This month, in recognition of National Military Appreciation Month, the U.S. Mint is highlighting a large collection of military-inspired products saluting the momentous history of the country’s Armed Forces.
Similar to Canada’s history with treaty medals, the U.S. military and its service members are never far removed from the work of its country’s mint. Throughout its 224-year history, the U.S. Mint has produced bicentennial medals for the U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard; the Tuskegee Airmen; Montford Point Marines; Nisei Soldiers; and Women Airforce Service Pilots of the Second World War, among others.
Commemorative bronze U.S. military medals are available in 1.5-inch and three-inch sizes.
AMERICAN FIGHTER ACES
This three-inch bronze medal is a duplicate of the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal presented to the American Fighter Aces in recognition of their heroic military service and defense of their country’s freedom throughout the history of aviation warfare.
American Fighter Aces are military pilots credited with destroying five or more confirmed enemy aircraft in aerial combat during a war or conflict in which the U.S. Armed Forces have participated. Aces have served in the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. More than 60,000 fighter pilots have flown since the First World War, and fewer than 1,500 are deemed Fighter Aces.
This medal’s obverse design features four pilots, representing the First World War, Second World War, Korean War and Vietnam War. They appear alongside an ace of spades and military wings with a centred globe, symbolizing the global impact of the group’s service. Inscriptions are “AMERICAN FIGHTER ACES”, “ARMY”, “NAVY”, “AIR FORCE” and “MARINES.”
The reverse design features four aircraft used by American Fighter Aces and includes five stars to represent the minimum number of aerial combat victories required for certification. Inscriptions are “DUTY COURAGE AGGRESSIVENESS”, “2014” and “ACT OF CONGRESS”.
DOOLITTLE TOKYO RAIDERS
The Doolittle Tokyo Raiders 1.5-inch bronze medal is a miniature bronze replica of the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal awarded at the U.S. Capitol Building on April 15, 2015, for extraordinary service during the Second World War.
The obverse design features the North American B–25B Mitchell launching off the USS Hornet (CV–8), 16 stars representing the 16 flight crews that made up the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, and the inscriptions “DOOLITTLE TOKYO RAIDERS”, “FIRST STRIKE” and “APRIL 18, 1942.”
The reverse design features B–25B Mitchell aircraft approaching their target with four patches representing the four squadrons (34th, 37th, 89th, and 95th) that make up the 17th Bombardment Group. The inscriptions are “17TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP”, “TOUJOURS AU DANGER” and “ACT OF CONGRESS 2014.”