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Posts posted by Sal

  1. Some nuances to your observations. Yes, new regs have the SSI for FWTS located on the breast pocket. I doubt if he would, but GOs retain some ability (as I recall) to prescribe their uniform, so if he wanted to place the emblem out of location (unless that has changed since I left) he would be within his authority to do so. It is not likely on this uniform because of the appearance of impropriety, but I have seen it in the past for small subtle things.

    Additionally, on the old time BDUs and pickle suits, SSI for 2d Armored Division was worn on the left breast, as GEN Patton wanted to keep Hell on Wheels close to the heart. At least that was the tradition my peers passed on to me who served in the 2 AD.

  2. The dates of the 2 items from the contractor cardboard will tell the tale. Several possibilities here. If 2 different manufacturers and dates (periods), then color variation may be due to changes by the service in the color requirements. The detail on the smaller is better, but it looks like the female size IMO. Although I don't believe a contractor made 5 star sets in the event there was a female GOA. That being said, I believe 2 variations of from 2 manufacturers from different eras (and contracts).


  3. James

    That being said, I would think it plausible that my example is an un-numbered piece that was later numbered to make the pair into a set. I note that there is no "C" preceding the number on the Commander badge, which I surmise would be appropriate; or would I expect to see numbering only on newer issued pieces? I am convinced the 2 were joined to make a set, but trying to determine if the Commander badge is a legit awarded piece with the breast star added later or vice versa.


  4. Very interesting James, thank you....I think you have solved it. I would tend to believe that the CVO was numbered as you say and joined with the star. There does not seem to be any indication that a previous number was removed and this one added, so is it plausible the star was not numbered and later numbered to match the CVO and make a set (assuming that foreign awards were not numbered, it is possible there was an unumbered specimen out there?)

    While bothersome that it's likely put together, I do like each piece for what they are so at least they display well.

    I am jazzed about the identification of my MVO, that is the little chestnut in this thread for me, so thank you again for that.

  5. James, thank you for the information and insight. I have sadly not had the time to try to write for information on the awardees, so this is a great bit of information. Would you suppose then, from your information on the KCVO that the set was put together and numbered to make it more desirable or lend credence to it? I had some cause for pause when i saw the look of the numbering, but thought it might be possible these were joined by the Chancery from 2 returned pieces returned for higher grade appointments.

  6. Navy obverse; so the obverse, brooch set up appear correct for Navy issue, but the uniservice reverse without the trophy of arms has me unless I am making a false assumption that the uniservice reverse medals had the Army trophy of arms....it is possible it's a later strike of the uniservice medal; Studley possibly? Need to float it by some folks more expert than I am. Sorry I cant be more help

  7. Correct, the Mint produced medals for the Navy and some USCG issues as well. I think obverse design theory is quite valid and if JEff suggested it more correct than mine; is there the possibility the Navy used some Army contract planchets on their ribbon drape set ups and issued in their US Mint boxes in a similar manner they used Army PHs?

    It would be an interesting study to determine the nuances of the Army contract vice US Mint strikes in comparison...and if the same differences present themselves on all US Mint Navy versions that do not present on Army contract strikes...as a means to determine Navy vice Army strikes when there is no obvious evidence

  8. Need to see the obverse of the medal. Gleim's Medal Letters P136 indicates a uniservice version but specifically refers to an Army obverse and reverse, which would explain the straight "For Service"....but you would find US Navy over a trophy of arms vice the naval service emblem depicting the eagle and anchor. Clearly a contract strike (the tone of the planchet and some pitting on the face of the reverse) but I can't speak to the uniservice reverse but without trophy of arms....interesting. I believe it's re-ribboned on a split wrap brooch with open catch which would be correct for a Navy version but it is not the original set up.

  9. Mervyn, that is perfect advice.....you are correct, the royal cypher will should impress, however I think some folks where I live don't even know where Great Britain is. I had planned to write the Chancery to ID the set based on the number. J Collins Medals has a Commander grade on ebay with a letter from the Chancery, I will try that address.

