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Republic of Vietnam - Gallantry Medal


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  • 2 months later...


I don't believe the medal was issued without a device on the ribbon. Since it had to be awarded, a device was added to the ribbon depending on which level awarded it.

Here is a Vietnamese made Gallantry Cross with the "U" type brooch. Notice it is much darker than yours and the ribbon is much lighter. It has a palm attached to the ribbon which designates that it was awarded at the Army or Armed Forces Level.

Also notice that the tips of the swords are curved compared to the one you pictured where the tips are straight.


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I've never seen one as light as yours or quite as dark as Bob's.
The original I have shows significant bronze high lights. Of course mine sat in the traditional shoe box until I had the stuff mounted - sadly costing me the original ribbon. My point being - medals and ribbons do not always remain sets so the ribbon without addenda does not necessarily make your medal a US reproduction. The finish on your medal and the casting details that do not match Bob's or mine suggest that your example is not an original (issued or otherwise) from South Vietnam.
Appurtenances for this award were:
Palm for award at ARVN level
Gold Star for award at corps level
Silver Star for awards at division level
Bronze Star for awards at regimental level

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  • 2 weeks later...


There were several companies which manufactured this medal over the years, and it may not be that anyone has ever tried to match strikings with individual companies - thus I suppose it would be difficult to give a specific die detail to point to a manufactured location (France, Vietnam, US, or other if there were others such as Japan, China, Taiwan, Australia, etc)

Generally the local Vietnam made medals were cruder.

From "The Decorations and and Medals of the Republic of Vietnam" by John Sylvester Jr. and Frank Foster:

Vietnamese-made versions vary much in quality. French-made versions are heavier and well made. One US-made version has the tips of the sabers straight, the heads of the dragons reduced to a few lines, and the arms of the cross with a small plain margin between the thin edge rim and the pebbled design. US-made palms and stars are sometimes much smaller than Vietnamese and French-made palms and star devides. A Japanese-made Gallentry Cross is of a brassy metal, with the ribbon in the center mistakenly reading KQUỐC GIA LAO-TƯƠNG.



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