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Tim & JM,

This particular ebay vendor has been selling vic items that would best be described as of a 'dubious' nature. Beware.

Regards,

Rob

Hi Rob/JM,

Oh, no doubt! There are at least a half dozen that "always" have these items for sale; either with these bogus clasps, made up combinations of genuine clasps, modern ribbons (color & material not period), and in a couple cases (I think you know who I am referring to :whistle: ) even the medals are fake.

Usually, as Johnny pointed out, the background colors are the same for several listings on multiple occasions, so you get used to seeing them. Makes it easy to weed out so you can search other sellers. :cheers:

Only used the PICS for clarity in the thread, no offense taken Johnny! :beer:

Tim

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JM,

As far as the boxes are concerned, I think you'll find they are a bit more complicated than just the "big three" of Jos Meyer, S.G. Adams, and Medallic Art Co.

I have never seen the lower version of the Adams envelope you show, not saying it's bad, just something I have never seen personally. As the piece says "unnassembled", I might speculate that perhaps a contract was extended to cover replacements down the road or for those late claims of award eligibility. Only a guess here, perhaps Rob or someone else knows for sure. Keep in mind that there were official bars (clasps) made with the pins for "replacement" medals.

Tim beer.gif

Hello Tim & JM,

This is off the top of the head as I don't have any of my references nearby.

There was only a limited number of engagement clasps originally authorised and this list was expanded in due course with the end result being 13 actual battle or engagement clasps. The 'Defensive Sector' clasp was authorised, in part to recognise those that hadn't actually participated in an authorised engagement yet were deemed worthy of recognition for their defensive (holding the line) efforts, to negate the necessity of authorising the 'First Army' and 'Second Army' clasps which was also mooted at the time, as well as service in Russia / Siberia etc...

All of this initial qualifying work was occurring before the contracts were let for the production of the Army medals. As can be seen from the contract date on the boxes the actual manufacturing contract did not occur until March of 1920. Additionally all authorised engagement clasps combinations and the final list of qualifying units, regiments, etc was still being finalised as the Army Orders pertaining to those qualifying units was not completed until much after this first initial contract run.

Having said all of that it is therefore not unusual to see boxes with the words 'Unassembled with pin' on them as they also have the contract date of March 1920. I have seen quite a few examples of this and the box actaully contains the medal, fully assembled with appropriate clasps and brooch.

In fact if you look closely at all the boxes from the 3 major manufacturers you will also observe that they all have the same contract number and date.

Regards,

Rob

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JM,

Keep in mind that there were official bars (clasps) made with the pins for "replacement" medals.

Tim beer.gif

Tim,

The Army QM Department ordered a sufficient quantity of clasps based on the expected number of claims for such clasps which, in itself, was based on the expected qualifying soldiers at the various engagements. Some information has indicated that these quantities were over estimated at the time which resulted in large stock holdings. Another re-assessment was conducted in 1949 to cover the expected ratio of replacements, re-issues, lost medals etc over the coming decades and the remainder of the clasps deemed surplus were remelted. It was only when these final original stocks, with slide on backstraps, were exhausted that the Army QM Department started using the re-issue clasps with push through pins. As far as I have been able to determine this re-issuing of medals with individual push-pin clasps started to occur in the early 1980s.

These re-issues have been seen in both engagment and service (country) clasps and have also had a dark bronze finish (in your example) as well as a shiny bronze finish with the tops of the letters slightly burnished as a contrast.

Regards,

Rob

Edited by RobW

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Hi Rob & JM,

My thoughts on the "Mnfg" vs "Mfg" issue is probably nothing more than a simple typographical error IMO. We see this from time to time and probably just an oversight.

Tim

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I showed these two earlier, but again, here's an example of the "reissue" medal. Note the "Defensive Sector" clasp is of the pin-type, while the other three are original clasps with the backstraps. As most of the issued medals had at least the Defensive Sector bar, I would assume these bars were depleted from stocks first and thus, probably one of the first bars to have to be remanufactured.

I would then question if medals were put together with existing bars (backstrap bars) while waiting for the new stock of Defensive Sector bars to arrive. IF so, then that might explain why the decision was made to go to the pin style so they didn't have to continually remove the medal to add the last bar. Of course, it could be nothing more than manufacturing costs where two pins are cheaper than a full backstrap.

