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American (US) Victory Medals


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Hello Lambert,

. It is interesting that in your example the bottom MEUSE-ARGONNE claps has no spacers. This would probably indicate that, at the time of issue, it was supposed to be the bottom clasp.

Regards,

Rob

Sorry for getting into this thread late, but I had pressing needs

Rob,

If you look a little closer you will see there is a large piece of a spacer bar at the bottom of the Meuse-Argonne clasp, which means at some time the spacers were removed? And it was not to be the bottom clasp.

Regards, Jim

Edited by johnnymac
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Hello Lambert,

It is not entirely unusual to see a us vic with the DEFENSIVE SECTOR (DS) clasp on the top. There are numerous other examples seen with the Defensive Sector clasp out of order. It has been suggested that these clasps were placed on the top in the time when it was still not confirmed exactly where the DS clasp would sit. The original battle clasps were approved earlier than the DS clasp. It is interesting that in your example the bottom MEUSE-ARGONNE claps has no spacers. This would probably indicate that, at the time of issue, it was supposed to be the bottom clasp.

It wasn't until after the DS clasp was authorised that the dress regulations were changed to indicate the DS clasp was to be placed on the bottom. Now it is much more common to see the us vics with the DS clasp on the bottom with the spacers removed.

I have such a us vic in my collection that has the DS clasp on top which was issued in early 1920 and another couple where the DS clasp still has its feet. It is also not unusual to see us vis without a DS clasp if the recipient did not receive the medal originally with the clasp.

A nice example of an early issue vic.

Regards,

Rob

Hello Lamber & Rob,

Here are my thoughts on the Defensive Sector clasp, I used a Time line & Doc's

January 1919, General Pershing submits a list of named battles and campaigns.

April 1919, WD G.O No. 65 The Cambrai clasp was adds to the list of War Department, General Order No 48.

June 1919, WD G.O. No. 48, The Secretary of War, amended & included the Defensive Sector clasp.

June 30, 1919, WD G.O. 83, Consolidates all the changes made to WD G.O. 48.

March 27, 1920, The Army approves the contract for the Victory Medals, with the 3 contractors

April 3, 1920, All dies & hubs started to be sent out by Philadelphia Mint, to the three approved contractors.

April 6, 1920, The Army's (dated) application form # 740, for the Victory Medal, tells us a lot.

1) It tell us that no Victory Medal was ordered before this application form was available.

2) It also tells us it was eight months after the defensive Sector clasp had been approved.

3) It also confirms that the defensive sector was approved, there is a detailed section box to be hand written in for just filling out for the Defensive Sector service clasp, - see instructions (3) which is listed in that box. Circular letter WD 3-7740 - Are the instructions which came with the application form # 740. (April 6, 1920 is the date the form was approved).

April - June, 1920 It took the contractors time to strike the medals and all the clasps. And it took time to ship everything out to the one collection center which was the Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot. The Philadelphia Quartermaster Depot held all the Army's records and they also would have needed time to process all the applications. (The three contractors had no way of knowing who was entitled to what, and for what reason he was entitled to it). That is why there was only one military collection center for the Army. And that is why no Army medals were send out by contractors. Just think what a nightmare it would have been had all three contractors had the Army's records.

June 21, 1920 - General distribution of the Victory Medal to Army personnel was begun. The Defensive Sector and battle claps were put in place by WD G.O 48, being reinforced by the following document, G.O. 83. The distribution happened a full ten or more months after the War Department rejected the notion of there being a 1st Army, 2nd Army or an Army of Occupation clasps. It should be without question, reasonable to believe the award committee had worked out the all the finalizing details in that time period.

Looking at the very few Defensive Sector clasp which are found as the top clasp, still having their spacer bars attached. This can be explained by saying, with the mad rush to get millions of medals out the door.

1) A new employee might mistakenly placed the Defensive Sector at top and had just forgotten to remover the spacer bars. This is understandable and reasonable as to how a clasp could got out that way. But the more likely reason would be, an un-knowing or an unknowledgeable person,privately took some intervention into the life of this medal. As has been found to be the case in most situations.

2) Why the spacer bars are sometimes found on the clasps is also understandable. The Philadelphia Mint had all the dies and hubs made before the contracts were issued. Most of these early dies were made with the possibility of another clasp being issued. Again, it is reasonable as most Defensive Sector clasps had to have their two spacers cut off at some point, and the old supply had to be used up until the newer dies arrived from the mint. A few missed the cutting out of the spacers.

3) The placement of the Defensive Sector clap is for a practical reasons, why, because the sequence of the battles, the defensive sector clasp placement should stand unquestioned. This clasp was awarded not for a major operation, and as such the protocol would be no different then a soldier wearing his medals or ribbons on his chest.

4) If any other countries medals were found with its battle clasps or bars in any other sequence then the battles fought or awarded. That medal would be heavily questioned by collectors and shunned, so why is it not so for the United States Victory Medal.

