Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

USPS to Issue “Go For Broke” Stamp in 2021

On November 17, 2020, the U.S. Postal Service announced it will issue a commemorative “Go For Broke” postage stamp in 2021. 

“Every year, April 5 is celebrated as National “Go For Broke” Day, derived from a saying that’s known to mean “wager everything.” “Go For Broke” also happens to be the motto of one of the most decorated units in U.S. military history, the Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and they’re likely the reason why this celebrated day exists.”

Learn more about the history of “Go For Broke” Day on the U.S. Department of Defense website.

The Go For Broke Stamp from Stamp Our Story

This commemorative stamp is the culmination of over 15 years of efforts by the Stamp Our Story campaign founders and the many people who supported the effort. We sincerely appreciate all of you who helped. As we celebrate this announcement, we also ask that you join us in remembering the service and sacrifice of the American men and women of Japanese heritage who served during World War II. Over 800 gave their lives. They served with distinction and honor alongside the 16 million fellow American servicemen and servicewomen of the war.

These Japanese American men and women patriotically served in the U.S. Army during the war, despite our nation’s mass incarceration of their families, friends, and communities in detention centers, or “internment” camps, on American soil. Many of them enlisted from behind the barbed wire of the camps, seeking to contribute to the war effort, and to prove their loyalty through service. They served amidst intense war hysteria and prejudice directed at them, and at the whole Japanese American community.

Their inspiring legacy helped Japanese Americans get back on their feet after the war, and helped lead to reparations in the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Theirs is also a proud story shared by our nation’s military, that honors them with buildings named after them, a “Go For Broke” Day (April 5th), and a prominent place in the history of our Armed Forces. In 2011, they were also collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

The Stamp Our Story campaign, founded in 2005 by three Japanese American women from California who themselves endured confinement in the camps during the war, has long sought to tell the “Go For Broke” story through a postage stamp (click here to learn more about the campaign’s history). Their names are Fusa Takahashi (Granite Bay), Aiko O. King (Camarillo), and the late Chiz Ohira (Gardena). Fusa and Chiz are both widows of Go For Broke veterans: the late Kazuo Takahashi (Military Intelligence Service) and the late Ted Ohira (442nd Regimental Combat Team, H Company).

The campaign received overwhelming support from the public, which resulted in petitions nationwide, and even included French citizens and officials from towns liberated by the Go For Broke soldiers during the war. The campaign also received prominent support from local, state, and national lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.

Over the years, Stamp Our Story has submitted and supported various proposals that would tell the “Go For Broke” story, including one that featured the National Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism During World War II (pictured below).

On November 17th, 2020, Stamp Our Story learned that the “Go For Broke” stamp will be issued in 2021. We are elated that the inspiring story of these American men and women will be commemorated by the U.S. Postal Service. After the stamp is issued next year, we will continue to work toward educating the public about the American story behind the stamp.
We thank all of you who supported this effort.

We sincerely appreciate this action by U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and the U.S. Postal Service.

Click here to read the official November 17, 2020 USPS announcement.

We also thank all of the lawmakers, both past and present, who supported this campaign. We are proud to highlight that this was a bipartisan effort.