442nd was particularly adept at killing Nazis.

Camp Auschwitz T-shirts? What would our World War II veterans thought?

Although they are all gone, none of them would be particularly amused by the recent Trump Insurrection or the fact that it conspicuously included neo-fascists, including a fellow who sported a “Camp Auschwitz” shirt to the coup d’etat, to the merriment of his co-conspirators.

After the war, my father, who was in the Army Corp of Engineers, was involved in the dismantling of POW camps.

After he returned to civilian life in Texas, he became strongly pro-Jewish, proposing the first Jewish member to the Dallas Country Club, and hiring Jewish people, including an Israeli engineer.

When I went to Brown University, he encouraged me to join the “Jewish fraternity,” Alpha Pi Lambda, which I did.

Both of our fathers spent a good part of their youth fighting fascists. They never dreamed that we would have to fight them here in America. But fight them we will. With alacrity. After all, it’s a family tradition.

CHIP NORTHRUP
Cooperstown

Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103