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WWI Victory Medal question


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#1 MurfreesboroMemphis

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 12:19 PM

Does anyone have a list of all of the issued/authorized bars for the victory medals and what dates/geographic areas qualify for their wear? Hope this question is clear. Thanks.

-Will

#2 Johnnymac

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 12:48 PM

Here is the clasps and the order in which they would have been issued: Cambrai, Somme, Defensive, Lys, Aisne, Montdidier-Noyon, Champagne-Marne, Aisne-Marne, Somme, Offensive, Oise-Aisne, Ypres-Lys, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, Vittorio-Veneto and Defensive Sector

 

 

Cambrai - November 20, 1917 through December 4, 1917.
Somme, Defensive - March 21, 1918 through April 6, 1918.
Lys - April 9, 1918 through April 27, 1918.
Aisne (on the Chemin des Dames and the northeast) - May 27, 1918 through June 5, 1918.
Montdidier-Noyon - June 9, 1918 through June 13, 1918.
Champagne-Marne - July 15, 1918 through July 18, 1918.
Aisne-Marne - July 18, 1918 through August 6, 1918.
Somme, Offensive - August 18, 1918 through November 8, 1918.
Oise-Aisne - August 18, 1918 through November 11, 1918.
Ypres-Lys - August 19, 1918 through November 11, 1918.
St. Mihiel - September 12, 1918 through September 16, 1918.
Meuse-Argonne - September 26, 1918 through November 11, 1918.
Vittorio-Veneto - October 24, 1918 through November 4, 1918.
Defensive Sector – November 20, 1917 through to November 11, 1918.



#3 emccomas

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 02:10 PM

Probably more than you want to know...

 

The U.S. Army authorized a number of clasps to be affixed to the ribbon of the WWI Victory Medal to denote service or combat in various fields or areas.  A listing of the various clasps, and the dates service qualified for the specific clasp is listed below:

 

COMBAT CLASP
A Combat Clasp is denoted by having a star at either end of the bar.  Also included is the number of days the particular battle lasted. and the number of KNOWN Divisions or Regiments involved.  A Regiment is roughly up to 5,000 soldiers, while a Division is approximately 15,000 soldiers.  This will give a rough indication of the scarcity of each Combat Clasp listed.

 

Days of Combat = DoC

 

Cambrai:                       May 20 to December 4, 1917                (198 DoC - 3 Regiments)
Somme Defensive:      March 21 to April 6, 1918                      (16 DoC - 1 Regiment)
Lys:                                 April 9 to 27, 1918                                   (18 DoC - Units from 4 Divisions)
Aisne:                            May 27 to June 5, 1918                           (9 DoC - 2 Divisions)
Montdidier-Noyon:    June 9 to 13, 1918                                    (4 DoC - 1 Division)
Champagne-Marne:   July 18 to August 6, 1918                        (19 DoC - 4 Divisions)
Aisne-Marne:               July 18 to August 6, 1918                       (19 DoC - 8 Divisions)
Somme Offensive:      August 8 to November 11, 1918           (95 DoC - 3 Divisions)
Oise-Aisne:                  August 18 to November 11, 1918          (85 DoC - 3 Divisions)
Ypres-Lys:                     August 19 to November 11, 1918         (84 DoC - 4 Divisions)
St. Mihiel:                    September 12 to 16, 1918                      (4 DoC - 13 Divisions)
Meuse-Argonne:        September 26 to November 11, 1918  (46 DoC - 25 Divisions)
Vittorio-Veneto:        October 24 to November 4, 1918          (11 DoC - 1 Regiment)

Defensive Sector:      For participation in any 'minor' battle that is not honored with any of the above 'named' Combat Clasps:   April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918 (584 Eligible Days - Typically for 1 Day of Combat - 2 Divisions, plus anyone engaged or wounded in combat)

 

SERVICE CLASP
A Service Clasp is denoted by not having stars on the ends of the clasp.  Again, the KNOWN number of eligible units are indicated).  Service Clasps were given basically "for being there".

