Coachella Native Honored with Congressional Gold Medal Award
PALM DESERT - A Coachella Valley native received a very special honor this weekend.
Charles Shibata, who was born in Coachella, received the Congressional Gold Medal on Saturday for his service in World War II.
Despite being forced into a Japanese-American internment camp in 1942, Shibata joined the U.S. Army when they were looking for Japanese translators.
After Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Japanese-Americans were barred from joining the military service.
But as the need for trained linguists became apparent to translate Japanese documents, the army started recruiting the same people interned.
Charles was proud to serve his country and was in the military intelligence service. This was kept secret during the war and for nearly three decades after.