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Wessel Gordon

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Posts posted by Wessel Gordon

  1. In the Wikipedia article about Roberts in 922F's post if you look at his list of awards the Legion of Merit ribbon is that of the ''ordinary'' Legion of Merit. So either Wikipedia's wrong (which it's prone to be) but then again as 922F remarked only a few recipients was made ''Officers of the Legion of Merit'' in error and although President Rooseveldt apparently threw a fit when he found out he didn't bump them down to ordinary Legion of Merits so to my knowledge too, that's the only time Officers of the Legion of Merit was ever bestowed, albeit in error.

    Also, in the picture in the Wikipedia article there is no Legion of Merit ribbon visible on his ribbon bar although you can see ribbons for the other awards listed so that picture must have been taken before he received the Legion of Honor and although I had a long, hard look at his ribbon bar there doesn't seem to be any ribbons hidden by his lapel.

  2. I got a reply from the company that sent me the ribbons in the picture above after I asked them if they could send me the loose ribbons for the 9 campaign medals. Their reply was ''we don't sell loose ribbons to ''do it yourself'' enthusiasts...we only sell 6 inch length ribbons''. That after I queried their wrong assembly of the above ribbon bar and their reply, strangely enough, was ''fix it yourself''. If it wasn't so absurdly contradictory I would have called their bluff on it. 

  3. I have a collection of 36 different US medals (some in sets, some either just full size or miniature) and I'm busy building a database for it as part of the hobby. One thing I would like to include in my database is roughly how many of a particular medal was issued but I can't seem to find reliable numbers for the more common medals. Is there some resource online that could help out?

    I do realize that I will never have an accurate count to the latest medal issued but a rough estimate would be nice.


  4. Great Dane,

    Thanks for the reply.

    Even if I have both the full-sized and miniature of a particular medal I placed each in a separate envelope to avoid them bumping and scratching each other. I simply marked the envelope ''F'' for full size and ''M'' for miniature so if I'm in a hurry I don't have to prod the envelope to feel which one of the set is in that particular envelope. So I don't have any envelope where I placed both medals of a set by accident in the same envelope. It's a tedious job to get done with close to 100 medals and a bit costly envelope/ink wise but a hell of a lot cheaper than replacing a damaged and unobtainable medal.

    Since I have medals of 3 different countries I placed each country's envelopes in a separate box and once I find bigger boxes the current boxes are going into the bigger boxes with bubble wrap or bunched-up newspapers to secure them. 

    We are still a long way from moving and I'm the only one that ever touches the boxes (even our regular housekeeper cleans in a wide circle around the boxes or she's got some explaining to do...sounds harsh but I guess all serious collectors are worse than protective mothers about their collections) so I'm not too worried about someone dropping the boxes by accident.




  5. I've had another idea to better preserve my medals while in temporary storage but I need some advice from our more experienced members. With advice I include being told it's a good/bad idea or being asked bluntly if i'm out of my mind so have a go at it with honest opinions please.

    As per the previous post my collection currently reside in brown wage envelopes but with a recent purchase some of the medals was sent to me in medal wallets which I simply slipped (with the medal inside the wallet) into an appropriately marked envelope. My thinking is that the medal wallet adds another layer of protection against corrosion and direct sunlight. Is this a workable approach or should I switch to either just the envelopes or medal wallets?

    As I said any opinions would be appreciated.


  6. My initial interest in medals started with medals of the old SADF but it has since been eclipsed by an interest in US medals and decorations.

    Is there some resource available as to roughly how many of each medal was issued since it was instituted or is that just wishful daydreaming on my part?

    Kind regards,



    I do realize that with ongoing conflicts around the world that there would never be a definitive number issued of certain medals but since I want to research the US medals I own thumb-sucking numbers issued isn't going to do it for me.

  7. I have the following British medals. Some of you might have read about the wrong order the ribbon bar of numbers 1 through 6 was sent to me. I am now thinking of buying loose ribbon bars for the rest and putting them on a 15 ribbon bar, thus 3 ribbons per bar. The question is: is the 1/8th inch distance between rows a British regulation or could I go for flush spacing?

