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Wessel Gordon

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Everything posted by Wessel Gordon

  1. Ian, Gordon Thanks for the replies. I did browse on the Amazon site for books about medals but decided to get some advice from more experienced collectors before committing to one book which might end up not being what I need.
  2. I regularly read up on US generals on Wikipedia to fill some down time and I noticed that in nearly all cases the generals (regardless of the branch of the military they served in) started as second lieutenant and got promoted to first lieutenant and then to captain after exactly two and four years service respectively but promotion from captain to major take anything from five years or more. Promotions from major upwards seems to be unpredictable so I guess that's down to the need for that particular officer's skills at a certain level at a certain time or if if there's a post to be filled. Obviously this only apply to peacetime promotions since it's blatantly obvious from my reading that officers promoted during the World Wars tended to revert to their pre-war rank after the conflict was over. Is this required ''time on grade/rank'' or is there another reason for this bigger gap?
  3. I am looking for a reference book about US medals and ribbons. Is there a ''go to'' reference work US collectors have on their bookshelves?
  4. I am fairly new to medal collecting and I'm looking for a reliable reference book on the topic of British military medals. Is there a ''go to'' reference book for collectors of UK medals?
  5. As an afterthought here's a picture of 3 of the 4 Honoris Crux Medals that was ever awarded: Left to right: Gold, Silver and ''entry level'' Honoris Crux. The only one missing is the Diamond version which was never awarded and never will be since the Honoris Crux series was discontinued. Since the series was discontinued and I'm only aware of one Honoris Crux Diamond that was manufactured for a museum I'm pretty sure I'll never add that medal to my collection. These medals in my collection are miniatures since the full size versions are incredibly rare and therefor more than incredibly expensive.
  6. I'm new to medal collecting and have no knowledge of badges etc so can't help you confirm what it is but some of the experts should be able to help you. Looking at the crude workmanship and patina I would agree on your age estimate but as I said I'm not an expert so I'll be gladly corrected if I'm wrong.
  7. Mitrich, I've only been collecting medals since March this year and I'm not related to anyone on the Forbes list of richest people in the world so I have to be picky about what I buy. I know for some (or even most collectors on here) the thrill of collecting is getting an original medal and researching the history behind it and it's original owner but in my case it's more a case of seeing a medal I like (such as the DSO in the picture) and getting one for my collection. I have a total of nearly 100 medals but only 10 South African Defense Force medals have serial numbers which are therefor original. QSAMike, I only realized that afterwards. I have medals from the US, UK and South Africa and as I said above I'm new to collecting so I'm learning while I browse and buy and having information (especially South African) that's sometimes unreliable or downright conflicting regarding orders of precedence sometimes feels like I'm treading on potential landmines. Luckily most of the experienced collectors like you are willing to help out a new guy like me. After that picture was posted I also bought copies of all 9 the UK World War II campaign medals so things are coming along nicely. I know it was impossible for a soldier actually involved in World War II to have earned all 9 medals but it's nice to have the full set.
  8. Arthur, Thanks for the reply. That's what i thought.
  9. In my collection of South African medals I have the Honoris Crux, Honoris Crux Silver and in the process of buying the Gold version so I have all 3 of the 4 variants (the Diamond was never awarded so trying to get a copy is an exercise in futility). The post-nomials are HC, HCS and HCG, In my research I came across two soldiers who got the ''entry level'' Honoris Crux and the Silver Honoris Crux for a later action. My question is: were those two soldiers entitled to the post nominals HCS and HC or just the HCS? In other words, if we take my name and if the medal was still awarded, would it be Wessel Gordon HCS, HC or Wessel Gordon HCS?
  10. I have the insignia of a full general of the British Army but I'm missing the epaulletes that they are attached to. Does anybody know where I can find some? Ebay have some but most of them already have insignia attached to them in cloth so it's not a case of buying and attaching my insignia. The other option is a local South African auction site that sells military stuff but I want to be sure I end up with at least the correct color epaulette so once again I simply just can't buy any and attach the insignia.
