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Posthumous and POW WWII US Navy Air Medals - Engraving Styles

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Adding these to the thread as examples of correct engraving styles. Acosta was killed as part of Raffety's crew on the same aircraft.

 

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!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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I am going to devote a complete thread to this one later.

This AM is part of a group to a Naval Aviator who served with VB-86 on the USS Wasp and was shot down and CAPTURED over Japan on March 19, 1945. He survived the war in a POW camp. This is the first officially named USN Air Medal I found to a POW. It is also the first officially engraved example I have seen that was a non posthumous award. This medal was sent to his NOK while he was still MIA. I have seen an officially named DFC that was a non posthumous award. It was awarded for a Coral Sea action in 1942.


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!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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A non-Posthumous June 1942 dated AM in an early green case. Interesting that it is engraved with the Action performed. This came right out of the woodwork so I know it is 100% correct.

 

Engraved: Lt (JG) O.A. WITHEE DIVE BOMBED KISKA 6/10-20/42

 

Orville Allen Withee graduated flight School in October 1941. He passed away in Spokane Washington Sept 2008.

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Austin_Militaria

 

 

 

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A non-Posthumous June 1942 dated AM in an early green case. Interesting that it is engraved with the Action performed. This came right out of the woodwork so I know it is 100% correct.

 

Engraved: Lt (JG) O.A. WITHEE DIVE BOMBED KISKA 6/10-20/42

 

Orville Allen Withee graduated flight School in October 1941. He passed away in Spokane Washington Sept 2008.

 

 

I like the engraving, and I think it is period, but in my opinion this was not engraved by the same engravers who officially engraved posthumous awards. I would say this was most likely engraved locally prior to presentation. The format and style is completely different than known officially engraved examples.

 

A couple of differences are that his entire full name should be spelled out, first middle and last name. The action he did would not be engraved on it, just the dates(s). There should be underlining and embellishments on a piece this early. The fact it is in a green box makes this a very early award.

 

I really like this piece and especially the green box.

 

Kurt


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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I like the engraving, and I think it is period, but in my opinion this was not engraved by the same engravers who officially engraved posthumous awards. I would say this was most likely engraved locally prior to presentation. The format and style is completely different than known officially engraved examples.

 

A couple of differences are that his entire full name should be spelled out, first middle and last name. The action he did would not be engraved on it, just the dates(s). There should be underlining and embellishments on a piece this early. The fact it is in a green box makes this a very early award.

 

I really like this piece and especially the green box.

 

Kurt

 

 

Agreed on all counts!!

 

Fantastic WWII US Navy Air medal with the rare early green case but I too do not believe this example was officially engraved IMHO. This is still a very desireable and much sought after medal.

 

Vic


"We Polish soldiers, for your freedom and ours, gave our souls to God, our bodies to the soil of Italy, and our hearts to Poland"

 

-- inscription at the Polish cemetary - Monte Cassino

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Greetings!

 

Per a recommendation by Kurt I'm posting my USN KIA Air Medal to help others with additional reference material on engraving styles.

 

Lt. JG William Herbert Ryan

served w/ VB-110 (B-24 Liberators) based at Dunkeswell, Devon, England,

part of Fairwing 7, Coastal Command RAF. Lost during 12 March 1945 mission,

body never recovered.

 

More info courtesy of VPNAVY.org:

09 MAR 44 A/C: PB4Y-1 Location: Devonshire, England BUNO: 63946 Cause: Anti-submarine patrol ETO

Airborne at 0856, last radio contact at 2230. Missing at unknown location. Failed to return from assigned mission. As of 12 Mar 44 it is

concluded that as a result of a combination of a navigation error and a mechanical difficulty, plane crashed or ditched at sea or in enemy held

territory, or was abandoned in air over Cherbourg Peninsula, France. Missing crew: Pilot Lt(jg) William H. Ryan USN (T), Ens John J. Shea

(co-pilot) USNR, Ens William Sharkey (navigator) USNR, Amm1c Curtis E. Burger USN, Amm3c Wilbert H. Schultz USNR, Rm3c Turner J.

