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Numbers on Marine Good Conduct Medals


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I have a dumb question. I know that early Marine Good Conduct Medals have a number engraved on the medal which is listed in their records. Pre-WW2 and WW2 GCM's are numbered with an "A" and a number. I have several groups of this period along with the individuals records. The number on the medal is not mentioned with the recommendation or issue of the GCM in the records. What is the number. The Navy engraved the sailors CSC number on their GCM's, I am guessing the Marine Corps added a similar number which I can't find.

Thanks,

Dick

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I have only seen the early bars engraved with the medal number and enlistment years for which the bar was awarded

 

I have not seen an A or B prefixed additional enlistment bar

 

Bill

"The Americans on this Island are not ordinary troops, but Marines, a special force recruited from jails and insane asylums for blood lust." -Japanese Newspaper found during the Battle of Guadalcanal - "They Got That Right!!" Chesty Puller

 

 

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No idea - an engraving order?

"The Americans on this Island are not ordinary troops, but Marines, a special force recruited from jails and insane asylums for blood lust." -Japanese Newspaper found during the Battle of Guadalcanal - "They Got That Right!!" Chesty Puller

 

 

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Hello Dick - Both shown are the assigned medal numbers for those particular GCMs. From 1896, the first year of award, they were generally numbered sequentially, starting with No.1. When they got close to 100000 in 1939 they started a new sequence using the "A" & "B" prefixes. "A" medals were issued from HQMC; "B" medals were issued from the Dept. of the Pacific in San Francisco. These numbers were engraved with the recipient's details. The exception to named reverses was during WWI when qualifying Marines who had joined for the duration receive approx. 50,000 GCMs with sequential numbers stamped on the rim. Following this, engraved numbers resumed in sequence. When the engraved naming ceased, GCMs were awarded with impressed naming staring around late 1943 with no number; just the Marine's name and year of award. Naming of GCMs ceased entirely in 1952. GCM numbers are generally recorded in the Marine's record. Hope this helps! Semper Fi.......Bob

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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Love that 1905 GCM!

Semper Fidelis, to all Marines past, present and future..

*Remembering CWO3 James Warren Maddox, USMC 1957-2018*

LOOKING FOR EARLY USMC CHEVRONS & RANK INSIGNIA, COMPETITIVE MARKSMANSHIP AWARDS, RECRUITING MATERIALS AND POSTERS, PHOTOGRAPHS, PENNANTS, SIGNATURES, EARLY NUMBERED CAMPAIGN MEDALS, PRE-1900 USMC GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL, USMC ENGRAVED NAVY MARKSMANSHIP MEDAL, ANY MATERIALS RELATED TO 1ST BATTALION 9TH MARINES OR ANY OF THE THREE SHIPS BEARING THE NAME "USS MADDOX".


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Hi Bob,

Thank you very much for the information on the GCM numbers. I thought that might be the case of the numbers being medal numbers but I couldn't find any information to verify the fact. Now I know. I have two Marine GCM's that are hand engraved with the dates 1943-1945. Here is the Helwig group.

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  • 1 year later...

Hello everyone,

 

I am new to this forum. I excavated a very nice Good Conduct Medal recently with a 1st enlistment date of 1912 engraved. The medal number is also engraved above the name as well. How can I go about finding documentation of this soldier based on the medal number and/or the recipients name and 1st enlistment date?

 

Thank you!
Steve

 

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Steve sending you a PM on the Marine that might help...he was awarded that GCM in Aug and then deserted Jan 1913.Parce's photo album has survived and is in my collection. I think it came out of Michigan...where was the medal found?

Always looking for items associated with the China Marines! Visit chinamarine.org

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Hello,

 

Here is some information on your Marine:

 

Name: Charley Edward Parce

DOB: 21 July 1887

USMC Service Number: 35961

Enlisted: 27 August 1908

Discharged: 26 August 1912

Good Conduct Medal #3623 confirmed on muster rolls.

 

You can request his service record from the NPRC in St. Louis or you can hire a researcher to do it for you. It should prove interesting. Good luck.

 

Semper Fi,

Bruce Linz

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Thank you folks for the info! I could never tell for sure if the last name was Parge or Parce, as the "C" was slightly disputable but now I see it is Parce for sure. I dug this medal in 2014... but after having watched "They Shall Not grow Old" I decided I shouldn't put off doing the research on this soldier any longer.

 

I found this GCM while metal detecting an old house site along the Potomac River that is not even 2 miles from the Quantico Marine base here in Northern Virginia. Until just a few years ago, this area was a huge expanse of undeveloped wooded land. I suspected that this Marine was camped on this hilltop while on some kind of Quantico training maneuvers or something else similar. I always wondered who he was and what happened to him. A few feet away I also found a large unique style spoon which was engraved with USMC and 1917 on it. Possibly belonging to him also. So something was going on on top of that hill.

 

The 1st enlistment date on the medal shows Aug 28th,1912 but the records are showing Discharged: 26 August 1912 so that's another mystery I hope to understand. I can post more photos if anyone is interested. Great forum! Thank you for all of the info!

 

Steve

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Parce's first enlistment was in 1908 and he reupped in September 1912. He was long gone by 1917....this is a great mystery and a fantastic discovery! I sent u a photo of him from his album.

Always looking for items associated with the China Marines! Visit chinamarine.org

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I'm at Quantico...time to bust out the metal detector

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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Parce's first enlistment was in 1908 and he reupped in September 1912. He was long gone by 1917....this is a great mystery and a fantastic discovery! I sent u a photo of him from his album.

Hey Dirk = post his pic here for "the rest of the story". Semper Fi......Bob

 

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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  • 1 year later...

UPDATE:

The site of this discovery has since been completely bulldozed and leveled. They started this past Autumn and literally took the hills right out of the landscape. The site overlooks the Potomac River near Dumfries, Virginia and is just a mile in a straight line from the current Quantico Marine Corps base.

 

It's a real shame. This site has literally remained undisturbed since... well, since time began. Its been totally abandoned from any kind of use since the early 1900's. But it is all gone now. So many artifacts recovered, so many lost. I am glad I was able to retrieve Charlie Parce's Good Conduct medal before it was lost forever. It was sitting on this hilltop for around 100 years until I came around and recovered it. I always wondered what he was doing on that hill top. USMC eating utensils dated 1917 and other artifacts were found up there. Some kind of camp or maneuvers...I'll probably never know. But I am thankful for this forum and the obvious wealth of knowledge that is here. I received an answer within 24 hours of who this soldier was.

 

The site of the find is in the extreme upper right of this post bulldozed photo, above the black barrier in that green area. It was just wooded when I found it there. You can barely see the Potomac River to the extreme left of this photo. Well, I guess that is what they call progress. This once beautiful site will be covered in townhouses soon.

 

Thanks, Steve

 

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Here he is in China. He marked himself in many of the photos in the album. As a sportsman the photo shows the American team after its victory in the 1910 or 11 international track and field meet in Peking against the other nations legation guards. And doing a "victory parade" in honor of their win. Glad his GCM is safe from the developers! 

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Always looking for items associated with the China Marines! Visit chinamarine.org

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Hi Dirk, Thanks for the additional photos! The info and photos have made the recovery of this artifact much more complete! Helping to keeping Charley Parce's memory alive! I don't think I ever posted the front of the medal before, here it is. Not bad after being in the ground for 100+ years.

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