 

England:    April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918 (References state ±30,100 issued)
France:      April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918 (12 Divisions - References state ±621,000 issued)
Italy:          April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918 (Support units from the 83rd Division –

                                                                                     References state ±4,800 issued)
Russia:       Any service in European Russia (3 Battalion to Regiment sized units from the 85th

                   Division - References state ±9,000 issued)
Siberia:     Any service in Siberia or Asian Russia (Volunteers from 5 Regiments – References

                  state ±9,000 issued)

 

The US Selective Service Records indicate 2,810,296 individuals were inducted during WWI, of which ±62,000 served in the US Navy.  As nearly 2,000,000 American servicemen in the A.E.F. (American Expeditionary Force) had reached Europe (primarily France) prior to the cessation of hostilities on November 11th, 1918, and the approximate issue of Medals with a Service Clasp (from above) was ±673,000, this means ±1,326,000 WWI Victory Medals were issued with one (or more) Combat Clasps, and ±748,000 were issued with no clasps, indicating stateside service only.

 

Unlike the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, the U.S. Army did allow the wearing of multiple Combat Clasps.  If an individual qualified to wear more than one clasp, the recipient was allowed to wear the clasp.  The exception being the wearing of a Service Clasp and a Combat Clasp.  A Combat Clasp is presumed to take precedence over a Service Clasp, so therefore, if anyone was authorized a Combat Clasp, they receive that instead of a Service Clasp. 

 

The most common way to upgrade to a Battle Clasp was to be awarded the Defensive Sector Clasp for being wounded.  Bottom line - any offering of a multi-clasp medal with Service and Battle Clasps combined are made-up combinations.  Also, the U.S. Army did not allow the wearing of multiple Service Clasps - if you were eligible for two Service Clasps, you only got to choose one for award and wearing.  That leaves the question of which combination of Combat Clasps are legitimate?  Not every clasp can be worn together.  Some are date exclusive, especially for Infantry or Marine units - you were either at one battle, or the other.  For example, you will never see an Infantry unit with the Oise-Aisne and Ypres-Lys Battle Clasps together (however an Artillery unit, which spanned both battle fronts, DID receive this unusual combination).

 

The following is a list of the authorized clasps for the larger Army units raised during WWI.  Remember to add the Defensive Sector Battle Clasp mentally to every unit authorized any Battle Clasps.  If a unit was only eligible for the Defensive Sector Battle Clasp, then it will be the only clasp listed.  Also remember - this is a listing of UNIT eligibility.  For specific INDIVIDUALS, they would have had to participate in every specific battle honored with a Battle Clasp to earn the right to wear that clasp.

 

With this knowledge, it is obvious that the most Battle Clasps an individual could have earned on any one medal is seven (by personnel in the 3rd Division, 6th Engineers).  Realistically, anything above three Battle Clasps is an outstanding accomplishment, by WWI standards.  With this list, you should have a start in identifying which unit the recipient of the medal with multiple clasps served in, as certain combinations will only be found within certain units.  If a Battle or Service Clasp is UNIQUE to a unit - it will be denoted with a *U* following the name of the clasp.

 

1st Division
 Montdidier-Noyon - *U*
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

2nd Division
 Aisne
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

3rd Division (Most of Division - exceptions follow)
 Aisne
 Champagne-Marne
 Aisne-Marne
 Meuse-Argonne

3rd Division, 3rd Ammunition Train
 Ineligible for Aisne

 

3rd Division, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade
 Add - St. Mihiel
 Ineligible for Aisne

 

3rd Division, 7th Machine Gun Battalion
 Add - St. Mihiel

 

3rd Division, 6th Engineers Regiment
 Add - St. Mihiel
 Add - Somme Defensive

 

4th Division (Most of Division - exception follows)
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

4th Division, 4th Field Artillery Brigade, 77th Field Artillery Battery
 Ineligible for Aisne-Marne

 

5th Division (Most of Division - exception follows)
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

5th Division, 5th Field Artillery Brigade
 Ineligible for Meuse-Argonne

 

6th Division
 Meuse-Argonne

7th Division
 Meuse-Argonne

 

8th Division
 No Clasps Authorized

 

26th Division
 Champagne-Marne
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

27th Division (Most of Division - exception follows)
 Ypres-Lys
 Somme Offensive

 

27th Division, 52nd Field Artillery Brigade
 Add - Meuse-Argonne
 Ineligible for Ypres-Lys
 Ineligible for Somme Offensive

 

28th Division (Most of Division - exception follows)
 Champagne-Marne
 Aisne-Marne
 Oise-Aisne
 Meuse-Argonne

 

28th Division, 53rd Artillery Brigade
 Add - Ypres-Lys
 Ineligible for Champagne-Marne
 Ineligible for Aisne-Marne

 

29th Division
 Meuse-Argonne

 

30th Division
 Ypres-Lys
 Somme Offensive

 

