US Coins

Chinese-American veterans of World War II to receive medallic honor

Chinese-American veterans of World War II are being recognized with a congressional gold medal, and we have a first glimpse at what it might look like when struck.

The Citizens Coin Advisory Committee reviewed 16 proposed obverse designs and 19 proposed reverse designs for the .999 fine gold medal Sept. 18, before making recommendations to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

According to the authorizing legislation, Public Law 115-337, “Chinese Americans served the United States in every conflict since the Civil War, and distinguished themselves in World War II, serving in every theater of war and every branch of service, earning citations for their heroism and honorable service, including the Medal of Honor.”

Male Chinese-Americans served in the Army, Army Air Forces, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, Marines, and Navy. Female Chinese-American service personnel served in the Army, Army Air Forces and Navy; their most common job was as a nurse.

The CCAC recommends a proposed obverse that depicts several Chinese-American servicemen and a nurse, representing all U.S. service branches in World War II and highlighting that they fought in every theater with honor. 

The reverse the CCAC chose to recommend features an Iowa class battleship, an M4 Sherman tank, and a P-40 Warhawk from the Flying Tigers, showcased in front of a World War II-era American flag.

After formal presentation of the finished gold medal by the congressional leadership, the medal is to be delivered to the Smithsonian Institution for public display and research. 

The U.S. Mint is to strike and offer for public sale 1.5-inch and 3-inch bronze duplicates of the gold medal.

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