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Indo China Wars 1945 - 1975. Covering, French Indo China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, etc.

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Vietnam USMC Gallantry Group
Old 03-02-2004, 08:06 PM   #1
stogieman
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Default Vietnam USMC Gallantry Group

Just arrived today! While not my era, I wanted to have a representative group. Came with the 2 documents, the medal bar mount, a hat with a nice USMC EGA on the side shown. Other side has a very nice set of Captain's bars, with snowflake pattern back. The documents are very tacky on the back. Seems at one time or another, they were probably framed. Here's the pix:
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Bronze Star Citation:
Old 03-02-2004, 08:07 PM   #2
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Default Bronze Star Citation:

For Gallantry in Action
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Purple Heart Citation:
Old 03-02-2004, 08:08 PM   #3
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Default Purple Heart Citation:

For Wounds Received in Action
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File Type: jpg vnusmcgrp3.jpg (104.5 KB, 287 views)
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Unfortunately....
Old 03-02-2004, 08:10 PM   #4
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Default Unfortunately....

... the two decorations are not named, but I have no reason to doubt the authenticity. The Vietnamese campaign medal is one of the nicer "in-country" ones, with very well done enamels.
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:56 PM   #5
Bill D.
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Rick...

Very nice grouping!

There wouldn't be any reason for the decorations to be named.

A really nice bar mounted group. what you need is a nice vietnam era USMC officer's dress blue tunic or mess dress jacket on which to display the medals!

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Old 03-02-2004, 09:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Versailles
... the two decorations are not named, but I have no reason to doubt the authenticity. The Vietnamese campaign medal is one of the nicer "in-country" ones, with very well done enamels.
Rick,
Nice grouping but are you sure the documents go with the group? Just a couple of questions, I noticed the Bronze Star was for gallantry but there is no "V" on the ribbon of the Star and the fourth medal in from the left is the Navy Expeditionary which would be unlikely for a Marine. The Marine Expeditionary
edal was authorized for service in Cuba and Thailand during the early 60's. For early Vietnam service the Mareine Corps authorized award of the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal which later could be exchanged for the Vietnam Campaign Medal. Garth
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Old 03-02-2004, 09:09 PM   #7
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Rick,

Another thought. Yoiu may have a Navy Corpsman or Navy Doctor's medal group. That would be much scarcer than a Marine officer. Garth
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I suppose....
Old 03-02-2004, 09:52 PM   #8
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Default I suppose....

... that anything is possible these days, but the group did not come through the hands of a US dealer, so my thoughts given the source, was that it was highly unlikely that it had been monkeyed around with. I bought this from Peter von Lucas, one of the forum's sponsors... he's in Sweden, so not much chance to monkey around with it over there!
The price was quite reasonable, the documents are legit. I understand what you're saying about the Navy medal, but weren't the navy awards given rather freely to Marines?
The bronze star can be awarded for gallantry with/without the "V" device. The document does not mention "with Valor Device", which I would expect to see if the star had been awarded with the device... or am I mixing things up?
I've seen citations for the device incorporated right onto the document, as well as citations without.
Is it correct either way?
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Old 03-04-2004, 12:36 AM   #9
Robert P.
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Rick,

The document for the Bronze Star looks correct. They gave the Bronze Star without the 'V' device normally as a merit award. The 'V' device is worn on the medal's ribbon to denote that it was given for valor 'in combat'. The Army was the same. The Star w/o the 'V' was given for deeds above the Army Commendation Medal. And in the Army the ARCOM could be awarded with the 'V' also to denote that it was a 'combat' award.

On the other hand, it had a lot to do with the forthgoing effort of the company commander to write up the request for the medal with the 'V' device. Being an award for a officer, I would say it would not have been overlooked if it was indeed a medal for combat valor. But all things are possible.

Many people have the illusion that the Star was given for combat, only. This is not true. Like I say, the Star was given as a high merit award. And it was supposedly not given to members of the Army Air Cav who served as crewmembers during the Vietnam War. This is not true. Some DID receive it for acts of bravery/valor during combat, where the criteria for receiving the Silver Star or DFC was not met. In all reality, things were done in haste and the poor, lowly enlisted man was left out in most cases and the officers were awarded the medals because the ship was 'under his command.' True. It had a lot to do with whether you were a US getting out soon, or an RA with the possibility of another reenlistment.

