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Tim B

State, Local & Veteran Organizational Issue Medals

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Nice to see all parts hallmarked with the Whitehead & Hoag markings

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Connecticut WW1 Service Medal

Special Act #336 of the General Assemblies approved this award on June 6th, 1929.

Awarded to each veteran who was a citizen of Connecticut at time of entry into the service.  Of the approximate 52,000 soldiers that qualified (Federal and National Guard), only about 9000 actual medals were awarded through June 1936.

Perhaps that’s why we see so many still near mint condition in the original box of issue?

 

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Connecticut had a rather unique box of issue with the two metal tabs.  Complete with service ribbon and manufacturer's information on the card and hallmark on the service ribbon reverse.

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Edited by Tim B

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District of Columbia World War Service Medal

As was in the case for the DC Spanish American War Medal, the awarding authority was actually a citizen committee which procured funds through public solicitation.

In 1919, the Citizen Committee of Washington, D.C., formed as part of the International Festival of Peace celebrating victory over Germany and funds were allocated for the production of the medal which was presented on behalf of the citizens at a 4th of July ceremony which took place on the Washington Monument grounds.

Of the estimated 15,000 medals struck, approximately 8000 were awarded at the ceremony.  The medal was also later available upon application through the National Guard.

The D.C. medal was produced by the Robbins Company for Barry & Whitmore and is one of only two that utilized a safety pin style of attachment sewn to the ribbon.  It is one of my personal favorites in artistic design.

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Here's one of mine on the unmarked card:

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Apparently they also came marked by Robbins, as this boxed example shows.

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Another one of mine; this set was issued to a William Fechtig who enlisted in 1918 and too late to embark overseas.

ww1 medal pair - william fechtig.jpg

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Maryland World War Service Medal

Approved April 13th, 1922 by the State Legislature.   Awarded to all residents of the State who saw active service during World War 1.  This included about 50,000 in both regular Army as well as National Guard forces.

 

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As you can see, many of these state issues can still be found in mint condition in the original box of issue, though some States are rather hard to find at all.

 

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Apparently, sometime recent, a hoard was located and found its way onto the market.

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Missouri WW1 Service Medals

Missouri is one of those States that have always recognized their veterans and honored their service with awards.  This is true with both active Federal Service as well as National Guard and during most periods of conflict, has authorized medals differentiating between the two.

Here's a quick comparison of both medals:

 

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Missouri War With Germany – U.S. Forces

Approved by the General Assembly on April 27th, 1919.  Awarded to all persons who as citizens and residents of Missouri served in the armed forces of the United States for any period between April 6th, 1917 – November 11th, 1918 inclusive.  This was the federal medal and only awarded to active duty personnel, not those in the National Guard.

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War With Germany – National Guard Missouri

The General Assembly actually approved the National Guard medal three days earlier, on April 23rd, 1919.

Awarded to members of the National Guard of Missouri who, on August 5th, 1917 or thereafter were called into military service of the United States and served for any period between such date and November 11th, 1918.

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Missouri used a rather plain and simple small brown box to issue these medals in and similar boxes were used for the Mexican Border Service Medal and I assume both versions of the War With Spain Medal.

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Edited by Tim B

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New Hampshire World War Service Medal 1917 – 1918

Established by Chapter 40, New Hampshire Laws of 1919.

Awarded upon application to residents of New Hampshire who served in World War 1 against the Government of Germany.  The medal was accompanied with a certificate from the State.

A very bold design with the State’s landmark “Man of the Mountains” superimposed over an eagle.  Close inspection of the obverse and reverse shows symbols of various branch emblems of the military.

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Though the medal is appearing more often of recent, its suspension ribbon is not always in the greatest condition and the award is seldom seen with the box of issue.

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Continuing...:whistle:

New Jersey – The World War Medal

Established by the State Legislature in 1919 and awarded to all citizens of the State who served during the World War, including federalized members of the National Guard.  It was also provided to the next of kin of those who died while in service.

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As is with the New York medal, the New Jersey medal is one of the more commonly found medals available on the market and can still be found relatively cheap, though medal strikes can vary considerably.

