Mexican Service Medal
The Mexican Service Medal is an award of the United States military for service in Mexico from 1911 to 1919. The Mexican Service Medal awarded by the Army was established by General Orders of the United States War Department on December 12, 1917; the Navy's Mexican Service Medal was established by Navy Department General Orders Number 365 on February 11, 1918, as amended by Navy Department General Orders No. 464 of April 27, 1919. The Mexican Service Medal recognizes those service members who performed military service against Mexican forces between the dates of April 12, 1911 and June 16, 1919. To be awarded the Mexican Service Medal, a service member was required to perform military duty during the time period of eligibility and in one of the following military engagements. Veracruz Expedition: April 21 to November 23, 1914 Punitive Expedition into Mexico: March 14, 1916 to February 7, 1917 Buena Vista, Mexico: December 1, 1917 The punitive expedition in the aftermath of the Brite Ranch raid on San Bernardino Canyon, Mexico: December 26, 1917 La Grulla, Texas: January 8 – January 9, 1918 The aftermath of the Neville Ranch raid that resulted in a small action in the village of Pilares, Chihuahua: March 28, 1918 For actions in Nogales, Arizona during the Battle of Nogales or Battle of Ambos Nogales: November 1–26, 1915, or August 27, 1918 El Paso and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua for the Battle of Ciudad Juárez: June 15 – June 16, 1919The United States Navy issued the Mexican Service Medal to members of the Navy and Marines who participated in any of the above actions, as well as to service members who served aboard U.
S. naval vessels patrolling Mexican waters between April 21 and November 26, 1914, or between March 14, 1916, February 7, 1917. The Mexican Service Medal was awarded to any service member, wounded or killed while participating in action any against hostile Mexican forces between April 12, 1911 and February 7, 1917. Although a single decoration, both the Army and Navy issued two different versions of the Mexican Service Medal; the Army Mexican Service Medal displayed an engraving of a yucca plant, while the Navy version depicts the San Juan de Ulúa fortress in Veracruz harbor. Both medals displayed the annotation "1911 - 1917" on the bottom of the medal; the Mexican Service Medal was a one time decoration and there were no service stars authorized for those who had participated in multiple engagements. For those Army members, cited for gallantry in combat, the Citation Star was authorized as a device to the Mexican Service Medal. There were no devices authorized for the Navy's version of the decoration.
A similar decoration, known as the Mexican Border Service Medal existed for those who had performed support duty to Mexican combat expeditions from within the United States. General of the Armies John J. Pershing General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Fleet Admiral William Halsey Jr. USN General George S. Patton Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, USN Major General John H. Russell Jr. USMC Awards and decorations of the United States military Border War
Edward Albert Ostermann
Edward Albert Ostermann was a United States Marine Corps major general who received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the U. S. occupation of Haiti. Osterman began his military career in the United States Army in 1899, was commissioned an officer in the U. S. Marine Corps in 1907, retired as a major general in 1943. Ostermann was born in Columbus, Ohio, on November 23, 1882, he attended the public schools of Milo and Dayton, Ohio. After attending Ohio Northern University at Ada for two and a half years, he enlisted in the U. S. Army on October 21, 1899, served as a musician. Discharged as chief trumpeter at the expiration of a three-year enlistment, he remained a civilian for about one and a half years and reenlisted in the Army on April 28, 1904, he was honorably discharged by purchase on November 12, 1905, as a chief trumpeter with the First Band, Artillery Corps. Ostermann accepted a second lieutenant's commission in the Marine Corps on March 20, 1907, served continuously until his retirement as a major general on January 1, 1943.
