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American (US) Victory Medals

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  • 2 weeks later...

Herman - without being able to see the rest of the brooch it's hard to be definite, but there are several US-made brooches used on various official and unofficial awards that could fit the bill. There is a very good illustrated guide to US medal brooches here http://www.medalmuli...ooch-guide.html which might help you.


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Hello Herman,

I would leave both the brooch and engagment clasps as they are, unless you want to specifically construct a US french-made example complete with clasps. As Bill has indicated the edge marking of the large font 'MADE IN FRANCE' is consistent with late 20's to early 30's french manufacture; as is the ribbed planchet edges.

Once the specimen is in your hands I would also inspect the remainder of the rim for either the marking 'BRONZE' or some other makers mark. You will also want to inspect both sides of the large suspension ring as there are occasionally markings on that as well.

A gentle brush, with some warm water and a soft toothbrush, will remove the crud that has accumulated on the top section of the planchet reverse. A nice example.


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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...
On 13/09/2017 at 12:17, johnnymac said:

Hi Herman,

Each medal you find has its own story, and as Rob stated all collectibles should be left alone. There is no real value to be added to it if you change it. As I say, we do not own these items we are just the care takers.

Regards Jim

you are absolutely right.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

Here is my first US Victory Medal, which I recently won at auction. I wanted one from the Italian Front as it is a particular area of interest for me (unfortunately I also bid on a Vittorio-Veneto/Defensive Sector medal but didn't win).


My thanks to previous to johnnymac for the below posts showing who would be entitled to the Italy clasp.


On 09/01/2011 at 07:28, johnnymac said:


post-8368-019224500 1294669996_thumb.jpg

From the book "In Italy with the 332nd Inf."

1. HQ, 331st Field Hospital and machine Gun Co.

2. Trench Mortars, Supply officer

3. Our"Machine Gun men

4. 4000 men washing in ditch, 200 officers washing in river

5. "Our" Machine Gun, One pounders (small artillery)and Trench Mortars.

To support the Machine Gun Companies., Mortars, Artillery and Infantry you need "Ammo trains for each" that is why we get back to what they wrote in their book "4000 men washing in a ditch"

(not shown in these grouping, but a "Company Band" is also mentioned".

From the Book "Doughboys in Italy

6. Medical and supply units, 30 American ambulance sections, a Base hospital and 54 American pilots (+ crew) on a bombing raid Vittorio Veneto

Wiki - American bomber pilots Vittorio Veneto

The old break down for the Army was: A company had 100 men and 12 companies to regiment or 1,200 men that was not counting support units (we can not believe no one else was at the battle). The 332nd Infantry needed, food, ammo, everyday supplies, HQ, MP's, medical aid and supplies, field phones and list goes on. It would be hard to believe they got off the ship and said "we are here". Just think, possible 99.9% or more did not speak Italian, we know this as they did not seek only men that spoke Italian.



On 12/01/2011 at 07:59, johnnymac said:

I do not agree with your statement (4,800 personnel being entitled to the Italy service clasp would have to be revised downward as well)and here's why.

The "Italy" clasp: There were 500 Air Service pilots training in Italy just before the battle of Vittorio Veneto. They would have had crew members (machine gunners), ground crews and mechanics' to service the new type bomber, they to would need training. And lets not forget supply and support units for this group of Air Service men. To me that would account for about maybe 1,200-1,500 men in that group in Italy. The Navy also sent pilots for training. There were U.S. Subchaser bases in Italy. As we know in 1940 the Navy Dept. allowed the Naval personnel to be awarded the Army's clasp for service in Italy. To me all that would cut into the number4,800.

If the 332nd Inf. in Italy, only had 1,200 are we to believeno officers, support units or bomber crews were any where near the battle, ofcourse not. I have read somewhere that others believe that the number should bearound 2,500 Vittorio Veneto medals.

As for the Navy/Marine Corps, the regulations for those entitled are:

 "Italy. - Personnel of the Navy and Marine Corps who sailed from the United States prior to 11 November 1918, regardless of the date of arrival in that country, or the fact that the returned to the United States without disembarking, are eligible for the Service Clasp of that country. (Approved SevNav 5 October 1940)"

Source: Decorations, Medals Ribbons, Badges of the United States Navy Marine Corps and Coast Guard (1948).

Does any one have a list of which ships and/or Marine Corps units would be entitled?



Edited by SemperParatus
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I find it interesting that you think Naval pilots and their crews would turn down a clasps that said "Aviation". That  Sub Chaser crews would not want clasps like: Mine Sweeper, Mine Layers, Patrol or even the clasp Sub Chaser clasp itself.  On the other hand these very few Marines who served in these war countries were entitled to the clasp Overseas. Later some may have wanted the Army country clasp of the country in which they served. But In 1920 when the medals were being ordered there was no (Approved SevNav 5 Oct 1940). So they would not be added into that number. AND, they were under Naval, not Army Command.

From my book

Another group of approximately 1,600 Marine and Navy officers and enlisted men were sent overseas for naval shore duty. They served in communications, ports, harbors, warehouse services, service of supply, radio stations, naval magazines, ammunition depots, cable stations and other naval concerns, and assisted in off-loading U.S. ships at the docks in France. Unlike the Marines and Sailors attached to the Army's 2nd Division, they also remained under the Navy's command. This group came to be considered the "forgotten" shore servicemen who performed the necessary and thankless, day-to-day duties required to keep the war machine going in France. (very few were in Italy).


This group was awarded the Victory Medal with the Navy Duty clasp, Overseas. Unsatisfied with this very non-descript clasp, they insisted for years that they, too, should be awarded the Army Service clasp, France, including the Maltese cross. They had served in France like their counterparts who had served with the Army. In late September of 1940, under heavy pressure from these and other veterans' groups, the Secretary of the Navy addressed the question of approval for the wearing of the Army's Service clasp, France, for this group, and on October 5, 1940, it was finally authorized.