31st Division
 France Service Clasp

 

32nd Division
 Aisne-Marne
 Oise-Aisne
 Meuse-Argonne

 

33rd Division (Most of Division - exception follows)
 Somme Offensive
 Meuse-Argonne

 

33rd Division, 58th Field Artillery Brigade
 Add - St. Mihiel
 Ineligible for Somme Offensive

 

34th Division
 France Service Clasp

 

35th Division (Most of Division - exception follows)
 Meuse-Argonne

 

35th Division, 60th Field Artillery and the 69th and 70th Infantry Brigades, 110th Engineers, and the 110th Field Signal and 128th Machine Gun Battalions
 Add - St. Mihiel

 

36th Division (Most of Division - exception follows)
 Meuse-Argonne

 

36th Division, 111th Engineers
 Add - St. Mihiel

 

37th Division (Most of Division - exception follows)
 Meuse-Argonne
 Ypres-Lys

 

37th Division, 62nd Field Artillery Brigade
 Ineligible for Ypres-Lys

38th Division
 France Service Clasp

 

39th Division
 France Service Clasp

 

40th Division
 France Service Clasp

 

41st Division
 France Service Clasp

42nd Division
 Champagne-Marne

 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

76th Division
 France Service Clasp

 

77th Division
 Oise-Aisne
 Meuse-Argonne

 

78th Division
 Meuse-Argonne
 St. Mihiel

 

79th Division
 Meuse-Argonne

 

80th Division (Most of Division - exceptions follow)
 Meuse-Argonne

 

80th Division, 159th and 160th Infantry Brigades, 305th Engineers, and the 305th field Signal and 313th Machine Gun Battalions
 Add - St. Mihiel

 

80th Division, No Specific Unit Cited - Possibly entire Division
(Reference: G.O. #75, G.H.Q., A.E.F., May 2nd, 1919)
 Add - Somme Offensive

 

81st Division
 Meuse-Argonne

 

82nd Division
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

83rd Division
 France Service Clasp

 

84th Division
 France Service Clasp

85th Division
 France Service Clasp

 

85th Division. 1st Battalion
 Russia Service Clasp

 

85th Division, 339th Infantry Regiment
 Russia Service Clasp

 

85th Division, 310th Engineer Train
 Russia Service Clasp

 

86th Division
 France Service Clasp

 

87th Division
 France Service Clasp

 

88th Division
 Meuse-Argonne

89th Division (Most of Division - exception follows)
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

89th Division, 164th Field Artillery Brigade
 Defensive Sector only
 Ineligible for St. Mihiel
 Ineligible for Meuse-Argonne

 

90th Division
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

91st Division
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne
 Ypres-Lys

 

92nd Division
Meuse-Argonne

 

93rd Division
No Clasps Authorized* (See Footnote Below)

11th Engineer Regiment
 Cambrai

 

12th Infantry Regiment (Few Volunteers)
 Siberia Service Clasp

 

12th Engineer Regiment
 Cambrai

 

13th Infantry Regiment (Many Volunteers)
 Siberia Service Clasp

 

14th Engineer Regiment
 Cambrai

 

27th Infantry Regiment
 Siberia Service Clasp

 

31st Infantry Regiment
 Siberia Service Clasp

 

62nd Infantry Regiment (Many Volunteers)
 Siberia Service Clasp

 

332nd Infantry Regiment
 Vittorio-Veneto - *U*

 

369th Infantry Regiment
 Champagne-Marne
 Aisne-Marne
 Meuse-Argonne

 

370th Infantry Regiment
 St. Mihiel
 Oise-Aisne

 

371st Infantry Regiment
 Meuse-Argonne

 

57th Field Artillery Brigade
 Aisne-Marne
 Oise-Marne
 Meuse-Argonne

66th Field Artillery Brigade
 Champagne-Marne
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

158 Field Artillery Brigade and the 3rd Corps Artillery Park
 Meuse-Argonne

 

1st Corps Artillery Park
 Champagne-Marne
 Aisne-Marne
 Oise-Marne
 Meuse-Argonne
 
2nd Corps Artillery Park
 Aisne-Marne
 Oise-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

4th Corps Artillery Park and the 58th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps
 Defensive Sector

 

1st Army Artillery Park plus the 43rd, 51st, 53rd, 57th, 59th, 60th, and the 65th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

42nd Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps
 Champagne-Marne

 

44th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps
 Champagne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