His long career took him to Cuba, China, Mexico, Haiti and the Philippines. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in 1917 for his actions during the capture of Fort Dipitie, Haiti, on October 24, 1915, he was part of a mounted Marine detachment sent out from Fort Liberté to reconnoiter towards Fort Dipitie. As the group crossed a river in a deep ravine on the night of October 24, they were fired upon from three sides by about 400 Haitian rebels, known as "Cacos", concealed in the bushes about 100 yards from Fort Dipitie; the Marines fought their way forward to a good position and maintained it throughout the night despite continuous hostile fire. At dawn, three squads of Marines commanded by Ostermann, Captain William P. Upshur, Gunnery Sergeant Daniel Daly advanced in three different directions and scattering the Cacos in all directions. Upshur's and Ostermann's squads captured the fort with a total of 13 Marines. Fort Dipitie was demolished and burned and the garrison was forced to flee. "These men were in pitch darkness surrounded by ten times their number and fighting for their lives…" a description relates, "…Had one squad failed, not one man of the party would have lived to tell the story…" Ostermann and Daly all received the Medal of Honor for that battle.
In the Haitian campaign, on November 11, 1915, Ostermann was wounded in action and returned to the United States for hospitalization. Ordered to Washington, D. C. in 1938 to become the Assistant Adjutant and Inspector of the Marine Corps, he was advanced to the post of Adjutant and Inspector with the rank of brigadier general in February 1939. With the coming of World War II, Ostermann requested combat duty as either a brigadier general or a colonel. In refusing the request as "impracticable at this time", the Commandant of the Marine Corps expressed his appreciation to Ostermann. Ostermann was retired because of physical disability on January 1, 1943; because of having been "specially commended for his performance of duty in actual combat" by virtue of the award of the Medal of Honor, Ostermann was promoted to the rank of major general on the retired list. Ostermann died on May 18, 1969, he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia. Ostermann earned the following medals and decorations: Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, Army of Cuban Pacification Medal, Marine Corps Expeditionary Medal with two service stars, Mexican Service Medal, Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, Haitian Campaign Medal, World War I Victory Medal with West Indies clasp, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, the Republic of Haiti's Distinguished Service Medal in the grade of Officer.
Ostermann's official Medal of Honor citation reads: In company with members of the Fifteenth Company of Marines, all mounted, First Lieutenant Ostermann left Fort Liberte, for a 6-day reconnaissance. After dark on the evening of 24 October 1915, while crossing the river in a deep ravine, the detachment was fired upon from 3 sides by about 400 Cacos concealed in bushes about 100 yards from the fort; the Marine detachment fought its way forward to a good position, which it maintained during the night, although subjected to a continuous fire from the Cacos. At daybreak, First Lieutenant Ostermann, in command of one of the three squads which advanced in three different directions, led his men forward and scattering the Cacos, aiding in the capture of Fort Dipitie. List of Medal of Honor recipients during the occupation of Haiti Edward Albert Ostermann at Find a Grave "Edward Albert Ostermann". Hall of Valor. Military Times
William Banks Caperton
William Banks Caperton was an admiral of the United States Navy. He was born on June 1855 in Spring Hill, Tennessee. Caperton graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1875, he held major posts ashore and afloat, chief of which were commanding the naval forces intervening in Haiti and Santo Domingo, Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet, from July 28, 1916 to April 30, 1919. He served until November 12, 1921. and died in Newport, Rhode Island, December 12, 1941. In 1943, the destroyer USS Caperton was named in his honor. Following graduation from the Naval Academy in September 1875, Caperton served at sea for five years, with duty aboard USS Powhatan, USS Constellation, USS Tennessee, he had three years' service with the Coast and Geodetic Survey, after which he joined Ossipee for service on the Asiatic Station. In April 1887, he assumed duty as Inspector of Steel at Pittsburgh, in November of the following year transferred to Washington, D. C. for duty as Secretary of the Steel Inspection Board.
He next had brief duty in the summer of 1891 as Recorder of the Examining Board at Norfolk, Virginia. Caperton had three years' consecutive sea duty aboard USS Miantonomoh, USS Vesuvius, USS Essex. On February 21, 1895, he reported to the Office of Naval Intelligence, Navy Department, Washington, DC, following three months' duty in that office, he had instruction at the Naval War College, Rhode Island, completing the course there on October 15, 1896. Next followed consecutive service aboard USS Brooklyn and during the Spanish–American War period aboard USS Marietta, with service as executive officer of that vessel after the peace protocol was signed on August 12, 1898, until October 16, 1899. Returning to the United States, Admiral Caperton reported for duty as Inspector of Ordinance at the Navy Yard, Washington, DC, to serve from December 1899 until July 1901, when he was ordered to duty in connection with the fitting out of USS Prairie, he served as her executive officer from her commissioning, August 8, 1901, until May 1904, when he was again ordered to the Naval War College, Rhode Island.
