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Minnesota Military Museum medals collection


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Last week I had the privelage to be able to spend a couple days volunteering at the Minnesota Military Museum up at Camp Ripley. I went through their medals collection and sorted out what was there and what did and did not need any additional research, that sort of thing. I took a bunch of pics of some interesting things while I was there, and thought I'd post them for everyone. First off is an interesting medal. Just your basic WW2 made and named Air Medal. Had I not known the story behind it I would have thought it was probably to an Air Corps pilot or crewmember.

 

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Here is the rest of the story though:

 

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John Vessey was originally a Minnesota National Guard member, he was an officer during the North Africa campaign with the 34th Division. I believe that his Air Medal was for observer flights he flew on as an artillery spotter, as his North Africa service was with one of the 34th's artillery units. He stayed in the Army after that and ended up being the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He is alive and living in Northern Minnesota and has an office at Camp Ripley yet. The display pictures shows his U.S. medals, some of his foreign awards are on display elsewhere.

 

His Distinguished Service Cross from Vietnam:

 

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His Distinguished Service Medal:

 

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Here is a replacement Purple Heart issued to the next of kin of Specialist 4th Class Dale E. Wayrynen, who was killed in action on May 18th, 1967 in Vietnam while serving with the 101st Airborne Division. During a firefight he threw himself on a grenade, saving his comrades. He was also awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions, although his family apparently has possession of the Medal of Honor. He was from northern Minnesota.

 

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Here is a State of New Mexico Bataan medal. This one was presented to the Minnesota Military Museum by the New Mexico National Guard Museum. I have seen a handful of these on eBay before, but never seen the case for one. The case is very similar to a WW2 made and issued Selective Service Medal in design, appearance, and construction.

 

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Sorry, the case pic is not all that hot, I know!

 

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1st Minnesota Regiment reunion medal for our Civil War vets. The 1st Minnesota saved the day at Gettysburg by delaying Pickett's Charge and suffered terrible losses. The Minnesota National Guard, right after WW2 and until just a few years ago, was the 47th Division. They took the 47th number because 47 was the number of soldiers in the 1st Minnesota who survived Gettysburg.

 

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A reunion medal from their 1904 reunion:

 

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Here is a nice 2nd Minnesota Guard medals group. NGSM - National Guard State of Minnesota. One does not see Band groups very often so I took some pics of this group. The medals are Minnesota National Guard issued medals, for state service and good conduct. The odd looking medal with the Fort Snelling tower on it is the early good conduct, AKA faithful service, the yellow ribboned one is the later issue good conduct.

 

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Another 1st Minnesota veterans medal, this one commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the day the 1st Minn left St. Paul to go to the Civil War.

 

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Cased WW1 DSC, numbered. I need to research this one out to ID the receipient but have not had a chance to yet. Their collection has a number of very nice DSC groups, most from the 135th Infantry Regiment of the 34th Division, from WW2, but a couple from WW1 also.

 

This medal from the WW1 years has quite a different look and finish than the ones made today!

 

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Very interesting and important Minnesota history! I didn't know that so much history was so close to me.

 

I am also extremely happy that you have unintentionally identified a ribbon bar that I, up until now, didn't know what it signified. In post #6, my ribbon bar below has been identified.

 

Thank you very much!

John

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The one bad picture of the General getting a medal was when he was getting a Silver Star in Vietnam. That particular Silver Star award was later superceded / upgraded to the DSC and the Silver Star award withdrawn and replaced by the DSC in the display; the certificate for the DSC is for that Vietnam action.

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Here are some of the other medals groups they had on display there...

 

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This group is from Colonel Svoboda, CO of the 135th Infantry. Career MN National Guard as the medals show...

 

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And a few others too:

 

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  • 2 years later...

Forum members:

 

You are in the MEDALS & DECORATIONS "Reference Section". This area is where posts from the general Medals & Decorations "discussion section" (http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind...?showforum=83) are moved for permanent retention and education about the history of the various U.S. medals and military decorations.

 

As time moves forward, some of these posts may have additional information added to them by the moderators of this section. We ask for your input as well, especially in the correction of any erroneous information that may have inadvertently be posted..

 

We encourage further comments about this post and its content. In order to do so, you will need to start a new post in the general Medals & Decorations "discussion section" (here: http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/ind....?showforum=83). And, as needed, we will be pleased to move any new and / or valued information that is derived from your post (and subsequent comments) into this reference area as its own standing post.

 

Please be advised: posting and / or editing is restricted on this post to moderator's and forum staff.

 

Sincerely,

Chris / ADMIN

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