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An unexpected surprise! My Great Grandfather's WWI Medals!

Article about: Alright I might try my luck with him. Thanks Joe Also, I might be wrong, but is the Vittorio Veneto cross and 50th anniversary medal supposed to come with a certificate of some sort? If so w

  1. #21
    ?

    Default Re: An unexpected surprise! My Great Grandfather's WWI Medals!

    " I hope to do some research on my Great Grandfather's service and display these medals with a photo of him in his military uniform."

    I'm sorry I guess I read that wrong. I thought you had one!!!!
    That is alot of great info you were able to get.Good Deal!!!!
    Semper Fi
    Phil

  2. #22

    Default Re: An unexpected surprise! My Great Grandfather's WWI Medals!

    No problem, Phil!

    I was hoping the research would yield a photo of him. No luck, unfortunately.

  3. #23

    Default Re: An unexpected surprise! My Great Grandfather's WWI Medals!

    The final medal arrived to complete my bisnonno's grouping:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #24
    ?

    Default Re: An unexpected surprise! My Great Grandfather's WWI Medals!

    So give us the low down on what you got there???

  5. #25

    Default Re: An unexpected surprise! My Great Grandfather's WWI Medals!

    Sorry, Phil!

    Here's a rundown:

    The cross with blue and white stripes on the ribbon is a Croce al Merito di Guerra (War Merit Cross). It was awarded to members of the armed forces for war merit in operations on land, sea or in the air, after minimum one year of service in the trenches or elsewhere, in contact with an enemy. This cross was instituted by King Victor Emanuel III in 1918 and was also awarded to those who, wounded in combat, were given the Medal of the Wounded or to those who, mentioned for war merit, received a promotion. When having performed an act of valour which was deemed insufficient for the Medal of Military Valor, the War Merit Cross could be awarded instead.

    The circular bronze medal with the bust of King Vittorio Emanuele III WITHOUT HELMET and Italian tricolor ribbon is the Italian 1848-1918 Unification Medal. Italians consider World War One the last act of the Risorgimento (unification of Italy into one nation) and soldiers who served in the war/ were decorated with the Commemorative Medal of the 1915-1918 War were also decorated with this medal.

    The mini gold medal with Italian tricolor ribbon is the Medaglia-ricordo in oro della I Guerra Mondiale (Commemorative Gold Medal of World War I). It was instituted by the President of the Republic of Italy in 1968 on the 50th Anniversary of Victory in World War I and was awarded to all veterans of WWI who served in arms for at least 6 months before 1920. This medal is made of 5 grams of solid gold.

    The bronze medal with the bust of King Vittorio Emanuele III WITH HELMET is the Medaglia Dell Guerra 1915-1918 (Commemorative Medal of the 1915-1918 War). It was awarded for at least 1 year of service in a war zone. The reverse of this medal shows Victory standing on shields held by two Italian soldiers. The reverse says: "Coniata 'nel Bronzo Nemico" aka made from the bronze of our nemesis (Made from melted down Austrian cannons). It should be noted that for some reason this medal has the incorrect ribbon on it... It currently wears the ribbon belonging to the Medal of Allied Victory in World War I... My bisnonno or another family member (perhaps my nonna who is a seamstress) sewed this ribbon on and it appears that this medal/ "incorrect" ribbon combo has been like this for a long time... I intend to keep this medal/ ribbon combo as-is to honor my family.

    The black bronze medal with Italian tricolor and blue striped ribbon is the Ordine di Vittorio Veneto (Order of Vittorio Veneto). It was instituted in 1968 by the President of the Republic of Italy to honor all servicemen of World War I who had already earned, for their brave deeds, a War Merit Cross.

    The circular bronze medal WITHOUT ribbon is the Medaglia Della Vittoria Interalleata (Italian version of the Medal of Allied Victory in World War I). It was awarded to all Italian participants of World War I. As I stated above, for some reason my bisnonno's War Medal 1915-1918 is wearing the ribbon that belongs to the Medal of Allied Victory... I don't know why... but I intend to keep my bisnonno's Medal of Allied Victory in World War I WITHOUT a ribbon.

    Unfortunately, I don't know exactly what my bisnonno did during his service. However, his medals and service record lead me to believe two things: He spent an extended period of time spent in the war zone and he conducted himself honorably in the face of the enemy.

  6. #26

    Default Re: An unexpected surprise! My Great Grandfather's WWI Medals!

    It is great to have that kind of detailed information on your Great-Grandfathers military service. Thanks for sharing!

  7. #27

    Default Re: An unexpected surprise! My Great Grandfather's WWI Medals!

    Thanks, Roger! This really was an unexpected surprise! I knew nothing about my bisnonno until I visited my family in Italy this past summer. I took a chance and asked my great aunt Nina if any of our relatives had ever served in the military and especially WWI or WWII... she said "Si!" and started rummaging through her drawers for something... but was unable to find what she was looking for before I had to leave to return to the USA. My dad made his annual trip to Italy later in the summer and he came home with these medals!

    The grouping was missing a few medals, but luckily some Italian medals were only issued after already being awarded a previous medal. Through process of elimination (and with lots of help), I was able to put together this grouping! (For example, the Unification of Italy Medal was missing from this grouping. Since the Unification Medal and WWI Participation Medal have the same criteria, it was obvious that my bisnonno would have earned both of them)

    Another unfortunate thing is that I do not know exactly what rank my bisnonno held and what type of soldier he was. However, based on the medals he earned... it seems as if he was familiar with a Carcano rifle!

  8. #28

    Default Re: An unexpected surprise! My Great Grandfather's WWI Medals!

    Nice to have the family history handed down. It's good that you
    were the one to inherit it Joe, with your interest in militaria,
    as these medals may have become lost or forgotten
    over time.........
    Regards,


    Steve.

  9. #29

    Default Re: An unexpected surprise! My Great Grandfather's WWI Medals!

    Thanks, Steve! The next time I go over, I'd like to dig around in my great aunt's house... Maybe there is some more stuff hiding there!

  10. #30

    Default Re: An unexpected surprise! My Great Grandfather's WWI Medals!

    A hard-copy of my bisnonno's service record arrived today in the mail! It included a second page that I've never seen before! I'm working on translating it NOW!

    Click image for larger version. 

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