Oldest medals still in use.....?

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Lucky13, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Which are they?[​IMG]
     
  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I think the Purple Heart was instituted by George Washington. That would put it around 230 years.

    Don't know about others. Think the VC and CMOH are about the same age.
     
  3. Bucksnort101

    Bucksnort101 Well-Known Member

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    Google search confirms that the Purple Heart is the oldest Military Medal still in use by any nation in the world.
     
  4. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Did it say WHY a Purple Heart, for a medal for wounds recieved during combat/action?
     
  5. Bucksnort101

    Bucksnort101 Well-Known Member

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    Here is what I found. George Washington originally implemented the Puple Heart for Military Merit, not being wounded on the battlefiled, so it seems the award originally was just a cloth Purple Heart with Gold embroidery. It was not until many years later that it was reintroduced as a award for being wounded on the battlefield. So the Purple color has nothing to do with injury. Not sure why Purple was chosen.

    Here is some info I cut from another web-site with some history of the medal.






    The Badge for Military Merit

    The original Purple Heart award was instituted by George Washington in 1782 to reward troops for "unusual gallantry" and "extraordinary fidelity and essential service." The award was a purple cloth heart edged in silver braid, and was to be worn over the left breast of the uniform. Only three awards are known to have been issued, of which two are known to exist today.

    One of the two known examples of the Badge for Military Merit.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Modern Award

    Pre-WW2 Awards: The Purple Heart as we know it today was reestablished in 1932 to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of George Washington. The original criteria for award of the Purple Heart as published in the War Department Circular No. 6 of February 22, 1932 states that the medal be awarded to anyone serving in the Army who had received combat-related injuries or had received the AEF's Meritorious Service Citation Certificate during WWI, the latter criteria harkening back to the intent of George Washington's "Badge of Military Merit".

    Although this awards was retroactive to any soldier wounded from the Civil War on, eligible recipients were required to submit a formal application to the War Department for approval before the issuance of the medal. In 1942 the Army estimated that approximately 186,000 living veterans were eligible to receive a retroactive Purple Heart. Approximately 78,000 retroactive Purple Hearts were awarded between 1932 and 1942.

    While the award of the Purple Heart was not authorized by the Navy until 1942, sailors and Marines who had been wounded prior to 1932 were eligible to apply for the medal. While no numbers are available concerning the award to Navy and Marine personnel, approximately 12,000 sailors and Marines were wounded between the Civil War and the Nicaragua Campaign of 1932.
     
  6. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    The Purple Heart is a heart-shaped medal within a gold border, 1 3⁄8 inches (35 mm) wide, containing a profile of General George Washington. Above the heart appears a shield of the coat of arms of George Washington (a white shield with two red bars and three red stars in chief) between sprays of green leaves. The reverse consists of a raised bronze heart with the words FOR MILITARY MERIT below the coat of arms and leaves. The ribbon is 1 and 3⁄8 inches (35 mm) wide and consists of the following stripes: 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) white 67101; 1 1⁄8 inches (29 mm) purple 67115; and 1⁄8 inch (3 mm) white 67101. As with other combat medals, multiple awards are denoted by award stars for the Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard, or oak leaf clusters for the Army and Air Force.

    Elizabeth Will, an Army heraldic specialist in the Office of the Quartermaster General, was named to redesign the newly revived medal, which became known as the Purple Heart. Using general specifications provided to her, Will created the design sketch for the present medal of the Purple Heart. Her obituary, in the 8 February 1975 edition of the Washington Post newspaper, reflects her many contributions to military heraldry.

    This from Wiki...

    Charles
     
  7. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    The Order Virtuti Militari (Latin for "For Military Virtue") was created in 1792 and is Poland's highest military decoration for valor in the face of the enemy and one of the oldest military decorations in the world still in use. Some of the heroic actions recognized by an award of the Virtuti Militari are equivalent to those meriting the Commonwealth's Victoria Cross, and the U.S. Medal of Honor. It is awarded either for personal heroism or to commanders for leadership.

    Awarded in five classes, the order was created in 1792 by Poland's King Stanisław August Poniatowski. Soon after its introduction, however, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was destroyed (1795) in the partitions of Poland, and the partitioning powers abolished the decoration and prohibited its wearing. Since then, the award has been reintroduced, renamed and banned several times, with its fate closely reflecting the vicissitudes of the Polish people. Throughout the decoration's existence, thousands of soldiers and officers, Polish and foreign, several cities and one ship have been awarded the Virtuti Militari for valor or outstanding leadership in war. There have been no new awards since 1989.

    Source :Virtuti Militari - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     

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  8. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Interesting fellas!
     
  9. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    The US Medal of Honor was instituted during the Civil War and first awarded to members of a Union team of sabotuers who stole a train and rode to Union lines (The 'Great Locomotive Chase' theft). Unfortunately, the commanding officer of the team was a civilian and was not awarded the medal.

    Great Locomotive Chase - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  10. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Weren't a bunch of those guys shot for stealing that locomotive? Seem to recall they were.
     
  11. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Yes, some were caught and shot, others were able to escape and the rest were used in a prisoner exchange. Anderson was one of the ones shot.
     
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