Chinese-American WWII Vets Eligible for Congressional Gold Medal

The Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project is seeking Chinese veterans of World War II and their families who wish to be recognized with the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal.

Some 20,000 Chinese-American veterans of World War II are eligible to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in a ceremony this fall in Washington, D.C.

The Chinese-American World War II Veteran Congressional Gold Medal Act Project recognizes the hardships and heroism of Chinese-American troops during WWII and authorizes the medal.

Chinese-American Military Members Faced Hardships

Nearly 1 in 4 Chinese-American people served during the war, despite 40% of them being non-citizens as a result of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which prevented their citizenship, and encouraged discrimination.

Unlike other ethnic groups like the Native American Code Talkers or the Tuskegee Airmen, Chinese-American troops didn’t serve in their own units but were integrated into the general military population. Like other non-white ethnic groups at the time, they faced personal and institutionalized discrimination on a regular basis.

Chinese-American troops served in all branches of the military and in all theaters of operation. One was Army Capt. Francis B Wai, who in 2000 was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor for his wartime actions. Several Chinese-American troops served in the internationally famous Flying Tigers, which wasn’t officially recognized as a military operation until 1992.

Medal Authorized

To recognize their commitment to their nation, the hardships they faced and their lack of recognition, Congress passed a law authorizing issuance of a medal to all Chinese-Americans who honorably served at any time between Dec. 7, 1941 - Dec. 31, 1946.

The medal will be issued to the Smithsonian Institution which will display it and educate the public on the wartime history and experience of Chinese-American service members. Replica medals will be given to all eligible service members and their families.

The replicas will be paid for and provided by the Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project. Replicas will also be available for sale to the general public by the U.S. Mint.

Award Ceremony

There will be a ceremony in Washington, DC this fall to award the medal to surviving veterans and, in their name, to the families of those who have passed.

Of the 20,000 Chinese-Americans who served during the war, only 1,000 have signed up to receive the award in recognition of their service. The Chinese American WWII Veterans Recognition Project, which is also accepting donations to provide the replica medals, is actively seeking those who are eligible for the medal and accepting applicants.

See their website https://www.caww2.org/ for more details and to apply for this long-overdue recognition.

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World War II Awards