Robert E. Wyllie.

Orders, decorations and insignia, military and civil; with the history and romance of their origin and a full description of each online

. (page 1 of 19)
Online LibraryRobert E. WyllieOrders, decorations and insignia, military and civil; with the history and romance of their origin and a full description of each → online text (page 1 of 19)
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With the History and Romance of their Origin
and a Full Description of Each


General Staff, U. S. A»

With 367 Illustrations
{Over 200 in Colour)


tlbe Tknicherbocker press


Copyright. 192 i





497 i V 4


THE conferring of decorations on citizens of the United
States has assumed a new importance during the
World War due to the character of the service
rendered and the initiation of new classes of decorations
by an Act of Congress. In contradistinction to many
foreign decorations which are awarded for personal
reasons, the United States decorations are only awarded
for specific services rendered and are, in each case, only
awarded after a careful scrutiny by a board of officers of
the service upon which the award is based. Every little
bit of ribbon, then, worn by an officer of the Army or Navy
or by a civiUan who participated in the military programme
during the World War, represents distinguished service of
some form and a very high standard is preserved in the
conferring of these decorations.

Colonel Wyllie's book Orders, Decorations, and Insignia
covers the field indicated by its title very completely, and
it will be of interest not only to wearers of decorations
but, as a book of reference, to people of other countries as
well as to Americans.

ChieJ of Staff, U. S. Army.


AMERICAN literature is singularly deficient in works
bearing on medals and decorations even of the
United States, and for information on foreign
decorations and orders, the American must consult books
published abroad. This work has been prepared to supply-
that deficiency, but is limited to the decorations of the
United States and of our Allies in the World War.

Effort has been made to give a general view of the sub-
ject with something of the history and legends connected
therewith, and sufficient detail to enable the recipient of
any decoration, American or Allied, to know what his
decoration means and how to wear it.

Since the book has been in press, two more American
organizations have been awarded the fourragere by the
French Government, the 26. and 3d Machine Gun
Battalions, so they must be added to the list given on
page 201.

The list of individuals to whom two Medals of Honor
have been awarded, given on page 45, should be increased
by the addition of the following four names: Corporal
Patrick Leonard, 23d Infantry, and Sergeant William
Wilson, 4th Cavalry, both of whom received two Army
Medals for heroism in Indian Wars; Chief Boatswain (now
Lieutenant) John McCloy was awarded two Navy Medals
of Honor, both for heroism in action, and Water Tender


viii preface

John King received two for gallant conduct during acci-
dents in the engine room.

The coloured plates of foreign ribbons are full size and
include all that are known to have been bestowed on
Americans, arranged in each country in the proper order
of precedence.

Thanks are due to the American Nimiismatic Society
of New York for its kindness in furnishing from its museum
the majority of the medals and decorations illustrated
herein and for its assistance in taking the photographs.

Also to the National Geographic Society of Washington
for the use of data and plates from my article on American
medals and insignia in the December, 191 9, number of its

I also wish to express my appreciation of the assistance
rendered by the foreign attaches in Washington who
furnished information covering the decorations established
during the World War in their respective countries ; with-
out their help this book would have been very incomplete
as the greater part of such information is not yet accessible
to the public.

Robert E. Wyllie.

Washington, D. C,
August 17, 1920.


I. — The History and Development of Medals
AND Decorations

11. — Military Orders .....


III. — Nomenclature, Classification, and Method

of Wearing Decorations and Medals 25

IV. — American Decorations
V. — American Service Medals and Badges
VI. — Great Britain .
VII. — France, Belgium, and Monaco
VI 11. — Portugal and Italy .
IX. — Eastern Europe
X. — Asia and America

XL — Decoration of the Colours









XII. — Shoulder Insignia . • 7 . . 210

XIII. — Insignia of Rank 241

XIV. — Insignia and Distinctive Colours of Arm of

Service 250



Plate i. — The Allied Generals at Metz . . 8

Plate 2. — Certificate Presented to each Man
Wounded in Action. The Same Cer-
tificate, WITH Appropriate Change in
THE Legion, is Given to the Nearest
OF Kin of each who Died in the Ser-
vice DURING THE WORLD WaR . . 1 6

Plate 3. — Certificate Presented by French
Government to Nearest of Kin of
All American Soldiers who Died in
the World War

Plate 4. — United States Naval Officers Deco-
rated with the Legion of Honor

Plate 5. — Stars of Orders ....

Plate 6. — Medals of United States Army .

Plate 7. — Medals of United States Army .

Plate 8. — Certificate for Meritorious Services
Presented by General Pershing

Plate 9. — Medals of United States Navy .

