Friday, June 19, 2015

Medals and Ribbons WWII

328th Inf Reg
All of these medals and ribbons were found in a small box among the military items at the museum.
The insignia for the 328th Infantry Regiment is shown above. The three elements of the pin are the Fleur-de-lys, the Alligator, and the Minuteman.  The Fleur-de-lys is symbolic of the 3 great battles fought by the 328th in France during WWI.  The alligator is symbolic of the State of Florida where the division was headquartered for a time. and the minutemen symbolic of the American revolution is a reminder that the  division would be ever ready. 

26th Inf Div
        The cloth shoulder sleeve insignia is that of the 26th Infantry Division of the US Army.  Sent to Europe in WWII, the division fought in France, advanced into Germany and liberated the Gusen concentration camp before the end of the war..  The 26th existed from 1917-45 and 1947-1993. 

Good Conduct Medal
1.       The Red striped medal was the Army Good Conduct medal. The ribbon is scarlet with three narrow white stripes on each side.  The Good Conduct medal is awarded to enlisted personnel but specifically excludes officers from eligibility. The criteria are that of exemplary conduct, efficiency and fidelity during three years of active enlisted service with the US Army.  (The time limit is reduced to one year during wartime. )  The award was not automatic and required certification by a commanding officer.The service award was instituted in 1941.

EAME ribbon with service bars
This ribbon is 1 3/8 inches wide and consists of the following stripes:  the 3/16 inch brown which represents the sands of Africa. The 1 1/16 inch Irish green, 1/16 white and 1/16 scarlet represents Italian colors.  The ¼ Irish green represents the green fields of Europe. The center 1/8 is Old Glory blue, white and scarlet. Next is ¼ Irish Green, again the green field of Europe, the 1/16 white, 1/16 black, 1/16 white represents Germany. Lastly 3/16 brown represents the sands of Africa.  This is called the EAME (European-African-Middle Eastern) campaign ribbon,  and was awarded to recognize the military service members who performed duty in the European Theater including North Africa and Middle East during the years of WWII.  It was awarded between 1941 and 1946.  For service members who participated in one or more military campaigns, service stars can be worn on the bar. 

          The WWII Victory ribbon is the one on the far right side. (The first is the good conduct, and the middle one is the EAME with service stars.) The Victory Ribbon was awarded to any member of the US military who served on active duty or as a reservist between December 7, 1941 and December 31, 1946.  The service ribbon is 1 3/9 inches wide and consists of the following stripes:  3/8 inch double rainbow (blues, greens, yellows, red) center, yellows greens and blues; 1/32 inch white; center 9/16 Old Glory red; 1/32 white; and 3/8 inch double rainbow.  

   Thanks to J Hamilton, photographer, and T Gray researcher.

Monday, June 22 - 7pm at the Museum- "Bondage in Egypt - Slavery in Southern Illinois" by Darrel Dexter.

 "For most Americans, Illinois, the home of Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, is thought of as a “free state” in America’s great struggle with slavery. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 banned both slavery and involuntary servitude in the territory and state."

But slavery legally existed in Illinois from 1720 to 1865 in thirty-four counties in southern Illinois known regionally as "Egypt."   Darrel Dexter will present his research of more than a decade  on how this happened,  at the LCHS June meeting.