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U.S. Navy 1870's Good Conduct Badge to a Swedish sailor

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U.S. Navy 1870's Good Conduct Badge to a Swedish sailor

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  • Price £746.45
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Offered for your purchase is a near perfect example of an exceedingly rare U.S. Navy award, the 1870's Good Conduct Badge. This was the first medallic award given to any branch of the U.S. military for good conduct, and only the second wearable medal available to enlisted sailors, the first being the Medal of Honor. I have been fortunate enough to have owned or seen many of these awards over the years, and this is an excellent piece for a serious collector. 

 This Badge was awarded to William Fredrickson, a native of Sweden, who enlisted in the U.S. Navy on October 19, 1871. I would like to see it go to a Swedish or other European collector.

 Unlike many of these early awards, where the recipients life story has been lost, this example comes with the rare original parchment Continuous Service Certificate (C.S.C. No. 1413) recording not only the service history of the sailor, but also some personal details. When he first enlisted in 1871, he was 5'5" tall, grey eyes and brown hair. He had no marks or scars. He reenlisted in January 1875, serving until July 22, 1878. Both of his discharges were under honorable conditions, Fredrickson earning high marks for his conduct and proficiency in seamanship, gunnery and small arms. He served his first enlistment as a Seaman, and was a Coxswain during his last.

 Fortunately his service can be traced from his C.S.C. record. Between 1871 and 1874 Fredrickson was on board the USS Wachusett. She sailed from New York City in 1871 bound for the Mediterranean where she cruised until November 1873. Sailing for home, Wachusett served along the Atlantic and gulf coasts for a year before she returned to Boston, where Fredrickson was discharged on 29 October 1874. 

  Since he was serving under Continuous Service, Fredrickson was allowed up to three months to reenlist and still retain all the privileges of long service. Fredrickson took advantage of his equivalent of three-months paid leave, reenlisting on board the Receiving Ship U.S.S. Ohio in Boston just before the three month deadline on January 26, 1875.He was transferred to the U.S.S. Vermont, the Receiving Ship at New York, in April, and shortly assigned to the crew of the U.S.S. Tennessee.

The Tennessee was only 10 years old in 1875, and was described by one naval author as…” the largest vessel then in commission in the American Navy, and the era of mast-less steel cruisers was yet so far away that she was not suspected, by the youngsters at least, of being obsolete and stood as the type of all that was excellent and majestic in ship construction." Her spaciousness and the comfort of her quarters as well as her handling characteristics made her a favorite duty station, and in May 1875 she sailed as the flagship to the Asiatic Squadron. Fredrickson spent his entire enlistment on board the Tennessee, returning to the U.S. for discharge in July 1878. Fredrickson received this Good Conduct Badge at the end of his Asiatic cruise.

 Fredrickson’s Badge has been fitted with a small brass safety pin to allow it to be worn; the lack of a suspension pin being one of the shortcomings of the original design. This, and the presence of several small pin holes in the C.S.C. would imply Fredrickson wore the Badge. However, there are no service entries for Fredrickson after 1878 in the C.S.C., nor can I find reenlistment records in the online Enlistment Rendezvous reports. This is, unfortunately, not unusual, and additional records may be available through research I have not had the time to do. I will include several pages of research I have been able to conduct.

Please feel free to ask any questions and we can discuss shipping options and costs if you are interested in the medal. I accept PayPal for payment in U.S. Dollars.



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New Castle, Delaware - United States

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