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About johnnymac

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  1. My thoughts, The door was slightly cracked open by others, but Alexander Laslo and myself (James Michels) have open the door a little wider into collecting Vic’s by our books, but like an iceberg the books are just the tip of it. Sometimes missed in a discussion is the fact that most European Victory Medals are not fully researched yet. Until we find when each of the known official and unofficial medal were made, and by whom, the story remain open with more to come. In my study of the American Victory Medal I found these medals were authorized several time by the U.S. Government to have it re-manufactured, and I found there were slight different between the first made in 1920 and the last ones made around 2003. So Zsebora, going back to the Greek missing “O”, I ask is there any chance of the missing “O” turning out be a late issue in the future. If it turns out as a no, it is still a hard find or rare medal to some serious collectors.
  2. Good Morning, Oliver The USS Kerlew ID-1325, in the Navies numbering system stands for: USS Kerlew, Civilian Vessel, 1325, I find it very interesting that a battle line officer of a Lieutenant Commander would be used for ferrying coal across a 20-30 mile channel from England to France after the war. So I found her here: https://www.revolvy.com/page/USS-Kerlew-(ID%2D1325) USS Kerlew (ID-1325) was a United States Navy cargo ship in commission from 1918 to 1919. Kerlew was built in 1906 at Stockton-on-Tees, England, by Craig, Taylor and Company, Ltd.[2] Prior to World War I, she served as the Austro-Hungarian commercial cargo ship Virginia. She was named Kerlew and owned by Kerr Navigation Corporation of New York City by the time the United States Army acquired her on a bareboat charter basis in October 1917. The U.S. Navy acquired Kerlew on 13 November 1918, two days after the end of World War I, at Cardiff, Wales, assigned her the naval registry Identification Number (Id. No.) 1325, and commissioned her the same day as USS Kerlew with Lieutenant S. V. Kalhauge, USNRF, in command. Assigned to the U.S. Army coal trade at Cardiff, Kerlew transported coal across the English Channel from British to French ports. She continued this duty until 29 January 1919, when she arrived at Invergordon, Scotland, to load a cargo of American naval mines for return to the United States. Departing Invergordon on 19 February 1919, she arrived in the United States at Norfolk, Virginia, on 9 March 1919. Kerlew was decommissioned on 12 April 1919 and transferred the same day to the United States Shipping Board for simultaneous return to her owner. Kerlew returned to commercial service. She was renamed Mount Sidney in 1922 while serving as a merchant ship. Thanks for sharing, Jim Sorry but this medal hahaha is funny to me. The victory medal was awarded 1 1/2 years after the war. So the clasp can’t be a war time thing. I could see it as maybe as an aftermarket add on, but why 10 when there were 100’s signing up each day when the United States got into the war……….also, I do not like that ring is open. Regards to all, Jim
  3. I find it interesting that you think Naval pilots and their crews would turn down a clasps that said "Aviation". That Sub Chaser crews would not want clasps like: Mine Sweeper, Mine Layers, Patrol or even the clasp Sub Chaser clasp itself. On the other hand these very few Marines who served in these war countries were entitled to the clasp Overseas. Later some may have wanted the Army country clasp of the country in which they served. But In 1920 when the medals were being ordered there was no (Approved SevNav 5 Oct 1940). So they would not be added into that number. AND, they were under Naval, not Army Command. From my book Another group of approximately 1,600 Marine and Navy officers and enlisted men were sent overseas for naval shore duty. They served in communications, ports, harbors, warehouse services, service of supply, radio stations, naval magazines, ammunition depots, cable stations and other naval concerns, and assisted in off-loading U.S. ships at the docks in France. Unlike the Marines and Sailors attached to the Army's 2nd Division, they also remained under the Navy's command. This group came to be considered the "forgotten" shore servicemen who performed the necessary and thankless, day-to-day duties required to keep the war machine going in France. (very few were in Italy). This group was awarded the Victory Medal with the Navy Duty clasp, Overseas. Unsatisfied with this very non-descript clasp, they insisted for years that they, too, should be awarded the Army Service clasp, France, including the Maltese cross. They had served in France like their counterparts who had served with the Army. In late September of 1940, under heavy pressure from these and other veterans' groups, the Secretary of the Navy addressed the question of approval for the wearing of the Army's Service clasp, France, for this group, and on October 5, 1940, it was finally authorized. In the book, The United States Marine Corps in the World War, by Major Edwin N. McClellan, USMC, Officer in Charge, Historical Division, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. (originally printed in 1920. and then reprinted in 1968), the author points out still another group of Marines who served with the AEF in France and Belgium, and who were entitled to Battle or Service clasps as well: Replacement marines were drawn from the 5th Brigade Headquarters, 11th and 13th Regiments and the 5th Brigade Machine Gun Battalion and sent forward to the 2nd Division's, Fourth Brigade. They would have been entitled, depending on individual case, to the France Service clasp with Maltese cross as well as some battle clasps.
