SPECIAL EXHIBIT: CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL
American Heroes: Japanese American World War II Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal
January 12 – February 17, 2013
On view in the Malcolm S. Forbes Theater
Exhibit on loan from the Smithsonian Institution
Nearly seven decades after the beginning of World War II, the Congressional Gold Medal — the nation’s highest civilian award — was bestowed collectively on the U.S. Army’s 100th Infantry Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team (RCT), and the Military Intelligence Service (MIS) for their extraordinary accomplishments in the war. The men in these units, comprised almost entirely of persons of Japanese ancestry, fought with bravery and valor against America’s enemies on the battlefields in Europe and Asia, even while many of their parents and other family members were held in internment camps. The National Veterans Network has partnered with the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program to share this extraordinary story during an exclusive seven-city tour, beginning in January 2013. The Congressional Gold Medal and accompanying photographs and large-scale graphics will highlight the stories of these important and honored Americans.
American Heroes: Japanese American World War II Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal is made possible by the support of AARP, Cole Chemical, Comcast/NBC Universal, the Japanese American Veterans Association, Pritzker Military Library, the Shiratsuki Family and Southwest Airlines.
This exhibit was developed by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in collaboration with the National Veterans Network and circulated by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Accompanying educational materials were developed by the National Veterans Network in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. Images courtesy National Archives and National Japanese American Historical Society.
Lt. Col. Harry G. Albright of the 442nd RCT congratulates Capt. Sadani Katahara of the 442nd, which was reactivated as an organized reserve unit. Looking on are (L-R) Major Henry Kawano and Maj. Lloyd C. Kaapana. Brig. Gen. Frank Merrill, Commander of “Merrill’s Marauders” in Burma, poses between his Japanese American interpreters, T/Sgt. Herbert Miyasaki of Paauilo, Hawaii, and T/Sgt. Akiji Yoshimura of Colusa, California, May 1, 1944. Sus Ito of the 442nd RCT and Grant Ichikawa of MIS are presented with the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony held on November 2, 2011.