Special Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Exhibits Displayed at the USS Hornet Museum

USS Hornet Museum--Three Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage exhibits are on display at the Hornet Museum until May 9.

Special Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Exhibits Displayed at the USS Hornet Museum

The USS Hornet Sea, Air and Space Museum is displaying several exhibits celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage. The three special exhibits are in the Hangar Bay for guests to enjoy. The exhibits are “The Friends and Family of Nisei Veterans,” “The Bataan Legacy Project” and “The Chinese American G.I. Project.”

These exhibits will honor three groups that received the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) for their sacrifices during WWII — Japanese (2011), Filipino (2017) and Chinese (2018). The exhibit will be on display until May 9.

Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage have shaped the history of the United States since the first Filipino sailor set foot in Morro Bay on Oct. 18, 1587, on board the Spanish galleon ship Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza which sailed from Manila to Acapulco. In 1763, “Manila Men” settled in St. Malo in the outskirts of New Orleans, La. Starting in the late 1840’s, large-scale immigration from China occurred in California to work in the gold mines and later in the transcontinental railroad project.

During the Civil War, Filipinos, Chinese, Indians and other Asian groups were recruited. The Chinese exclusion act in 1882 virtually halted immigration of Chinese and Japanese immigrants became a source of cheap labor particularly in the plantations of Hawaii. Exclusionary acts were also eventually passed against the Japanese and Filipinos. But in the Philippines, which became a territory of the U.S. in 1898, Filipinos became a source of recruitment for the U.S. Navy and Army Insular Force since 1901.

It was only after the outbreak of WWII when these three groups in the U.S., Chinese, Japanese and Filipinos, were admitted into the U.S. Army in racially segregated units, although Filipinos formed majority of the U.S. Army Forces in the Philippines. The 442nd Infantry Regiment, made up of Japanese Americans whose families in the West Coast were interned as a result of Executive Order 9066, received 21 Medals of Honor during WWII.

The USS Hornet Museum is located at 707 West Hornet Ave.