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Nisei Soldiers of World War II 3” Bronze Medal (926)

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This medal is a bronze duplicate of the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the 100th Infantry Battalion (INF BN), 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT), and Military Intelligence Service (MIS) at a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Building on November 2, 2011, in recognition of their dedicated service during World War II. Their commitment and sacrifice -- in the face of a two-fronted battle against discrimination at home and fascism abroad -- demonstrate a highly uncommon and commendable sense of patriotism and honor.

The obverse (heads side), designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Charles L. Vickers, features Nisei (second generation Americans of Japanese ancestry) soldiers from both the European and Pacific theaters. The 442nd RCT color guard is depicted in the lower field of the medal. The inscriptions on the outer rim are NISEI SOLDIERS OF WORLD WAR II and GO FOR BROKE, the motto of the 442nd RCT, which was eventually used to describe the work of all three units. This medal is the same diameter and thickness as the Congressional Gold Medal.

The reverse (tails), designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, depicts the insignias of the 100th INF BN, 442nd RCT and MIS. The 100th INF BN insignia features a taro leaf and a traditional Hawaiian helmet, both of which are emblematic of the unit’s Hawaiian roots. The “Go for Broke” Torch of Liberty shoulder patch represents the 442nd RCT. The MIS insignia is represented by a sphinx, a traditional symbol of secrecy. The inscriptions on the outer rim are the titles of the three units represented on the medal -- the 100th INF BN, 442nd RCT and MIS. In addition, the years 1941-1946, the defined years of World War II according to the Department of Defense, are inscribed in the upper right field of the medal. A decorative ribbon connects the outer rim with the inscriptions ACT OF CONGRESS and 2010. The three stars positioned along the border represent the three units being honored.

Specification NameSpecification Value

Obverse - Joel Iskowitz
Obverse sculpted by Charles L. Vickers
Reverse - Don Everhart
Reverse sculpted by Don Everhart

Struck Under Authority of: Public Law 111-254
Place Struck: Philadelphia (no mint mark)
Composition: Bronze

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The commitment and sacrifice of the Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans) soldiers -- in the face of a two-fronted battle against discrimination at home and fascism abroad -- demonstrated a highly uncommon and commendable sense of patriotism and honor. The Nisei soldiers’ history includes:

  • Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Army discharged all Japanese-Americans in the Reserve Officers Training Corps and changed their draft status to ‘‘enemy alien,’’ a status which is ineligible for the draft. Japanese-Americans who were in the military were segregated out of their units.
  • In June 1942, the Nisei members of the Hawaii Provisional Infantry Battalion were shipped from the Hawaiian Islands to Oakland, Calif., where the 100th Infantry Battalion (IN BN) was activated.
  • The excellent training record of the 100th IN BN and petitions from Japanese Americans, prominent civilian and military personnel helped convince President Roosevelt and the War Department to reopen military service to Nisei volunteers, who were incorporated into the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT) after it was activated in February 1943.
  • The100th IN BN was transferred from Camp McCoy to Camp Shelby, Miss., where it continued to train. When the battalion was ready to deploy, it was initially refused deployment General Eisenhower due to concerns over its loyalty and patriotism. The100th IN BN continued to train at Camp Shelby along with the 442nd RCT.
  • Eventually, the 100th IN BN was deployed to the Mediterranean and entered combat in Italy on September 26, 1943. The 442nd RCT arrived in Italy on June 7, 1944. After one week, the 100th IN BN was formally made an integral part of the 442nd RCT.
  • The Military Intelligence Service consisted of approximately 6,000 Japanese American soldiers who conducted highly classified intelligence operations that proved to be vital to the U.S. military successes in the Pacific Theatre. Following the war, their linguistic skills and understanding of Japanese customs were invaluable as they assisted Japan in a peaceful transition to a new, democratic form of government.
  • The 442nd RCT became one of the most decorated unit in U.S. military history for its size and length of service, receiving seven Presidential Unit Citations, 21 Medals of Honor, 29 Distinguished Service Crosses, 560 Silver Stars, over 4,000 Bronze Stars, 22 Legion of Merit Medals, 15 Soldier’s Medals and more than 4,000 Purple Hearts, along with numerous other distinctions.

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To ensure that all members of the public have fair and equal access to United States Mint products, any order placed prior to the official on-sale date and time of November 2, 2011, 12:00 Noon (ET) shall not be deemed accepted by the United States Mint and will not be honored.

If paying by credit card, please be sure your credit card information remains current to avoid any delays in processing your order. If your credit card has expired by the time of shipment, your order will be cancelled. To update credit card information after an order has been placed, you must call 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).

50th Anniversary of the KENNEDY HALF-DOLLAR