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bobgee

NICARAGUAN MEDAL OF MERIT TO MARINE AVIATOR

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The U.S. Marine Corps had a significant presence in Nicaragua starting in 1912. Marines continued to serve there into the 1940s with large numbers in garrison and in various combat actions in the 1920s & 1930s.

Often a group of medals of a Marine will turn up containing a decoration awarded them by the Nicaraguan government. This is one such group. In most cases that I have seen the circumstances behind the award have been lost to history. In this case we know exactly why First Lieutenant Horace D. Palmer received his medal as we have the original diploma signed by President Moncada in 1932. We also have the English translation. 

Lt. Palmer entered the USMC in 1918 from Ohio to train as an aviator. He had held a commission as an infantry officer in the Ohio National Guard. He did not complete flight training training until 1919 and became Naval Aviator 2864. He stayed in the Corps and was soon assigned to flying duties in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

In 1923 he participated in a long-distance endurance flight which became the longest flight in U.S. aviation history and the second longest flight to date in world aviation history. He and a companion pilot and two mechanics flew two DH-4B bi-planes from Haiti to San Francisco and back to Haiti which took two and a half months and covered 10,953 miles with actual flying time of 127 hours, 15 minutes,.

Lt Palmer eventually was assigned to Quantico where captained the Marine Corps football team for several seasons, He had been a stand-out player at the University of Ohio,

He was reassigned to Nicaragua in 1930 and commanded a squadron there and was cited by the government particularly for his work during the earthquake in Managua in 1931.

"Hoke" Palmer, as he was known, retired from the Marine Corps in 1936 as a First Lt. During his 18 years in the Corps he flew 61 different aircraft and models logging 3,162 hours as a pilot. He died in Ohio in 1972.

He received the WWI Victory medal, the USMC Expeditionary medal and the Second Nicaraguan Campaign medal.

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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Bob, you always post interesting groups. This is no exception.

 

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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Echoing the comment above.....another great post from you!


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

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Nice Group Bob - I have a later group to Frank D. Weir but yours has the earlier medals - What is the number on the Expeditionary for the "List"

 

Thanks

 

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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Great write up and history and beautiful grouping. Thanks for sharing! Kevin


I am eagerly collecting Pre-WWII USMC material. Any Marine Corps Span Am era, WWI, Banana Wars, or China Marine related material is especially sought after.

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4 hours ago, USMCR79 said:

Nice Group Bob - I have a later group to Frank D. Weir but yours has the earlier medals - What is the number on the Expeditionary for the "List"

 

Thanks

 

Bill

He's already on the List. MNo. 7602


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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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Thanks Bob!!


"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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Thanks for the comments, guys. I've had this group awhile. Dug it out for a review. It's quite extensive with 100s of period photos. Here's pic of the group which includes some of his Ohio N.G. insignia. The wing, which is vintage 1920s/30s,  is not his unfortunately and is displayed to reflect his aviation service. Also here's closeup of the Medal of Merit. It is plain on the reverse with no HM. 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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Wonderful group Bob! Thank you for sharing it with us,

Dick


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Here's a photo taken during the longest flight. Lt. 'Tex' Rogers on the left; Lt 'Hoke' Palmer on the right.

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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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An interesting footnote regarding "The Longest Flight" ln 1923. These Marine aviators had made a record flight in U.S. aviation. It brought great credit on the U.S.A. and the Marine Corps. It was the second longest flight in world-wide aviation history. However, when the Distinguished Flying Cross was instituted in 1927 and recognized many aviation achievements prior to its institution these aviators were overlooked. I have always wondered whether their flight was even considered. Seems to me they got screwed. My 2-cents! 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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Awesome group!


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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Thanks Bob for a very informative thread on an obscure topic that is a mystery on those pre-war WWII  USMC veterans. I once owned the USMC officer tunic to Colonel Arthur when he was the commanding officer of the 2nd Marine Regiment on Guadalcanal with the 2nd Division SSI on it. Allan Henderson helped me find the very rare 1/2 inch Wolf Brown plastic Nicaraguan Medal of Merit to complete the rack. 

 

Kurt


My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

 

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Fantastic group!  Outstanding write up.  Gotta love that old corp lineage.  Semper Fi


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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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