Completing the course of instruction in October of that year, he became Inspector of the 15th Light House District at St. Louis and served in that capacity until April 15, 1907, he assumed command of USS Denver on April 20, 1907 and transferred his command to USS Maine on July 31, 1908. Detached from that command when the Maine was decommissioned on August 31, 1909, he proceeded to Washington, DC, he thereafter became Secretary of the Light House Board, Department of Commerce and Labor, on October 11, 1909, served in that assignment until June 30, 1910, when he was ordered to duty in attendance upon the summer conference of officers at the Naval War College, Rhode Island. Upon completion of the conference he returned to Washington, DC, where he was assigned duty as member of the Naval Examining and Naval Retiring Boards. Following duty as commandant of the Naval Station, Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, from May 1912 until October 1913, during which period he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral, Caperton became Commander in Chief, Atlantic Reserve Fleet, USS Alabama and after a year's service in that command, he assumed command in November 1914 of Cruiser Squadron, Atlantic Fleet, USS Washington, flagship.
During the period of this assignment, transferring his flag to Tennessee and to Dolphin, he commanded the Naval Forces that intervened at Haiti in 1915–1916. Relieved of command of Cruiser Force, Atlantic Fleet, he returned to the United States, reporting to Key West, Florida. Upon designation as Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, by the President of the United States on July 22, 1916, he proceeded to San Diego, California, to assume his new duties in the rank of admiral, hoisted his flag in USS Pittsburgh, he was in charge of the patrol of the East Coast of South America which cleared southern waters of German raiders during World War I and he aided in the development of goodwill between the United States and her Allies. For his services as Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet during World War I, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal with citation as follows: For exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as Commander-in-Chief of the Pacific Fleet on the East Coast of South America in establishing friendly diplomatic relations with the countries of South America.
On November 1, 1918, ten days before the signing of the Armistice which closed hostilities between Germany and the United States, Admiral Caperton was designated by the President of the United States as Special Representative with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to attend the ceremonies at Rio de Janeiro on November 15, 1918, incident to the inauguration of His Excellency, Dr. Francisco de Paula Rodrigues Alves, as President of the Republic of Brazil, he was Special Naval Delegate at the inauguration of Dr. Brun as President of Uruguay in 1919. Detached from command of the Pacific Fleet in April 1919, he reported for duty in the Office of Naval Operations, Navy Department, Washington, DC. On April 12, 1919, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the following: In view of the splendid work accomplished by Admiral Caperton, he will be released from present duty on April 30th, pending his retirement June 30th, he will be detailed to prepare a complete and detailed memorandum of his duty since being ordered to sea duty in 1915 with special reference to what he ha
Nicaraguan Campaign Medal
The Nicaraguan Campaign Medal is a campaign medal of the United States Navy, authorized by Presidential Order of Woodrow Wilson on September 22, 1913. A medal, the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was authorized by an act of the United States Congress on November 8, 1929; the two medals were considered two separate awards, with the original medal being referred to as the First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal. The First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was created to recognize those U. S. Navy personnel and U. S. Marines who had participated in amphibious actions in Nicaragua between 29 July and 14 November 1912; the following naval commands, all embarked U. S. Marines, were eligible for the First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal: USS Annapolis USS California USS Cleveland USS Colorado USS Denver USS Glacier USS Maryland USS Tacoma The medal for the First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal displayed a volcano, rising from a lake, with the words “Nicaraguan Campaign” and the date 1912 on the edges of the medal; the medal itself was suspended from a red ribbon with two thick blue stripes.
