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Word Balloons: Sgt. Rock tells story about Texas soldiers

by Matthew Price Modified: November 21, 2008 at 10:33 am •  Published: November 21, 2008
ARLINGTON, Texas — Writer-artist Billy Tucci hopes his newest comic book can be "a bridge across generations.”

"Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion” features DC Comics’ World War II character Sgt. Rock. But this story is based on real-life events.

In October of 1944, 275 Texans of the Alamo Regiment, of the 141st Infantry, were surrounded by German forces. After rescue attempts failed for six days, the general of the 36th division called for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. This unit was made up primarily of Japanese Americans.

"They pretty much were sent on a suicide mission,” Tucci said. "It was 1600 men against 7000 German soldiers, in tanks.”

The 442nd succeeded in breaking through the German lines and reaching the 141st.

"By the end of that battle though, of the 1,600 men that went in to save 275, 800 were able to walk out,” Tucci said. "And it’s come down to be the most decorated action in U.S. military history. These guys have become friends of mine, and they want their stories told.”

What’s even more amazing is that so many of these men died defending freedom while their own families were being held in internment camps, Tucci said.

"After Pearl Harbor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt incarcerated 125,000 Japanese American citizens in interment camps. And their only crime was their heritage,” Tucci said. "And something incredible happened during this war ...

by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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