At the last AMCA show in January I bought a shoe box of various US medals. There was a cased unnamed PH, BSM plus some decent boxed WW2 campaigns. On the bottom was a no bar WW1 wrap brooch Victory Medal, pretty common. A couple of days later I was looking the medals over a was very pleasantly surprised to find the Victory Medal edge named. Here is the medal.
Pleasant WW1 Victory Medal surprise
Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:39 AM
And here is the naming. Ferdinand B. Waselow Gibraltar
Ferdinand Bertholdt Wanselow enlisted in the navy prior to 15 June 1918, entered the USNA 15 June 1918, commissioned JUne 1922 and resigned his commission 30 August 1922, born 9 Feb 1899 died 19 August 1990.
My question would be what was the US Navy doing in Gibraltar during WW1.
Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:53 AM
AWESOME find, Garth!!
We actually had quite a few US Navy vessels operating from Gibraltar and in the Med during WW1. Considering Gibraltar has been a significant base for Royal Navy operations since before WW1 started, we "piggybacked" on with their base during the WW1 time period. Not only did we have US Navy vessels operating out of there, but we also used it as a logistics point as well. Dear Wikipedia has a good summary of one particular operation around Gibraltar during WW1:
Coast Guard Captain Leroy Reinburg of the USS Druid engaged enemy submarines near the Strait of Gibraltar in November 1918. The Druid was operating as part of the Gibraltar Barrage, a squadron of American and British ships assigned to keeping enemy U-boats from passing from the Mediterranean into the Atlantic. On November 8, 1918, men on board USS Druid sighted three surfaced submarines going through the strait. The weather was foul and the seas rough but the barrage squadron attacked anyway, first with gunfire and then with depth charges. HMS Privet reported that she shot a hole through one of the submarines' conning towers with a 4-inch (100 mm) gun but other than that no other damage was thought to have occurred. USS Druid and her compatriots were successful in defending the strait and on the following day the Americans helped rescue the British crew of the battleship HMS Britannia which had been torpedoed by UB-50 while passing through Gibraltar into the Mediterranean. The war ended three days later on November 11.
Edited by Dave, 25 April 2013 - 09:54 AM.
Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:05 AM
Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:39 PM
Excellent find Garth!
I love it when Lady Luck smiles kindly, especially when it's something as nice as this! This treasure couldn't be in better hands. Thank you for sharing it with us!
Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:49 PM
Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:02 PM
It looks like it had a device mounted on the ribbon at one time? I can see two holes, but the spacing reminds me of the late manufactured campaign bars?
Posted 10 August 2013 - 02:54 PM
Interesting enough Just a week ago or so I received a letter from a gentleman who is the nephew of Ferdinand Wanselow. It seems Mr. Wanselow joined the US Navy in 1916 and was trained as a wireless operator which is what he was doing at Gibraltar. He never graduated from High School but did go onto the US Naval Academy graduating in 1922. While there he was a member of the USNA rowing team which won the gold medal at the 1920 Antwerp Olympics. It seems he was the alternate stroke oar on the 8 man rowing crew. His brother also graduated from the Naval Academy in 1927.
Posted 10 August 2013 - 02:59 PM
Awesome find and great story to go with it. Thanks for sharing.
Posted 11 August 2013 - 04:49 AM
You may want to write or visit the USNA and look in his class yearbook which is called the "Luckly Bag" I believe. There will be a good picture of him and plenty of information about him.
Posted 13 August 2013 - 09:07 AM
The nephew sent me some additional information on Mr. Wanselow. Amazing how interesting a "plain jane" WW1 Victory Medal can be.
Exert from the letter:
"The Wanselow name is extremely rare, I believe there is only one person in the U.S. with that last name. Ferdinand never finished high school and referred to himself as a dropout. The family story is he was expelled. The reason is not clear but it apparently involved a prank which made use of school science equipment. He was very bright and a self learner. His interest was in physical science and he was fascinated by electricity.
Edited by Garth Thompson, 13 August 2013 - 09:07 AM.
Posted 13 August 2013 - 09:40 AM
Posted 13 August 2013 - 09:58 AM
thanks for sharing
Posted 13 August 2013 - 10:01 AM
What a great find! This is why I always check the rims of WWI Vic medals whenever I see them offered for sale.
The letter from the nephew really brings this to life. I think it's great that he was willing to contact you.
Here's the photo of Wanselow pchepurko mentioned, from the 1922 Lucky Bag.
Edited by MasonK, 13 August 2013 - 10:02 AM.
Posted 13 August 2013 - 10:50 AM
Thanks for the great picture and "Lucky Bag" page.
Posted 13 August 2013 - 11:50 AM
Wouldn't Wanselow have qualified for at least the OVERSEAS clasp on his Victory Medal??
Posted 13 August 2013 - 01:47 PM
The command (USNA) would have had to send for the proper medal for all those who were entitled under their command. He at the time (June 1920) was in the USNA He would have received the Victory Medal without a Duty clasp. Second, he might have not even known he was be entitled to a Victory Medal with a "Duty" clasp for early service.
Edited by Johnnymac, 13 August 2013 - 02:14 PM.
Posted 13 August 2013 - 02:20 PM
It looks (to me) like someone placed a clasp on at some point. The two pin holes on the ribbon look about right for a late issue clasp with pins.
Nice medal (and with history)!
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