Howard USN, Rm3c William E. Greenfield USN, Aom3c Morgan R. Jones USN, Amm3c Harry B. Coombs USNR, and Amm3c Maurice F.

Regan USNR. Contributed by Terry

 

According to ABMC, he was awarded a DFC and 2 gold stars for his Air Medal.

 

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Don't trick another, and don't get tricked. Don't show your weaknesses, but your spirit.

Member of OMSA 7250 and ASMIC 4552




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This example was awarded in March 1946 . Beginning in 1946 , the engraving style was simplified and did not contain the fancy flourishes seen on earlier examples. This one was awarded for " Flight Strike " criteria and the data range of the flights is on the medal.

[

amazing how the difference in engraving was from when there were fewer medals awarded....same happened with Civil War MOH's The ones done earlier in the war were masterpieces of the engravers art. In 1896 when they changed the ribbon and awarded more C/W MOH's, the engraving got much more plainer.

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Here's the Air Medal (Posthumous) for Lt. Willam R. Larson along with citation. Lt Larson was a TBF pilot of VC38 - Bougainville Campaign 1943. While returning to Munda from leave on Sydney Australia on December 27, 1943, his transport plane and eighteen others (6 pilots & 12 gunners of Composite Squadron 24) crashed - no survivors. Lt. Larson was my uncle.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Don Larson

Portland Oregon

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Kind of off topic, but does anyone know why the military moved away from engraving names on the backs of decorations??

 

In the course of my AF career, I received six Air Medals. Somehow, I have two box sets (AF usually only gives one, the initial award). I plan on having my daughters names engraved on the back and given to them when they are adults.

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In the course of my AF career, I received six Air Medals. Somehow, I have two box sets (AF usually only gives one, the initial award). I plan on having my daughters names engraved on the back and given to them when they are adults.

While I fully understand your good intentions, I think that your daughters and future grandchildren are going to much rather see your name on the back of your medals than either of theirs.

 

You are very lucky to have two sets of medals that are actually yours, and thus be able to pass them along to both of your children. I think in the future, that your obvious thoughtfulness and sense of equity are going to be as important to them as honoring and remembering your service.


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Here is an example awarded to a Fighter Pilot from VF-22 flying off the USS Cowpens. He was shot down on a mission over Taiwan on Oct 12, 1944 and was picked up by the Japanese while trying to make a submarine rendezvous along the coast. he spent the rest of the war in a POW camp in Japan. His family did not know he was alive until the war was over in August 1945.

 

He scored 1.25 Kills in WWII.

 

 

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!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Perhaps Stanley is pictured in the group photo of VF-22 from the Cowpens (Mighty Moo) unit history.

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Perhaps Stanley is pictured in the group photo of VF-22 from the Cowpens (Mighty Moo) unit history.

 

Thanks Bob!


!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Early green box Air Medal awarded to a radioman gunner from VB-10 ( USS Enterprise ). He was MIA on 11/14/42 and declared dead in 1945. His Air Medal was awarded in February 1943.

 

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!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Kurt et al,

The engraving on these medals is outstanding and a true tribute to their courage in sacrifice. Thanks for posting.

John


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Here is a new one acquired at the SOS

 

Fighter Pilot from VF-5 (part of CACTUS at Guadalcanal ) who was killed Sept 29,1942 . He scored 1.5 victories and 2 probables during the war. The date of his first victory is the same as the date on the Air Medal.

 

The Air Medal is a late issue from 1946 or 1947 and is officially engraved. It is a Slot brooch US NAVY contract Air Medal, not an Army one.

 

 

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!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Fantastic and informative research on these medals and more importantly a great testament to the sacrifice of these brave souls!!!!


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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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Kurt,

 

Thanks for the dedication you exert to find the stories of these brave men who stood between freedom and tyranny. The engraving is always interesting, but the stories of the courage these young airmen have shown should be an inspiration for current and future generations of young men and women. I believe that the stories of the courage and dedication that these medals symbolize should not slip into the forgotten past. As most of those in the collector community believe the awards provide a tangible symbol of what it takes to maintain the freedom many take for granted.

Thanks for posting!

 

John


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