World War I Victory Medal (United States): Wikis

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World War I Victory Medal
Ww1vm.gif
World War I Victory Medal
Awarded by Department of the Army
Department of the Navy
Type Medal
Eligibility served in the armed forces between the following dates, in the following locations:
  • April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918 for any military service.
  • November 12, 1918, to August 5, 1919 for service in European Russia
  • November 23, 1918, to April 1, 1920 for service with the American Expeditionary Force Siberia
World War I Victory Medal ribbon.svg

Streamer WWI V.PNG

The World War I Victory Medal is a decoration of the United States military which was first created in 1919, designed by James Earle Fraser. The medal was originally intended to be created by an act of the United States Congress, however the bill authorizing the decoration never passed, leaving the service departments to create the award through general orders. The United States Army published orders authorizing the World War I Victory Medal in April 1919 and the U.S. Navy followed in June of that same year.

Contents

Criteria

Originally known simply as the “Victory Medal”, the World War I Victory Medal was awarded to any member of the U.S. military who had served in the armed forces between the following dates, in the following locations:

In 1945, the World War II Victory Medal was created as the “Victory Ribbon”. Between 1945 and 1947, the two awards were known as the “Victory Medal” and the “Victory Ribbon”. In 1947, when the Victory Ribbon became a full-sized medal as the World War II Victory Medal, the World War I Victory Medal adopted its current name. However, some military records as late as the 1950s continued to annotate the decoration by its previous name, and the medal was often referred to as “Victory Medal (WWI)”.

Devices

To denote battle participation and campaign credit, the World War I Victory was authorized with a large variety of devices to denote specific accomplishments. In order of seniority, the devices authorized to the World War I Victory Medal were as follows:

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Silver Citation Star

The Silver Citation Star to the World War I Victory Medal was authorized by the United States Congress on February 4, 1919. A silver star was authorized to be worn on the ribbon of the Victory Medal for any member of the U.S. Army who had been cited for gallantry in action between 1917 and 1920. In 1932, the Silver Citation Star was redesigned and renamed the Silver Star and, upon application to the United States War Department, any holder of the Silver Citation Star could have it converted to a Silver Star Medal.

Navy Commendation Star

The Navy Commendation Star was authorized to any person who had been commeneded by the Secretary of the Navy for performance of duty during the First World War. The Navy Commendation Star was worn as a silver star on the World War I Victory Medal, identical in appearance to the Army’s Silver Citation Star. Unlike the Army’s version, however, the Navy Commendation Star could not be upgraded to the Silver Star medal. (Reference - Navy and Marine Corps Awards Manual, NAVPERS 15,790 Rev. 1953.)

Army Battle Clasps

The following battle clasps, inscribed with a battle's name, were worn on the medal to denote participation in major ground conflicts.

For general defense service, not involving a specific battle, the "Defensive Sector" Battle Clasp was authorized. The clasp was also awarded for any battle which was not already recognized by its own battle clasp.

Navy Battle Clasps

Navy battle clasps were issued for naval service in support of army operations and had identical names to the army battle clasps. There was a slight variation of the criteria dates for the Navy battle clasps, as listed below.

  • Aisne (June 1-5, 1918)
  • Aisne-Marne (July 18-20, 1918)
  • Meuse-Argonne (September 29 to October 10, 1918, and October 25 to November 11, 1918)
  • St. Mihiel (September 12-16, 1918)
  • Ypres-Lys (Service in support of the Northern Bombing Group)

The Defensive Sector clasp was also authorized for Navy personnel who had participated in naval combat but were not authorized a particular battle clasp.

Navy Operational Clasps

For sea related war duty, the Navy issued the following operational clasps, which were worn on the World War I Victory Medal and inscribed with the name of the duty type which had been performed:

  • Armed Guard: For merchant personnel (freighters, tankers, and troop ship) between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918.
  • Asiatic: For service on any vessel that visited a Siberian port between the dates of April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918 and from November 12, 1918, and March 30, 1920. For the second period of service, the port visit must have exceeded ten days in length.
  • Atlantic Fleet: For service in the Atlantic Fleet between May 25 and November 11, 1918.
  • Aviation: For service involving flying over the Atlantic Ocean between the dates of May 25 and November 11, 1918.
  • Destroyer: For service on destroyers on the Atlantic Ocean between May 25, 1918, and November 11, 1918.
  • Escort: For personnel regularly attached to escort vessels on the North Atlantic between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918.
  • Grand Fleet: For personnel assigned to any ship of the “United States Grand Fleet” between December 9, 1917, and November 11, 1918.
  • Mine Laying: For service in mine laying sea duty between the dates of May 26 to November 11, 1918.
  • Mine Sweeping: For service in mine sweeping sea duty between April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918.
  • Mobile Base: For service on tenders and repair vessels between April 6, 1917, and November 11, 1918.
  • Naval Battery: For service as a member of a naval battery detachment between July 10 and November 11, 1918.
  • Overseas: For service on shore in allied or enemy countries of Europe from April 6, 1918, to November 11, 1918.
  • Patrol: For any war patrol service on the Atlantic Ocean between the dates of May 25 and November 11, 1918.
  • Salvage: For salvage duty performed on the seas between April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918.
  • Submarine: For submarine duty performed on the Atlantic Ocean between May 25 and November 11, 1918.
  • Submarine Chaser: For anti-submarine duty performed on the Atlantic Ocean between May 18 and November 11, 1918.
  • Transport: For personnel regularly attached to a transport or cargo vessel between the dates of April 6, 1917 and November 11, 1918.
  • White Sea: For service on any vessel which visited a Russian port or performed war patrols in the White Sea not less than ten days between November 12, 1918 and July 31, 1919.

