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Everything posted by FireMedals


    • FOR SALE

    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.


  2. As a very inactive member of the GMIC I still follow post and learn from it. Now I can give back a bit as I have an example of this Diamond Jubilee press pass, and would like to post a couple of photos for the record. It is numbered 355 and marked to Bowman Limited, London as the maker. An excellent account of how this badge was obtained and used by an American reporter can be found in a book that is available in readable format online; "A Looker On In London" by Mary H. Krout, an author and reporter for a Chicago newspaper. FireMedals
  3. FireMedals

    Knight?s Templar medals

    docpomus, Just one of the many, many variations of this medal. There were any number of companies making these, and as long as they looked something like the regular white cross, eagle, etc., the various Commanderies could order whatever they liked. Firemedals
  4. Knight?s Templar Membership Medal This medal is probably one of the most commonly encountered U.S. Masonic/fraternal medals, and is also probably the most often incorrectly identified. The Masonic Knight?s Templar were formed in 1816, and still survive today, although their numbers are reportedly dropping. They base their history on a non-existent connection with the KT?s of the Crusades. To become a KT the man must be a member in good standing in a regular Masonic Lodge, and hold the 7th degree in the York Rite of Masonry, which is called the Royal Arch Degree. The KT?s meet in lodges called Commanderies, and they wear military-style uniforms, which is one reason for the misunderstanding as to their purpose and affiliation. Many Commanderies after the Civil War (1861-1865) wore a uniform very similar to that of the Union Army, complete with shoulder epaulets for officers. The uniform is now more varied, but old photos of KT members still seem to reinforce the myth it is a military organization or has a military connection. Their membership medal is a white Maltese cross worn on a black ribbon, based upon the uniform of the real Knight?s Templar. The center medallion usually has the eagle design from the U.S. seal, with ?E. Pluribus Unum" around, but there are some variations. These medals have been around since at least the 1870?s, and I have personally cataloged over 24 varieties. The older medals have more character in their manufacturing than the modern pieces; some modern ones have bars with the names of the Commandery; and occasionally you?ll see a half black, half white ribbon; but they are still just membership medals. The most common mistake with identification of these medals is an imaginary connection with the Civil War, and Civil War veterans. The medal is often seen on dealer/auction listings as a ?funeral? medal. One author of a book on Civil War insignia even claimed this, giving the myth an undeserved level of credibility. Since it has a black ribbon, it must be a funeral medal?Right??? Since it has a military looking eagle, and ?E Pluribus Unum? ?it must be military?.Right??? As we have all hopefully learned by now, don?t base an opinion of a medal?s purpose on its design. Interestingly enough, as the Civil War vet?s died off, and the medal still survived, the ever creative dealers made them Spanish War?then WWI?and WWII, and, yes, even Korean War, ?funeral? medals. NOT!!!!! Here is an example of a fairly modern medal. The reverse is usually plain, some earlier ones have maker?s stamps. Firemedals
  5. FireMedals

    Japanese document translation needed

    I have a pair of Japanese WWII medals that were awarded to a fireman during the WWII bombing and fire raids. The group also includes a 14 page, small format, printed booklet reported to be his service record. It appears to be a general rules book, but has personal entries, and probably has his name, rank, etc.. I would like to contact someone who could provide a basic translation overview of the document, not every word, but enought to give me some information on the fireman himself, his city, times of service and the like. I would like to send a photocopy of the document to anyone who could help, and would be happy to pay an agreed upon price for their time and service. A contact in the US would be easiest, but I can mail it overseas should that be necessary. If you are interested, please contace me via a PM and we can discuss it. Thanks. FireMedals
  6. FireMedals

