May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, which offers a chance to look back on Veterans honored through Congressional Gold Medals.
The 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team fought in the European campaign during World War II. The Military Intelligence Service consisted of Japanese American linguists who served in the Pacific campaign and the Occupation of Japan. The service fought in every major battle and during the invasion against the Japanese military.
Nisei linguists intercepted and deciphered enemy communications, translated documents, and interrogated Japanese prisoners of war.
The Nisei Soldiers received a Congressional Gold Medal Nov. 2, 2011, during a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center’s Emancipation Hall.
Filipino, Filipino-American, and American soldiers defended U.S. sovereign territory under United States Army Forces in the Far East command. This came after President Roosevelt’s call-to-arms in July 1941 to address rising tensions with Japan in the Pacific. Their valiant service was an integral part of the Allied victory over Axis forces in World War II.
The Filipino Veterans of World War II received a Congressional Gold Medal Oct. 25, 2017, during a ceremony in Emancipation Hall of the U.S. Capitol. Congress collectively awarded the medal to those who served honorably in an active duty status between July 26, 1941, and Dec. 31, 1946.
The Veterans represented more than 20,000 Chinese Americans who served during World War II.
The ceremony followed President Trump’s signing of the Chinese-American World War II Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act, a bipartisan legislation that was passed unanimously by the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Images of the candidate designs for the medal are at https://www.usmint.gov/news/ccac-meetings/chinese-american-veterans-wwii-congressional-gold-medal.
(Note: Information courtesy the United States Mint website.)