Army Service Clasps

For non-combat service with the Army during the First World War, the following service clasps were authorized to be worn with the World War I Victory Medal. Each service claps was inscribed with a country or region name where support service was performed. The U.S. Army issued the following service clasps:

  • England (April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918)
  • France (April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918)
  • Italy (April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918)
  • Russia (Any service)
  • Siberia (Any service)

Navy Service Clasps

The U.S. Navy issued similar service clasps to the Army for service in the following regions during the following periods:

  • England (April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918)
  • France (April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918)
  • Italy (April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918)
  • Russia (November 12, 1918 to July 31, 1919)
  • Siberia (November 12, 1918 to March 30, 1920)
  • West Indies (April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918)

Campaign Stars

Since battle and service clasps could only be worn on the full-sized World War I Victory Medal, bronze service stars were authorized for wear on the award ribbon. This was the common method of campaign and battle display when wearing the World War I Victory Medal as a ribbon on a military uniform.

An International Award

Not only did the United States issue a Victory Medal, but so did a significant number of Allied and associated countries involved in the conflict against the Austro-German alliance. The proposition of such a common award was first made by French Maréchal Ferdinand Foch who was supreme commander of the Allied Forces during the First World War. Each medal in bronze has the same diameter (36 mm) and ribbon (double rainbow), but with a national design representing a winged victory.[1]

Country Designer Manufacturer Number issued
Belgium Paul Du Bois (1859-1938) ----- 300 000 - 350 000
Brazil Jorge Soubre (1890-1934)
  • Casa Da Moeda RIO
approximately 2 500
Cuba Charles Charles
  • Etablissements Chobillon
6 000 - 7 000
Czechoslovakia Otakar Španiel (1881-1955)
  • Kremnice Mint
approximately 89 500
France Pierre-Alexandre Morlon (1878 - 1951)
  • Monnaie de Paris
approximately 2 000 000
France[2] Charles Charles
  • Etablissements Chobillon
-----
France[3]
  • M. Pautot
  • Louis Octave Mattei
----- -----
Great Britain[4] William McMillan (1887–1977)
  • Woolwich Arsenal
  • Wright & Son
6 334 522 plus
Greece Henry-Eugène Nocq (1868-1944)
  • V. Canale
approximately 200 000
Italy Gaetano Orsolini (1884-1954)
  • Sacchini-Milano
  • S.Johnson-Milano
  • F.M.Lorioli & Castelli-Milano
approximately 2 000 000
Japan[5] Masakishi Hata
  • Osaka Mint
approximately 700 000
Poland[6] .... Vlaitov
  • Mint Kremnica
-----
Portugal João Da Silva (1880-1960)
  • Da Costa
approximately 100 000
Rumania .... Kristesko ----- approximately 300 000
Siam (Thailand) Itthithepsan Kritakara (1890-1935) ----- approximately 1 500
South Africa[7] William McMillan (1887–1977)
  • Woolwich Arsenal
approximately 75 000
United States James Earle Fraser (1876-1953)
  • Arts Metal Works Inc.
  • S.G.Adams Stamp & Stationary Co.
  • Jos. Mayer Inc.
approximately 2 500 000

(Main source : ‘’The interallied victory medals of world war I’’ by Alexander J. Laslo, Dorado Publishing, Albuquerque. 1986 Edition )

Notes

  1. ^ Except Japan and Siam where the concept of a winged victory was not culturally relevant.
  2. ^ Unofficial type.
  3. ^ Unofficial type.
  4. ^ Awarded not only to British combatants but as well to those from the dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and those from the Empire of India.
  5. ^ On the obverse the winged figure of Victory was replaced by a warrior holding a spear.
  6. ^ For reasons still not known, Poland did not proceed with the manufacture of the medal at their mint. The medal shows a clearly visible “MK” ( Mint Kremnica). The medal may possibly be an unofficial strike by a veteran’s group.
  7. ^ The text on the reverse is in English and Dutch.

See also


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