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"Local Made" Vietnam War Ribbon Bars
Old 05-02-2004, 03:20 PM   #1
Rick Research
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Default "Local Made" Vietnam War Ribbon Bars

The telltale coarse weave drew my eye to this at our monthly militaria show this morning:

Is this Japanese or Vietnamese made?-- On American style slide on ribbons with American style brass backing and clutch backs.
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File Type: jpg US Vietnam 3ribbar local made w67 device.jpg (8.1 KB, 146 views)
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Old 05-02-2004, 03:21 PM   #2
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My Amazing Militaria Psychic Powers reveal to me that, yes, it is becoming clearer now, this was made in...





1967.
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Old 05-02-2004, 05:49 PM   #3
Bill D.
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I say Vietnamese.

No doubt about it.
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Old 05-02-2004, 06:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Dienna
I say Vietnamese.

No doubt about it.
Concur.

I've got some more examples around here somewhere, as well as examples of Japanese made ribbons from the same time period. Once I find them (IF I find them...) I'll post 'em up.

--Dave
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Old 05-03-2004, 10:47 AM   #5
Jeff Ashenfelter
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Hi Rick,
Yes, definitely Vietnamese made. I have owned many of these over the years and always found it interesting that very few people are aware of them. If you compare these ribbons to the ribbons on the Vietnamese made medals, you will see the resemblance. Inferior dyes were used, and they could not get the colors just right. Credos on the observation! Jeff
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Old 05-03-2004, 08:11 PM   #6
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Here are some comparison scans. The Japanese sample is partial because it's off a mounted bar. However, I'm using it because I know absolutely that it's from Japan, having personally bought it in Yokosuka about 1969. The spots aren't manufacturing flaws but spots where star fixtures were placed and then cannibalized.

Compared to U.S. ribbons, both Japanese and Vietnamese versions are less bright and pure. To my eye, the Japanese ones look more "pastel" while the RVN ones often look washed out or faded.

Side by side, the Japanese ones show a bit higher quality than the Vietnamese. All the warp threads (those that run vertically) are of consistent color. The Vietnamese ribbons often have warps that sometimes vary in color, which causes minor stripes inside the stripes. You can see this easily in the red stripes of the two ribbons in the top row.

Now for the quick cheat. The woof thread (the one that runs back and forth horizontally and appears at the edges as small loops -- except in U.S. ribbons, which reveals no woof) is yellow in Vietnamese-made ribbons of the U.S. Viet Nam Campaign medal. I have checked over a dozen examples on hand and every one has a yellow woof. The Japanese version has a white woof. With only one example to judge by, it's not possible to tell if that was always the case with Japanese ribbon. But, if a ribbon has a yellow woof , there's a near certain chance that it's RVN-made. If it's white, it's probably not RVN-made and can be Japanese.



Here's the National Defense Medal ribbon. Note again the less intense colors of those on the right. The Japanese, though "pastel" has very consistent colors. The Vietnamese shows varying warp color, particularly in the red. Both use red woof, so no cheats on this one.



One clue to Vietnamese-made examples of the Vietnamese VN Campaign is the date bar. Just about everybody but the Vietnamese and Thais used just the generic 1960 starting date. In Vietnam and Thailand the bars typically had other starting years. Regularly (but not always) there's also a closing date. This was the quality presentation, reflecting the actual term of service of the wearer.



Here are some of the examples that are shown in closeup above.

Now, having made all these generalities, how about Australian, Korean, Filipino, Taiwanese, and other versions?
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Old 05-03-2004, 09:37 PM   #7
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Here're a few from my collection. I KNOW I've got several of the RVN Campaign ribbons, but try as I might, I can't find them!

Anyway, here are some interesting ones. Of the loose ones, the top one is a Vietnamese made embroidered French CdeG. Very unusual! The two Korean ribbons are Japanese made to my best guess. Unfortunately, they look "normal" in the scan... They aren't! The NDSM, AFEM and the top VSM are all Vietnamese made. The bottom VSM is, I believe, PI made, but I'm not certain.

Now the large group, I believe, is Thai. Don't hold me to that, but in my best guess, that's what it is.

Enjoy!

--Dave

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Old 05-03-2004, 09:56 PM   #8
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Yellow woof, yellow woof!

"BALLOU REG'D" on one clutch back, and "APPROVED CLUTCH" with slightly smaller "JAPAN" on the other... ?
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Old 05-04-2004, 07:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Lundström
Yellow woof, yellow woof!

"BALLOU REG'D" on one clutch back, and "APPROVED CLUTCH" with slightly smaller "JAPAN" on the other... ?
Somebody probably replaced the clutches. Most all of the RVN-made stuff came with chintzy poly grabbers.
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