Anyway... cheers.gif

Tim

Tim,

Agree that medals that were issued as part of late claims, replacements etc... would be more likely to have a combination of original backstrap type and push-pin clasps as per your example.

I also have a U.S. re-issue type 3 vic, with the tab suspender, produced in an early 1980s contract that also has 4 re-issue clasps; 2 of the darker bronze variety and the alternating 2 in a more shiny bronze variety. If I can find it in a reasonably short time I will dig it out and post a pic.

I hope this helps.

Regards,

Rob

Edited by RobW

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The good things about having VICS all in one location is "One Stop Shopping" for information; bad thing is the thread can go in so many directions and often the track can get muddy. If there was a section just for Victory Medals, then the various threads can cover the different aspects separately and be more concise and provide a more valuable reference to collectors IMO. Anyway...

Tim beer.gif

Tim,

Totally agree and couldn't have said it better myself. 2014.gif

Regards,

Rob

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Don't forget that family members researching family records can request replacement medals that the service member was entitled to. That would add to the replacement sets seen on the market today.

Tim

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Don't forget that family members researching family records can request replacement medals that the service member was entitled to. That would add to the replacement sets seen on the market today.

Tim

Hi Tim, talking about researching I just did some on this vic and would like you, all interested person's to jump in.

JM

To all,

I just purchased this vic on ebay. believing it to be a 3rd Division medal. With the missing clasp, plus the addition of the star I felt that the person was wounded and that would explain it. In doing my home work I found on the internet some surprising information. I now believe it to be a, U.S. Marine Corps, 5th USMC Regiment, 2nd Division vic. (Belleau Wood – Campagne-Marne)

Webb site leads to the 26th Division which releaved the Marines.

http://worldwar1lett...ver-there-1918- 1919/champagne-marne-defensive-june-july-1918/

This site, is a USMC site; http://www.scuttlebu...com/strott.html

This site, which listed; http://esway.com/fam...ged=initial.ged

Richard S. J Reynolds

Private, U.S. Marine Corps, 5th USMC Regiment, 2nd Division. Entered the Service from: Ohio. Died: June 13, 1918

Buried at: Plot A Row 7 Grave 73, Aisne-Marne American Cemetery

Belleau, France

Port Royal Summary Court 45 Co; France 27 June 1917.

Aisne; Champagne-Marne, Defensive Sector. American Expeditionary Forces 27 June 1917 to death.. Killed in Action 13 June 1918.

Character excellent Notified Mr. Richard S. Reynolds, father, 305 Beech St., Elmwood Pl., Cincinnati, O. File No. 81860

And last, on another site, this;

Harold Malcolm Dunipace

116607, Dayton, Ohio, born October 11, 1896 at Bowling Green, Ohio, white, enlisted February 2, 1917 at St. Louis, Missouri in U.S. Marine Corps, assigned to Parris Island summary court, transferred to Norfolk, Virginia April 19, 1917, assigned to 66th Co., 5th Marine Regt., 2nd Division at Quantico, Virginia June 2, 1917, sailed for France June 27, 1917, transferred to Replacement Battalion August 20, 1918, transferred to 205th Brest Casual Co. December 15, 1918, returned to Quantico, Virginia January 17, 1919, promoted to Corporal June 8, 1917, promoted to Sergeant July 1, 1918, service at Aisne, Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, and Defensive Sector, service with A.E.F. June 27, 1917-January 2, 1919, discharged April 22, 1919

Letters: October 26, 1917, November 30, 1917

Edited by johnnymac

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Don't forget that family members researching family records can request replacement medals that the service member was entitled to. That would add to the replacement sets seen on the market today.

Tim

Add-on to my last posting

August 20, 1918, Harold Malcolm Dunipace was transferred to 205th Casual Co. at Brest, France. Brest was one of the port cities for troops arriving and departing France. The USMC as I have read had only about 6,000 assigned to the 2nd Division. And after 3 major engagements I am sure their numbers had to be dramatically reduced which would have made them an ineffective force. So what place better to assign them, than a port city with ships.