    Coast Guard Cross

    I would offer that the odds are higher than ever before, given the fact that terrorist acts are considered war operations now. Any future attack on a US harbor, ship in a port, or on the hight seas with the CG present and in a front line combat role, and with a heroic act that would have merited the Navy Cross otherwise, would now allow the CG to recognise that heroism. Without the NC available, these men or women would receive what....some Department of Transportation medal? I'm not generally in favor of all the new medals that have come about over the last few years for just doing your duty, however this situation with the CGC is the same situation we had in WWI when we had no heroism award except the MOH, and the NC was created for that gap. Since the CG doesn't have the NC except when it is a part of the Navy, they should have some way to recognise their own members entitled to such an award. I live in an area with a very active CG presence, and those men and women are the least appreciated military service until you find yourself hanging on a capsized boat miles from land. They earn every award they get.. Firemedals
  7. Yes, everyone in uniform is serving their country, but does that equate to earning a medal? Does doing your job in the military mean you've earned a medal? Overlooking the fact that everyone who comes out of basic training and goes to their first duty assignment now has several ribbons over their pocket, the man or woman servicing the drones to insure they fly their missions are often well within the range of small arms, RPG's or car bombs, and are lucky to get an Achievement Medal. However now the person watching a computer image in an air conditioned war-room in Montana, and has his/her finger on the pickle button, deserves a medal for their service. That doesn't compute with me. Yes, the danger zone expands from the grunt to the B-52 crew, but the aircrew is over enemy territory. Even if they are dropping ordinance from several miles up, if they had to punch out, they are not going to have a nice day. If the Senior Drone Pilot has a bad day it means he has to wait for a table at the O Club. No, I'm sorry, all service is not equal, everyone doesn't deserve a medal. Remember you don't "win" a medal, you earn it. FireMedals
  8. First let me preface this with the statement that I am a US Air Force veteran. Personally, the idea of combat medals for non-combat duty was bound to come about. Just as in the Viet-nam era, when you needed a combat command and a combat decoration to insure geting your ticket punched for promotion, clerks weren't fast enought to keep track of officers rotating through a unit. Of course, the number of Bronze Star and Commendation medals, Air Medals, and in the documented cases of more than a few senior officers who got caught, some other senior medals were given out, often for not even going into the field, growing to a staggering number. As US medal collectors are aware, the Air Medal rate was so high, they started dividing the types of missions you flew and gave numbers for the ribbon bar....there wasn't enought room for all the oak-leaf clusters you would have had to wear. Well, since the drone "pilots" need to show some career development, and a lowly Commendation medal is available for anyone, a new award is definitely needed. And, due to the "everybody's a winner" mentality in American child-rearing today, where everyone deserves an award so they don't grow up and feel under appreciated, it will pass. And of course, considering these very proposals for the medals are being considered by officers who have their own uniforms covered with fruit salad, there is no reason not to share the love. And don't forget, if you have a Distinguished Warfare Medal, it won't be long before they'll figure out there is a need for an award for those who don't quite meet the requirement for that award, but still deserve recognition....and the Meritorious Warfare Medal will soon follow. This is why I don't collect anything past 1965. Just my two-cents.... FireMedals
  9. FireMedals

    Any GMIC members in Yokohama?

    I have a US Navy medal awarded to a sailor who died in Yokohama in the 1890's and is buried in the The Yokohama Foreign General Cemetery. I would like to find someone who lives in the area and might be able to try to find his grave and get a photo for me. According to the cemetery website they are open during the summer and apparently have a good record of the various burials over the years. I'd be happy to offer reimbursement for any expenses, and even pay for a snack at the local fried noodle stand. Drop me a PM if you might be able to help. Thanks, FireMedals
  10. FireMedals

    Any GMIC members in Yokohama?

    Hzenba, Welcome to the Forum. It's nice of you to ask if all is well here after all your country has gone through in the last year. I lived in Japan for a while in 1970, one of the best times of my life. I hope all is well with you. What is your collecting interests? FireMedals
  11. FireMedals

    Knight?s Templar medals

    Steve, Thanks for posting to this too-long inactive thread. It's rare that a KT medal can be identified to an individual or specific time. so having one to a known recipient and from a specific time frams is great. Any chance of photo's being posted. My example of a GREEN medal only has the name stamped...no KC. It also doesn't have stars. I'd like to see your example for comparison. Ther was also a maker named STEINER in Kansas City, but they are older, and made better quality pieces than later makers. One major problem is also IDing the makers. Most didn't mark them and some suppliers appear to have bought from wholesalers and sold them as their own. I'll try to get a couple of photos of my GREEN piece posted. FireMedals
  12. FireMedals