Anyway, very nice dress medal grouping!

Been there, seen it.
Robert
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Old 03-04-2004, 01:27 AM   #10
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This is a minor point but the cap has the wrong EGA on it. The anchor should be facing forward not aft.
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Old 03-04-2004, 12:04 PM   #11
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The medal bar does not fit the certificates. It is a Navy junior officer's medal bar, while the certificates are for a Marine captain.

Regarding the Navy Expeditionary Medal and Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal, the only authorized campaigns in the Vietnam era were, as noted by Garth, Cuba and Thailand. The eligible periods were:

Cuba: 03 Jan 61 - 23 Oct 62
Thailand: 16 May 62 - 10 Aug 62

There is no provision for awards of the other service's medal. As Garth also noted, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (AFEM) was awarded to Navy and USMC personnel for other expeditions in this period. There is no provision to elect the Navy Expeditionary Medal in place of the AFEM for these operations (there was such a provision for these expeditions: Lebanon (25 Aug 82), Libya (20 Jan 86 - 27 Jun 96) and Persian Gulf (24 Jul 87 - 01 Aug 90)). Also, a Navy corpsman serving with a Marine unit would wear the Fleet Marine Force Combat Operations Insignia (a small eagle, globe and anchor device) on the ribbon of the Navy Expeditionary Medal.

BTW, the medals are out of order. The National Defense Service Medal should come before the Vietnam Service Medal.

Regarding "V" devices, the Navy authorized it for the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (3rd on the bar) during the period from 17 July 1967 to April 1974 (and reauthorized it in 1991), so you will see Vietnam groups with the "V" on it. Also, while Navy regulations prescribe the device as for valor (heroism), it is officially designated the Combat Distinguishing Device. During Vietnam, there was an erroneous interpretation that led to many Navy and Marine Corps Commendation and Achievement Medals being awarded with the device to indicate combat service, not valor. This was an issue in the Admiral Boorda suicide.

The medal bar is fine, albeit mismounted, and the certificates appear fine, but I wouldn't consider this a group.
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Old 03-04-2004, 12:05 PM   #12
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Oh, the RVN Campaign Medal also appears to be missing the "1960-" date scroll.
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Old 03-04-2004, 01:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Danner
There is no provision for awards of the other service's medal.
Just to play devil's advocate here... With regard to the Navy Expeditionary Medal... Let's say that he was a 1st or 2nd LT in 1962, and served as the OIC of the MARDET aboard a Navy ship taking part in operations either around Cuba or Thailand. MARDETs were considered "ships company" for all intents and purposes, which includes awards that the ship would be entitled to, including the Battle "E", SSDR, OSR, and all campaign medals and unit awards. So, why wouldn't the MARDET be able to wear the Navy Expeditionary if the ship awarded it?

The reason I bring this up is that my XO was a member of a MARDET on a certain ship in the Med while doing operations against Libya in the 80's, and we have been researching whether or not he can wear the certain a award (in this case, the OSR) that the ship received during that time period. As of today, we have found that he is authorized, from both the Navy and Marine Corps side, all of the awards that the ship earned during that time period.

--Dave
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OK then....
Old 03-04-2004, 02:05 PM   #14
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Default OK then....

So What we have, is just a conglomeration of stuff. The documents go together. The bar, professionally mounted by the way, is wrong precedence, but right medals for a Navy Corpsman. And a hat, with the wrong EGA.
Not a bad haul considering it was sold as a group.
So then, as the sum of the parts is non-existent, what would the value of the individual items be?
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Old 03-04-2004, 02:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Versailles
The bar, professionally mounted by the way, is wrong precedence, but right medals for a Navy Corpsman.
Actually, they could be the medals for a Navy Corpsman, or a lucky boiler tech, or even a Seabee, but I highly doubt it... especially without the FMF device (for the corpsman) and a Navy Good Conduct.

My opinion is that they are a rack of medals to an officer (either mid-grade or junior) of the Navy or Marine Corps. (The latter is mentioned because of my theory above...)

--Dave
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