Friday, January 6, 2017

WWII American Defense Service Medal

Defending America prior to the onset of WWII began on September 8, 1939 following a national emergency proclamation.  Of course it ended on December 7, 1941, but the following medal was awarded to members of the United States armed forces for service during this period.

On the obverse (front) stands a female figure representing Liberty.  She is holding a shield and brandishing a sword.  She stands on a live oak branch with its branches terminating in four leaves representing the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.  "American Defense" is lettered above.  The ribbon is yellow with narrow red, white, and blue stripes near each edge. 

Several clasps were awarded with the medal. [Two claps are shown on the medal above.]  The Navy and Marine Corps each had two clasps, with the "Fleet" clasp awarded for service on vessels of the fleet.  The "Base" clasp was for service on shore at bases and naval stations outside the continental limits of the United States. [This included Alaska and Hawaii at the time.]


On the reverse (back) the inscription "For Service during the Limited Emergency Proclaimed by the President on 8 September 1939 or during the limited emergency proclaimed by the President on 27 May 1941" is given.  Below this inscription is a spray of seven leaves.

Note: the Army had a "Foreign Service" clasp for service outside the continental limits of the United States, and the Coast Guard authorized a "Sea" clasp.  Also, personnel of the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard who served on board certain vessels operating in actual combat were entitled to a bronze "A" on the medal ribbon.

References:

American War Medals and Decorations, by Evans E. Kerrigan, The Viking Press, N.Y., 1964.

The Call of Duty : Military Awards and Decorations of The United States of America, by John E. Strandberg and Roger James Bender, 1994.

Guidebook of U.S. Medals : A complete guide to the decorations and awards of the United States from 1782 to present, by Evans E. Kerrigan, Medallic Publishing, 1990.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Dog Bites

Family stories were always part of our annual "get together".  Each holiday season our JONES group of folks would gather to exchange some of the last years special events.  When uncle Malcolm, uncle Gayle, and my Dad got to talking, dog stories always seem to enter the equation. This was expected of course since all three worked at our Winchester post office.  In these stories "dogs" were the ones who seized with the teeth or jaws so as to enter, grip, or wound any of these three gentlemen listed above.  Each would have their own dog stories to keep the family up to date on their appointed rounds.  Dad carried just about every postal route in the town, and completed his days as a "Rural  Letter Carrier".  [Some forty years to be exact.]  At any rate, the following picture was taken on one of those rural letter days:


A bird in the box instead of a dog bite on the legs.  Don't remember any stories being told about this mail box delivery.  You've heard the motto : "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds".  Well this was mostly true for my Dad expect for dog bites, and this bird in the mail box.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

WWII U.S. Campaign Medals (3)

This post gives the third "Campaign Medal" which recognized the global nature of WWII involving hundreds of engagements and campaigns fought by American service personnel.  The following medal called "American Campaign Medal" was awarded for service within the American Theater between December 7, 1941 and March 2, 1946.


The obverse [front] depicts a Navy cruiser under full steam with a B-24 bomber flying overhead.  A sinking enemy submarine above three waves is shown under these symbols of America's coastal defenses.  In the background are some buildings representing "the arsenal of democracy". 


The reverse [back] shows an American bald eagle facing left, standing "defiantly" on a rock symbolizing democracy.  The dates 1941 - 1945 are shown along with the words "United States of America".  [This is the same for all of the campaign medals shown before.]

The colors shown on the ribbon have four wide azure blue strips.  The center stripe of dark blue, white, and red represent the United States.  Near each side are narrow stripes of white, red, black.  The red and white represent Japan, and the black and white represent Germany.

References:
American War Medals and Decorations, by Evans E. Kerrigan, p. 97
Guidebook of U.S. Medals, by Evans E. Kerrigan, p. 191.
United States Air force Combat Medals, Steamers, and Campaigns, by A. Timothy Warnock, p.50-55.
The Call of Duty : Military Awards and Decorations of The United States of America, by John E. Strandberg and Roger James Bender, p.205.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

South Elkhorn Creek

Elkhorn Creek was a landmark for the earliest settlement of Kentucky.  Even when known as "Fincastle County" one of the first "watercourse" to be used in a survey dated July 9, 1774 was "Elkhorn Cr.". [ Original Survey Book 1, page 79-80 for John Ware. ] 

Its mouth begins just north of present day Frankfort (KY) near Bates road.  It snakes it way southward through present day Franklin County to a branch point called "Forks of Elkhorn" where a "north" branch and "south" branch divides it course. The one winding north finds its way into Scott County (Georgetown), and the south branch winds its way to Woodford County (Versailles) forming its eastern border.  The south branch then arrives some 8 miles north of Lexington (KY) [Fayette County] ending its winding ways just southwest of Lexington.  Just as it branches cross present day Harrodsburg road, the "South Elkhorn Church" was formed July 31, 1784.  It was here that my own Jones family arrived, and were listed as members until "the Twentithird day of June 1817".