     Victoria Cross
     George Cross
     Distinguished Service Order
     Member of the British Empire
     Distinguished Service Cross
     Military Cross 
     The 1939-1945 Star
     Atlantic Star
     Arctic Star
     Air Crew Europe Star
     Africa Star
     Pacific Star
     Burma Star
     Italy Star
     France and Germany Star

    I realize that I would be circumventing the 4 ribbons per row ''rule/regulation'' but to my eyes 5 full rows of 3 ribbons each are much more appealing. Any ideas on this?

    Wessel Gordon

  8. Paul,

    Well put. The younger generation (those born since the advent of the cheaper home PC and later) seems to have the attitude that ''it says so on the net so every word in it is worth more than the holy grail of eternal youth''.

    I remember doing assignments in my schooldays and if I couldn't cite at least 2-3 different sources for so-called facts you were in a truckload of trouble and in a barge-load worth of re-doing the assignment the way it should have been done in the first place. I still vividly remember doing assignments with at least 3-4 different encyclopaedias and at least two dictionaries spread on the floor around me as I worked: heaven and hell both forbid you hand in material that wasn't properly verified by the stated number of sources and  littered with spelling-errors.





  9. Thanks to all the people (and unmolested penguins) for the answers.

    I suspected it had something to do with a posthumous award to a family member but wasn't sure. I was raised in the generation where Google was something that didn't even exist in Star Wars movies so if you wanted to know something you asked.



  10. I recently bought a copy set of all 9 the British WWII campaign stars and was wondering if there is some company where I can buy the loose ribbons and mount them myself.

    I have 6 other British medals for which I ordered a ribbon bar from a reputable company and when it arrived only the two lowest ranked medals' ribbons was correctly mounted. I complained to them by e-mail and their response within 10 minutes was ''fix it yourself or if you can't return it to us''. Needless to say I fixed it myself which took a bit of determination and strength. I decided to bury the hatchet with the company and asked them for a quote on mounting the 9 campaign medals but the quote is out of my league so my idea is to get a ribbon mount for 15 ribbons and mount all the ribbons myself but I'm not aware of any company that sells loose ribbons as a big part of their business seems to be the assembly of ribbon bars. I am also aware that in the process I might go against British Army regulations by mounting only 3 ribbons per row instead of the standard 4-5 but I'm a private collector so I don't see how they could court-marshal me for displaying my medals the way I want to.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.

  11. Paul,

    My collection is non-existent next to yours. I only have 87 (86 in my possession and 1 showing up by courier hopefully by tomorrow.

    My family I share the house with regularly complains about me spending money on it but I'm like you: I'm hooked and I bluntly refuse to give up so rehab isn't going to do me any good either.



    You raise a very good point there.

    I'm sure an experienced collector like you can (usually) tell if a medal is a fake or the real thing but as you said there's fakes out there that looks genuine e.g. right color for the supposed age, patina etc.


  12. Paul,

    Thanks for the excellent advice.

    For me medal collecting doesn't necessarily involve knowing the history that precipitated the awarding of the medal but rather the medal itself so putting names to medals isn't an all-consuming part of the hobby, although I know that it's a passion for some collectors and I respect their decision to do research before/after investing in a medal.

    I do have 10 full-size SADF medals that is numbered with a serial number since it's our military's custom to number rather than name medals. I approached a military researcher with the numbers and asked him if he could track down the original owners. He replied within a few minutes and said that after having a look at the serial numbers I provided it's unlikely that they were ever issued and IF they were tracking them down will be a task of monumental proportions as proper lists wasn't kept of which serial number was awarded to a particular service men and unfortunately in South Africa it seems you have to know someone with access to the records and be willing to bribe handsomely to get the right information. I'm guessing the medals I have was struck by the military and most likely sat in a warehouse till some officer started selling them off either by legal or illegal means. So to make a long story short: I decided not to waste good money and the researcher's time on something that in the end might be a futile exercise.


  13. I have a collection of 42 US medals of which 9 are full sets of full size and miniature medals. I'm undecided if I should dig deep into my savings and buy the medals I need to complete the other 33 sets.

    Is that a good strategy or should I rather wait and build up my collection over a few years?

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