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Question: Polish medal on post-WWI US Army uniform

Started by CW4AFB , May 01 2011 06:38 AM

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#1 CW4AFB

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 06:38 AM

Gents---I recently picked up a 3rd Army Sergeant's uniform with this medal attached---It appears to be a Polish awarded medal and says
AMERYKI and OSWOBO DZONA POLSKA and apparently some locations or campaigns: LWOW, POMORZL, WOLYN, SZAMPHANJA---any insights or suggestions would be welcome especially from our Polish Forum members.

thanks, Al

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#2 JBFloyd

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 06:51 AM

American Soldiers Medal. Awarded to American volunteers who served in the Polish forces in World War I. There's a white-enamled version, silver version and bronze version. The inscription translates to "Own Soldiers from America Liberated Poland".

#3 jerseygary

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 09:12 AM

I'm not sure how this soldier would have been able to wear this medal. The American volunteers to the Polish Army began being enlisted just before the US entered the war in 1917. The Polish Army was recruited under the guidance of the French and was trained by the Canadians outside Niagra Falls. After we entered the war the US stopped the enlistment of all able bodied men who fit into the requirements of the new draft regulations, but by that time a number of men had been shipped to France where they served breifly on the Champagne Front in 1918. After the war they were shipped to Poland where they fought against Ukrainians, Germans and Lithauanians during the border wars of 1919 and then against the Soviets in the Russo-Polish war of 1920-21. Most of the American volunteers were shipped back in 1921-22.

So anyway, I'm not quite sure how your guy wound up with the medal which was issued to commemorate the US volunteers. He may have been a member before being caught up in the US draft and then sent with the AEF to France. Or he could have been discharged in 1919 and somehow made his way to Poland to enlist. There were many American medical personel in Poland during 1919-21 but I don't think they were issued this medal. There were US pilots in Poland and they were issued this medal, but a much nicer and well-crafted one than this simple version.

What ever the reason, as a historian of the Polish Arm in WWI, I'd love to hear it talk, it must have some great story!

#4 CW4AFB

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 02:12 PM

I'm not sure how this soldier would have been able to wear this medal. The American volunteers to the Polish Army began being enlisted just before the US entered the war in 1917. The Polish Army was recruited under the guidance of the French and was trained by the Canadians outside Niagra Falls. After we entered the war the US stopped the enlistment of all able bodied men who fit into the requirements of the new draft regulations, but by that time a number of men had been shipped to France where they served breifly on the Champagne Front in 1918. After the war they were shipped to Poland where they fought against Ukrainians, Germans and Lithauanians during the border wars of 1919 and then against the Soviets in the Russo-Polish war of 1920-21. Most of the American volunteers were shipped back in 1921-22.

So anyway, I'm not quite sure how your guy wound up with the medal which was issued to commemorate the US volunteers. He may have been a member before being caught up in the US draft and then sent with the AEF to France. Or he could have been discharged in 1919 and somehow made his way to Poland to enlist. There were many American medical personel in Poland during 1919-21 but I don't think they were issued this medal. There were US pilots in Poland and they were issued this medal, but a much nicer and well-crafted one than this simple version.

What ever the reason, as a historian of the Polish Arm in WWI, I'd love to hear it talk, it must have some great story!


Gary thanks---great info and I agree that its a mystery---the tunic itself appears to be for an aviation sergeant with a boat load of overseas stripes so it may be he was a polish volunteer and then joined the US Army---hard as it is to believe, the US Army actually had a recruiting station in Coblenz Germany in their occupation zone in 1919-1922...similarily the the French Foreign Legion had recruiters in Mainz in their zone and they travelled to the American Zone to see if any doughboys were interested in a little more adventure...

What is the significance of WLOW, POMORZL etc?

Al

#5 jerseygary

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 02:25 PM

Lwow, Pomorzl, Wolyn, and Szampanja were all battles that Polish-American soldiers took part in during the 1919-21 wars.

How many overseas stripes are on the uniform? That's very interesting if it is more than a usual doughboy would have in the AEF and occupation duty. The fact that he is in aviation is something, because I know the major Allies all sent officers to evaluate the Polish battles, perhaps this soldier was attached to one of the Allied missions that evaluated air power?

#6 skir

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 03:05 PM

Not a real Mystery, 20,000 + Americans served in Hallers Army and this Guy was obviously one of them. Before,during, or after in the US Army would be a great research project if possible. As far as the medal worn on the uniform, it could have been worn years after actual service for the Haller Assc./VFW ect. Sounds like a neat uniform.

#7 USMCR79

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 04:19 PM

My Great Uncle enlisted in Haller's Army in 1917 and did not return to the US until 1923, he was with the 5th Polish Rifles

I have his medals

Bill

#8 Jack's Son

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Posted 02 May 2011 - 04:58 PM

My Great Uncle enlisted in Haller's Army in 1917 and did not return to the US until 1923, he was with the 5th Polish Rifles
I have his medals
Bill

Bill,
If it is premitted, perhaps you will post them??

#9 CW4AFB

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 05:12 AM

Lwow, Pomorzl, Wolyn, and Szampanja were all battles that Polish-American soldiers took part in during the 1919-21 wars.

How many overseas stripes are on the uniform? That's very interesting if it is more than a usual doughboy would have in the AEF and occupation duty. The fact that he is in aviation is something, because I know the major Allies all sent officers to evaluate the Polish battles, perhaps this soldier was attached to one of the Allied missions that evaluated air power?


Gary---there are five O/S stripes as well as a service stripe---the uniform has aviation disk with black/green backing---regards, Al

#10 Speedor

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 08:03 AM

Lwow, Pomorzl, Wolyn, and Szampanja were all battles that Polish-American soldiers took part in during the 1919-21 wars.


It's actually PomorzE. Those are more like theaters where battles took place than actual battle sites. Lwow is a city which has seen a lot of fighting during the Polish-Soviet war. Pomorze and Wolyn are regions, one in the north of Poland, the other one in the Ukraine. Szampania is in France (Champagne?).


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