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Sampson Medal Group


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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.

http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2011/post-1625-0-06374200-1302268052.jpghttp://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2011/post-1625-0-38064400-1302268281.jpg

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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

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