  11. Arthur, Thanks for the reply. Since the Barron et al book was published in 1986 it fits right into that roughly 30 year gap you mentioned. Just weird that 3 senior officers (and I guess a bunch of unnamed research assistants) picked up on the anomaly. I do not have the Wolraad Woltemade Decoration in my collection so in my case the Honoris Crux Silver and the Honoris Crux would be situated next to each other.
  12. I bought a Honoris Crux Silver (1975) miniature on auction yesterday and on reading up on about it on Wikipedia I spotted an interesting anomaly. According to Wikipedia The HCS (1975) is succeeded in the order of precedence by the Van Riebeeck Decoration and not the ordinary Honoris Crux (1975) as it's clearly stated on page 33 in Barron et al's book about South African Decorations. A mere case of someone not getting their facts straight before posting online?
  13. Paul and Gavin, Thanks for the replies. Paul, I'm not sure who manufactured the medals but it might be worthwhile to find out. Gavin, I suspect you're right that after the amalgamation the military records of the previous regime was either stored in a bunker for all eternity with nobody having access or that the records was used to start bonfires after we won the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Interestingly enough the only ''reliable'' numbers I could find about medal numbers are about the Honoris Crux (1975) series. But that might be due to the fact that an award of one was reported widely under the old regime to boost morale.
  14. OK, novice question: Was it accepted custom for this military to issue several awards of the same medal's ribbons to be displayed side by side? It looks like this guy have several copies of the same medal.
  15. Mike, I know the WW2 Victory Medal wasn't exclusively American but as I said I just find it weird that he wore a WW1 Victory Medal plus a couple of medals dated at the end of WW2 but not the WW2 Victory Medal. I figure if he was proud enough to have survived 2 World Wars he would have worn both Victory Medals.
  16. Thanks for all the replies. Dave Danner, I thought I was an information junkie but it seems you outclass me. Some other factors I obviously would have to keep in mind is the creation date of the medal since a soldier decorated during World War i couldn't be around to be decorated for Desert Storm. Another factor is a reasonable estimate of a soldier's working life which I guess would be an absolute maximum of 40 years if he was lucky enough to survive every bullet ever fired at him.
  17. Dave Danner, Thanks for the truly excellent analysis. So if my deduction is correct it would be much more practical to create several fictional soldiers and after hours of extensive study to decide where each of these soldiers would have been deployed and build the ribbon rack ''per soldier'', not ''by service''. For example: Soldier A could have been involved in European campaigns which would eliminate him from island hopping with Admiral Nimitz while Soldier/Sailor B was busy island hopping with Nimitz and therefor it would be impossible for him to liberate western parts of Europe. The same argument would hold with Soldier C who spent his time coughing up sand in North Africa under Monty and once again could not be found fighting in the jungles of Asia.The other thing with the Air Force would be to decide to which army group they were assigned but I think it's entirely possible that the same pilot could drop soldiers in Africa/Western Europe and then being assigned to bomb the Axis nations into submission. Does that hypothesis make historical sense? Of course all this will take excruciating research into every medal I have and be 100% sure for which theater of war/period of time the particular medal was awarded.
  18. Taz Thanks a lot. That was the kind of info I was looking for. As I intend to display my collection after we (eventually) moved which of the two would make the more striking display? On the last two images I can also see pieces of the Gordon tartan and since I'm planning to display my British collection on a Gordon tartan cloth that might be a good choice Do you perhaps have any source where I can find either of these items? Regards, Wessel
  19. I spent the past weekend going through my collections (USA, UK and SADF) and was wondering how forthcoming the SADF would be about telling a collector (out of mere curiosity) how many of each of the medals he has has been actually bestowed on soldiers? All I'm interested in is roughly how many was awarded...the citation for every award and the name of recipient does not interest me in the least. Since my collection stopped before the new series of 1994 was instituted I'm guessing the answers to that kind of question lies buried under a few meters of dust by now. Or am I missing a vital research book that might shed light on the question? I am also interested to know how many medals was awarded for my USA and UK medals but unless I have the right research material and/or patience the answer would only be given during the lifetimes of my brother's great-great-great grandchildren. The only research book I have is ''South African Orders, Decorations and Medals''' by Alexander Barron and Bateman printed in 1986 which is a woeful 155 pages thick. Is there any other research book on USA, UK and SA Orders, Decorations and Medals that's worth looking for?