    Long Service Good Conduct Medals

    muckaroon1960 Unfortunately there is no easy way to trace the name of the recipient of your Marine GCM, however research has narrowed down the time period in which some numbers were issued. I believe that number 56866 would have been issued to a Marine who enlisted in late July - early August 1918. Nice collection. Thanks for sharing. As Paul R. mentioned, now you need to get the reserve components medals. Fortunately most are fairly inexpensive, and a complete collection makes a great display. FireMedals
  13. FireMedals

    1st Cav at An Khe Vietnam

    Thanks, I just added it to my favorites . A lot of memories to review. Firemedals
  14. FireMedals

    Ribbon I.D. needed

    Scott, This ribbon reportedly is used by the Colorado National Guard as a Commendation Ribbon. It has also been identified as various awards for other State Guard units as far back as WWI. I think the CO connection can be checked, but I know at least some of the reported uses of the ribbon are incorrect. I'm not aware of what it may have been used for circa WWII. You could do a search of each state Nat. Guard site for clues. Unfortunately most states have several obsolete awards and finding information on them can be difficult. Good Luck Firemedals
  15. Hi, I just bought a box of material that appears to have come from a Frenchman who served in Shanghi before WWII and in Vietnam during WWII, apparently up to the US involvment in 1964.I'm still trying to sort through it all, but this piece was attached to a display panel along with several French and VN medals, coins, etc.. It is a piece of ivory with the Chinese-style characters engraved on it, and then filled with red ink or paint. It was hanging in a prominent place on the panel with his other awards, so he was obviously proud enought of it to give it a place of honor.It's possible he had a police connection, but again, I haven't had a chance to sort everything out. It's way outside my area of experience. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Any help will be appreciated, and once I can figure everything out, I'll follow up with a display. Thanks for any help. FireMedals
  16. FireMedals

    ?East Asian ivory piece-award, laundry tag, any thoughts?

    Thanks Hugh and hc8604. I appreciate the leads. I never would have connected this with a mandarins rank insignia. Now I'll try to connect it with the rest of the "stuff" that came with it. FireMedals
  17. FireMedals

    MoH Air Force

    Looks like a half-a$$ed copy, probably from the up and coming Chinese fake medal industry. FireMedals
  18. Mervyn, An excellent family grouping that is always difficult to find together. Usually the helmet, insignia and medals all go in different directions. If you have a photo of the two men it's about a perfect a grouping as I could wish to find. Thanks for sharing. FireMedals
  19. Uwe, Thank you for all that information. This should answer any questions about this award for a long time to come. FireMedals
  20. The idea that the red ribbon on this medal was for career firemen is new to me. I've never seen it in 40 years of collecting fire awards, and even authors, like Gert Efler who wrote the book on German fire awards, puts the grey and white striped ribbon on the 25 year service and the carmine on the 40 year service. With my very limited command of the German language, it also appears the awards were issued for service in fire brigades, without any division between just volunteer or career. Not to sound critical of anyone elses comments, but I would really like to have the source of this for my records. FireMedals
  21. Is anyone aware of any source of information within the Canadian government, maritime unions, etc., who could confirm if an individual had merchant marine service in WWII? The more information available the better, but I'd settle for just an official confirmation (or not) of service. Any information would be appreciated. FireMedals
  22. I've had this for a number of years and just ran across it again. It's cheaply made from stamped brass, with a wire pin and open wire catch. Minimal finishing. It's about 1 inch high and 1 inch across with SSB in a circle. No markings. I've been told it's everything from an Israel independence piece to Spanish Civil War. Could be Bosnia Boy Scouts for all I know....I've never seen another. Someone here must have a clue. Any help is always appreciated. Thanks, FireMedals
  23. Gentlemen, Thank you all for the help. It seems "Special Services Battalion" would be the best guess. At least I have somewhere to start looking. Thanks again for the input. FireMedals
  24. Rick, This pin is so roughly made that hardly any two measurements are the same, in inches or mm. FireMedals