CFA recommends medal, 2022 quarter dollars
By Paul Gilkes , Coin World, Published: Jun 30, 2021, 8 AM
Selections from among proposed designs for a congressional gold medal honoring Merrill’s Marauders from World War II and three 2022 American Women quarter dollars were recommended June 17 by the Commission of Fine Arts.
The congressional gold medal for Merrill’s Marauders is authorized under Public Law 116-117.
Merrill’s Marauders, so named for their commander, Brigadier Gen. Frank Merrill, was a special forces unit established in 1943 to march deep into Japanese-held territory in Burma to disrupt troop supply lines. The 3,000 soldiers officially comprised the 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional) with the code name ‘‘Galahad.’’
According to the enabling legislation, “in February 1944, the Marauders began their approximately 1,000-mile trek through the dense Burmese jungle with no artillery support, carrying their supplies on their backs or the pack saddles of mules; over the course of their 5-month trek to Myitkyina, the Marauders fought victoriously against larger Japanese forces through 5 major and 30 minor engagements.”
Casualties were higher from starvation, malaria, typhus, and dysentery than from Japanese troops.
The recommended obverse design for the gold medal was submitted for consideration as a reverse and the recommended reverse as an obverse.
The recommended obverse depicts a group of Merrill’s Marauders crossing a river in Burma, with the foreground muleskinner leading a pack mule
The recommended reverse design illustrates the Merrill’s Marauders patch positioned just below a Bronze Star, an award every member of the unit received for their bravery. The Burmese mountains and jungle appear in the background, and the Marauders’ five key battles circumscribe the rim of the design. The designs also include the inscriptions BEHIND ENEMY LINES and ACT OF CONGRESS, as well as the Combat Infantry Badge.
The designs recommended for three quarter dollar reverses are to recognize former Cherokee Nation chief Wilma Mankiller; woman’s suffragist, educator, and politician Adelina “Nina” Otero-Warren; and Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong.
Designs are currently under consideration by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen for quarter dollars recognizing American astronaut Dr. Sally Ride and poet and civil rights activists Maya Angelou.
The reverse recommended by the CFA for Mankiller depicts her with a resolute gaze to the future. The wind is at her back, and she is wrapped in a traditional shawl. To her left is the seven-pointed star of the Cherokee Nation. The additional inscriptions are PRINCIPAL CHIEF and “Cherokee Nation” written in the Cherokee language.
The recommended Otero-Warren reverse reflects an image of Otero-Warren on the left, flanked by three Yucca blossoms — New Mexico’s state flower. The additional inscription is EL VOTO PARA LAS MUJERES, translating to “The Vote for Women.”
The proposed Wong reverse recommended features a close-up image of Anna May Wong with her head resting on her hand, illuminated by the bright lights of a marquee sign.
The approved reverses will be paired with a common obverse of a new portrait of George Washington.
The U.S. Mint plans to issue five American Women quarter dollars each in four consecutive years from 2022 through 2025, for a total of 20 coins.
The Mint has not yet disclosed the order in which the five 2022 American Women quarter dollars will be issued.
The coins are authorized under provisions of Public Law 116-330, the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020.
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