A US Treasury Honorable Gold Life Saving Medal is placed on a maroon marble-like top and has a red ribbon attached to its pin. The medal is gold in color and has laurel leaves in the upper side. In the center of the medal is a lady holding a large piece of parchment with an eagle perched on top. A group of text is written around the medal, which reads, “In Testimony of Heroic Deed and Life Saving from the sea.” This medal was awarded to those who were able to save lives during the war; however, it is unknown for which war this medal was awarded, as any defining details are illegible. A date appears to be written beside the woman on the medal.
This lifesaving medal was first authorized on the 43rd Congress. It had three designs throughout its history. The first one was in 1874. It couldn't be worn by the recipient but rather, it looked like a trophy to be displayed. Eight years after, the design was upgraded to include a ribbon. Lastly on 1949, the ribbon and the medal were reduced in size so it would become proportional to other US military medals. Also, the ribbons were upgraded to have different colors.
Taken by George Sakata. George was a member of the infamous 100th Division 442nd Nisei Regimental Combat Team in WWII. This was the only Japanese American unit in WWII and was nicknamed the "Go For Broke" unit. The 442nd had a casualty rate of 93% and was awarded 21 Medal of Honors. George Sakata is featured throughout our website. For more information on the 442nd RCB unit.
This medal is a perfect representation of the valor and courage of our men throughout the history. It is important to know that the original intent of giving out this medal is to celebrate those who rescue other people from drowning, shipwreck or other dangers that they encounter in the water. This photograph represents a long history of heroism that was in the nature of our men serving the country.
Discover more about US awards and decorations by reading the following: Army Medals and Ribbons and US Military Medals.