52nd Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps, the 1st Gas Regiment, and the 1st Battalion, Trench Artillery
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

55th and 56th Artillery, Coast Artillery Corps
 Oise-Marne
 Meuse-Argonne

2nd Cavalry Division
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

1st and 2nd Antiaircraft Battalion plus the 1st and 2nd Antiaircraft Machine Gun Battalion
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

115th and the 301st Field Signal Battalion
 Defensive Sector

 

308th Field Signal Battalion
 Aisne-Marne
 Oise-Marne
 Meuse-Argonne

 

310th Field Signal Battalion
 St. Mihiel

 

317th and the 319th Field Signal Battalion
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

318th Field Signal Battalion
 Somme Offensive

 

322nd Field Signal Battalion
 Champagne-Marne
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

11th Engineers (Standard Gauge RR)
 Lys

 

12th Engineers (Light RR)
 Somme Defensive

 

13th Engineers (Standard Gauge RR) plus the 115th Engineers
 Defensive Sector

14th Engineers (Light RR)
 Somme Defensive
 Aisne-Marne
 Oise-Marne
 Meuse-Argonne

 

15th Engineers (Standard Gauge RR) and the 21st Engineers (Light RR) plus Independent Engineers - 23rd (Highway), 24th (Supply & Shop), 26th (Water Supply), 28th (Quarry), 37th (Electrical & Mechanical), 56th (Searchlight), 310th, and the 602nd
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

16th Engineers (Standard Gauge RR)
 Lys
 Meuse-Argonne

 

22nd Engineers (Light RR) plus Independent Engineers - 25th (Construction), 27th (Mining), 114th, 603rd, and the 604th
 Meuse-Argonne

 

Independent Engineers - 29th (Survey & Print) and the 40th (Camouflage)
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

301st Engineers
 St. Mihiel

 

308th Engineers
 Aisne-Marne
 Oise-Marne
 Meuse-Argonne

 

1st Pioneer Infantry
 Aisne-Marne
 Oise-Aisne
 Meuse-Argonne

 

3rd, 52nd, 54th, 56th, 59th, 802nd, 805th, 806th, 807th, and the 808th Pioneer Infantry
 Meuse-Argonne

 

51st Pioneer Infantry
 St. Mihiel

53rd Pioneer Infantry
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse Argonne

 

803rd and the 804th Pioneer Infantry
 Defensive Sector

 

51st, 409th, 417th, and the 419th Telegraph Battalion
 Defensive Sector

 

52nd Telegraph Battalion
 Aisne-Marne
 Oise-Marne
 Meuse-Argonne

 

55th and the 401st Telegraph Battalion
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

406th and the 411th Telegraph Battalion
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

412th Telegraph Battalion
 Ypres-Lys
 Somme Offensive

 

301st Battalion, Tank Corps
 Somme Offensive

 

344th and the 345th Battalion, Tank Corps
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

1st Corps Observation Group (Most of Group - exception follows)
 Champagne-Marne
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

1st Corps Observation Group, 50th Squadron
 Ineligible for Champagne-Marne
 Ineligible for Aisne-Marne

3rd Corps Observation Group (Most of Group - exceptions follow)
 Champagne-Marne
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

3rd Corps Observation Group, 90th Squadron
 Ineligible for Champagne-Marne
 Ineligible for Aisne-Marne

 

3rd Corps Observation Group, 199th Squadron
 Ineligible for Champagne-Marne
 Ineligible for Aisne-Marne
 Ineligible for St. Mihiel

 

4th Corps Observation Group (Most of Group - exception follows)
 St. Mihiel

 

4th Corps Observation Group, 168th Squadron
 Defensive Sector Only
 Ineligible for St. Mihiel

 

5th Corps Observation Group plus 1st Army Observation Group (Most of Group - exception follows) and the 1st Day Bombardment Group (Most of Group - exception follows)
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

1st Army Observation Group, 186th Squadron and the 1st Day Bombardment Group, 166th Squadron
 Ineligible for St. Mihiel

 

6th and 7th Corps Observation Group, plus the 2nd Day Bombardment Group
 Defensive Sector

 

1st Pursuit Group (Most of Group - exceptions follow)
 Champagne-Marne
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

1st Pursuit Group, 185th Squadron
 Ineligible for Champagne-Marne
 Ineligible for Aisne-Marne
 Ineligible for St. Mihiel

1st Pursuit Group, 4th Air Park
 Ineligible for Champagne-Marne
 Ineligible for Aisne-Marne