Again best regards, Jim

Edited by johnnymac
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Sorry for getting into this thread late, but I had pressing needs

Rob,

If you look a little closer you will see there is a large piece of a spacer bar at the bottom of the Meuse-Argonne clasp, which means at some time the spacers were removed? And it was not to be the bottom clasp.

Regards, Jim

Hello everyone.

I already knew this defect, it's just a wrong soldering. the last clap no spacers.

DSCF1056.jpg

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I checked last night, and there is a Mfg. hallmark of "SGDG" on the back of the service ribbon, and what appears to be some sort of a quality control stamp that looks like a square with one open end. Does this mean anything to you?

Hello Obergefreiter,

As far as I can recall it is the mark of a French medal manufacturer. I don't have my references to hand so I can't indicate the specific firm. When I have the opportunity and time I will look for the references and post more information if I can find it.

Regards,

Rob

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  • 4 weeks later...

To one and all,

Here is a nice us vic mini of French production. It is the same as the French reproduction of the full-size us vic, illustrated as Figure 118 in Mr Laslo's book (page 86-87).

Close-ups to follow showing the high level of detail.

Regards,

Rob

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To one and all, and our US vic collectors in particular,

I have a number of these battle bars for the US vic mini in my collection. They are slightly different to the other variety that has recessed end loops as well as a different font.

I am attempting to identify the manufacturer of these particular mini bars. I realise that this may be a hard task but appreciate any input from our US collectors.

The thin backstrap is actually more of a shiny tin than it appears in the scan.

Regards,

Rob

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  • 1 month later...

To one and all, and our US vic collectors in particular,

I have a number of these battle bars for the US vic mini in my collection. They are slightly different to the other variety that has recessed end loops as well as a different font.

I am attempting to identify the manufacturer of these particular mini bars. I realise that this may be a hard task but appreciate any input from our US collectors.

The thin backstrap is actually more of a shiny tin than it appears in the scan.

Regards,

Rob

Hello all,

Given the lack of a response since February I think I can safely assume that none of our vic collectors have any ideas as to the manufacturer of these bars? :D This may be more difficult than I originally thought.

Regards,

Rob

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Hello all,

Given the lack of a response since February I think I can safely assume that none of our vic collectors have any ideas as to the manufacturer of these bars? :D This may be more difficult than I originally thought.

Regards,

Rob

Hi Rob,

This type plus, several other types may have came from BB&B, George Studley and others. But who was their supplier is any ones quess

P.S. good to see you back.

Regards, Jim.

Edited by johnnymac
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  • 1 month later...

Hello JM,

Thanks for the link which I already had. It is a compilation of the navy bars and ship entitlements based on the 1948 and 1953 US Navy Awards manual. The list I am looking for was that contained in the original 1920s Navy Dept GO.

There are difference in ship qualifications between these lists hence I'm looking for the 1920 list.

Regards,

Rob

To all,

Given that none of our fellow US collectors has a copy of the original ND GO 528 from 1920 could anyone suggest a link to the US Navy archives where I might be able to find such a copy?

Regards,

Rob

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To all,

Given that none of our fellow US collectors has a copy of the original ND GO 528 from 1920 could anyone suggest a link to the US Navy archives where I might be able to find such a copy?

Regards,

Rob

Hi Rob,

First, I don't think you're going to find any original Navy Department General Orders (N.D.G.O.'s) of that period. I'm not sure if the Navy even have these anymore, though you would think so, buried somewhere in Washington D.C. The same can be said of the original ALL Navy (ALNAV) messages that would have the same information.

With that said, you can try the old monthly "Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletins", later renamed "All Hands Bulletins" to get some of the information, though they don't go back past August 1922. Here's a link: http://www.navy.mil/...ds.asp?x=search It also leads to other areas if you go back to it's homepage. Unfortunately, the monthly ALNAV's are not called out specifically until early 1944.

If you check out the March 1943 issue (pg 41), it lists the then current list of medals and discusses the WW1 Victory Medal. It calls out a "change 13, part A, Chapter 1, of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (BUPERS) Manual of 1925" that designates what clasps and what each ship, between the limiting dates, qualified for.

You might have a better chance of locating the BUPERS Manual, or at least that portion of it, than any ALNAV or N.D.G.O. at this point. There are also old Navy Decoration Board (NDB) documents as well, but again, most of these have either been destroyed as they became superceded over time or have not been converted to online files as of yet. IMO, the BUPERS Manual would give the most concise information as that was the ruling regulation.

Another link that could lead somewhere and you might be able to email questions to: https://awards.navy....tm?OpenDocument You can use the document library to see old information but again, most of it only goes back to WW2.

Hope that helps some.

Oh, on a side note; you need to contact Mike. He forgot about a couple of vic's and listed at least that one with the (AISNE) clasp by mistake. I had him pull it this morning and hold for you again, but please follow-up with him on those other items as well. Hopefully my haul arrives today or tomorrow.

Regards,

Tim

I meant to add this link to BUPERS, though I don't see any old references listed. You could ask if a file still exists: http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/Instructions/BUPERSInstructions/Pages/default.aspx

Edited by Tim B
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Hi all,

Here is my USA Victory Medal with the "Russia" army service clasp

Like I understand men from 85th ("Custer") Infantry Division 339th Infantry Regiment and 85th Infantry Division 1st Battalion of the 310th Engineers Regiment (?) was entitled for that?