Also while searching the internet - I found these records on different Motor Transport Companies. A. Laslo mentions (Hugo W. Fales - page 98) from the MTC in his book. Note below, the Clasps these two men received. It would seem the MTC's were busy, alone with the 3rd Division, 6th Engineers.

From Walter T. Kyle's entry in Vol. 10, the Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors and Marines, World War 1917-18, page 9676. Joined from the QM Section, Enlisted Reserve Corps, living at 2116 James, Cincinnati, OH. Born Troy, OH. Age at time of enlistment 28 and 8/12s years. Assignments: QMC Camp Sherman, OH to Nov 14, 1917 MST 408 QMC to Mar 9, 1918 American Mission Reserve Mallet MT Co 374 to discharge Promoted Sgt Chauffeur May 28, 1917, QM Sgt Nov 16, 1917

Sgt 1 Cl Jan 18, 1919 Campaigns: Somme Defensive, Aisne, Champagne-Marne, Mondidier-Noyon, Aisne-Marne, Somme Offensive, Oise-Aisne, Overseas Jan 12, 1918 to Jun 19, 1919, Hon Disch Jun 26, 1919. (Note: missing is the Defensive Sector)

George Healey

217422, Walbridge, Ohio, age 21 6/12 yrs., born in Walbridge, Ohio, white, enlisted October 4, 1917 at Bowling Green, Ohio in 158th Depot Brigade, assigned to 366th Motor Truck Co., 408th Motor Supply Train, Base Section 1 November 25, 1917, transferred to 370th Motor Truck Co., Motor Transport Corps March 30, 1918, transferred to 365th Motor Truck Co. June 17, 1918, promoted to Corporal March 8, 1919, service at Somme Defensive, Aisne, Montdidier-Noyon, Champagne-Marne, Somme Offensive, Oise-Aisne, and Meuse-Argonne, service with A.E.F. January 12, 1918-June 19, 1919, honorable discharge June 26, 1919 Letter: March 15, 1918. (Note: missing is the Defensive Sector).

JM<BR style="mso-special-character: line-break"><BR style="mso-special-character: line-break">

Edited by johnnymac

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Hi Tim, talking about researching I just did some on this vic and would like you, all interested person's to jump in.

JM

To all,

I just purchased this vic on ebay. believing it to be a 3rd Division medal. With the missing clasp, plus the addition of the star I felt that the person was wounded and that would explain it. In doing my home work I found on the internet some surprising information. I now believe it to be a, U.S. Marine Corps, 5th USMC Regiment, 2nd Division vic. (Belleau Wood – Campagne-Marne)

Hello JM,

The perennial problem of any vic collector, especially for those nations that do not by routine issue their medals named, is attempting to conduct research on the individuals awarded the items.

While U.S. service medals (in this case the vic) were generally issued unnamed there are numerous examples where the recipient has had the medal privately engraved. I have seen examples named to both Navy as well as an Army member. Some have been seen named in block capitals or script on the rim, while other examples have been seen with the engraving on the reverse.

Despite the specific combination of clasps, in this case with the medal unnamed it would be difficult to actually pin it to a specific recipient unless it also came with any associated award paperwork, service records, and maybe a State award.

Unless there is specific information to indicate provenance, including the award of the Silver Citation Star, it will be quite difficult to accurately determine the recipient. I think anything else would be a bit speculative or supposition.

Regards,

Rob

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Despite the specific combination of clasps, in this case with the medal unnamed it would be difficult to actually pin it to a specific recipient unless it also came with any associated award paperwork, service records, and maybe a State award.

Unless there is specific information to indicate provenance, including the award of the Silver Citation Star, it will be quite difficult to accurately determine the recipient. I think anything else would be a bit speculative or supposition.

Regards,

Rob

Completely agree, unfortunately, we may never really know at this point. I have several pieces that "talk" of heroic actions, but the who, what, and where details are lost to history. Add to that, you have to watch for made-up items embellished to sell for higher amounts. Without proper documentation and history trail, it really is no more than a story or speculation at this point. See it all the time in German collecting fields that have groups made up (sometimes impossible groupings) with fantastic stories, but in the end, nothing more than pieces of metal and colored ribbons once the details show the truth.