Looking at three different examples here and there may be more that vary slightly; I would guess the medal in the center might be from a different or possibly reworked die.  The example on the far right appears to be worn but the details are closer to the example on the far left IMO.

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What you don’t often see is the medal on card or particularly with the issued envelope.

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New York – Medal of Honor For World War Service

New York has a significant military history and a long history of honoring it’s veterans with medals well back into the mid-1800’s.

Established in the Laws of New York and approved by the Governor on March 31st, 1919 this medal was made available to any citizen of the state who entered service in the war against Germany or its allies.  Similar to New Jersey, it was also available to the families of qualified veterans who died after entering service.

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Considering New York provided some 400,000 personnel to serve in the war, it’s one of the main reasons we see this medal more often than the others.

Unlike most other state issues, the majority of New York medals are serial numbered and the number can be found on the reverse, just under the suspension ring.

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According to Boyce, some 20% of medals actually issued have issue card information and there is a numeric data base available.  The OMSA web site should be contacted and asked if it might be able to trace the serial number.

 

The New York medals actually have a two-part box; an outer grayish cardboard box, often with the serial number hand written on it, and an inner white box that actually held the medal on a card.  Both boxes are made up of a top/bottom half.

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These boxes are often discarded by the service member, as in this case where I have half the outer and half the inner box and card.

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New York also provided a second medal for service during the World War.

 

New York – Medal For State Service During World War

Often referred to as “The Aqueduct Guard Medal”, the medal was established in the Laws of New York and approved by the Governor on May 10th, 1920.  Awarded to the military forces of the state of  New York who were on active duty under orders of the Governor for more than 30 days guarding public property, public utilities or other establishments necessary for the war between February 2nd, 1917 – February 2nd, 1919.

Most medals are found with a serial number stamped on the reverse, under the coat of arms.

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Edited by Tim B

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North Carolina World War Service Medal

The North Carolina General Assembly approved this medal on March 10th, 1919.

Presented to all North Carolina veterans, including National Guard personnel, that served during the Great War.

Besides the D.C. medal previously shown, this was the only other medal issued with a safety pin style of attachment and interestingly, also manufactured by the Robbins Company.

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This is another medal often encountered with tattered or missing ribbons but, as you can see below, there are examples still being found with the card information and to a lesser degree, original envelope.  Also note that the card information appears to have variations.  Taking a guess based on overall finish of the medals, I would say the group medals are later production.

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Oregon Bronze Medal For World War Service

Established by an Act in the General Laws of Oregon, March 4th, 1919.  Presented to Oregon’s soldiers, sailors and marines and other personnel entering the military and naval service of the United States since the commencement of U.S. participation, and who are honorably discharged.

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A fairly common and inexpensive medal sometimes found with the card.  Not sure if Oregon shipped these in an envelope or box as I’ve never seen anything however, I tend to think an envelope is the stronger probability.  It is also another medal where Whitehead & Hoag put their hallmark on all the components.

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Pennsylvania World War Service Medals

Similar to Missouri, Pennsylvania produced different medals for Federal Service and National Guard veterans that served in the World War.  Again, here is quick comparison of the two medals.  Though the overall design is the same, the inscription and details within the Pennsylvania “keystone” shield are different.

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Pennsylvania World War Federal Service Medal

Established under Legislative Act No. 94 of April 27th, 1937.  The medal was provided upon application to honorably discharged veterans of the World War who were residents of Pennsylvania at the time of their entry into the service and who served at least three months between April 6th, 1917 and November 11th, 1918.  The medal was not authorized for those personnel that were in the Pennsylvania National Guard on or prior to August 5th, 1917 and received the National Guard version of the medal.

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Pennsylvania National Guard World War Service Medal

The awarding authority is uncertain here and Boyce states that it was probably created under the same Act that authorized the Federal Service medal.  The medal was awarded to all officers and men that were enrolled in the Pennsylvania National Guard prior to August 5th, 1917.

On July 14-15, 1917 the 28th Division was mobilized with 26,000 men or about 95% of its authorized strength.  The Division saw considerable action during the war.

