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Need some help with these two medals,

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The one on the left is the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross.


This example probably dates from World War II and may be one of the Sterling Silver versions made by Tiffany and Company.


The number at the top would indicate who received the medal set. This decoration is unique because it was established by act of the State Legislature and is not just a State National Guard award.


Wondering how the ribbon drape stayed so nice. Most of the ones I've seen that are that old have faded ribbons --- including the one I received in 1994.

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The cross has a weird logo , looks like a W superimposed over a sterling mark. At least that's what it looks like to me. It came with the USMC medal, plus some Korean war medals. Thank you to everyone who responded.


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Up to about a decade ago, the Conspicuous Service Cross was awarded for everything from campaign medals to decorations. Special Crosses were awarded to the participants of D-Day and Pearl Harbor. You would have to produce an honorable discharge paper listing various decorations, unit awards and campaign credits upon application. Certainly a National Guardsman could wear the medal but the application process was outside the Guard and more through legislative offices and veterans service organizations.


Recipients receive a transmittal letter from the Adjutant General with the medal set registered by serial number and a certificate signed by the Governor of New York State. Protocol calls for it to be formally presented like any decoration. Additional awards are represented by gold and silver devices.


I thought the medal had some form of federal recognition because the first award went to the WW I wartime commander of the federalized 42nd Infantry Division. Others were awarded to the Crew of Apollo II and those service members buried in Washington at the Tomb of the Unknowns. I once saw the medal among the ribbon bar of a Navy Admiral -- whose uniform is on display at the Buffalo Military and Naval Park.


The State then took a contract with a manufacturer that produced a chromed medal that looked like it came from a toy set. This medal set was very unpopular and the medal was quickly remanufactured.


Then NYS developed two other medals: the Medal For Merit and the Conspicuous Service Star. The Medal of Merit is for campaign credits and lower decorations like Commendation and Achievement Medals. The Star is for the award of unit awards given for combat operations.


A previous recipient of the Conspicuous Service Cross could reapply for the Star but not the Medal for Merit because the Cross was the highest award given.

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