On the reverse of each medal was a Navy or Marine Corps crest, depending on the recipient's branch of service. The First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was a one-time-only decoration and there were no devices or attachments authorized. "Nicaraguan Campaign Medal". Archived from the original on August 15, 2006. Http://www.history.navy.mil/medals/2nic.htm
Samuel Gross (Medal of Honor)
Samuel Gross was a Private in the United States Marine Corps, 23d Company who earned the Medal of Honor for his efforts during the United States occupation of Haiti in 1915. Gross was born in Pennsylvania. During the United States occupation of Haiti, he participated in battles against the Caco bandit insurgency. During the battle for Fort Riviere, he saved the life of Smedley Butler, a Medal of Honor recipient and was one of only 19 people to receive 2 Medals of Honor, he is buried in Har Nebo Cemetery in Philadelphia. His grave can be found in section I, lot 50. Rank and organization: Private, U. S. Marine Corps, 23d Co. Born: May 9, 1891, Philadelphia, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. Citation: In company with members of the 5th, 13th, 23d Companies and the marine and sailor detachment from the USS Connecticut, Gross participated in the attack on Fort Riviere, November 17, 1915. Following a concentrated drive, several different detachments of marines closed in on the old French bastion fort in an effort to cut off all avenues of retreat for the Caco bandits.
Approaching a breach in the wall, the only entrance to the fort, Gross was the second man to pass through the breach in the face of constant fire from the Cacos and, for a 10-minute period, engaged the enemy in desperate hand-to-hand combat until the bastion was captured and Caco resistance neutralized. List of Jewish Medal of Honor recipients List of Medal of Honor recipients "Samuel Gross". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved December 9, 2007. "Samuel Gross, Medal of Honor recipient". United States occupation of Haiti. United States Army Center of Military History. June 8, 2009. Retrieved December 9, 2007. "Medal of Honor citation for Samuel Gross". HomeofHeroes.com. C. Douglas Sterner. Retrieved December 9, 2007
Pedro del Valle
Pedro Augusto del Valle was a United States Marine Corps officer who became the first Hispanic to reach the rank of lieutenant general. His military career included service in World War I, Haiti and Nicaragua during the Banana Wars of the 1920s, in World War II, the Battle of Guadalcanal and Battle of Okinawa. Del Valle was born on August 28, 1893 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, when the island was still under Spanish colonial rule, his father was Dr. Pedro del Valle, who served as Inspector General for the Spanish Colonial Government during the Spanish–American War. In 1900, two years after the war, the del Valle family moved to Maryland, his uncle, Dr. Francisco del Valle a surgeon, stayed in Puerto Rico and served as Mayor of San Juan from 1907 to 1910; the del Valle family became U. S. citizens as a result of the Jones–Shafroth Act of 1917 which gave a United States Citizenship with limited rights to all the Puerto Ricans born on the island. He received his primary and secondary education in Maryland.
On June 17, 1911, after he graduated from high school, del Valle received an appointment by George Radcliffe Colton, who served from 1909 to 1913 as the U. S. appointed governor of Puerto Rico, to attend the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, he graduated from the academy in June 1915 and was commissioned a second lieutenant of the Marine Corps on June 5, 1915. Following the graduation, del Valle participated in the expeditionary duty in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 1916. Del Valle commanded the Marine detachment on board the USS Texas in the North Atlantic during World War I. In 1919, he participated in the surrender of the German High Seas Fleet, he served as "Aide-de-camp" to Major General Joseph Henry Pendleton after serving on a tour of sea duty aboard the USS Wyoming. His job included an inspection tour of the West Indies in the company of General Pendleton. In 1926, del Valle served with the Gendarmerie of Haiti for three years and, during that time, he became active in the war against Augusto César Sandino in Nicaragua.
