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US Army Victory Medal WWI


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#26 Tim B

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:23 AM

There certainly are legit medals that got issued without the "Defensive Sector" clasp. Why exactly, is the question, as any combination of battle clasps automatically entitled the wearer to the "DS" clasp.

Considering the number of clasps produced and the fact that "DS" clasps were needed for so many medals, it's possible they ran out of on-hand stock and medals were issued before stock could get replenished. We also see the later production style clasps with pins on the reverse that eventually replaced the initial issue type with wrap around backstrap.

Tim

Here's a couple of examples where the Defensive Sector clasp was not included:

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  • vic_2bar.jpg


#27 Tim B

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:25 AM

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#28 Tim B

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:39 AM

Here's an example of a later "reissue" type of clasp. Note the pin type of attachment vice typical backstrap.

These are completely official and discussed in Laslo's reference. Though the Defensive Sector examples appear to be most commonly seen, they did produce all Army clasps in this reissue style. The earlier ones appear to have kept the "river bronze" finish but I have noted the later production pieces are more gold in color.

Tim

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#29 KurtA

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 04:22 AM

Great examples, Tim. Those boxes/packing slips make the difference between a somewhat "questionable" medal (i.e., weird bar combinations) and a no-doubt-about-it scarce bar combination.
Kurt

#30 Johnnymac

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 06:51 AM

Jim, thanks much.

I have a Victory with a single M-A Clasp. I found it in an antique shop a number of years ago. It has the original brooch, ribbon (shortest offical length) and jump ring. Can not see where it was messed with at all. May not be "right" but looks like this is the way it was issued. We will never know for sure.

Regards,

W


Hi W, I hope this helps,

Nearly half of the U.S. Army had been discharged by April, 1919. On each soldiers discharge is a section for engagements. If a soldier had been discharge between November, 1918 and March, 1919, their discharge might not have anything other than major operation names in that section. But by June, 1920 when the first victory medals were being issued the instructions on how to handle the Vic's was in place and automatic. If a veteran did not want his medal until 30, 40 or even 50 years later, the story changes. Because the people who were now sending out Victory medals did not do so on a daily basis. They no longer knew the rules as they applied to the Defensive Sector battle clasp and how it was to be awarded. Many Generals Orders had been added since 1920, and unless they were familiar with all the changes a clasp could be missed. This is important because nearly all the medals without the Defensive Sector battle clasp appear to be brand new. The Army's Philadelphia Quartermaster Corps had purchased material for 4,000,000 Vic's but used maybe half or three quarters of their supply. Many of these surplus items found their way onto the open markets over the years and who would be in position to purchase these items but unauthorized dealers like George Studley who sold his items at Legion conventions and other shows where veterans gathered.

I want you to think about something. You would have to be in a Defensive Sector, like the front to start in any Offensive battles, like St.Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne.

Jim M.

#31 Wharfmaster

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 07:14 AM

Tim:

Thanks very much for your examples and great photos. Clearly, medals were awarded without the DS clasp. Nice collection. It is always great to get medals complete with their named transmittal boxes.

Best regards,


The Wharfmaster



In Peace and War. US Merchant Marine.

#32 Johnnymac

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 01:04 PM

Thanks very much for your examples and great photos. Clearly, medals were awarded without the DS clasp. Nice collection. It is always great to get medals complete with their named transmittal boxes.

Best regards,
The Wharfmaster
In Peace and War. US Merchant Marine.


Sorry but i was out most of the day.

This page is PC copy would I did a photo copy from the Secretary of War's report to Congress in his annual report for 1920. All the AEF Soldiers "will be entitled to Defensive Sector clasp "irrespective" of awards for major operations."
Gen March issued this order a full 10 months June, 30, 1919, before first Victory medals were issued. So any medal not having a DS was is correct.




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