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Sweden - UNEF Medal

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Gentlemen,

Some years ago I obtained direct from Bichay, late of Cairo,  various medals and these included a UNEF medal - the reverse has the inscription "YK-VAIMOT KAIRO". What does "YK-VAIMOT" mean? Would this be an official Swedish medal for wear or a only a souvenir piece? Also included was Shooting Medal, also by Bichay, with the inscription "UNEF SEP. 65 RIFLE". Sweden supplied troops for the UNEF mission for the whole period of 1956-1967 - see below.

Regards,

Owain 

https://archives.un.org/sites/archives.un.org/files/files/Finding Aids/Missions/ag-034 UNEF 1.pdf 

The first Untied Nations peacekeeping force – was established by the first emergency special session of
the General Assembly which was held from 1 to 10 November 1956. The mandate of the Force was to
secure and supervise the cessation of hostilities, including the withdrawal of the armed forces of France,
Israel and the United Kingdom from Egyptian territory and, after the withdrawal, to serve as a buffer
between the Egyptian and Israeli forces and to provide impartial supervision of the ceasefire. UNEF was
withdrawn in May-June 1967, at Egypt's request. Participating Countries: Brazil (1957-67), Canada
(1956-67), Colombia (1956-58), Denmark (1956-67), Finland (1956-57), India (1956-67), Indonesia
(1957), Norway (1956-67), Sweden (1956-67), Yugoslavia (1956-67), UNTSO Military Observers
(1956-67).
 

 

 

Sweden Egypt Obverse.jpg

Sweden Egypt Reverse.jpg

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Hello Owain!

I think the "YK-VAIMOT"- medal is Finnish. It seems like "YK" is the Finnish abbreviation for UN, and "vaimot" is Finnish for "wives". I'm quite certain that it isn't Swedish - my native language is Swedish! I can't speak for the Finnish medal, but the Swedish medal is not allowed to wear on uniform. In fact I've never even heard of it or seen one until now.

/Jonas

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Jonas, Thanks - I had assumed it was Swedish because of the obverse inscription. If it is 'wives' is it a souvenir to be sent home? I am assuming such tours of UN duty were unaccompanied. I note that Finland was present 1956-57 and on this basis the shooting medal is not related. Is "Swed. Bn." also a Finnish abbreviation? Perhaps is was a prize medal? Regards, Owain

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"Swed Bn" seems like it means Swedish Battalion. I know that "SWEBAT" abbreviation was used in the Balkans, but I can't say which of all the possible spelling alternatives would be correct for the Swedish contribution to UNEF. "Bn" is the American abbreviation for battalion, right? The Swedish military abbreviation would be "bat". I would expect UNTSO to be an accompanied mission - in fact I know it was in the 80's since a former class mate of mine lived for a year in Cairo while his father served in that mission. Could it even be from the 70's and related to UNEF2? But, then, why not a "2" or "II" behind UNEF?

/Jonas

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Jonas, As it came directly from Bichay I am 99% certain it is from the 1950's /1960's and thus not a UNEF II period piece. Of course it may be a trial piece combining the obverse and reverse from two different medals - neither of which was ever formally commissioned. Regards, Owain

P.S. Can the moderator for this forum amend the title to read "Finland /Sweden - UNEF Medal"?

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Owain, looking at the UN badge it looks entirely different on obverse/reverse. So, as you say, a trial piece might be the real truth? The more I look at it, the more questions I have! I'll try to track down a friend who served with the first Swedish UNEF rotation and see if he knows anything, the problem is that he's quite "stuck" into his Congo mission of the '60s...

/Jonas

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Jonas, Yes having the UN badge on both sides seems strange so I am inclined to believe this to be a workshop piece which should not have escaped! Owain

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