 

2nd Pursuit Group (Most of Group - exceptions follow)
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

2nd Pursuit Group, 22nd Squadron
 Add - Somme Defensive

2nd Pursuit Group, 5th Air Park
 Ineligible for St. Mihiel

 

3rd Pursuit Group (Most of Group - exception follows)
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

3rd Pursuit Group. 28th Squadron
 Add - Somme Defensive
 Add – Lys

 

4th Pursuit Group (Most of Group - exceptions follow)
 Somme Defensive
 Somme Offensive

 

4th Pursuit Group, 141st Squadron and the 6th Air Park
 Defensive Sector only
 Ineligible for Somme Defensive
 Ineligible for Somme Offensive

 

1st Corps Balloon Group (Most of Group - exceptions follow)
 Aisne-Marne
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

1st Corps Balloon Group, 2nd Balloon Company
 Add - Champagne-Marne

 

1st Corps Balloon Group, 5th Balloon Company
 Ineligible for Aisne-Marne

 

3rd Corps Balloon Group (Most of Group - exceptions follow) and all of the 5th Corps Balloon Group, Army Balloons - 1st Army, and 3rd Air Park
 St. Mihiel
 Meuse-Argonne

 

3rd Corps Balloon Group, 4th Balloon Company
 Add - Aisne-Marne
 Ineligible for St. Mihiel

 

4th Corps Balloon Group (Most of Group - exceptions follow)
 Defensive Sector

 

4th Corps Balloon Group, 69th Balloon Company
 Add - St. Mihiel

 

6th Corps Balloon Group
 St. Mihiel

 

There has yet to be identified any specific unit authorized the England or Italy Service Clasps.  For Italy, however, it is most likely to be units from the 83rd Division in support of the 332nd Infantry Regiment.

 

* A sad commentary on the mindset of the times.  President Wilson and General Pershing had demanded all American units be kept under American command, much to the chagrin of our Allies who wished to piecemeal plug in American units as they arrived, wherever they were "needed".  This is a precedent that has continued to this day.  However, as a "colored" (read that as expendable) unit, the 93rd Division was "allowed" to be placed under French command for the duration of the war.  Because they were not under "American" command during the war, they were deemed ineligible for ANY clasp that would have been normally issued to any other unit, be it Combat or Service.  It is an inequity that has not been corrected to this day.

 

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:

       

 

Country or Region

Start Date

End Date

 

England

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918

       

France

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918

       

Italy

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918

       

Russia (Any service)

           

Siberia (Any service)

                                 

 

Navy Battle Clasps

Start Date

End Date

 

Armed Guard: Merchant personnel

(freighters, tankers, and troop ship)

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918

Asiatic: Service on any vessel that visited a Siberian port

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918

Asiatic: Port visit must have exceeded ten days in length

12 Nov 1918

30 Mar 1920

Atlantic Fleet: Service in the Atlantic Fleet

25 May 1918

11 Nov 1918

Aviation: Service involving flying over the Atlantic Ocean

25 May 1918

11 Nov 1918

Destroyer: Service on destroyers on the Atlantic Ocean

25 May 1918

11 Nov 1918

Escort: Personnel regularly attached to escort vessels

on the North Atlantic

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918

Grand Fleet: Personnel assigned to any ship of the “United States Grand Fleet”

  9 Dec 1917

11 Nov 1918

Mine Laying: Service in mine laying sea duty

26 May 1918

11 Nov 1918

Mine Sweeping: Service in mine sweeping sea duty

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918

Mobile Base: Service on tenders and repair vessels

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918

Naval Battery: Service as a member of a naval battery detachment

10 Jul 1918

11 Nov 1918

Overseas: Service on shore in allied or enemy countries of Europe

  6 Apr 1918

11 Nov 1918

Patrol: War patrol service on the Atlantic Ocean

25 May 1918

11 Nov 1918

Salvage: Salvage duty performed on the seas

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918

Submarine: Submarine duty performed on the Atlantic Ocean

25 May 1918

11 Nov 1918

Submarine Chaser: Anti-submarine duty performed on the Atlantic Ocean

18 May 1918

11 Nov 1918

Transport: Personnel regularly attached to a transport or cargo vessel

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918

White Sea: Service on any vessel which visited a Russian port or war patrols in the White Sea not less than ten days

12 Nov 1918

31 Jul 1919

           

 


 