In the book, The United States Marine Corps in the World War, by Major Edwin N. McClellan, USMC, Officer in Charge, Historical Division, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. (originally printed in 1920. and then reprinted in 1968), the author points out still another group of Marines who served with the AEF in France and Belgium, and who were entitled to Battle or Service clasps as well:

Replacement marines were drawn from the 5th Brigade Headquarters, 11th and 13th Regiments and the 5th Brigade Machine Gun Battalion and sent forward to the 2nd Division's, Fourth Brigade. They would have been entitled, depending on individual case, to the France Service clasp with Maltese cross as well as some battle clasps.


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On 3/30/2018 at 19:55, johnnymac said:

I find it interesting that you think Naval pilots and their crews would turn down a clasps that said "Aviation". That  Sub Chaser crews would not want clasps like: Mine Sweeper, Mine Layers, Patrol or even the clasp Sub Chaser clasp itself.  On the other hand these very few Marines who served in these war countries were entitled to the clasp Overseas. Later some may have wanted the Army country clasp of the country in which they served. But In 1920 when the medals were being ordered there was no (Approved SevNav 5 Oct 1940). So they would not be added into that number. AND, they were under Naval, not Army Command.

Not sure how you got that from what I said, I was merely quoting a contemporary book on medals.

Thanks for the additional information though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My latest acquisition is this - something a bit different. Is it a coin or is it a medal?






Laslo has it in his book as “So-Called Dollar” Type 2. It’s made of copper, and measures 36mm in diameter. The planchet is thinner than the Type 2 vic, and there is no suspension. The seller and Laslo both give a reference number of HK-902, referring to a book called “So-Called Dollars” by Harold E. Hibler and Charles V. Kappen. The contents of this book are viewable on-line and the page for this item is at https://www.so-calleddollars.com/Events/World_War_I_Victory_Medals.html


The reference also mentions the same item in bronze with the reference number HK-901. I have seen a few suspension-less bronze US vics offered on eBay, but always assumed that they were Type 2 with the suspension removed!


Laslo says that some 5-20 of the copper version are known and 51-250 of the bronze version. The obverse and reverse are identical to the official medal, so it is assumed that the official dies were used to produce them, but the manufacturer is not known. The quality of the striking is very good. The edge looks uniformly smooth.


In 2005 a query was raised on the blog E-Sylum (which appears no longer to be around) of what was thought might be a ‘trial piece’, made in copper (The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 41, September 25, 2005, Article 16). The reply, from a gentleman called Dick Johnson, was rather scathing, and called the piece “junk”! He seems to link it to the firm of Aronson of Newark, who got a government contract to produce some of the Official vics, but their output was said to be of poor quality.


These pieces have the name “So-Called Dollar” as this is the name collectors give to exposition, commemorative and monetary medals of a similar size to a silver dollar coin.


Whatever it is, it’s an interesting addition to my vic collection


Recently, a ‘solid-gold’ vic was offered on eBay – BIN $49,500.00. It had the suspension as normal, but had an HK ref of 902a, as if it was a so-called dollar – it isn’t in the book. The seller said that it had 22K on the edge, and it’s the only one of its type - ‘not even the Smithsonian has one ...’ Unfortunately, he didn’t ship to the UK ….





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  • 3 months later...
On 09/08/2018 at 13:06, oliver860 said:

Good afternoon! Got such a medal!


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Good Morning, Oliver

The USS Kerlew ID-1325, in the Navies numbering system stands for: USS Kerlew, Civilian Vessel, 1325,  

 I find it very interesting that a battle line officer of a Lieutenant Commander would be used for ferrying coal across a 20-30 mile channel from England to France after the war.

So I found her here: https://www.revolvy.com/page/USS-Kerlew-(ID%2D1325)


USS Kerlew (ID-1325) was a United States Navy cargo ship in commission from 1918 to 1919.

Kerlew was built in 1906 at Stockton-on-TeesEngland, by Craig, Taylor and Company, Ltd.[2] Prior to World War I, she served as the Austro-Hungarian commercial cargo ship Virginia. She was named Kerlew and owned by Kerr Navigation Corporation of New York City by the time the United States Army acquired her on a bareboat charter basis in October 1917.

The U.S. Navy acquired Kerlew on 13 November 1918, two days after the end of World War I, at CardiffWales, assigned her the naval registry Identification Number (Id. No.) 1325, and commissioned her the same day as USS Kerlew with Lieutenant S. V. Kalhauge, USNRF, in command.

Assigned to the U.S. Army coal trade at Cardiff, Kerlew transported coal across the English Channel from British to French ports. She continued this duty until 29 January 1919, when she arrived at InvergordonScotland, to load a cargo of American naval mines for return to the United States. Departing Invergordon on 19 February 1919, she arrived in the United States at NorfolkVirginia, on 9 March 1919.

Kerlew was decommissioned on 12 April 1919 and transferred the same day to the United States Shipping Board for simultaneous return to her owner.

Kerlew returned to commercial service. She was renamed Mount Sidney in 1922 while serving as a merchant ship.



Thanks for sharing, Jim

5 hours ago, Bilco said:

Something a bit different on eBay today ...


According to the seller the medal was to a recruiter. Item #153138460248


Sorry but this medal hahaha is funny to me. The victory medal was awarded 1 1/2 years after the war. So the clasp can’t be a war time thing.  I could see it as maybe as an aftermarket add on, but why 10 when there were 100’s signing up each day when the United States got into the war……….also, I do not like that ring is open.

Regards to all, Jim

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