JM,

I was watching this one and feel it's original; also believe it to be someone wounded out of the 3rd Div, but again, without a paper trail, the price was beyond what I wanted to pay for it. Still, nice to look at! :cheers:

Here's the back of the issue card to that Jos Meyer cased VIC I posted above (post # 255). In this case, a member's name can add some information to the history of the actual medal. This is the best way if you can't get verified groupings or items directly from veterans or families IMO.

Tim

Edited by Tim B

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Despite the specific combination of clasps, in this case with the medal unnamed it would be difficult to actually pin it to a specific recipient unless it also came with any associated award paperwork, service records, and maybe a State award.

Unless there is specific information to indicate provenance, including the award of the Silver Citation Star, it will be quite difficult to accurately determine the recipient. I think anything else would be a bit speculative or supposition.

Regards,

Rob

Completely agree, unfortunately, we may never really know at this point. I have several pieces that "talk" of heroic actions, but the who, what, and where details are lost to history. Add to that, you have to watch for made-up items embellished to sell for higher amounts. Without proper documentation and history trail, it really is no more than a story or speculation at this point. See it all the time in German collecting fields that have groups made up (sometimes impossible groupings) with fantastic stories, but in the end, nothing more than pieces of metal and colored ribbons once the details show the truth.

JM,

I was watching this one and feel it's original; also believe it to be someone wounded out of the 3rd Div, but again, without a paper trail, the price was beyond what I wanted to pay for it. Still, nice to look at! cheers.gif

Here's the back of the issue card to that Jos Meyer cased VIC I posted above (post # 255). In this case, a member's name can add some information to the history of the actual medal. This is the best way if you can't get verified groupings or items directly from veterans or families IMO.

Tim

Gentlemen's

I do agree to the fullest on the documentation of a piece. My intent was not the award itself but the combo of clasps on the Victory medal. The value of an item where things can be moved around by adding or subtracting does not add very much more value when the item is not properly documented as in case of this silver star. What, I found very interesting was these clasps were listed for Marines in two different news posting and two different counties. The word estate item has been over used, as have been the posting of dog tags with a Victory medal, for documention. I am reminded of the case of the placing of a monument on the battlefield of Gettysburg Pennsylvania. Both the 71st & 7nd Penn Vol. Inf. claimed that their marker was to be placed in the front at the high watermark of the battle as they each claimed they were the lead Regiment on July 3, 1863. This case when on for years in the Pennsylvania State Supreme court until the last Vet died. The book "Battle Paricipation of Organizations of the AEF" is a great starting place but it was printed in 1920 and I am sure there was at less fifty or more corrections since its printing that we do not know of. Laslo mentions in his book that the U.S. Groverment updated this listing in 1922, can anyone lead me to this newer listing.

This is out of the 80th Div. Descendants web site.

The 80th Division was the third most active Division in the A.E.F. They ranked #1 of all National Army Divisions; and were third overall behind the First Regular Army Division and Second Regular Army Division. Initial rumors in 1919 had the 80th Division ranked second overall in the U. S. Army, but the final analysis ranked them third, behind the regular Army* s 1st and 2nd Divisions. They were ranked first in the National Army Division. (This researcher believes that a deceptive item in General Pershing* s report of January 1919, in which he gave the 2nd Division credit for an objective which the 80th Division had clearly met, resulted in a denigration of the 80th status). The ranking was challenged by Captain Charles Rossire of the 319th Infantry in September 1920 when he read Pershing* s report. Major James Montague, 2nd Battalion Commander of the 319th, and Captain R. P. Keegell, H Company of the 319th, supported Captain Rossire with documentation. The final report was not changed, but a copy of the challenge was placed in the Historical Plans Division, General Staff, for future reference.

Initially, service personnel were only authorized to wear one bronze star (and Battle Clasp on the Victory Medal) for the Meuse Argonne campaigns, but while enroute to the states after the War in May 1919, they were also authorized to wear the clasp and bronze star for St. Mihiel. Their campaign streamers were authorized for Picardy 1918, Somme Offensive, 1918, Lorraine and Meuse Argonne.