Plate id. — Medals of United States Navy .

Plate ii. — United States Qualification Badges

Plate 12. — Foreign Medals and Badges








Plate 13.-

Plate 14.-
Plate I S.-
Plate 16.-
Plate 17.-
Plate I S.-
Plate 19.
Plate 20.-

Plate 2 I.-
Plate 22.
Plate 23.
Plate 24.
Plate 25.
Plate 26.
Plate 27.
Plate 28.
Plate 29.

-Foreign Ribbons (Great Britain and
Belgium) .

-Foreign Ribbons .

-Foreign Ribbons .

-Foreign Medals (British and French)

-Foreign Medals .

-Foreign Medals .

-Foreign Medals .

-Regimental Colour of the Coldstream

-The Decorated Cravate of
Regimental Colour .

-Regimental Colour, 9TH U. S

-Shoulder Insignia

-Shoulder Insignia

-Shoulder Insignia

-Shoulder Insignia

-Insignia of Rank

-Insignia of Arm of Service

A French




-Designations of Units Assigned to
Divisions . . ^ . . at end




Allied Generals at Metz 8

Investiture of General Petain with the Baton of a Marshal
of France

Certificate Presented to each Man Wounded in
Action, — United States i6

Certificate Presented by French Government to
Nearest of Kin of Each American Soldier who
Died in the World War, — France ... 24

United States Naval Officers Decorated with the
Legion of Honour, — France .... 32

Stars of Orders ....... 40

Order of the Bath, — Great Britain

Order of St. Michael and St. George, — Great Britain

Order of the Legion of Honour, — France

Order of Leopold, — Belgium

Order of St. Maurice and St. Lazarus, — Italy

Order of Rising Sun, — Japan

Medals of United States Army — (All in Colours) 48

United States Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor Rosette
Victory Buttons
Distinguished Service Cross
Certificate of Merit
Old Medal of Honor
Distinguished Service Medal
Porto Rico Occupation


Mnsitxatitm^i in Betail

Civil War
Indian Campaign
Spanish Campaign

Medals of United States Army — (All in Colours) 56

Cuban Occupation

Philippine Campaign

Congressional Philippine

Spanish American War

Cuban Pacification

China Relief Expedition

Mexican Border Service

Mexican Campaign

Life Saving First Class

Life Saving Second Class

Ribbon of Distinguished Service Cross with Cluster

Citation Star on Victory Ribbon

Victory Ribbon with three bronze Stars

Marine Expeditionary Ribbon

Certificate of Meritorious Service, Presented by
General Pershing . . . . . .64

Medals of United States Navy — (All in Colours) 72

Navy Cross

Medal of Honor

Distinguished Service Medal

Old Medal of Honor

Medal of Honor Rosette

Victory Button

Civil War

United States Marine Corps Good Conduct

Meritorious Service

Good Conduct Navy

Medals of United States Navy — (All in Colours) 80

Spanish-American War
Philippine Campaign
Sampson Medal
China Relief Expedition


Mn^txatitmfi in jietail


Dewey Medal
Cuban Pacification
Nicaraguan Campaign
Haitian Campaign
Mexican Campaign

United States Qualification Badges ... 88

Military Aviator

Distinguished Marksman

Military Aeronaut


Flying Instructor

Departmental Firing Medal

Naval Aviator

Military Aviator

Expert Rifleman


Marksman Special Course "A"



Pistol Expert

Pistol Shot First Class

Foreign Medals and Badges — (All in Colours) . 96

Bath, — Great Britain

Victoria Cross, — Great Britain

St. Michael and St. George, — Great Britain

Distinguished Service Order, — Great Britain

Rising Sun, — Japan

White Eagle, — Serbia

Legion of Honour (Officer), — France

St. Maurice and St. Lazarus, — Italy

Leopold, — Belgium

Officer, Legion of Honour, — France

Commander, Legion of Honour, — France

Grand Officer, Legion of Honour, — France

Grand Cross, Legion of Honour, — France

Foreign Ribbons — Great Britain and Belgium —
(All in Colours) 112

Bath, — Great Britain

St. Michael and St. George, — Great Britain


Mu^txatitmi in Betail


Royal Victorian Order, — Great Britain
British Empire, — Great Britain
Distinguished Service Order, — Great Britain
Royal Red Cross, — Great Britain
Distinguished Service Cross, — Great Britain
Military Cross with Silver Rose, — Great Britain
Distinguished Flying Cross, — Great Britain
Air Force Cross, — Great Britain
Distinguished Conduct Medal, — Great Britain
Distinguished Service Medal, — Great Britain
Military Medal, — Great Britain
Distinguished Flying Medal,— Great Britain
Boer War, — Great Britain
Mons Star, — Great Britain
Overseas Medal, — Great Britain
Meritorious Service Medal, — Great Britain
Foreign Life Saving Medal, — Great Britain
Leopold, — Belgium
Crown of Belgium
Leopold II, — Belgium
Mihtary Medal, — Belgium
Mihtary Medal, — Belgium
Croix de Guerre, — Belgium
Queen Elizabeth's Medal, — Belgium
Life Saving Medal, — Belgium

