Original U.S. WWI Victory Medal with Five Campaign Clasps - Montdidier-Noyon, Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and Defensive Sector
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a lovely, worn condition US WWI Victory Medal which features a total of 5 Battle Clasps. The World War I Victory Medal (known prior to establishment of the World War II Victory Medal in 1945 simply as the Victory Medal) was a United States service medal designed by James Earle Fraser of New York City under the direction of the Commission of Fine Arts.
Award of a common allied service medal was recommended by an inter-allied committee in March 1919. Each allied nation would design a 'Victory Medal' for award to their military personnel, all issues having certain common features, including a winged figure of victory on the obverse and the same ribbon.
The Victory Medal was originally intended to be established by an act of Congress. The bill authorizing the medal never passed, however, thus leaving the military departments to establish it through general orders. The War Department published orders in April 1919, and the Navy in June of the same year.
The front of the bronze medal features a winged Victory holding a shield and sword on the front. The back of the bronze medal features "The Great War For Civilization" in all capital letters curved along the top of the medal. Curved along the bottom of the back of the medal are six stars, three on either side of the center column of seven staffs wrapped in a cord. The top of the staff has a round ball on top and is winged on the side. The staff is on top of a shield that says "U" on the left side of the staff and "S" on the right side of the staff. On left side of the staff it lists one World War I Allied country per line: France, Italy, Serbia, Japan, Montenegro, Russia, and Greece. On the right side of the staff the Allied country names read: Great Britain, Belgium, Brazil, Portugal, Rumania (spelled with a U instead of an O as it is spelled now), and China.
The medal itself is in good condition but does exhibit heavy tarnishing. The ribbon is faded, worn and stained but attributes to the beauty of the award. The top of the medal that the brooch as affixed to is a little hard and has the look and feel of having been repaired at some point.
The 5 Battle Clasps Featured Are:
- Montdidier-Noyon: June 9, 1918 to June 13, 1918
- Aisne-Marne: July 18, 1918 to August 6, 1918
- St. Mihiel: September 12, 1918 to September 16, 1918
- Meuse-Argonne: September 26, 1918 to November 11, 1918
- Defensive Sector: For general defense service, not involving a specific battle, the "Defensive Sector" Battle Clasp was authorized. The clasp was also awarded for any battle which was not already recognized by its own battle clasp.
The World War I Victory Medal bears the clasps of the battles the U.S. Army participated in across the ribbon. Not all battles are shown on the bar clasps. Only the battles designated as battles that would have bars issued were shown on the medal. The famous Battle of Chateau Thierry to hold the Chateau and the bridge as a joint effort between the US Army and the US Marines against the German machine gunners did not get awarded clasps.
This is a lovely piece of history that belonged to a soldier who served through literal hell while in France.
Comes more than ready for display.
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