    The interesting thing is that I bought them together as a set but the seller had no info or history. The control of issuance is what got me wondering about the 2 different crowns, although they both appear to be variants of the Tudor Crown, the time period of their use is what seems to cause me pause, however I do not doubt they are legit pieces,I'd like to ID and solve the mystery of the 2 variant crowns together. Until I get some information back, my thoughts are that they were manufactured at different times (thus the crown variations) and were numbered and issued together as a KCVO set without noting the difference.

    Thanks for your help.


  10. Sal - how would you account for both examples having the 1295 number on their reverses ? The Crown on the Cross is one that I usually associate with late Queen Victoria and early Edward 7th. - the other one is typical George 5 and 6.


    Exactly my dilemma, although I did not notice the difference until I had it in hand and compared the crown to my Victorian DSO...I have no idea why they both have the same number; I thought they might have been brought together and numbered then sold as a set, but I have never seen any grade of the order without a number. I missed the crown difference because I was looking at the numbering which id not look like the numbering I have on my other piece. I'm at a loss because I would expect to see some sign of renumbering if they were coupled from 2 different eras and issued as a set but renumbered 1295. I cannot find any evidence that a previous number was removed and reassigned unless it was done by the jeweler who made the order. I also compared it to my lower grade and in my limited level of expertise, it appears to be a let cross and star......I also would expect to see a "C" preceding the number if it was a awarded as a commander grade of the order.

    Any suppositions from you or the collective community?

  11. Just received this KCVO and when comparing to my earlier MVO I see the numbering style is more contemporary looking. Is it possible to date the period of manufacture or award based on the crown on the obverse top of the badge? I notice a difference in the various eras of DSO and am curious if it is possible to date the badge based on the engraving of the number or the crown motiff. I know they are king's crowns but not sure if there are variations in design over the years.

  12. Chris,

    The formal name is the West Indies Naval Campaign Medal was first authorized in 1901 and was awarded to personnel who were assigned to the fleet of Rear Admiral William T. Sampson (thus Sampson Medal)during the Spanish–American War engaged in combat operations in the waters of the West Indies and Cuba. The medal was issued to members of the Navy and Marine Corps who took part in West Indies naval operations from April 27 to August 14, 1898.

    The reverse if each medal had the engagement it was awarded for, the subsequent engagements are noted by the bars affixed to the suspension ribbon. The top bar is the ship the recipient was assigned to in the fleet. There are 3 phases of award. The first is pictured where the main award has the ship bar with subsequent engagements affixed in a chain type ladder. Phase II medals have the top suspension bar with the ship name, and Phase III medals have the top ship bar with engagement clasps afixed to the ribbon as a clasp, much like US WW I Victory Medals or British campaign medals

  13. Finally received the holy grail (for now) of my collection. A beautiful Phase I Sampson USS Marblehead, with Guantanamo engagement bar, impressed to William K. Nash, Machinist 2d Class. The bar is correct for the Phase I Marblehead as Guantanamo was the only Phase I engagement bar. There are also 2 United Spanish War Veteran medals, both numbered with matching mini buttons. What makes it for me are the 4 documents to Nash. 3 appointments, one as an Oiler on USS Dolphin, and the other 2 as a Machinist 2d Class and 1st Class on the Marblehead. The last is a Petty Officer appointment document. The paperwork is key for me make the grouping more than just nice to have, it personalizes the medals with a person.


  14. Criteria was recently updated to include non wound/bleeding injuries to the head. Under the new rules of the Army, soldiers suffering traumatic brain injuries, such as concussions, during roadside bombings in Iraq and Afghanistan are now eligible to be awarded the Purple Heart.

  15. Hello All, I just picked this up for $15.99 and would like some options - It looks good, but I am not real familiar with going prices (other than cheap). Thanks Captain Albert :cheers:

    I agree, good deal at 16 bucks. Ring suspension is more valued IF you are a variation collector, if not then it's a matter of just having an example in your collection. 75 seems too high for a ring suspension. They are more scarce that the knob suspension but are not impossible to find. It comes down to what you are willing to pay for the variation. I would not pay more than 35 or 40 for one at the very high end so i think yo got a good deal.

    My $.02


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