The first design of the 442nd Regimental Combat Teamís shoulder sleeve insignia was round with a red and white bomb burst on a blue background (signifying the National Colors), with a yellow arm (representing the Japanese Americans) holding a bloody sword. Although the design was approved on July 31, 1943, it was met with criticism from the 442, who objected to its design, especially the representation of the yellow arm.
In communication with Colonel Charles W. Pence (Commander of the 442nd RCT) and Joseph R. Farrington (Hawaii Territorial Congressional Delegate), the Office of the Secretary of War became aware of the dissatisfaction with the original design and stopped production of the patch.
The second shoulder sleeve insignia design was created by Technical Sergeant Mitch Miyamoto of the 3rd Battalion, 442nd Infantry Regiment. It depicts the torch of Liberty on a blue background with red and white borders. The design was approved for wear on December 16, 1943.