2 Replies Latest reply on Sep 18, 2020 11:34 AM by Tamie Dehler

    Need help to identify these military medals

    Tamie Dehler Wayfarer

      I found these in a box from a deceased family member's home.  Needing to know about them and whether they are from WWI or WWII, as well as any other pertinent information.  If WWI these would have belonged to my great uncle by marriage, who fought in the trenches.  If WWII these would have belonged to my uncle who was killed near Normandy.  Thanks.Military medals

        • Re: Need help to identify these military medals
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Ms. Dehler,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          The badge on the left with the four bars attached to it is a U.S. Army Marksmanship Qualification Badge.  These badges came in three different qualification levels. The wreath indicates the highest level of qualification, which was expert. This style of badge was introduced in 1921.  For more information about this type of badge, see U. S. Army Marksmanship Qualification Badges, 1921 to Present. We note that the bars saying “Expert” and “Hand Grenade” are non-regulation.  The regulation version probably would have said “Rifle” and “Grenade.” However this was not unusual for the World War II time period. According to the article we linked as well as Marksmanship in the U.S. Army: A History of Medals, Shooting Programs, and Training by William Emerson (University of Oklahoma Press, 2004), many retailers created non-regulation versions of medals and bars to satisfy the high demand during the war.


          The crossed 1903 Springfield bolt-action rifles are similar to the type of U.S. Army Infantry Insignia used by infantry officers from 1903 through 1923, although they are slightly different from any examples we could locate online. Beginning in 1923, the US Army began using crossed 1796 muskets instead of trying to continually update insignia to match the current weapons. These may be a variant on the insignia that was simply not included in the references we located online, or it may be similar to the non-regulation versions of marksmanship bars that were created by various manufacturers to keep up with the demand during World War II. For more information, see Evolution of U.S. Army Infantry Insignia.


          The pin with a gold star on it is not a military award or decoration that we are aware of. It is very similar to a World War II US Gold Star Mothers Pin we located online. As there was no official version of these pins until 1947, it is likely that many versions of such pins were in circulation during World War II. It is possible that this pin was acquired by a family member of your deceased uncle following his death.


          We hope this information is helpful.


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