Thursday, October 8, 2015         

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Free medal replicas won't be given to 1399th Engineer Construction battalion vets

By Star-Advertiser staff


The 500 bronze replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal will be given only to surviving Japanese-American soldiers of the 100th Battalion, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the Military Intelligence Service who attend a commemorative luncheon Dec. 17 at the Hawai'i Convention Center.

Pauline Sato, president of the 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans, said she erred by including the nisei  or second-generation, Japanese American veterans of 1399th Engineer Construction battalion who served out World War II building military facilities on Oahu.

Sato said October 2010 federal law authorizing the gold medal only honors nisei, or second-generation Japanese-American soldiers, who served in the 100th Battalion, the 442nd and the MIS. To be eligible for the donated bronze replica coins donated by BAE Systems, the soldiers must have served from Dec. 7, 1941 to Dec. 31, 1946, Sato said.

But Sato said the soldiers of the 1399th Battalion will be recognized at the December luncheon

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