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Wessel Gordon

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  1. 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.



  2. 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.



    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.



  3. 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?


  4. 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.


  5. 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.


  6. 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?


  7. 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. 





  8. 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.



  9. 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.


  10. 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?








  11. 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?


  12. 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.


  13. 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.


  14. 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 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.





  15. First things first:

    Whoever he is he is wearing the World War 1 Victory Medal which seems to be US medal. He is wearing the War Medal 1939-1945 and the Defense Medal which was both instituted when World War 2 was all intent and purpose well and truly over. So from that we know he survived both World Wars. Why isn't he wearing the World War 2 Victory Medal like he obviously does with the World War 1 medal?

    I'm going to make an uneducated assumption so if I'm wrong, gentleman, please correct me: during World War I he was ''on loan'' to the Americans for a specific period or task which entitled him to wear the World War 1 Victory Medal. ALL the medals displayed on this bar is British so I'm working on the assumption he was a Brit. As the original poster stated by World War II he is a colonel so he might be working at the British High Command or somewhere where he does not get transferred or come into contact with his US counterparts which explains the lack of the World War 2 Victory Medal.



  16. Top row: rightmost ribbon: 1939-1945 Star;

    Bottom row, left ribbon: Africa Star;

    Bottom row: second from left Ribbon: Italy Star

    Bottom row: third from left ribbon: Defense Medal

    Bottom row: rightmost ribbon: War Medal 1939-1945

    Start with the link below and work your way up. You'll see the ribbon corresponds till it gets to the uppermost right on the top row.


    Kind regards,

    Wessel Gordon





    I can supply pictures of all 9 ''British campaign medals'' from my collection if you want but in practice the most awarded was 6 with clasps for the other three if the soldier served in all the theaters covered by the 9 campaign stars.



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