The Sino-American Cooperative Organization, referred to at the time as the "Rice Paddy Navy," was a joint unit consisting of Chinese Nationalist and American military personnel. The American contingent consisted of Navy and Marine Corps personnel. This unique organization fought the Japanese invaders of the the Chinese Mainland during the Second World War. The Sino-American Cooperative Organization was headed by Lieutenant General Tail Li, who was Chief of the Chinese Nationalist Intelligence Bureau. The senior American officer was Captain Milton Miles, of the United States Navy. This medal is little-known because it was not developed until well after the war ended. In 1974 Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense established the medal and ordered approximately 600 of them to be presented at the annual convention of the Sino-American Cooperative Organization (which was held that year in San Diego).
The Sino-American Cooperative Medal was established by the Ministry of Defense, Republic of China, in 1974.
ACCEPTANCE BY THE UNITED STATES
Although this medal does not officially fall within a specific acceptance authority because it was established 29 years after World War II, its acceptance is probably governed by the provisions of Public Law 80-314, which authorized the acceptance of foreign awards and decorations during World War II for the period of December 7, 1941 through July 24, 1948.
The effective dates for the Sino-American Cooperative Organization Medal were from 1942 to 1945.
The Sino-American Cooperative Organization Medal was awarded to American members of the Sino-American Cooperative Organization who operated against Japanese forces on the Chinese Mainland between 1942 and 1945.
No devices were authorized for this medal
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
This medal has not been fixed within the official order of precedence but would follow the same guidelines issued by each branch of the Armed Forces for the wear of foreign medals and decorations. It would follow all foreign decorations and be worn in the order in which it was received if worn with other foreign service medals.
The designer of the Sino-American Cooperative Organization Commemorative Medal is unknown.
DESCRIPTION AND SYMBOLISM
The medal is oversized, being two and quarter inches at its widest points. It is a star of twenty-eight points, consisting of a blue Maltese cross superimposed over a slightly recessed white Maltese cross, which is in turn superimposed over an even more recessed red Maltese cross. In the re-entrant angles between the arms of the red Maltese cross is a gold point, recessed even further. The two sides of the blue Maltese cross are divided by a gold line. In the center of the medal is a medallion containing an American flag on the wearer's left, and a Republic of China flag on the wearer's right. Extending through the center of the medallion is a gilt representation of two hands being shaken, as in a gesture of friendship.
The reverse of the medal bears the following inscription (in Chinese) in three lines: IN RECOGNITION OF THE CONTRIBUTIONS MADE BY THOSE WHO FOUGHT AGAINST THE AGGRESSORS FOR FREEDOM DURING THE PERIOD 1942-1945. PRESENTED BY THE CHINESE COMRADES-IN-ARMS.
The ribbon to the Sino-American Cooperative Organization Commemorative Medal consists of two sections of red, white and blue separated by a thin yellow stripe in the center. The blue stripe forms the edge of the ribbon.