Foreign Ribbons — Other Nations — (All in Colours) 120

Legion of Honour, — France

M^daille Militaire, — France

Croix de Guerre with Palm, — France

Black Star, — France

Nichan-El-Anouar, — France

Ouissam Alaouite, — France ,

Palms, — France

Agricultural Merit, — France

Medal of Honour, — France

Mutuality, 2d Class, — France

National Recognition, — France

St. Maurice and St. Lazarus, — Italy

Savoy, — Italy

Military Valour Medal, — Italy

Naval Valour Medal, — Italy

Crown of Italy


Mmttatimsi in ©etail


Earthquake Medal, — Italy

Service Ribbon for World War, — Italy

War Cross, — Italy

St. Charles, — Monaco

War CToss,-^Czecho-Slovakia

St. George, — Russia

St. Anne, — Russia

St. Stanislas, — Russia

Mihtary Merit, — Cuba

La SoUdaridad, — Panama

Kamehameha, — Hawaii

Foreign Ribbons — Other Nations — (All in Colours) i 28

Officer, Tower and Sword, — Portugal

Commander, Christ, — Portugal

Commander, Avis, — Portugal

Grand Officer, St. James of the Sword, — Portugal

Military Medal, — Portugal

Michel the Brave, — Roumania

Star of Roumania

Crown of Roumania

Military Virtue, — Roumania

White Eagle,— 5er&m

St. Sava, — Serbia

War Ribbon of Serbia

Prince Danilo I, — Montenegro

ObiHtch Medal, — Montenegro

Bravery Medal, — Montenegro

Redeemer, — Greece

War Cross, — Greece

Mihtary Merit Medal, — Greece

Golden Kite, — Japan

Rising Sun, — Japan

Sacred Treasure, — Japan

Wen-Hu, — China

Chah-Ho, — China

Double Dragon, — China

Foreign Medals — (British and French) . . 144

Military Cross, — Great Britain
Royal Red Cross, — Great Britain
Military Medal, — Great Britain


Musitxation^ in Betatl

Distinguished Flying Cross, — Great Britain

Air Force Cross, — Great Britain

Croix de Guerre with Palm, — France

Black Star, — France

Palms, — France

Medaille Militaire, — France

Foreign Medals — (Other Nations) . . .160

Crown of, — Italy

Savoy, — Italy

War Cross, — Italy

Croix de Guerre, — Belgium

Crown of, — Belgium

War Cross, — Czechoslovakia

Michel the Brave, — Roumania

Avis, — Portugal

Crown of, — Roumania

Foreign Medals — (Other Nations) . . .176

^ St. George, — Russia

St, Stanislas with crossed swords and bow, — Russia

St. Anne, — Russia

Redeemer, — Greece

St. Sava, — Serbia

War Cross, — Greece

Sacred Treasure, — Japan

Prince Danilo I, — Montenegro

Wen-Hu, — China

Foreign Medals — (Other Nations) . . .192

MiUtary Merit, — France

Military Merit, — Cuba

Holy Ghost, — France

Paulding Medal

Obilitch Medal, — Montenegro

Badge & Collar of the Tower and Sword, — Portugal

Military Merit, — Poland

Regimental Colour of the Coldstream Guards —
Great Britain 198


miusJtrationjt in ©etail


The Decorated Cravate of a French Regimental
Colour, — France 200

Regimental Color, qth United States Infantry . 208

Shoulder Insignia, United States Army— (All in
Colours) 212-220

First Army-
Second Army-
Third Array

First to Fourteenth Divisions, inclusive, 14 plates
Eighteenth Division (Cactus)

Twenty-sixth to Forty-second Divisions, inclusive, 17 plates
Seventy-sixth to Eighty-fifth Divisions, inclusive, 6 plates

