[117th Congress Public Law 38]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

[[Page 135 STAT. 333]]

Public Law 117-38
117th Congress

                                 An Act

  To award a Congressional gold medal to the 369th Infantry Regiment, 
 commonly known as the ``Harlem Hellfighters'', in recognition of their 
  bravery and outstanding service during World War I. <<NOTE: Aug. 25, 
                         2021 -  [H.R. 3642]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Harlem 
Hellfighters Congressional Gold Medal Act. 31 USC 5111 note.>> 

    This Act may be cited as the ``Harlem Hellfighters Congressional 
Gold Medal Act''.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) When the United States officially entered World War I in 
        April 1917, the Armed Forces were still segregated, even though 
        African-American soldiers had served and distinguished 
        themselves in every war since the Revolutionary War, and even 
        the Colonial Wars preceding the American Revolution.
            (2) After several years of advocacy and debate, in 1916 the 
        State of New York authorized the recruitment of the 15th New 
        York National Guard Regiment, which was called to Federal 
        service on July 25, 1917, soon after arriving for training at 
        Camp Whitman, New York.
            (3) The 15th completed its basic military practice training 
        at Camp Whitman, New York.
            (4) To receive combat training, the 15th reported, on 
        October 8, 1917, to Camp Wadsworth, in Spartanburg, South 
        Carolina, where it experienced many incidents of racial 
            (5) Consequently, the government agreed to remove the 15th 
        from Camp Wadsworth, but, instead of receiving further training, 
        the regiment began preparing for deployment to France in 
            (6) The 15th arrived in Saint Nazaire, France, on January 1, 
        1918, where it was redesignated the 369th Infantry Regiment.
            (7) Partly because many White soldiers within the American 
        Expeditionary Forces (hereinafter, the ``AEF'') refused to 
        perform combat duty with Black soldiers, members of the 369th 
        were initially assigned manual labor tasks, such as loading and 
        unloading supplies, and constructing roads and railroads.
            (8) After receiving pressure from the 369th regimental 
        commander about not having a combat mission, the AEF attached 
        the 369th to the French Fourth Army.

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            (9) By mid-March of 1918, the 369th went to the Argonne 
        Forest with the French 16th Division for training and soon 
        entered the trenches.
            (10) The 369th encountered its first German soldiers in 
        combat in April, 1918.
            (11) <<NOTE: Henry Johnson.>>  In May of 1918, Private Henry 
        Johnson of the 369th received the French Croix de Guerre, with 
        Palm, for extraordinary valor, becoming one of the first 
        American soldiers to be awarded this honor.
            (12) Johnson also belatedly received a Purple Heart, was 
        awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, and in, 2015, was 
        awarded the Medal of Honor.
            (13) Throughout the remainder of the spring and into the 
        summer the 369th served at Minacourt, in the Champagne-Marne 
        Defensive, and during the Aisne-Marne Offensive in support of 
        the French 161st Infantry Division.
            (14) As summer turned to autumn, the 369th went on to 
        participate in the Meuse-Argonne offensive, where it captured 
        the important village of Sechault despite sustaining severe 
            (15) On October 14, 1918, the 369th advanced to Alsace.
            (16) On November 20, 1918, the 369th reached the banks of 
        the Rhine River as part of the French Army of Occupation, the 
        first Allied unit to do so.
            (17) The 369th was relieved of its assignment with the 
        French 161st Division in December, 1918, and elements of the 
        regiment sailed for New York in late January and early February, 
            (18) The 369th Infantry Regiment received a parade up 5th 
        Avenue in New York City on February 17, 1919, receiving applause 
        and cheers from hundreds of thousands of onlookers.
            (19) The 369th was demobilized on February 28, 1919.
            (20) Over 170 individual members of the 369th received the 
        Croix de Guerre, many were awarded the Distinguished Service 
        Cross, and the 369th was awarded a unit citation.
            (21) It is generally believed that the 369th was dubbed the 
        ``Harlem Hellfighters'' by German soldiers, who found the men to 
        be incredibly determined and courageous in battle.
            (22) The 369th was the first regiment of African Americans 
        to deploy overseas during World War I and spent 191 days on the 
        front line in World War I, more than any other American 
        regimental sized unit.
            (23) The 369th never lost a foot of ground nor had a man 
        taken prisoner, despite suffering a high number of casualties.

    (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 the Congress, of a gold medal 
of appropriate design to the 369th Infantry Regiment, commonly known as 
the ``Harlem Hellfighters'', in recognition of their bravery and 
outstanding service during World War I.
    (b) <<NOTE: Determination.>>  Design and Striking.--For the purposes 
of the award referred to in subsection (a), the Secretary of the 
Treasury shall

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strike the 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 in 
        honor of the 369th Infantry Regiment, the ``Harlem 
        Hellfighters'', the gold medal shall be given to the Smithsonian 
        Institution, where it will 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 awarded 
        pursuant to this Act available for display elsewhere, 
        particularly at other locations associated with the Harlem 

    (a) In General.--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 bronze medals, including labor, materials, 
dies, use of machinery, and overhead expenses.
    (b) Proceeds of Sales.--The amounts received from the sale of 
duplicate medals under subsection (a) shall be deposited in the United 
States Mint Public Enterprise Fund.
    (c) Authority to Use Fund Amounts.--There is authorized to be 
charged against the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund such 
amounts as may be necessary to pay for the costs of the medals struck 
under this Act.

    The gold medal struck pursuant to this Act is a national medal for 
purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code.

     The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying 
with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by 
reference to the latest statement titled ``Budgetary Effects of PAYGO 
Legislation'' for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional 
Record by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that such 
statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.

    Approved August 25, 2021.


            June 15, considered and passed House.
            Aug. 9, considered and passed Senate.