  20. I recently bought a Gordon Highland cap-badge and I'm looking for the correct beret to go with it. After browsing what feels like thousands of pictures I can't tell if the beret is blue or green since most images are in black and white. The Gordon tartan is dark blue and dark green and it seems that the proud Scotsmen would have chosen either the shade of green or blue of their tartan for their beret. Is there someplace I can see a full color photo of the beret or is there a knowledgeable member that can enlighten me? I've considered the heinous crime of using a local SADF beret and sticking the ''By Dand'' cap-badge on it but ultimately decided to try and make it as realistic as possible.
  21. My real question with the above is: which branch of the military was more involved in a theater of water for example: The Phillipne Liberation Medal; although Douglas Macarthur was in the Army he promised to return to the Phillipines to set them free from the Japanase it would be a classic mistake to assume that only the Army was involved in that part of the war. i'm sure with enough research I can proof that basically all components of the US military was involved in most of the campaiings for which a campaign medal was later awarded. Am I corrected that a campaign was started and the planners at the Pentagon thought it was going to take only the Army or the Navy or The Marines to accomplish the goal but that those divisions of the Army needed logistical Support from the Air Force etc.
  22. I have a collection of the following US medals: 1 Afghanistan Campaign Medal 2 Air Force Achievement Medal 3 Air Force Commendation Medal 4 Air Force Cross 5 Air Force Good Conduct Medal 6 Air Medal 7 Air Reserve Meritious Service Medal 8 Airman's Medal for Heroism 9 American Defense Service Medal 10 Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal 11 Armed Forces Reserve Medal 12 Army Achievement Medal 13 Army Commendation Medal 14 Army Distinguished Service Cross 15 Army Good Conduct 16 Army of Occupation Achievement Medal 17 Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal 18 Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal. 19 Bronze Star 20 Congressional Medal of Honor 21 Defense Meritous Service Medal 22 Defense Superior Service Medal 23 Humanitarian Service Medal 24 Joint Service Achievement Medal 25 Korea Defense Service Medal 26 Legion of Merit 27 Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal 28 Meritous Service Medal 29 National Defense Service Medal 30 Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal 31 Navy and Marine Corps Medal 32 Phillipine Liberation Medal 33 Prisoner of War Medal 34 Purple Heart 35 Silver Star 36 Soldier’s Medal 37 Southwest Asia Service Medal 38 Vietnam Service Medal I bought 5 9-rbbon mounts from a US manufacturer and the idea is to split the collection into the Air Force, Army, Marine and Navy and Armed Forces collections. Medals that has ‘’Air Force’’, ‘’Army’’ etc in them is easy to group together since such medals are usually only issued to members of that specific branch. The problem I envision is that quite a few of my medals are designated ‘’for the Armed Forces’’ which makes it tricky to decide to which part of my collection to allocate it to. Any ideas would be appreciated. From the outside to limit the scope of the collection I decided not to collect Navy, Coast Guard or Merchant Marine medals but since the Marine Corps and the Navy share some medals I ended up with some medals from the Navy. After some playing around late last night I have come up with the provisional split but I would dearly like any suggestions, comments or flaw in my logic in assigning a medal into a specific group to be questioned: Armed Forces: Silver Star, Defence Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Defence Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Prisoner of War Medal, American Defence Service Medal, National Defence Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Korea Defence Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Phillipine Liberation Medal. Air Force Congressional Medal of Honour (Air Force Version), Air Force Cross, Airman’s Medal for Heroism, Purple Heart, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, Air Reserve Meritorious Service Medal Army Army Distinguished Service Cross, Soldier’s Medal, Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, Army of Occupation Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal Navy and Marine Corps Navy and Marine Corps Medal, Air Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.
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