After 75 long years, Filipino Veterans of World War II were collectively awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of their service during the war. The medal is one of the nation’s highest civilian awards and was presented Oct. 25 at a ceremony held in Emancipation Hall at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center.
More than 250,000 Filipino soldiers served alongside U.S. soldiers in World War II, including more than 57,000 who died.
The medal’s obverse or heads side shows a Filipino scout, a Filipino infantry regiment officer, and a guerrilla soldier — representing a part of the range and breadth of the Filipino Veterans’ service in World War II. FILIPINO VETERANS OF WORLD WAR II is inscribed along the top border. Joel Iskowitz designed the image and Phebe Hemphill sculpted it.
Designed by Donna Weaver and sculpted by Joseph Menna, the medal’s reverse shows an American and Filipino World War II-era flags. An inscription of UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES IN THE FAR EAST appears at the top. Centered below are DUTY TO COUNTRY and the key locations of BATAAN & CORREGIDOR, LUZON, LEYTE, and SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES. ACT OF CONGRESS 2016 is inscribed along the bottom of the design. Inscribed upon a scroll between the flags are the significant years of 1941, 1945, and 1946.
The medal was authorized under Public Law 114-265, which was enacted when President Obama signed S.1555 on Dec. 14, 2016.
Bronze replicas of the medal were authorized by Congress and are available from the United States Mint. A 3-inch version is sold for $39.95 and a 1.5-inch version is available for $6.95. Orders are accepted online at catalog.usmint.gov or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).