Navy Service Clasp

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

Region

Start Date

End Date

England

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918

France

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918

 Italy

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918

Russia

12 Nov 1918

31 Jul 1919

Siberia

12 Nov 1918

30 Mar 1920

West Indies

  6 Apr 1917

11 Nov 1918



#4 Johnnymac

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 02:59 PM

THIS PART THIS POST #3 TOTALLY UNTRUE

 

"A sad commentary on the mindset of the times.  President Wilson and General Pershing had demanded all American units be kept under American command, much to the chagrin of our Allies who wished to piecemeal plug in American units as they arrived, wherever they were "needed".  This is a precedent that has continued to this day.  However, as a "colored" (read that as expendable) unit, the 93rd Division was "allowed" to be placed under French command for the duration of the war.  Because they were not under "American" command during the war, they were deemed ineligible for ANY clasp that would have been normally issued to any other unit, be it Combat or Service.  It is an inequity that has not been corrected to this day."

 

THIS IS FROM MY BOOK

 

The book, Battle Participation of Organizations of the American Expeditionary Force in France, Belgium and Italy, 1917-1918, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1920 listed the battles and campaigns of the 93rd Division (provisional). There are many other books that list the 93rd and their clasps. 

Some people have expressed the belief that the 93rd Division was not entitled to any Battle clasps on their Victory Medal because they were under French command. Thus far, I have been unable to find any official documents supporting that statement. The facts tell a completely different story.
An extract from the Annual Report of the Secretary of War to the President, War Department fiscal year ended June 30, 1923, Government Printing Office, p. 162-174, reveals that the 93rd Division, 369th and 370th Infantry Regiments (colored), were awarded some of the nation's highest awards: 1 Medal of Honor, 75 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 1 Distinguished Service Medal.

 

Yet, for some unfathomable reason, it is to be believed that they would not have been entitled to battles clasps on their medals? This logic strains credulity when the only reason given is that they served under the command of the French Army. There are numerous examples of other units serving under Allied commands, which were "on loan" from General Perishing. The 1st Gas and Flame received their training in combat, while under British command at the battle of Lys. The 131st Infantry Regiment, which was part of the 33rd Division saw combat under the command of Australian General, Sir John Monash. The 27th and 30th Divisions, A.E.F., after completion of their training remained with the British 4th Army until the end of the war. The 332nd Infantry Regiment and support units were placed under Italian command. The U.S. Navy's Grand Fleet was under Admiral Sir David Beatty, Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Fleet.

 

Yet another rationale that has been offered to support this belief is that servicemen of 93rd Division wore the French-issued Adrian helmet and used the French Label rifle. While this may be true, it must also be said that they still wore the U.S. "doughboy" uniforms while attached to the French command. This practice was not uncommon, as seen with the U.S. Army 27th and 30th Divisions that used the arms of the command with whom they served, the British Mk. III, Lee-Enfield rifle until they were returned to U.S. Army. This list could go on, and on. 

The soldiers, sailors and marines sent to Russia and Siberia carried Russian rifles. The illustration below shows a sailor and a soldier bearing Russian rifles. The troops sent to Russia and Siberia were armed with the Russian M1916 Mosin Nagant rifle because there may have been a shortage of the U.S. Springfield rifle and Colt 1911 pistol, and the necessary ammunition for them,. Two United States companies, Remington and Westinghouse, manufactured the Russian rifles, which were dispatched to Murmansk, Archangel and Vladivostok during the Red/White Russian Civil War. The U.S. made Mosin Nagant rifles were also issued to British and French troops, as part of the same expedition, known as the Polar Bear Expedition. The mission in Russia was to prevent the German government from obtaining Allied military goods from Russia, and to remove the Bolsheviks from control of the Russian government.



#5 Johnnymac

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 03:23 PM

The pictorial record of the 27th division" these two are from the own history book

SoldierWhoWonDistinctionAndTroopsIn.jpg InfantryAdvancingWithTank.jpg



#6 emccomas

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 04:16 PM

Johnnymac;

 

I wondered about that very statement, which came from Wikipedia.  My question is, do you have evidence that members of the 93rd Div were awarded the WWI Victory Medal with battle clasps.

 

One such award would put this statement to rest forever.



#7 RustyCanteen

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 04:43 PM

Just a random quick note regarding the Cambrai clasp; I totaled it up once, but off the top of my head the three Engineer regiments only had about 1,800-2,200 men per regiment at the time of the campaign. Some didn't see their manpower boosted until the drafted men arrived in 1918 to supplement the original volunteers.