Some 240 years later the following picture was taken of some family members still wading in this South Elkhorn Creek. [Two grandsons included!]


These waters still flow in my family.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

WWII U.S. Campaign Medals (2)

This post continues the description of the campaign medals awarded during WWII.  Known as "Theaters of War" the medal shown below represents the largest geographic area during the War, which included Asia, Australia, Alaska, the Pacific Islands, most of the Pacific Ocean, and the eastern half of the Indian Ocean.  It was know as "Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal".


It was awarded for service between December 7, 1941, and March 2, 1946.  On the front side (obverse) the medal is designed to show an amphibious landing in the tropics, showing two helmeted soldiers holding rifles.  A leafed palm tree overshadowing a landing craft with disembarking troops is immediately in their background.  Three palm trees are shown without their palm leaves.   Further in the distance is depicted a battleship, an aircraft carrier, and a submarine with two aircraft flying overhead.  In a semicircle struck across the top are  the words  ASIATIC PACIFIC CAMPAIGN.

The back side is shown below which is identical to the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Campaign shown last post [a bald eagle perched on a rock with the dates 1941 - 1945, and the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.]

The colors of the ribbon are centrally, three vertical stripes of  red, white, and blue representing the United States.  In parallel are two vertical stripes of white, red, and white representing the colors of Japan.  The bright orange-yellow color is representing the tropical Pacific. 

References:

American War Medals and Decorations, Evans E. Kerrigan, p. 98.

United States Air Force Combat Medals, Streamers, and Campaigns, by A. Timothy Warnock, pp. 58 - 127.

The Call of Duty : Military Awards And Decorations Of The United States of America, by John E. Strandberg and Rober James Bender, p.207.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Splish Splash

Summer's ended, school begins, and a lot of folks spend their time attending this adventure.  Writing this post brought all kinds memories of my own attendance to this endeavor.  Let's see...starting at age 6, one begins this trail along life's pathway.  Starting mighty young it is.  Anyway, you become locked into a pathway that seems to go on, and on, and on.  Counting for me, it would be 7 years elementary, 1 year junior high, 4 years high school,  3 years college, 4 years medical school, 3 years residency, and another 2 years in fellowship.  Hum... that is almost quarter of a century, and more than 1/3 of my present years.  No wonder that seeing the following picture of a grandson spending some of his summer days prior to his own adventures along this pathway.


...only two words come to mind...splish splash.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

WW II U.S. Campaign Medals

Looking back, the enormous scope of WWII is seen in the forty million lives taken all over the world.  The United States became part of this conflict on December 7, 1941.  The military organized their forces by land, air, and sea.  The operations they preformed were divided into "Theaters of War", and individual service [campaign medals] were awarded.  These service medals were: 1) American Defense Service Medal, 2) American Campaign Medal, 3) European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, 4) Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, and 5) Women's Army Corps Service Medal.  The following begins a series of post to show these service decorations of WWII.

The "European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal" is shown below.  It was awarded to all members of the U.S. armed forces who served in the prescribed area or aboard certain ships of the Navy between December 7, 1941, and November 8, 1945.


The design is by the Heraldic Section of the Army.  The front of the medal [called obverse] shows a LST (landing vessel), with an antiaircraft gun firing from its forward deck.  The words EUROPEAN AFRICAN MIDDLE EASTERN CAMPAIGN are impressed above.  To the left of the LST, another ship is barely seen beneath a plume of smoke.   A fighter aircraft dives from above the smoke.  Shown in the foreground is a landing craft filled with troops.  Three helmeted soldiers with backpacks and rifles are shown in the lower foreground.


The back of the medal [called the reverse] shows the left profile of a bald eagle perched on a rock.  The words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA are placed at the upper right.  The dates 1941 - 1945 show on the lower left.

The colors of the ribbon have their own meaning.  Down the middle, a narrow strip of  red, white, and blue representing the United States.  [Description looking down from the front of the medal.]  On the left side is a brown band and inside are three stripes of green, white, and red, to represent the colors of Italy.  Two broad bands of green are to represent the fields of Europe.  Between the green and brown bands of the right side appear three stripes of white, black, and white, to represent the colors of Germany.  The wider brown stripes on each edge are for the soil of Africa and Europe.

A service member received a Bronze Service Star for each campaign credit.  Four of these stars on shown on the medal above.

What a deal this European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and what a service it represents to our life, and liberty in these United States.

References: American War Medals and Decorations, by Evans E. Kerrigan, The Viking Press, N.Y., 1964, pp. 97-98.

United States Air Force Combat Medals, Streamers, and Campaigns, by A. Timothy Warnock, Office of Air Force History, Washington, D.C., 1990, pp.128 - 133.