  4. Hi Herman, Each medal you find has its own story, and as Rob stated all collectibles should be left alone. There is no real value to be added to it if you change it. As I say, we do not own these items we are just the care takers. Regards Jim
  5. Nice medal. Is it 3mm? Also I will add this: It was asked on another forum why the USA service clasp like “France” would not be placed together with battles clasps on the same medal. I will try to explain it and hopefully it will answer future questions on why those two types of clasps are never issued together. If you had received one or more battle clasps, the battle clasp itself would be a clear indication of your service in that country. So to add a clasp, like France to your named battle clasps, would be redundant.
  6. (I am in with Tim B and Paul Wood, leave the ribbon alone) Hi Bill, this is from my book page 99 The nineteenth clasp, the West Indies, was not approved until much later, in December of 1921. Only the U.S. Mint manufactured this named clasp. (there are copies but this clasp you have is not a copy) I would like to add three thoughts: (1) This clasp is a U.S. Mint made clasp. (2) Great Lakes ILL is a training camp or “Boot Camp" mainly for new sailors. (3) USNRF stands for United States Naval Reserve Force. The last two facts would entitle a sailor to the victory medal, for those sailors serving between April 6, 1917 and Nov. 18, 1918. So what I see is this sailor was at Great Lakes Ill during or at the end of the WWI, between dates of April 6, 1917 and Nov. 18, 1918. Had he served elsewhere I am sure he would have had it engraved on the medal. He may, at a later date after the war, have served in the West Indies (Haiti, Santo Domingo, Cuba or the U.S. Virgin Islands), and he may have felt he was entitled to this clasp. Without the proper paperwork, it is all speculation, as to where he served and why he would have been entitled to this clasp. Additionally, the condition of this medal may be due to two factors: Adding the clasp at a later date and the act of engraving of the medal.
  7. If i understand you rigth these are the two medals you are asking about. If these are medals, I do not think they are same medal and here's why. Ckeck the blue and red sections I have marked and you will see the differences between each.
  8. I am sorry for posting this article at such a late date and with added hopes of being able to help members find some information on the American clasps and its matrix. In my book I have posted a full page of over 40 clasps combination which I feel will aid the U.S. Collecters. Below is from my book, World War I, Victory Medals which was first published in 2014, with over 700 copies being purchased as of this post. Those interested in a copy my book is being sold on Amazon.com or Amazon.uk Publications Which Augment the Pamphlet There are many sources of information, which I have listed throughout this book. Then there are other sources of information which may confuse as to what publication was used by the Army to collaborate and reference battle entitlements. I feel the 1920 War Department pamphlet, Battle Participation of Organizations of the American Expeditionary Forces in France, Belgium and Italy; 1917-1918 would have been the main line of defense and essential to those filling out applications for the thousands of veterans starting in 1920. Where-as the WWI Campaign and Service Credits pamphlet printed by Planchet Press, Arlington, Virginia, in June of 1996 is also a very important source of information and a must read for any serious collector of United States Forces Serving during World War I. However, in my humble opinion it comes into its own for the minor changes found and extracted from listings found in General Orders dating from 1922, 1923, 1926, 1927, 1930 and 1937, with the addition or subtraction of one or more battles affecting historically only a handful of units and without affecting the bulk awarding of the Victory Medal already awarded. This pamphlet, published much later in 1996, could only show the changes to a unit's history, which is immensely different from what happened in 1920, 1921 and 1922, when the majority of Victory Medals were being issued. Although this pamphlet may provide a long term historical trajectory of units in WWI, the information is post facto and amends information rather than showing a snapshot of the information relevant to the issuing of early Victory Medals. The key to my statement goes back to April 6, 1919, G.O. No. 48 - France, A.E.F., General Pershing, when all unit commanders would have had a full sixteen months before the first Victory Medal was issued. That being the case, they could have updated their own records to ensure accuracy, providing any changes or corrections needed to ensure the correct histories and honors of their command. After all, they wrote their own battle reports, which in turn they then sent to Pershing's Headquarters for final approval. Yet, with this all said, a late correction was made. Here is where I found two postings for the same unit. One in The Pacific Coast Journal of Nursing, January 1921, p. 46, and another in The American Journal of Nursing, 1921, p. 261. Both noted that a recent special decision had been rendered in regards to the awarding of the Victory Medals: Army Nurses, who were attached to Evacuation Hospital No. 5, during its entire service in France, are entitled to the battle clasps, Aisne-Marne, Oise-Aisne, Ypres-Lys, Meuse-Argonne and Defensive Sector. Those who received their medals without the Oise-Aisne clasps should write to the Office of the Surgeon General in regards to a replacement award, of which he was aware, and had made special arrangements with the Army Quartermaster's Corps in this matter. The words "recent special decision" is so telling as how rarely a change was made before 1921.[1] [1] Noting these corrections were made before any listings in General Orders dating after 1922.