Citing G.O. #75, G.H.Q., A.E.F., dated 2 May 1919, men of the 80th were credited with the Somme Offensive, 03 July - 18 August; St. Mihiel Offensive (in Corps reserve) 10-16 September; and Meuse Argonne Offensive 26 September -06 November. It is not known how many of these men who served in all three areas actually were advised of the G.O.. Prior to the issuance of the order of 21 May 1919, General Pershing made the determination as to whom and how a particular battle clasp could be worn; in some cases going against the rules of the battle clasps and Victory Medal. We have located a document that indicates that all men who served from June 1918 -June 1919 were entitled to wear four battle clasps and four bronze stars, representing Defensive Sector (Artois), Somme Offensive, St. Mihiel and Meuse Argonne. The History and Heraldry, published in 1960, does not give credit to all of the units that served in these three areas.

Please forgive me, as I am not at my best when it comes to writing an article.

JM

Edited by johnnymac

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To one and all,

Last post for a bit as other commitments press.

Still on the subject of boxes here is a U.S. vic with 4 clasps (4th Div), with its corresponding box.

Box picture to follow.

Regards,

Rob

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Here is the box. Art Metal Works, Inc.

It has the clasp names on the exterior in purple ink and the contract date in March 1920. Note that even though the box states 'Unassembled with pin' the medal did in fact come with all clasps and brooch attached correctly.

Regards,

Rob

Edited by RobW

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Here is the box. Art Metal Works, Inc.

It has the clasp names on the exterior in purple ink and the contract date in March 1920. Note that even though the box states 'Unassembled with pin' the medal did in fact come with all clasps and brooch attached correctly.

Regards,

Rob

Rob, Thanks for posting

More on boxes

Lets just say that Art Medal Works Inc.and S.G. Adams subcontracted their work out. You can see (from your posting) Art Medal Works Inc. sent their work out in the original style box they were using for the Victory Medal. Each hand stamped with listed clasps to be assembled. But not S.G. Adams. They both used this reddish color ink, to identify the clasps to be assembled by the subcontractor. To me (AMW Inc. and Adams) stamping, listing the clasps, look like peas in a pod, ink color, letter type and size . I believe the red stamped AMW Inc. used on it unassembled box is original, but do question the newer unassembled print labeled on the Adams boxes. Boxes, rubber stamp and any color ink you want are still on the market and if you have a stamped box, this adds value.

Also I just find it odd that S.G. Adams who was a Stamp & Stationery Co. would not send their unassembled Victory medals in the original print labeled style box. We can use cost as that factor for differences in their boxes? But a new type box, which had to be printed with their label on the front would also added extra cost. Adams, a Stamp & Stationery Co. with a QC person, let this box go out with a typo error, "Mnfg" and on a government contract? That error could have meant someone's job.

.Jos. Mayer used a ink stamping on his boxes also, (I have only seen one box) the ink is black with a larger and different letter style and the shamp was a date not for clasps..

The Philadelphia Depot hand stamped their boxes, but with a different letter style than the other three. It has at less three times the spacing between each of the names of the clasps on their box. Again, only one box examined.

Can anyone post an original style box from S.G. Adams, which is printed with anything other than ENGLAND, FRANCE, ITALY, RUSSIA, or SEBRIA on the front of it. If there are no other original style boxes out there with other clasps printed on them than ENGLAND, FRANCE, etc, then maybe the second type box is the real deal used by Adams.

Away for three days

Thanks, beer.gif JM

Edited by johnnymac

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Here is the box. Art Metal Works, Inc.

It has the clasp names on the exterior in purple ink and the contract date in March 1920. Note that even though the box states 'Unassembled with pin' the medal did in fact come with all clasps and brooch attached correctly.

Regards,

Rob

JM

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Here's another example of ones I watch out for as IMO, they have been played with, possibly to add clasps. Note the stitching above the top clasp (under the attachment pin). I used to see these more often a few years ago. Shame really; never understood why they didn't open the ring, but then again, I have seen medals where the bars did not slide on the ribbon, so... :unsure:

Tim

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Here's another example of ones I watch out for as IMO, they have been played with, possibly to add clasps. Note the stitching above the top clasp (under the attachment pin). I used to see these more often a few years ago. Shame really; never understood why they didn't open the ring, but then again, I have seen medals where the bars did not slide on the ribbon, so... unsure.gif

Tim

Hi Tim,

I totally agree with you on the stitching. The ribbon from what I can see in the photo is too new to have needed this type of repair. Also, the bars, they are stacked to close. Plus looking at your photo it seems to me that two of the clasps are missing the spacer side bars on them. I have seen original issue clasp without side spacers, they come from a casting out of a slightly colder mold. Most times they were for short run clasp like, LYS, SOMME, DEFENSIVE and CAMBRAI. In my mine this vic would make me back off this piece if it was up for bidding or at a show.