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Where the Federal Service Medals are rather difficult to find, the National Guard Medal has been very abundant on the market and can still be found in mint condition, often still unwrapped in the original box of issue.  These sets are quite nice and include the service ribbon, all individually wrapped.

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Well, that's all I have in the WW1 (European Theatre) area.  I have a couple of city and local issues but will save those for a later day.  I also didn't want to post any of those medals awarded for service specifically on the Mexican Border, even though the timeframe is appropriate.  If there is an interest in those items I could be persuaded to post those as well, though I would like to see other member's examples pertaining to WW1.  Perhaps we could make a separate thread for those other items?  See what level of interest first.

I will end with showing three references that I have found somewhat useful in pursuing these State issues.  Of the three, I find the Doug Boyce reference the most informative and helpful.  The other two are, in my opinion, okay but lack the type of information I find important and interesting.  No one reference shows or tells everything but I think Doug did a really nice job putting the information together and a lot of the information in my write ups came from his book.  Highly recommended and I think the book is still easily found, unlike the other two.

The Louis Small reference gives 1920 census data, more information on the local issues and estimates on numbers awarded.  It shows differences in design, etc.

The Richard Planck reference is similar and shows more designs, by manufacturer, and the different local/city examples that shared the common designs.  It also lists the individual counties, cities, towns in each state that issued medals.

 

Hope you enjoyed it! :cheers:

Tim

state issue medals.jpg

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Tim, excellent additions to the body of information.   I've learned some things from your posts; e.g. that the NY medals have a SN and that there were two versions of the PA medal. I have a few of these State medals and find them quite interesting. 

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Hi Tim
 
This is a beautiful collection. unfortunately I abandoned some time, more could return to collect this series.
a silly question, but who is the man in Pennsylvania Service Medal
 
Lambert
Edited by lambert

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Hi guys, thanks for looking and commenting!

Lambert,

Yes, sorry I did not add a lot of information regarding the symbolism of each medal's design as I felt it might be too much here.  The man shown on the obverse of the two medals is William Penn.  You can read his biography here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Penn 

Based on the portraits in the article and on the medals, I would say it's when he was around 22 years old.

Just for added information, on the Mexican Border Service Medal, they have his name shown under the bust.

Tim

Pennsylvania State Service Medal Comp 9.JPG

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Not much movement here so thought I would add another; a city example for a change.

New Haven, Connecticut

I think about 7,000 were actually issued and the medal is one of the more common ones found in near mint condition.

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You used to find these all the time still in the Whitehead & Hoag box of issue for fairly cheap, but lately..?

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Tim, just so you don't feel alone...  another city medal - Sunbury, Pennsylvania.

 

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Your comment regarding the usual poor condition of the ribbon for the New Hampshire medal is spot on.  Most I see are extremely poor or missing altogether.  I really like the NH design though and picked up this one without its ribbon for the price of a beer.

New Hampshire Award for Service in WWI_obv.jpg

New Hampshire Award for Service in WWI_rev.jpg

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Hi Rick,

Those New Hampshire medals are available and sometimes pretty cheap but I have seen some with replaced ribbons as well, so you need to really look at them.  Beautiful patina on your example and I agree, a great design!

Do you have any of the references I shown above?  If not and need information on one of your items let me know, I can see what I can dig up.

Tim :cheers:

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Do you have any of the references I shown above?  If not and need information on one of your items let me know, I can see what I can dig up.

Tim, I do not have the references.  I must sadly admit that my library is rather thin.  I would be curious to see what the Louis Small book has on the Sunbury medal - if anything.  Thanks!

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Rick,

Okay, as you probably already realize, the Boyce reference only covers medals at the State issued level, so nothing there for city/local issues.

Planck did a classification system and this was classified as a Whitehead & Hoag Type 6B (WH6B) and this specific medal is illustrated in the book.  Whitehead & Hoag used this basic star shape for several medals but had some variations in details, in this case the Type 6 had an A, B, and C variation.  Information shown was: tricolor ribbon, blank top bar with a scrolled edge.  He listed the 1920 pop at 15,721.