  9. Hello, Jannis, Your medal of Charles, Charles is an unofficial medal as I am sure you know by now. I have added a little history. In 1920, in France a design competition was created. The main stipulation was that it was only open to French artists who were also combatants. The Government of France was slow in selecting the final design of their Victory Medal, causing French veterans to grow exceedingly impatient. A further delay was due to the time it took to determine the criteria to be used to define eligibility for the medal. This process lasted until 1923, even though private firms had already begun striking medals on their own, well before, and during, this long, four year period. Charles-Charles was one of the designers. He began selling his Victory Medal on the open market in hopes of finding favor with the veterans. Marcel Pautot another designer teamed with Louis Octave Mattei after seeing that Charles' medal was, to some degree, selling successfully. Yet, uncertainty and high costs might have limited the quantity of medals that both designers put on the open market. The uncertainty came about because they were not only designers, but also businessmen. They knew that French veterans, for the sake of their pride, might only want the government-issued medals, and not unofficial, aftermarket ones. This is from my book, World War I, Victory Medals which is still for sale at Amazon.com & Amazon.uk
  10. Lambert, How many of this type rare documents will you see in your lifetime? 1 maybe 2. If I were younger and planning on collecting Victory Medal items for many more years I would myself purchase this item even at a higher cost. Will you lost money, maybe but I don't think so. Regards Jim
  11. Hi my book "World War I Victory Medals" will be coming out on KINDLE after a large request to do so by you. This is an excellent way to take your book to military shows for reference use. Start date as I've been told by Kindle is January 12. 2016 Regards, Jim .
  12. What a nice looking couple you two make, Merry Christmas as well. For those interested here is the new cover to my updated and expanded ed.
  13. To All, I am not sure how to pin an article so I am asking would someone do that for me. That way this article reaches all who need this update being offered. I have updated and expanded my book, World War I Victory Medals with new and additional files. My wish is to send to those who purchased my book these update as a gift for your support. I also hope that my book has added to your understanding of this well known, but largely misunderstand medal. There are 32 new pages, corrections and a new cover. For those with the interest in receiving a private PDF update, please send me in a PM your email, so I can forward the expanded files to you . Since I have sold over 700 copies, it may take several weeks to get back to all. My offer is limited up to March 2016. Regards Jim/Johnnymac
