In addition to the two medals covered in the previous two posts, the United States Mint has also recently started accepting orders for the Menominee Tribe Code Talkers Bronze Medal. This represents a bronze duplicate version of the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Menominee Tribe Code Talkers.
Under the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-420), Congressional Gold Medals were authorized to be awarded to tribes with members who served as Code Talkers during a foreign conflict in which the United States was involved. This followed the previous separate recognition of Navajo Code Talkers under the Navajo Code Talkers Congressional Gold Medal Act enacted in 2000.
The new program proved extensive, with a total of 33 eligible tribes identified by the Department of Defense. At a ceremony in November 2013, 25 of the 33 Congressional Gold Medals were awarded to the tribes and bronze duplicate versions made available for sale on the US Mint’s website. The design for the 26th medal honoring the Menominee Tribe Code Talkers was unveiled, although the medal was not awarded until May 18, 2014, and the bronze duplicate versions not available for sale until earlier this month.
The obverse design depicts a code talker using communication equipment while three P-51 Mustangs fly overheard. The inscriptions include MENOMINEE CODE TALKERS and OMAEQNOMENEW KEMOC KEKETOTATOWAK, which translates to “Menominee secretly talk to each other.” The obverse was designed by Paul Balan and engraved by Phebe Hemphill.
The reverse design features the Thunderbird at center from the Menominee Nation Seal. Images of a bear, eagle, wolf, moose, and crane appear surrounding to represent the five clans. A sturgeon and wild rice are also included. The Menominee Nation is known for its reliance on wild rice and as intense fishers. Inscriptions read WORLD WAR II and ACT OF CONGRESS 2008. The reverse was designed by Donna Weaver and engraved by Renata Gordon.
The US Mint has 3-inch bronze versions of the medal available for $39.95 and 1.5 inch bronze versions priced at $6.95.