 

It also seems to me that we have seen one or two clasps to men who were not actually in those regiments, but who were assigned in the area at the time too.



#8 atb

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Posted 22 December 2014 - 05:58 PM

Johnnymac;

 

I wondered about that very statement, which came from Wikipedia.  My question is, do you have evidence that members of the 93rd Div were awarded the WWI Victory Medal with battle clasps.

 

One such award would put this statement to rest forever.

 

I find the assertion that members of the 93 Div received no battle clasps to be weird. The 93 Div did not really exist as a division-- no div HQ or supporting troops were organized, only the two brigades with four regiments of infantry were organized, so, strictly speaking, no one was assigned to a div HQ or other non-infanty units to receive a Victory medal. But, the inf regiments (369, 370,371, 372) received the WW1 Victory Medal with battle clasps. This is reflected in the long reply. Laslo's book is a good one I recommend. 
 


Edited by atb, 22 December 2014 - 06:05 PM.


#9 Johnnymac

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 03:22 AM

Johnnymac;

 

I wondered about that very statement, which came from Wikipedia.  My question is, do you have evidence that members of the 93rd Div were awarded the WWI Victory Medal with battle clasps.

 

One such award would put this statement to rest forever.

To help those who need a little something extra to believe. I highlighted the "battle clasps" earned by 27th Division. They along with the 30th Division served with the British thought the war. Both of these Divisions by their own history and not by a story made up by a writer, state they were under the command of the British Army.

 
I also highlighted a few of the "battle clasps" earned by 28th Division who served under Gen. J.J. Pershing command of the American Army.

 

004b.jpg

 

I next highlighted the unassigned troops and what they were entitled too. First up is the 332nd Infantry, which was sent to Italy and served under the Italian Army command. We all know their Victory medal with the Vittorio-Veneto and Defensive Sector clasps is one of the rarest of the Victory medals. Below them is the 93th Division.
369th Infantry – Champagne-Marne, Asine-Marne, Meuse-Argonne
370th Infantry – Oise-Asine
371th Infantry – Meuse-Argonne
372nd Infantry – Meuse-Argonne

(All soldier at the front in any defensive sector would received the Defensive Sector clasps in addition to any other clasps awarded.)

 

003b.jpg


Edited by Johnnymac, 23 December 2014 - 03:24 AM.


#10 Johnnymac

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 03:56 AM

Will post photos later

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Edited by Johnnymac, 23 December 2014 - 04:03 AM.


#11 emccomas

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 04:14 AM

NIce!  Great info Johnnymac.  Thanks.



#12 Dave

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 06:08 AM

NIce!  Great info Johnnymac.  Thanks.

 

Johnnymac literally wrote the book on WW1 Victory medals. Well worth the money to pick up a copy...

 

http://www.amazon.co...19343651&sr=8-1



#13 MurfreesboroMemphis

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 07:43 AM

This is some excellent information. I was somehow unaware of your book Johnnymac but now that I know, I will definitely be purchasing a copy! I guess finishing up school became too much of a distraction this last year and a half or so and interferred with my hobbies! Thanks everyone for the great discussion and information.

-Will

#14 Usa1918

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 08:31 AM

"With this knowledge, it is obvious that the most Battle Clasps an individual could have earned on any one medal is seven (by personnel in the 3rd Division, 6th Engineers)."

 

As a general rule I believe you are correct, However I believe that Pershing's medal at the Smithsonian has a battle clasp for each battle, and that in Gleim's Medal Letters he writes of finding several high bar victory medals associated with ambulance companies (He associated most with the Ohio area)

 

Keith



#15 Johnnymac

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 09:24 AM

Motor Corps truck drivers can have up to ten battle clasps. Eight and nine clasps are more common.

Interestingly General John J. Pershing does have all 14 battle clasps on his medal. Yet he was not there or, in charge of twelve of the fourteen battles he was awarded.

Starting with the Cambrai battle; the British were the command on the field that day. The U.S. 11th & 12th Engineers were put into a fight or flight situation due to a Germany push. (go back and read about the 93rd Div. I mention earlier.)

Also of interest is, Laslo in his book list General Pershing medal as a type-1 (wire-loop).  Laslo goes on explaining about the Generals medal, ect.  But from the photos I show here, General Perching medal was the type-2.  These photos were sent to me from the Smithsonian. Meaning, Laslo never saw the General's medal when he wrote about it.

