Earlier this week, the Congressional Gold Medal was awarded collectively to the members of the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders in recognition of their military service during World War II.
The award of the medal was authorized under Public Law 113-106. The World War II members of the 17th Bombardment Group (Medium) were led by Lt. Col. James Doolittle and came to be known as the “Doolittle Tokyo Raiders.” They made the first strike against Japan on April 18, 1942, serving as retaliation for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and demonstrating that Japan was vulnerable to American air attack.
The United States Mint had previously prepared sixteen different obverse and nine different reverse design candidates for the medal, which were provided to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) for review and recommendation. Images of all design candidates can be found here. The recommendations of the CCAC and CFA can be found here and here.
The final designs selected by the Secretary of the Treasury, which appear below, match the recommendations offered by the CFA.
The obverse features the North American B-25B Mitchell launching off the USS Hornet with the inscription “First Strike” above. The border includes 16 stars to represent the 16 flight crews that made up the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders, along with inscriptions “Doolittle Tokyo Raiders” and the date “April 18, 1942”. The obverse was designed by Chris Costello and engraved by Don Everhart.
The reverse design depicts the 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 include “17th Bombardment Group”, “Toujours Au Danger” (French for “Still in Danger”), and “Act of Congress 2014”. The reverse was designed by Donna Weaver and engraved by Joseph Menna.
As in the past, the United States Mint has made bronze duplicate versions of the Congressional Gold Medal available for sale. A 3-inch version of the medal is available priced at $39.95 and a 1.5-inch version of the medal is available priced at $6.95.