ONTARIO — On Nov. 14, Christopher B. Woo of Ontario accepted posthumously accepted a bronze medal on behalf of his father and veteran Albert O. Woo at the Oregon Regional Congressional Gold Medal Presentation event at Camp Withycombe Armed Forces Readiness Center in Clackamas, Oregon, just outside of Portland according to an article written last week by AsAmNews.
Albert served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a sergeant in the Army, Air Corps as a duty noncommissioned officer in the 19th Bombardment Group which was in the Philippines and Guam from 1944 to 1945 at the end of World War II. Albert made it back home safely and became a fresh produce distributor of potatoes and onions in Los Angeles, California. Albert died in January of 1975 in Los Angles.
In 2018 the U.S. Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to Chinese-Americans who served in the U.S. military during World War II. The aforementioned article also says the Congressional Medal Act recognizes and honors the service of an estimated 20,000 men and women of Chinese descent who served during World War II. As an extension of the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony, veterans and next-of-kin including Christopher were presented with bronze medal replicas.
Prior veterans who have received the Congressional Gold Medal include black airmen, Navajo code talkers and the 442nd Infantry Regiment also known as the Nisei, which was made up of second-generation Japanese Americans.
Ceremonies to receive the medals were supposed to take place in 2020 across the country, however, they were delayed until this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Christopher said it was a “proud full moment,” for him and his family and wishes his father was alive to receive his medal, but he would be proud, even though he was quiet and subtle.
The event was emceed by dentist Dr. Cyrus Lee along with Army Major General K.K. Chinn (retired) and Army Brigadier General John Ma (retired) presented the medal awards.
Veterans in Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming were among those who received medals at the ceremony.