 

 

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#16 Johnnymac

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 09:37 AM

1920's August, Army Navy magazine showing the earlier returns on the Victory read the listing from one to fourteen.

 

Jim

 

 

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#17 emccomas

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 11:41 AM

Johnnymac's book is awesome.  Well worth the investment.  Needs to be in every medal collector's library.



#18 Johnnymac

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 12:52 PM

Hello If interested in my book try this site.

 

On this site you can preview some pages from the book and you will find 8 reviews.

 

 

http://www.amazon.co... victory medals


Edited by Johnnymac, 23 December 2014 - 12:55 PM.


#19 tarbridge

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 07:11 AM

A lot of Victory Medal information on this thread...I will pin it for further reference.



#20 mattsmilitary

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 08:44 AM

Super great thread and info.  Im printing it out and putting it with my research stuff.



#21 BigJohn#3RD

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Posted 28 May 2015 - 12:23 PM

Hello If interested in my book try this site.

 

On this site you can preview some pages from the book and you will find 8 reviews.

 

 

http://www.amazon.co... victory medals

To All Out Here,

I recently picked up James’s book and quite literally cannot read it enough. It is truly well done and obviously a passion to put all that he put into it. If you are going to collect any WWI Victory Medals, US or other nations you owe it to yourself to buy this book.

Best regards,

John



#22 dmcneill

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 01:41 PM

WW1servicerecord.jpg Can anyone help with the meaning of "Awarded MCC" on the service record card (please see attached).

 

Does the CC stand for Combat Clasps?  This is record is from my grandfather, a member of the 11th Engineers.

 

Other records we have recognize his involvement in the Cambrai campaign early in the AEF actions.

 

Thanks!



#23 RustyCanteen

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 05:52 PM

Hello and welcome,

 

The 'ERC' shows that he enlisted into the 'Enlisted Reserve Corps' on May 9, 1917. At this time the 11th Engineers did not exist; he enlisted into the 1st Reserve Engineers, which was redesignated the 11th Engineers in July.

 

The 'MCC' stands for Meritorious Citation Certificate; many members of the two engineer regiments (11th & 12th) received these (usually dated 1919). It was a certificate with a facsimile of John J. Pershing's signature at the bottom. In 1932 when the Purple Heart award was instituted, holders of the certificate could exchange it for a Purple Heart (for meritorious service; not wounding). Some did, some didn't. You can probably send off (or hire a researcher who specializes in it) to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in Saint Louis, Mo. to see if they have any record of his AGO 201 award card. The card would be generated if he requested his Purple Heart.

 

 

RC



#24 dmcneill

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Posted 14 November 2015 - 05:13 AM

Hello and welcome,

 

The 'ERC' shows that he enlisted into the 'Enlisted Reserve Corps' on May 9, 1917. At this time the 11th Engineers did not exist; he enlisted into the 1st Reserve Engineers, which was redesignated the 11th Engineers in July.

 

The 'MCC' stands for Meritorious Citation Certificate; many members of the two engineer regiments (11th & 12th) received these (usually dated 1919). It was a certificate with a facsimile of John J. Pershing's signature at the bottom. In 1932 when the Purple Heart award was instituted, holders of the certificate could exchange it for a Purple Heart (for meritorious service; not wounding). Some did, some didn't. You can probably send off (or hire a researcher who specializes in it) to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in Saint Louis, Mo. to see if they have any record of his AGO 201 award card. The card would be generated if he requested his Purple Heart.

 

 

RC

 

RC,  Thank you for this information, it is very much appreciated.  We do still have the certificate with the Pershing signature, so my guess is that he never submitted for the meritorious service purple heart (he was not wounded).

Thanks again, D. McNeill
 



#25 Roystone

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Posted 21 July 2016 - 12:58 AM

I note, from a previous post, that around 748,000 WW1 Victory medals were awarded for Stateside service.

Does this mean that ANY man enlisted and mobilised for service in the Army or Navy at this time was therefore entitled to a medal? Can anybody tell me exactly what the award criteria was for these men?

I am currently researching one Edward A Cordts who served 1898-1919 with (chronogically) 203rd NY Vols, 7th US Cavalry and 12th Cavalry; he qualified/was awarded the Spanish War Service, Cuban Occupation and Mexican Border Service medals. I post his WW1 service card below, and am trying to establish if he also qualified for a WW1 Victory medal too? Can anyone advise?

There must be many medal groups out there to men of this period, who also were entitled to a Victory too....

 

 

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