Shoulder Insignia, United States Army — (All in
Colours) 230-236

Eighty-second to Ninety- third Divisions, inclusive, 12 plates

First to Ninth Corps, inclusive, 8 plates

Second Corps School

Siberian Expedition

Ambulance Service

Advance Section, Service of Supply

Tank Corps

District of Paris

Liaison Service

Portal Express Service

Army Artillery School

North Russia Expedition

Camp Pontanezen

Reserve Mallet

Thirteenth Engineers

Chemical Warfare Service

Central Records Office

Camouflage Corps

Railway Artillery Reserve

Railheads Regulating Stations

General Headquarters

Service of Supply


Mn^txatitm^ in ©etail


Insignia of Rank 240

United States

Great Britain






Insignia of Arm of Service, United States . . 256

1. Ordnance Department

2. Field Artillery

3. Coast Artillery

4. Corps of Engineers

5. Cavalry

6. Medical Department

7. Signal Corps

8. Adjutant General's Department

9. Infantry

ID. Quartermaster Corps

1 1 . Finance Department

12. Inspector General's Department

13. Judge Advocate General's Department

14. Chaplains (Christian)

15. Chaplains (Jewish)

16. Aides

17. Corps of Interpreters

18. General Stafif

19. Chemical Warfare Service

20. Machine Gun Battalions

21. Pioneer Infantry

22. Tank Corps

23. Provost Marshal General's Department

24. Transportation Corps

25. Motor Transport Corps

26. Air Service

27. Line Officer (Navy)

28. Supply or Pay Corps (Navy)

29. Medical Corps (Navy)

30. Naval Constructors

31. Professors of Mathematics (Navy)

32. Civil Engineers (Navy)


Mnitxatitmsi in Betatl

33. Coast Guard Service

34. Marine Corps

35. Adjutant and Inspector's Department (Marines)

36. Quartermaster's Department (Marines)

37. Paymaster's Department (Marines)

38. Public Health Service.

Designation of Units Assigned to Divisions, United
States Army . . . . .At End



Orders, Decorations, and



PROBABLY the earliest historical record we possess of
medals was the award made by an Emperor of
China, in the first century of the Christian era, to
his military commanders. Following that there is occa-
sional mention of decorations conferred, but on a very
small scale, and in no connected sequence, so that we
must advance our research to the time of Queen Elizabeth
of England, to find the commencement of our modem
system, and inasmuch as the development is more clearly
marked in that country than elsewhere, and also because
the British system is the foundation of all others now
existing, a brief survey of its growth will be given.

In 1588 a medal was issued by Queen Elizabeth, com-
monly known as the "Ark in Flood" medal, because of
the design of the reverse, which shows an ark floating on
the waves. It is uncertain for what particular service


this medal was awarded, but as that was the year of the
destruction of the Great Armada, and this was a naval
medal, it is not unreasonable to suppose that it commemo-
rated that event. Some of these medals were in gold and
some in silver, and they were provided with a ring for
suspension, so were evidently intended to be worn. Two
other medals were struck in the same reign to commemo-
rate the victory over Spain, but we have no information
as to the recipients.

Elizabeth's successor, James I, awarded a medal to his
most distinguished naval commanders, and the unfor-
tunate Charles I caused several medals to be struck as
rewards for those who followed his fortunes against the
Parliamentary party.

The year 1650 was momentous in the history of medals,
as it produced the first of which any authentic record
exists of being issued to officers and men alike. In alf
previous cases, so far as records are available, the medals
were given only to the higher commanders, but after the
battle of Dunbar in 1650, when Cromwell defeated a
Royalist uprising in Scotland, Parliament voted that
medals be given to all its troops engaged in the battle,
rank and file. The officers received small gold medals,
the men were given larger medals in silver. They were
worn suspended by chains from the neck.

Several naval medals were given during the Common-
wealth, and the reign of Charles II, for the victories over
the Dutch, but it was not until 1692, during the time of
William and Mary, that the Dunbar precedent was fol-
lowed, and a medal was given to the rank and file engaged.


^i^totp anb ©ebelopment of iWebate anb ©ecotationj;

In that year a medal was struck and given to all who took
part in the naval victory over the French at La Hogue.

But the old idea of medals for the commanders only
still persisted, so though we find many medals issued
during the succeeding reigns, none were for general dis-
tribution to all who participated, until 1773, when the
Island of St. Vincent, in the West Indies, gave a medal
to the entire personnel of the local militia for suppressing
an insurrection of the Carib Indians. This medal is also
noteworthy as being the first worn suspended from a

In 1784 the Honorable East India Company awarded a
medal to all who took part in the war against Hyder Ali
in the Deccan, officers and men, whites and natives. The
East India Company at that time was the governing
power in India, under a charter from the British Govern-
ment, and had its own army. This was followed by a
similar award to all engaged in the campaign against
Tippoo Sahib in 1791-92 in Mysore. Both these medals
were suspended from the neck by silk cords.