  14. If I have saved you one dollar or helped you "all" buy a little better I done my job.
  15. Hello Herman, In Commission on Fine Arts, own vault is the type-2. This is the victory medal given to them four months before any were issued to any veterans. From my book starting on page 74. Was There an Official Type-I (Wire-Loop)? As mentioned earlier, on November 14, 1919, the Commission of Fine Arts presented the final design of the Victory Medal by James Earle Fraser, to the Secretary of the War, Newton D. Baker. The medal casting was made by Medallic Art Company. Three months later, on February 11, 1920, the first Victory Medal, a type-2 (knob) suspension was presented to President Woodrow Wilson four months before any other Victory Medals were issued. Why is this significant? In March of 1919, in Paris, one of the outcomes of the Interallied Commission's meeting was the decision that the suspension for the Allied medals was to be based on previous French medal designs. The French contended, and won the point, that they had been engaged in yet another war with Germany. Therefore, the French requested that the new Victory Medal be a link back to their Commemorative Medal of the 1870-1871 War, which was awarded for service in the Franco-Prussian War and which was not awarded until November 9, 1911. The knob suspension became the standard suspension on the U.S. Victory Medal based on this agreed suspension design by all the attending representatives of allied countries. (Illustration 53: Lineage of the Victory Medal.) [1] In the first edition of Laslo's book, he listed the wire-loop as the type-2 suspension without providing much information as to how he had reached this conclusion. Furthermore, he listed the type-2 (wire-loop) as a rare medal and many collectors were undoubtedly confused. They may have questioned his classification and asked, if this type of medal was the first one made and was rare, then why is it not listed as the official type-1? However, in his second edition, I believe Laslo attempted to resolve any confusion by reclassifying the official type-2 (wire-loop) as the newly classified official type-1 (wire-loop). Yet again, he provides little information and no documentation for this fundamental shift in classification. All he provides is a brief footnote on page 87 that the change had taken place. On page 93, he goes on to say that, "it is typically found with unofficially assembled ribbon or just as a loose planchet. In addition, there is no mention of the variety in either War Department or U.S. Mint documentation or in the meeting minutes of the National Commission of Fine Arts." In fact, Laslo's elaboration regarding the origin of the wire-loop suspension leaves yet even more questions because he was unable to provide any factual documentation for its official status. Furthermore, in that next paragraph, he adds, "Of interest, the Victory Medal illustrated in Jos. Mayer's 1933 catalog is the 'wire-loop' variety." This catalog is just that, a catalog. It is not an official issuing agency. I find myself wanting more information as to how, and why, he concluded that the wire-loop was even a legitimate or authorized official issue medal especially given that the wire-loop Victory Medal was listed in the catalogs of all the major dealers of military items. Even today the public can get an unofficial wire-loop medal from present day vendors of military items.[2] In addition to this, the Government was keeping close control over the Victory Medal's production and distribution. I do not think it is realistic to believe the Government would have let any initial run or sample medals, which were paid for by tax dollars, to be given to or distributed by companies, even by those with which the Government had been doing business. Vendors listed only the type-1 (wire-loop) in their catalog and that meant there had to be a large source from which they procured these medals, large enough in fact that dealers like George Studley were selling them well into the 1960's. Let me review several substantial facts which lead me to conclude that Medallic Art Company may have been responsible for the wire-loop suspension. First, once James Fraser had agreed to his final design, the Medallic Art Company was to make hubs and dies, and struck sample medals. There was an understanding between Fraser and Medallic Art Company that all medals would be turned over to the government, along with the specifications of how the medals were to be produced from these hubs and dies. Then, after months of working with Fraser, the Medallic Art Company lost the contract to produce the medals. Second, the Weils were offended because they had said specifically that Art Metal Works Inc. was one of three contractors who they believed would not produce a quality finished product. Third, and this is a rather important point, the wire-loop medals that do exist are of a very high quality and, in contrast to the Art Medal Works, the Medallic Art Company was known for their high quality productions. Typically, Medallic Art Company medals are thicker, which might also help to explain the extra thickness of the wire-loop Victory Medals. There exists an interesting web of relationships which serves as the backdrop to the origin of the wire-loop medals. On March 30, 1920, Major General Harry L. Rogers, Quartermaster General, designated Colonel C. F. Burkhardt to oversee the creation of the Victory Medal. In addition to Colonel Burkhardt, experts in metallurgy were assigned by the Bureau of Standards to assist the appointed contractors in the preparation of the Victory Medal, acting as U.S. Inspectors and representing the War Department at each of the three production sites. Would Inspectors assigned to maintain a specific standard