Also are following figures correct regarding service clasps?

(source http://www.usmilitar....php/t1367.html)

Siberia - approximately 9,000 entitled (but fewer produced then the Russia clasp)

Russia - approximately 9,000 entitled

Italy - approximately 4,800 entitled (but more produced so its relative rarity is lower)

England - approximately 31,100 entitled

France - approximately 621,600 entitled

174612413266eb_o.jpg

Hi guys,

Sorry to interupt the discussion but I have to sell this US Victory medal with the "Russia" clasp (pin broken and ribbon half loose, rest of the medal is fine) but can someone please help me aprox. value. Didn't found any on sale online for info.

Thanks guys in advance,

Timo aka Noor

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To one and all, and our US vic collectors in particular,

I have a number of these battle bars for the US vic mini in my collection. They are slightly different to the other variety that has recessed end loops as well as a different font.

I am attempting to identify the manufacturer of these particular mini bars. I realise that this may be a hard task but appreciate any input from our US collectors.

The thin backstrap is actually more of a shiny tin than it appears in the scan.

Regards,

Rob

Rob,

I may get a clue to pass on to you in a couple of days. I have another collector making me copies of the applicable pages out of a 1930's era Studley catalog.

Studley's refer to the medals sold by George Studley to veterans. He was a retired Navy man whose business was selling insignia and medals to veteran's starting in the 30's. Studley had a catalog as late as 1939. The Studley catalogs didn't give prices for full-sized decorations but on request he would quote everything up to the MOH. However, the guy was in the business a long time and knew the suppliers, so it's likely that a lot of what he sold was from the same people supplying the government and indistinguishable from issue pieces.

What I understand, he did business into the 60's. Initially he bought unnumbered planchets from companies who made the medals for the US government. Real studley medals are very nice pieces with good detail, reasonable quality and were bought and worn by real veterans. The planchet is usually thicker than government issue. The term Studley has been applied to all manner of reproductions, generally the thick crude repros with the coppery finish you find at shows. Some of these have been remounted with wrap brooches and attempts have been made to stamp numbers on the rim.

George Studley obtained most of his medals from J.K. Davison Co. and apparently from other (official) government medal supplies with permission from the Feds. He also had struck the Medal of Honor as he could not obtain these and he had campaign bars for the WWI Victory Medal that were never actually made. Some consider him a part of American Medallic history, as no other individual was sanctioned to sell federal medals. Unfortunatley the word "studley" has been used by many to mean any reproduction or fake US decoration.

Tim

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Been somewhat quiet lately so thought I would post some recent and somewhat recent additions.

Here's a 32nd Div piece, though it could also have been someone in the 28th that came in after the Champagne-Marne campaign.

Tim

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Rob,

I may get a clue to pass on to you in a couple of days. I have another collector making me copies of the applicable pages out of a 1930's era Studley catalog.

Studley's refer to the medals sold by George Studley to veterans. He was a retired Navy man whose business was selling insignia and medals to veteran's starting in the 30's. Studley had a catalog as late as 1939. The Studley catalogs didn't give prices for full-sized decorations but on request he would quote everything up to the MOH. However, the guy was in the business a long time and knew the suppliers, so it's likely that a lot of what he sold was from the same people supplying the government and indistinguishable from issue pieces.

What I understand, he did business into the 60's. Initially he bought unnumbered planchets from companies who made the medals for the US government. Real studley medals are very nice pieces with good detail, reasonable quality and were bought and worn by real veterans. The planchet is usually thicker than government issue. The term Studley has been applied to all manner of reproductions, generally the thick crude repros with the coppery finish you find at shows. Some of these have been remounted with wrap brooches and attempts have been made to stamp numbers on the rim.

George Studley obtained most of his medals from J.K. Davison Co. and apparently from other (official) government medal supplies with permission from the Feds. He also had struck the Medal of Honor as he could not obtain these and he had campaign bars for the WWI Victory Medal that were never actually made. Some consider him a part of American Medallic history, as no other individual was sanctioned to sell federal medals. Unfortunatley the word "studley" has been used by many to mean any reproduction or fake US decoration.

Tim

Hello Tim,

Thanks for the info. I have an electronic copy of a couple of the Studley catalogues. They are a good place to find information.

Thanks for the assistance.

Rob

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A close-up of the clasp. You can see the Reddish Copper color and the narrow silver backstrap. It also has the correct number of rope segments.

According to Laslo, after all the production numbers evened out, about 7500 of these clasps were produced by Fulford.

Tim

Edited by Tim B
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My only 2 Victory medals from the USA.

They are an official type 2 with 3 ribbon bars: St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Defensive Sector.Perhaps the 29th Division. The backside of the ribbon has a brooch. The one on the right is an official type 2 with ribbon bar: France and a Maltese cross. It has a French brass hinge.

Edited by Herman
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