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It’s not Korean. The characters on the reverse are, I believe, Chinese instead. The ribbon matches that of the Republic of China’s Medal of the Brilliant Light, but the pendant does not match. Perhaps someone with the appropriate language skills can chime in.
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Let me echo Bill’s comment. I keep my copy close by and use it regularly to ensure my visual memory is good. I look forward to follow-on volumes. Dave Schwind’s book did a great service to the collecting community.
The original Medal of Freedom was widely used to recognize foreigners who supported the US war effort in World War II and Korea. A number went to Belgians (and French, and Dutch citizens), for example, who helped move downed aircrew out of the country and back to Allied control. Since it wasn’t awarded to Americans, it was never on ribbon charts, so it disappeared into obscurity.
Jackie Kennedy sparked the Presidential Medal of Freedom to parallel the French Legion of Honor (although with fewer grades) in recognizing contributions to American cultural life. So, there’s quite a mix of musicians, politicians, educators and a few military officers among the recipients. Since each administration chooses recipients based on its own interpretation of the criteria, one term it might be baseball players and next term could be bassoon players. In my opinion, the absence of lower grades makes it difficult to recognize people who have substantial local impact, but are largely unknown on the national scale.
Of course, Americans still retain vestiges of animosity toward trappings of royalty, so we cluck at orders and awards, all the while buying sets of tea towels printed with the likeness of Princess Diana.
The OMSA website, under “American Research” and “Medal Rolls” has the roster of SAR members who qualified for the SAR Medal for the Spanish War. Those qualified may, or may not, have gotten a medal. Since the medals were generally issued unnamed, the qualification roll may be all you’re going to find.
The “staffa” suspension is not unique to Italian medals. There are some medals from Baden, for example, with variants of that same wide suspension, although the Germans don’t seem to apply a specific term to it. I’ve used “staffa” for many years of cataloging and nobody seems to have been too confused by it.
I joined around 1964 and I think I got mine from the Secretary, Jim Wilkinson, at about that time. It only got used when I went to my first convention in 1972. It now has 45 convention bars attached. I believe my medal is the first type, with the lapel device screwed through the center of the pendant.
You might check with the OMSA Treasurer, Tim Bartholow, who has compiled reams of info on OMSA awards and may have some material on the membership medal as well.April 30, 2018 at 12:55 pm in reply to: Searching for Meritorious Honor Award, State Dept. for purch #35620
I’ve had several requests for these medals, but they only place I see them is on Ebay. None of the usual suspects for civilian agency awards has had any for several years now.
The General George A. Custer Commandery No.385, Knights of Malta, was located in Buffalo, New York. It appears to have been most active in the 1910-1915 period. This would be a lodge membership badge.
A number of fraternal organizations with Masonic connections use the “In Hoc Signo Vinces” [In this sign he conquers] motto.
It’s a Knights Templar badge. The Custer name for the lodge would cause me to look at Michigan as a location.
The term “table medal” is most commonly used in the US in reference to a non-wearable medal (i.e., something that would be best displayed on a table). Table medals are certainly collectable, although there is generally more interest within the numismatic community than in the militaria community.
It’s nothing I recognize as being Latin American. While the ribbon colors can certainly point to Colombia or Ecuador, the ribbon also matches the US-based Military Order of Foreign Wars. However, the religious nature of the design would point me toward an organization rather than a governmental agency.
This design is commonly used by schools as rewards for merit. The design echoes the French Palmes Academiques, but it is not associated with that decoration. Over the years, I’ve found several in “bring-back” troves of veterans who served in France and Belgium. They’re not government awards, but were available commercially.
It will be interesting to see what the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial brings out. Thanks to Andreas for organizing their participation.
For those who will be in Pittsburgh for the OMSA convention, or any other reason, the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial has an outstanding collection of medals, and is well worth a visit. They’re located in the Oakland section of town, right across the street from the main building of the University of Pittsburgh.
With the double eagle motif, I’d look in the recent Russian/formerly Russian arena. I’m not sure the collecting community can keep up with the output from that part of the world.