In England itself medals to the commanders now be-
came numerous; as examples, they were given to the
higher officers present at the capture of Louisbourg in
1758; to the admirals and captains of Lord Howe's fleet
in the victory at Ushant, 1794, known to Englishmen as
"the glorious first of June"; to the same class who par-
ticipated in the battles of St. Vincent, Camperdown, the
Nile, Trafalgar, and other famous naval victories between
1794 and 1815; to battalion and higher commanders in
the battle of Maida, 1806; and finally the Peninsula Gold


Medal of 1810, given to* officers who took part in the
Peninsula victories of 1808 and 1809.

This Peninsula Medal marked another epoch, as it es-
tablished the system of clasps, which has just been adopted
by us for the Victory Medal. As first authorized a medal
was given for each battle in which the officer took part,
all the medals being identical, except that the name of
the battle was placed on the reverse. The authorization
was gradually extended to cover the entire Peninsula War
(which lasted till 18 14), and the number of medals pos-
sessed by some officers became absurdly large, each being
identical, except the name on the reverse. As a result
it was directed in 18 13 that only one medal should be
issued for the entire War, this had on it the name of the
first battle in which the officer had engaged, and for each
subsequent one, a bar bearing the name of the battle,
was placed on the ribbon of the medal. The number of
these bars (or clasps, as they are now usually called) was
limited to two, this being equivalent to three battles, one
name being on the medal itself. When an officer had taken
part in four battles, the medal was replaced by a gold
cross, having the names of the four battles thereon, one
on each arm of the cross, and subsequent engagements
were again shown by clasps placed on the ribbon. The
Duke of Wellington, who commanded the Allied armies
in the Peninsula, had the cross with nine clasps, the
greatest number awarded to one officer. This is the origin
of the system of clasps which has been in use by the
British since that time.

The East India Company continued its practice, giving


©fetorp anb ©ebelopment of jMebals; anb Becorations^

a silver medal to the native troops who took part in the
campaign of 1 795-6 which captured Ceylon ; and to those
who were present at the battle of Alexandria in 1801,
when the British- Indian troops under Abercrombie de-
feated the French and put an end to Napoleon's hopes
of an Eastern empire; and finally to those who took part
in the capture of Java in 181 1.

Still the home government did nothing for the rank and
file, the colonies were recognizing all alike, irrespective of
rank, but the British authorities made no change in their
plans, with the result that private individuals began to
bestow medals. Thus General Eliot, the Commander at
Gibraltar, personally gave a medal to all the members of
the Hanoverian brigade which assisted in the famous
defence of that fortress, 1779-82. In 1798, Mr. David-
son, a friend of Lord Nelson, presented a medal to every
ofiicer, seaman, and marine who participated in the
battle of the Nile, to be worn from a light blue rib-
bon around the neck. This was followed by a similar
presentation after the battle of Trafalgar, in 1805, by
a Mr. Boulton, another of Nelson's friends, this medal
was worn in the same manner, but from a dark blue

Notwithstanding these examples from the colonies and
private individuals, it was not until Waterloo that the
British returned to the Dunbar precedent. In 1816 the
Waterloo medal was authorized "to be conferred upon
every officer, non-commissioned officer and soldier, present-
upon that memorable occasion," and this definitely in-
augurated the present custom of granting the same medal


iBvhtva, 3iecoration£(, anb Msiioni^

to officers and men alike, which has been the basis of
the British system since that time, and has now spread
to all the nations of the world.

In later years the British tried to remedy the results
of previous neglect by authorizing medals for campaigns
prior to Waterloo, the most notable of these being the
Military and Naval General Service Medals, given to
all survivors of the engagements between 1793 and 18 15,
on land and sea, respectively, but as this was not done
until 1847, the survivors were not numerous. The Mili-
tary General Service Medal is more generally known as
the Peninsula medal, as the majority of the engagements
were in that war, but it also included those fought in
Egypt, the J^ast and West Indies and, of special interest to
Americans, the War of 18 12. There were 28 clasps with
this medal, of which three were for engagements in the
War of 1 8 12. Fifteen was the greatest number awarded
to any one man.

The Navy General Service Medal is remarkable in
the large number of clasps given, 230 ; however, seven was
the largest number given to one man. Eight of the clasps
were for exploits in the War of 18 12, including the famous

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Online LibraryRobert E. WyllieOrders, decorations and insignia, military and civil; with the history and romance of their origin and a full description of each → online text (page 1 of 19)