Small used a different classification system and the basic star shape is listed as Type WH7.  Though he lists A-F variations, none have the exact pattern as the Sunbury medal and in the Pennsylvania section, he only used I.D. # PA99 with no mention of type for the manufacturer of the medallion or brooch style.  He also has the 1920 pop at 15,721. 

A quick mention on the 1920 population census.  The numbers from the 1920 census were used to come up with an approximate figure of the population that likely served in the war.  Based on known numbers of service personnel, the census numbers arrived at a figure of 4.12% of the U.S. population that served and thus "theoretically" 4.12% of each locality probably provided servicemen.  I personally think that cannot be applied across the board and in some cases we know it was not the case.

One thing Small does mention though is a "statistical estimation" of medals issued.  That estimation is based on the above and not actual records where documented issued medals were recorded.  In the case of the Sunbury medal, the estimate is 648.  I should add however, that others have found Small's estimates to be low in many of the medals produced and available on the market.

Hope that helps.

Tim

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Tim, thanks for that info!  The estimated number of medals based on population census clearly isn't an exact science.  Sunbury is a county seat and historically has had at least troop/company size National Guard armories.  So, something around 648 could make sense.

Interestingly, the 28th Division commander at the beginning of WWI, MG Charles Maxwell, was from Sunbury, retired there, and is buried there.  In 1915 he was promoted to Major General as commander of the 28th Division, and he led the division during the Mexico Villa Expedition. He commanded the division during its training at the start of World War I, and traveled to France to observe trench warfare tactics firsthand. But he retired shortly before the division embarked for Europe.  Reportedly, when the Army created the Spanish War Service and Mexican Border Service Medals in 1919, Clement was the first recipient of each.

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Lou Small started with the ratio of those who served to the general population figures.  He knew the pitfalls that came with such a generalization, but it was a place to start.  In those cases where we know the numbers of men who served (or the number of medals purchased/issued), they rarely match Small's estimates.  In some cases, like the cities of the northeast, draft eligible men were in abundance, so Small's numbers are low. In the midwest and western states, the population was smaller and more men were deferred because they were in critical industries, like mining and agriculture, so his numbeers tend to be high there.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to estimate issue numbers with any degree of accuracy. Years ago, I found a program from the ceremonies where one county's medals were presented. It's not clear if the men listed were those who served, those who expected to be at the ceremony, or what.  But, the numbers were quite small. The men were listed by town within the county, and there were towns listed with under a dozen men. A number of these towns issued their own medals, so issue numbers were quite small.  Also, consider that the medal manufacturers didn't want to produce two dozen medals for a town. They wanted the economy of scale that a larger production run would bring, so it is likely that many of the smallest towns ordered several times the number of medals they needed because it was cheaper to buy 100 than to buy 10. The unused medals simply sat in a storage closet for years until a collector came along.  The Milton, Pennsylvania, medal comes to mind in this context. I know of a stash that numbered over 50, with every medal in its cardboard wallet.

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Hi Jeff!

Yes, I tend to think many didn't bother to get the medals and were just glad to be back home alive.  Wasn't it last year that Missouri found a large stash of state issues and started making them available to next of kin?  Seems like many were original strikes still in the original manufacturer's box.

Tim

Found it: http://www.moguard.com/moguard-veteran-awards.html

Edited by Tim B
added link

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One thing I forgot to mention regarding the above references; despite the Lou Small and Richard Planck references being in black & white, the images depicted in the Planck reference are true to size and that is sometimes helpful.  Here's an example:

Oregon State WW1 Service Medal - Gold Star - Planck.JPG

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Hi all,

I am new to the forum but have been collecting these WWI US state, county and town victory medals for a number of years.

In his book, Louis Small lists the following known State victory medals, with an estimate of the numbers issued:

New York 427,871

Missouri 140,247

New Jersey 130,024

North Carolina 105,436

Maryland 64,424 (actual number)

Connecticut 56,881

Oregon 32,276

New Hampshire 18,255

District of Columbia 18,016

Delaware 9,187

Wyoming 8,009

I have them all if anyone needs photos - it took me some time and a bit of money to get Delaware and Wyoming.

best wishes

Rob

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