Thanks for your posting, JM cheers.gif

Tim I am not sure what IMO is?

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Here's another example of ones I watch out for as IMO, they have been played with, possibly to add clasps. Note the stitching above the top clasp (under the attachment pin). I used to see these more often a few years ago. Shame really; never understood why they didn't open the ring, but then again, I have seen medals where the bars did not slide on the ribbon, so... unsure.gif

Tim

Hi Again to all,

Can any one help me with lighting set up for taking photos

JM

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To all,

As part of a related project I am researching some varieties of U.S. victory medal battle clasps. Illustrated is a U.S. vic with a number of reproduction clasps where I am attempting to identify the period of manufacture and the actual manufacturing firm.

* LYS clasp - It has no spacers and is slightly wider than the official clasp with a different gap at the semi-circle on the end. I believe it was produced by a French manufacturer.

* ST. MIHIEL & MEUSE-ARGONNE clasps - These two again have no spacers, and have filled in end semi-circles and a sans serif font that differs from the font on the official clasp. While there are other similar type clasp with much smaller stars, I do not believe these two bars are of French manufacture. Of note is the off-centre strike of the stars on the clasps.

* DEFENSIVE SECTOR - Standard official clasp.

Any assistance, especially from our U.S. vic collectors, would be greatly appreciated in identifying the background and details of these clasps.

Regards,

Rob

Edited by RobW

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Hi Rob and HAPPY NEW YEAR guys!!

I will have to double check my pieces but, I think the only one that doesn't have the end spacer tabs on a couple of the bars, is that 4th Div medal with the official "re-issue" bar on it. I showed that one earlier in the thread.

As far as the end semi-circled areas, I have seen a lot of variation in quality and level of detail, so I am not sure we can really go by this, can we?

Are you sure the bars are reproduction, or possibly different manufacture or timeline?

Tim

Edited by Tim B

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Hi Rob,

Just getting ready to hit the sack here and wanted to post this comparison of two 4th Div. pieces. The one on the left is a regular 4th Div. medal with the 5 bars (note the spacers on all except the DS bar) and the one on the right is the medal posted earlier in this thread with the "reissue" type Defensive Sector bar; also 5 bars for the 4th Division.

Note the S. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne bars. I have to say, other than the lack of spacer tabs on the end, I have a hard time distingushing any differences. Am I missing something here?

Tim

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Hi Rob and HAPPY NEW YEAR guys!!

As far as the end semi-circled areas, I have seen a lot of variation in quality and level of detail, so I am not sure we can really go by this, can we?

Are you sure the bars are reproduction, or possibly different manufacture or timeline?

Tim

Hello Tim,

The lack of a proper semi-circle, as for the ST. MIHIEL & MEUSE-ARGONNE clasps has been seen on some other reproduction clasps produced by the firm of Bailey, Banks, & Biddle although they have much smaller stars. One of these is also illustrated in Mr Laslo's 2nd Edition.

As for the LYS clasp I have seen numerous other examples of the same dimensions, font, and end semi-circles of Navy clasps that have FRANCE impressed on the back of the clasp. This indicates that they date from the 1920's as those inscribed with 'MADE IN FRANCE' on the back of the clasp did not come out until early in the 1930's.

Regards,

Rob

Edited by RobW

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Hi Rob,

Just getting ready to hit the sack here and wanted to post this comparison of two 4th Div. pieces. The one on the left is a regular 4th Div. medal with the 5 bars (note the spacers on all except the DS bar) and the one on the right is the medal posted earlier in this thread with the "reissue" type Defensive Sector bar; also 5 bars for the 4th Division.

Note the S. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne bars. I have to say, other than the lack of spacer tabs on the end, I have a hard time distinguishing any differences. Am I missing something here?