In 1929, he returned to the United States and attended the Field Officers Course at the Marine Corps School in MCB Quantico, Virginia. In 1931, Brigadier General Randolph C. Berkeley appointed del Valle to the "Landing Operations Text Board" in Quantico, the first organizational step taken by the Marines to develop a working doctrine for amphibious assault. In 1932, he wrote an essay titled "Ship-to-Shore in Amphibious Operations", published in the Marine Corps Gazette. In his essay, he stressed the importance of a coordinated amphibious assault and of an execution of an opposed landing, he worked as an intelligence officer in Havana in 1933 under Admiral Charles Freeman, following the Cuban Sergeant's Revolt. From 1935–1937, del Valle was Assistant Naval Attache, attached to the American Embassy to Italy in Rome. While on duty, del Valle participated as an observer with the Italian Forces during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War; the experiences which del Valle gained as an observer led him to author the book "Roman Eagles Over Ethiopia" where he describes the events leading up to the Italian expedition and the complete movements of combat operations by the Italian Army under Generals De Bono and Graziani.
In 1939, he was ordered to attend the Army War College in Washington, D. C. and after graduating was named Executive Officer of the Division of Plans and Policies, USMC. On March 1941, del Valle became the commanding officer of the 11th Marine Regiment. Upon the outbreak of World War II, del Valle led his regiment and participated in the Guadalcanal Campaign, providing artillery support for the 1st Marine Division. In the Battle of the Tenaru, the firepower provided by del Valle's artillery units killed many assaulting Japanese soldiers before they reached the Marine positions; the attackers were killed to the last man. The outcome of the battle was so stunning that the Japanese commander, Colonel Kiyonao Ichiki, committed seppuku shortly afterwards. Major General Alexander Vandegrift, impressed with del Valle's leadership recommended his promotion and on October 1, 1942, del Valle became a brigadier general. Vandegrift retained del Valle as head of the 11th Marines, the only time that the regiment has had a general as their commanding officer.
In 1943, he served as Commander of Marine Forces overseeing Guadalcanal and the Russell and Florida Islands. He was decorated with Legion of Merit for his merits during Guadalcanal campaign. On April 1, 1944, del Valle, as Commanding General of the Third Corps Artillery, III Marine Amphibious Corps, took part in the Battle of Guam and was awarded a gold star in lieu of a second Legion of Merit; the men under his command did such a good job with their heavy artillery that no one man could be singled out for commendation. Instead, each man was given a letter of commendation by del Valle, carried in their record books. In late October 1944, he succeeded Major General William H. Rupertus as Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division, being greeted in his new command by Colonel Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller. At the time, the 1st Marine Division was training on the island of Pavuvu for the invasion of Okinawa, he subsequently led the division throughout the campaign. Del Valle was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for his leadership during the battle and the subsequent occupation and reorganization of Okinawa.
After World War II ended, del Valle was ordered back to Headquarters Marine Corps, where he was named Inspector General, a position which he held until he retired on January 1, 1948. On February 19, 1946 New Mexico Senator Dennis Chavez and del Valle held a meeting with President Harry S. Truman in the White House, i
China Relief Expedition Medal
The China Relief Expedition Medal was a decoration of the United States military, issued to members of both the United States Navy and the United States Marines for service in the China Relief Expedition between 1900 and 1901 during the Boxer Rebellion. The medal was authorized by General Orders of the Department of the Navy on June 27, 1908. General Order 81 established the medal authorized for Naval personnel while General Order 82 authorized the medal for the Marine Corps. To be awarded the China Relief Expedition Medal, a service member was required to perform duty within the borders of China as part of the China Relief Expedition; the eligibility dates of the China Relief Expedition Medal were from May 24, 1900 to May 17, 1901. The medal was issued as a one time award and there were no devices authorized for multiple bestowals; the United States Army equivalent of the China Relief Expedition Medal was the China Campaign Medal. A similar medal, known as the China Service Medal was authorized by the Navy in 1941.
The ribbon of the Navy and Marine Corps version of the medal bore a yellow and black motif. The colors were changed in 1915 to yellow and blue to correspond with those of the U. S. Army medal issued for similar service; the first 400 medals struck bear the date "1901." The die in use became replaced with a re-engraved die. This one, had the date "1900" which appears on all subsequent copies. List of military decorations Awards and decorations of the United States military "China Relief Expeditionary Medal". Naval Historical Center. 13 June 1998. Retrieved 2007-10-17