Congressional Gold Medal

442nd Regimental Combat Team
The 442nd Regimental Combat Team advancing towards Bruyeres, France, October 1944. US Army Photo, US National Archives

Congress will honor World War II Japanese-American veterans

The members of the 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service, U.S. Army, will receive the Congressional Gold Medal on November 2nd for their exemplary service during World War II.

The 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, which included Senator Daniel K. Inouye, suffered exceedingly high casualty rates heroically defending the U.S. in Europe.  Collectively, these units received more than 18,000 individual decorations including over 9,000 Purple Hearts.

The Military Intelligence Service—whose efforts are credited with shortening the war—intercepted radio messages, translated documents and encouraged opposing troops to surrender.

In addition to their bravery, what made these veterans stand apart from others were their identities. The units were made up of Japanese-Americans interned in relocation camps following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941.  The Congressional Gold Medal honors their dedication of service to the United States.

The House has also voted to honor another group of World War II veterans. House Members joined together and voted unanimously on October 26 to honor the Montford Point Marines with the Congressional Gold Medal for their dedicated service. Montford was the site for the training of the first African-American Marines.