Tim

Tim,

You would be correct in assuming that there are no major differences, other than the lack of spacers, between the two sets of clasps in your pics. The official clasps, as produced by the 3 major manufacturers, were all made with the hubs provided by the U.S. mint, hence there should be no major changes. The official clasps are also seen on occasion with no spacers as per your right example.

If you note the ST. MIHIEL & MEUSE-ARGONNE clasps in my post you will see not only are the end semi-circles completely filled in but the stars are actually upside down or off-centre. This indicates another producer. I have not yet taken the clasps off the medal so can't verify if there are any reverse markings.

A similar clasp named ALSACE-LORRAINE, with filled in edge semi-circles, and upside down or off-centre stars, is also illustrated in Mr Laslo's book, 2nd Edition, page 119.

Regards,

Rob

Edited by RobW

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Hi Rob,

Just getting ready to hit the sack here and wanted to post this comparison of two 4th Div. pieces. The one on the left is a regular 4th Div. medal with the 5 bars (note the spacers on all except the DS bar) and the one on the right is the medal posted earlier in this thread with the "reissue" type Defensive Sector bar; also 5 bars for the 4th Division.

Note the S. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne bars. I have to say, other than the lack of spacer tabs on the end, I have a hard time distingushing any differences. Am I missing something here?

Tim

Tim, Gooding morning and Happy New Year

You listed your two medals as the 4th Division medal, but these units also received the, ANISE-MARNE, ST. MIHIEL, MEUSE-ARGONNE and DEFENSIVE SECTOR clasp on their Victory medals.

The 52nd Coastal Artillery Corps

1st Regiment Gas

1st Battalion Trench Artillery

2nd Cavalry

29th Engineers (Surveying)

40th Engineers (Camouflage)

1st Corps Balloon Group.

I have to agree with Rob on the clasps being reproductions or after market items, and not reissue. You know that government contracts and subcontracts must meet government standard. The three clasps illustration on Rob's posting (LYS, ST. MIHIEL and MEUSE-ARGONNE) are without question non-government issue. Ninety-nine percent of medals issued were completed by, lets say, by 1930. The government would have kept on hand an ample surplus of clasps for errors in issue, lost medals, and persons entitled but who had not yet applied for the medal. In your earlier posting, you showed a clasp with pins on the back without the back strap. This clasp, plus the original issue clasp, has the same design faceplate and, in my eyes, would be the only government reissue clasp. As for the missing or shorter spacer bars on each side of the earlier style issued clasp, that could have happen in the casting/stamping.

There are many reasons why a market for the after market clasps could and would grow:

1. When Johnny came marching home there were so many men who were not going back to the their farms and small towns. Work was tough to get in the big cities and the bigger the medal you had, the better the chance of you getting a job from the hiring boss who also might be a veteran. Where might Johnny go to get a more impressive medal; maybe "the firm of Bailey, Banks, & Biddle".

2. Thousands of men went AWOL in France and could not return to their small towns after marching off to the tune of "Over There, Over There" without a medal. Johnny could not just go and buy a Victory medal unless he too went to, "a firm like Bailey, Banks, & Biddle".

3. Special Note - nearly all the issue clasps are named for campaigns, and who lead these campaigns: "the Generals". If the clasp had been named for each battle, how many Generals would have entitled to a battle clasp? On the other hand, harden vet's would have said: I fought at "Belleau Woods" "Chateau Thierry" and "Soissone" holding his pint in hand. Yes, there would have been a good market for these clasps. I believe, that is why, we see the "Made in France" marked clasp.

4. In the 60's, tons of so-called items from Germany WWII were hitting the market "as bring home's". It was so bad that unless you purchased an item from a reputable person you knew, you would walked away.

Last, lets also remember that Dad, GrandPop and Uncle Johnny were still around. So very few Victory medals, if any were for sale. Lack of information on WWI & WWII items and the fact that the collector's ranks were growing at an unbelievable rate made the market right for repros.

Note that 16th Eng. R.R. vic medal posted that "LYS" clasp has only one spacer and the MEUSE-ARGONNE clasp has nubbs at each end for spacers.

Regards JM

Edited by johnnymac

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