US Coins

Two medal ceremonies planned to honor WWII contributions

This inflatable dummy U.S. Army tank was made by the Ghost Army to resemble an N4 Sherman tank.

U.S. Army image in public domain.

The congressional leadership has two different dates reserved at Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center, for awarding separate gold medals for World War II activities.

The reservations were approved by the House Feb. 6 in concurrent resolutions.

On March 21, the congressional leadership plans to honor the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops and 3133rd Signal Services Company, collectively known as the “Ghost Army.” Presentation of its gold medal will recognize the group’s tactical contributions to trick enemy troops as to the troop strength of American armed forces and their allies.

On April 10, a congressional gold medal will be presented to recognize the women collectively known as “Rosie the Riveter,” civilian women who entered the work force during World War II to assist in manufacture of military aircraft, vehicles, ammunition and other materials supporting the nation’s military fighting forces.

Once the gold medals are formally presented to recognize the recipients, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen may direct the U.S. Mint to design and produce 1.5-inch and 3-inch Matte Finish bronze medals duplicating the gold medal, for retail sale to the general public.

Ghost Army

In 2021, Sen. Edward J. Markey introduced S.1404 on April 28, seeking the gold medal in honor of the Ghost Army, while Rep. Ann Kuster, D-New Hampshire, introduced companion legislation, H.R. 707, on May 19, 2021.

The Senate approved an amended version of Markey’s bill on Dec. 15, 2021; the House concurred on Jan. 19, 2022.

President Joe Biden signed the legislation Feb. 1, 2022, making it Public Law 117-85.

The law calls for the gold medal to be delivered to the Smithsonian Institution after the medal presentation ceremony, with the museum to make accommodations for the medal to be placed on public display in the national museum system and for it to be loaned out for display and research elsewhere.

According to the authorizing act, the “23d Headquarters Special Troops (comprised of the 23d Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Troops, the 603d Engineer Camouflage Battalion, the 406th Combat Engineer Company, the 3132d Signal Service Company, and the Signal Company, Special, 23d Headquarters, Special Troops) and the 3133d Signal Service Company were units of the United States Army that served in Europe during World War II.”

Many Ghost Army soldiers were citizen-soldiers recruited from art schools, advertising agencies, communications companies, and other creative and technical professions.

The Ghost Army employed deceptive tactics to fool enemy forces into believing they were seriously outnumbered by designing and staging inflatable tanks, dummy artillery and other military equipment.

Rosie the Riveter

The Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019, Public Law 116-195, was enacted Dec. 3, 2020, with the signature of President Donald Trump.

According to the enabling law, “More than 6 million women answered the call then, entering the workforce during World War II and providing the equipment, weaponry and ammunition to achieve final victory and end the war. These women left their homes to work or volunteer full-time in factories, farms, shipyards, airplane factories, banks, and other institutions in support of the military overseas. They worked with the United Service Organizations and the American Red Cross, drove trucks, riveted airplane parts, collected critical materials, rolled bandages, and served on rationing boards.”

Connect with Coin World:  
Sign up for our free eNewsletter
Access our Dealer Directory  
Like us on Facebook  
Follow us on X (Twitter)
Keep in touch on MyCollect - the social media platform for collectibles 

Whether you’re a current subscriber or new, you can take advantage of the best offers on magazine subscriptions available in digital, print or both! Whether you want your issue every week or every month, there’s a subscription to meet your needs.

Community Comments