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Local VN USMC Medal Group Controversy in the News

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Just saw this the other night on the local news. I'm not educated on VN era engravings so, I can't speak to the group that was auctioned off at Milestone in Ohio.

 

https://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2020/01/28/alleged-fake-military-medals-being-sold/amp/


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In memory of S/Sgt. Paul Nigrini


ASN 13089327


380th BG / 528th BS


Beller's Crew - "The Black Widow"


MIA November 21, 1943


New Guinea

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Here's the website for the auction listing:

 

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/80301189_killed-in-action-named-medal-grouping-1st-lt-usmc

 

And the photos from the auction listing.Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image

 

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

 

 


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In memory of S/Sgt. Paul Nigrini


ASN 13089327


380th BG / 528th BS


Beller's Crew - "The Black Widow"


MIA November 21, 1943


New Guinea

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There is something that does not look right about the engraving on the PH to me. The letters seem too large but clearly an attempt, if in fact not original, at the period block letters found on Vietnam era PHs.


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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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Thank you for bringing this to our attention. There are two sides to every story, but I believe the family. They had no reason to fabricate anything and the auction house did=$. If the auction house did indeed treat this family that poorly, and again why would the family not tell the truth, then I have a real problem with that.

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There is something that does not look right about the engraving on the PH to me. The letters seem too large but clearly an attempt, if in fact not original, at the period block letters found on Vietnam era PHs.

 

I agree - It looks like an attempt to replicate the period engraving

 

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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Here's some food for thought. I know a Marine (still living) who witnessed the flag raising on Iwo Jima. About a week later he was severely wounded, spending the remainder of the war in hospitals. He was given a Purple Heart at a hospital in Hawaii. He was handed another in a hospital in California. After discharge, he got a third one in the mail. Years later he had a local jeweler engrave his name on them. So here we have duplicate medals and non-conforming engraving. What a world of difference provenance can make...

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It may be that both parties are correct. It depends on what they mean by his medals. The family may have a collection of medals that were actually awarded to him. Of course the KIA set would have been sent to the NOK after his death. As has been stated, there also may have been duplicate sets made for some reason. We would need to see what the family has to be certain, unless the engraved medals are in fact fake. I suspect though that this is a case of the family and media not understanding the details of how medals were awarded


I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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Regardless of which side is telling the truth, this article only serves to fuel the flames of organizations like PHR, legislation to ban the sale of medals, and public opinion that believes collectors are greedy swindlers.

 

Kyle


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It was fine for the family to reach out to the auction house; and it was also fine for the auction house to proceed with the sale as advertised.

 

There are circumstances where multiple medals could be had.

 

Heck......remember in "Band of Brothers", acquiring multiple purple hearts in the hospital? That is just one example of something that could cause confusion a generation later.


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Always interested in the 166th Infantry, 42nd Division, A.E.F.

Quality WW1 studio portraits and real photo postcards of Distinguished Service Cross recipients; showing steel helmets; or other interesting content.

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Regardless of which side is telling the truth, this article only serves to fuel the flames of organizations like PHR, legislation to ban the sale of medals, and public opinion that believes collectors are greedy swindlers.

 

Kyle

 

I hate to say it as I am a collector myself, but a lot are greedy swindlers. We see guys complaining about how they were ripped off on this forum weekly. Ebay is the worst and has become a cesspool of greed. Auction houses are maybe worse though. The majority of these auction houses that have popped up just in the past 5 years that have militaria sales are nothing more than dumping grounds for large dealers trying to get rid of their junk that is either fake, humped up or just trash they can no longer sell themselves.

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Im no expert but I dont like the engravings at all ! They seem odd for VN era USMC ? Better pics would help.


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Also

I believe this man was a regular in The marines ? This would be 1st time I ever seen a USMCR on a VN group ?


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Also

I believe this man was a regular in The marines ? This would be 1st time I ever seen a USMCR on a VN group ?

 

Looks like he was in the USMCR. At least his component on the casualty list says Reserves.

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Looks like he was in the USMCR. At least his component on the casualty list says Reserves.

I stand corrected !

I have never seen a VN era usmc KIA heart with the R ?

Has anyone ?


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By some chance was an original set made for the wife and a second set for the mother?


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Looks like he was in the USMCR. At least his component on the casualty list says Reserves.

I stand corrected !

I have never seen a VN era usmc KIA heart with the R ?

Has anyone ?


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Not sure why that last post of mine repeated?

 

Yes multiple sets do exist in some cases ? Divorced parents ?

I assume if the wife received the medal a mother or father could request a set . Just my understanding ?

I am still not crazy about engraving .


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The only way to really know if they are duplicates is to get a copy of his file which will be hard to do.

 

I would also really like to see how the medals the family has are engraved. If they are engraved exactly the same it supports the theory there were duplicates issued.

 

I'm sure it will be e a cold day before the family would agree to share photos of the medals due to privacy concerns.

 

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 stand corrected !

I have never seen a VN era usmc KIA heart with the R ?

Has anyone ?

Most Marine officers are commissioned into the USMCR. Most enlisted men during VietNam were regular enlistees, thus USMC. Most posthumous PH medals from VietNam that are found named (naming ceased about June 1967 if I recall) are to enlisted men.

 

The naming on this Purple Hear does not conform to the unusual small pantograph naming on USMC PHs.

Semper Fi - Bobgee


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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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Ive been emailing with Dave Schwind about this group and he says the engraving font is an exact match to a posthumous USMC MOH he photographed that was presented in 1969.

 

The conventional thought is that the USMC stopped engraving posthumous PH medals in @ Mid 67- early 1968 , but perhaps some were.

 

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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!!!! 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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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
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Very Similar. Look at the S in 1st LT.

 

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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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After seeing these USMC MOH engraving styles, I am certain these are period engraved medals. The key is, where have they been for the last 50 years.

 

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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