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USMC WWI Victory Question

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Just to verify, if a Marine spent his entire enlistment with 7th Reg, 71st Company stationed in Cuba 1917 through 1919. He would get WWI Victory with a West Indies Clasp Rope border, correct? Separation Date 9/6/1919, when did they note this award on discharge paperwork?



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Your Marine most likely did not have the award of the World War Victory Medal noted in his service record. The was authorized by the Navy in June 1919 and the distribution of the actually medal did not start until August 1920. A man had to make application for his medal, then when it was approved, the medal would be mailed to him. This process seems to have bypassed Headquarters Marine Corps.


Semper Fi,

Bruce Linz




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Tim, this is from my book.

June 21, 1920 - The Navy started receiving requests from their personnel and veterans for the Victory Medal. Unlike the Army, whose collection center was the Quartermaster Depot in Philadelphia, active Navy personnel submitted their requests via the commanders of either their ships and/or their duty stations. Another choice was to make the request directly to the Bureau of Navigation issuing agency in Washington, D.C.


July 20, 1920 - The Navy postponed their issuing date, even though they were already receiving requests for the Victory Medal.


July 26, 1920 - The Victory Button for the Navy and Marine Corps was also delayed.


August 17, 1920 – The Navy started taking orders. All the delays stemmed from the fact that the Navy's new supplier, who was also supplying the Army, now had to contend with the Navy's demand for an ever-increasing number of medals, as the applications went from 8,000 initially, to now 12,000 every three days, which in turn slowed the Navy's orders.


Other than the Navy's official delay in July of 1920, obtaining a medal was relatively easy. Discharged sailors, marines, nurses, hospitalized patients, disabled veterans, and retired personnel applied for their medals directly to the Navy Department's issuing centers, either in Washington, D.C., or at the nearest Navy Recruiting Office. Stocking these locations with medals without a clasp, cut down on shipping expenses and assisted with the distribution.


People who were entitled to more than one named Duty clasp, were allowed to choose which of the two or three named clasps they preferred. The 1953 Naval awards manual, in Part IV- Campaign and Service Medals, Paragraph 11, World War I Victory Medals, Section 2 states, "No one will be entitled to more than one Duty clasp." That statement remained unchanged in the 1990 DOD manual.


Medals were awarded with the form (N. No. 516) which included name, rank, serial number, and which clasp was to be awarded. There was a return slip to be cut off at the bottom, and instructions on line 4, which read, "Please sign and return receipt attached below." When necessary, included with each of these forms was a pre-addressed envelope with postage paid.





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