Washington D.C. - Bipartisan legislation cosponsored by U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) seeks to honor a group of World War II heroes - the Merrill's Marauders unit.

The Merrill's Marauders Congressional Gold Medal Act (S. 743) directs the Treasury Department to strike a gold medal commemorating Merrill's Marauders for their heroic feats during World War II. As a long-range penetration special operations jungle warfare unit, Merrill's Marauders fought the Japanese in the China-Burma-India Theater. Pennsylvania was home to 164 of the original Merrill's Marauders members in the unit - the highest of any state.

"World War II required the mobilization of our entire country," said Senator Toomey. "The members of the Merrill's Marauders unit represented the bravery and determination that propelled the Allied troops to victory."

"There are few groups of America's fighting men who earned special attention during World War II for their high levels of courage, perseverance and effectiveness. One of those groups is ‘Merrill's Marauders.' These U.S. Army special operations experts fought the enemy on long-range missions while enduring harsh conditions in the jungles of Burma. The VFW supports the presentation of this Gold Medal because it is a well-deserved and long-overdue tribute to these honorable soldiers, who defeated the enemy despite being vastly outnumbered and while traversing very challenging enemy territory," said Wayne D. Perry, State Commander of Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The legislation is supported by:

  • Pennsylvania Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Marine Corps League
  • American Legion Post 405
  • Philadelphia Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund
  • SMART States Congressional Initiative