at each site have let two types of suspension be distributed? Felix Weil, who along with his brother Henri who founded the Medallic Art Company, wrote to Daniel Chester French, a personal friend of the Secretary of War, Newton D. Baker, requesting that French forward the Weils name, and that of their company, to Secretary Baker as a potential vendor for the Victory Medal. The War Department did indeed select the Medallic Art Company as the manufacturer to formulate proof sets for the new Victory Medal. Secretary Baker's enticing action spurred on the enthusiasm of the Weil brothers and the third owner, Clyde Tree, to the point where they expected and assumed that they would control the entire project, including the making of millions of Victory Medals. If their assumption proved correct, the profit they stood to make would be tremendous. In addition, they were working alongside the original designer of the Victory Medal, James E. Fraser. I think the Medallic Art Company had every reason to believe they were in an opportune position to be the chosen manufacturer. Nevertheless, one factor they seemed to overlook was the possibility that the War Department might put the project up for a general bid. Unfortunately for the Medallic Art Company, that is exactly what happened. When the bids opened, it has been reported that Medallic Art Company bid 75 cents per medal, while other bids ranged from 17 cents to a dollar per medal.[3] Art Metal Works Inc. of New Jersey won with the low bid of 17 cents.[4] The company had never made medals, but did have equipment sufficient to do the work. The War Department awarded the contract to Art Metal Works Inc. and two other manufacturers, S.G. Adams Stamp and Stationery Co., and Jos. Mayer's Inc. I must add that while the bid of 75 cents may seem shockingly high when the winning bid was 17 cents, the normal historical rate for individual medal production during that time period was 65 to 75 cents. [5] I think that the Medallic Art Company didn't realize that all the dies and hubs were being made and supplied by the U.S. Mint. Had they known that fact, its bid might have been greatly reduced. When Medallic Art Company received an order for the initial 100 medals to be composed of bronze, they may have concluded that bronze would be the chosen alloy for the Victory Medals. It does not require an unreasonable stretch of thought to conclude that the Medallic Art Company, realizing the massive demand that would be put upon them, may have decided to ramp up early production, which would have resulted in an initial stockpile of these wire-loop suspension medals composed of bronze, in anticipation of a contract that never materialized. In this illustration below note the higher quality and the bronze coloring of the Type-1 (wire-loop) medal on the left, when compared to the much brassier look of the type-2 (knob) suspension on the right. Most, if not all, of the Type-1 (wire-loop) medals have a bronze appearance. (Illustration 54: the different between the type-1 and the type-2 suspension.) In the illustration below, the top medal is a Type-2 (knob). The medal measures just slightly over 2mm thick at the 9 o'clock position on the rim. The bottom medal is the Type-1 (wire-loop) and measures approximately 3 mm thick at the 9 o'clock position on the rim. (Illustration 55: The thickness difference between the type-1 and the type-2.) Additionally, Medallic Art Company was aware that U.S. medals predating the Victory Medal had employed a wire-loop type as the historically preferred means of suspension which of course is found on all Type-1 Victory Medals. Before a contractor had been officially chosen, Medallic Art Company would not have been aware that the Interallied Commission had agreed that a knob type suspension would be standard for all Victory Medals. Further, the ribbons of nearly all wire-loop suspension medals employ an unofficial drape which bears white threading between the blue and green sections on both sides. [1] Meeting minutes of The Commission of Fine Arts state, " its ring suspension, shall be similar to that of the French medal of the Campaign of 1870" shown above in the illustration as the medal labeled "1870-1871 Prussian War". [2] See Illustration of Interallied Victory Medals Sections: United States Modern reproduction type-8. [3] http://medalblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/the-institute-of-heraldry-%E2%80%A8loves-medallic-art-company/ [4] The Art Metal Works Inc. low bid of 17 cents per medal had another major impact. Bailey, Banks & Biddle had agreed to a contract with the Navy to manufacture the Victory Medal for 65 cents each, but that changed and the Navy's Victory Medal would now be produced for the same low bid and obtained via the Army's contract. More on the Navy's connection can be found in the naval section of this book - September 8, 1919, Circular Letter No. 129-19, third paragraph down. [5] Some of this information can be found in the MEDALBLOG, Medal Making History, by D. Wayne Johnson, November 22, 2010 at the website http://medalblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/the-institute-of-heraldry-%E2%80%A8loves-medallic-art-company/ and also at The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 41, September 25, 2005, Article 16, Fraser Victory Medal "Not a Die Trial", by Wayne Homren, Editor, http://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v08n41a16.html. I want to thank you, those who purchased my book. I have set the cut off at 699 copies which I am only at 632 copies sold. As some of you know I am retiring and selling off all but my USA victory medals which I will pass on to Grand children. I do hope I have added something good to each to you. Its been fun, and best regards, Jim