Text: S.743 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 116-170 (10/17/2020)

 
[116th Congress Public Law 170]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]



[[Page 134 STAT. 775]]

Public Law 116-170
116th Congress

                                 An Act


 
   To award a Congressional Gold Medal to the soldiers of the 5307th 
Composite Unit (Provisional), commonly known as ``Merrill's Marauders'', 
 in recognition of their bravery and outstanding service in the jungles 
   of Burma during World War II. <<NOTE: Oct. 17, 2020 -  [S. 743]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Merrill's 
Marauders Congressional Gold Medal Act. 31 USC 5111 note.>> 
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Merrill's Marauders Congressional 
Gold Medal Act''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds that--
            (1) in August 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and 
        other Allied leaders proposed the creation of a ground unit of 
        the Armed Forces that would engage in a ``long-range penetration 
        mission'' in Japanese-occupied Burma to--
                    (A) cut off Japanese communications and supply 
                lines; and
                    (B) capture the town of Myitkyina and the Myitkyina 
                airstrip, both of which were held by the Japanese;
            (2) President Roosevelt issued a call for volunteers for ``a 
        dangerous and hazardous mission'' and the call was answered by 
        approximately 3,000 soldiers from the United States;
            (3) the Army unit composed of the soldiers described in 
        paragraph (2)--
                    (A) was officially designated as the ``5307th 
                Composite Unit (Provisional)'' with the code name 
                ``Galahad''; and
                    (B) later became known as ``Merrill's Marauders'' 
                (referred to in this section as the ``Marauders'') in 
                reference to its leader, Brigadier General Frank 
                Merrill;
            (4) 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;
            (5) 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;
            (6) during their march to Myitkyina, the Marauders faced 
        hunger and disease that were exacerbated by inadequate aerial 
        resupply drops;
            (7) malaria, typhus, and dysentery inflicted more casualties 
        on the Marauders than the Japanese;

[[Page 134 STAT. 776]]

            (8) by August 1944, the Marauders had accomplished their 
        mission, successfully disrupting Japanese supply and 
        communication lines and taking the town of Myitkyina and the 
        Myitkyina airstrip, the only all-weather airstrip in Northern 
        Burma;
            (9) after taking Myitkyina, only 130 Marauders out of the 
        original 2,750 were fit for duty and all remaining Marauders 
        still in action were evacuated to hospitals due to tropical 
        diseases, exhaustion, and malnutrition;
            (10) for their bravery and accomplishments, the Marauders 
        were awarded the ``Distinguished Unit Citation'', later 
        redesignated as the ``Presidential Unit Citation'', and a Bronze 
        Star; and
            (11) though the Marauders were operational for only a few 
        months, the legacy of their bravery is honored by the Army 
        through the modern day 75th Ranger Regiment, which traces its 
        lineage directly to the 5307th Composite Unit.
SEC. 3. CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL.

    (a) Award Authorized.--The Speaker of the House of Representatives 
and the President pro tempore of the Senate shall make appropriate 
arrangements for the award, on behalf of Congress, of a single gold 
medal of appropriate design to the soldiers of the 5307th Composite Unit 
(Provisional) (referred to in this section as ``Merrill's Marauders''), 
in recognition of their bravery and outstanding service in the jungles 
of Burma during World War II.
    (b) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  Design and Striking.--For the purposes 
of the award referred to in subsection (a), the Secretary of the 
Treasury (referred to in this Act as the ``Secretary'') shall strike a 
gold medal with suitable emblems, devices, and inscriptions, to be 
determined by the Secretary.

    (c) Smithsonian Institution.--
            (1) In general.--Following the award of the gold medal 
        referred to in subsection (a) in honor of Merrill's Marauders, 
        the gold medal shall be given to the Smithsonian Institution, 
        where it shall be displayed as appropriate and made available 
        for research.
            (2) Sense of congress.--It is the sense of Congress that the 
        Smithsonian Institution should make the gold medal received 
        under paragraph (1) available for display elsewhere, 
        particularly at other locations and events associated with 
        Merrill's Marauders.
SEC. 4. DUPLICATE MEDALS.

    Under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, the Secretary 
may strike and sell duplicates in bronze of the gold medal struck under 
section 3, at a price sufficient to cover the costs of the medals, 
including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and overhead 
expenses.

[[Page 134 STAT. 777]]

SEC. 5. STATUS OF MEDALS.

    Medals struck pursuant to this Act are national medals for purposes 
of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code.

    Approved October 17, 2020.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 743:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD:
                                                        Vol. 165 (2019):
                                    Dec. 5, considered and passed 
                                        Senate.
                                                        Vol. 166 (2020):
                                    Sept. 22, considered and passed 
                                        House.

                                  <all>

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