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Saturday, December 15, 2007


I was going through some old things today and came across these medals:

Can anyone give me any general info about them? Please feel free to forward this post to anyone who may know what they are.

The first one, with the purple and gold, depicts what appears to be an eagle in front of a star. It makes me think of a Phoenix with the overall design. On the back it reads: "United States of America * Meritorious Service *"

The second one with the green and white is silver and depicts a silhouette reminiscent of looks like it has a crown of laurels. There is nothing written on it, front or back.

The third has a black band, is a symbol of the United States - it has an eagle behind a shield. The shield has stars on the top portion, vertical stripes underneath(like an interstate symbol). In looking at it from the front, it reads " E PLURIBUS UNUM". The "E" and the "UNUM" are split from the "PLURIBUS" by the wings of the eagle. Nothing is written on the back.

I suspect these medals came from my Dad, because I found them with a bunch of stuff from the Masons and Shriners, mostly cufflinks. My Dad was never in the military, although my Grandfather MAY have been, although it seem unlikely to me.

Can anyone help?

Is there any way to find out if these medals belonged to someone in my family? They were not in cases, and I have no idea whatsoever why I have them.


Anonymous said...

They look amazing!

Teófilo de Jesús said...

Well, the Meritorious Service Medal seems to be a predecessor of the medal of the same name. Today's ribbon is different but the medal is the same. Check out more information here.

I am at a loss for the other two, although the one with the cross resembles a Legion of Merit medal, except that the actual Legion of Merit is more ornate. It might be that this one is an earlier version. As for the other one, I am drawing a blank.


Fr. V said...

How did you end up with them?? Just curious.

Adoro te Devote said...

I have NO IDEA where they came from or why I have them. Not a clue.

Ma Beck said...

I concur about the Meritorious Service Medal - a precursor to today's - that eagle with wings spread is the symbol of the Air Force - (Army Air Corps if it was your grandfather).

The Maltese cross with the black ribbon is from the Masons - they call them "jewels", not medals, and it is a Knights Templar jewel from the Order of Malta.

I can't find anything on the other one. Is it a Greek head?
(Some WW2 medals had the English queen's head on them - and they looked a LOT like a Greek head, probably intentionally.)
It does look like laurels, but could it be a crown?
It's the Maltese cross again, which makes me think of his Mason connections and not WW2.
I wonder if there was some Maltese historical bigwig whose head that might be?
I have no idea why the ribbon would be green and white.
They are pretty medals and it's neat that you have them!

Adoro te Devote said...

Ma Beck ~ The Knights Templar actually have NO CONNECTION to the Masons, although that's a common fabrication. Even the Masons deny it. They have their own identity.

In looking closer at the silver maltese cross, it doesn't look so much like laurels as a cap, and now I wonder...could this have come from Sweden? Should I be looking up Swedish medals?

About being "neat"...I'm not sure I'm thrilled to have any "honors" attached to the Masons in my home.

I really wish I could find out if my grandfather had any connection to these.

Ma Beck said...

The Masons DO have a medal that is for the "Knights Templar" - you can look it up.
That is where I found that medal - on a Mason page!

(It was not easy, by the way.)

As for not liking them, well just toss 'em.

Ma Beck said...

B.B. said...

My father came across the last medal (black ribbon, maltese cross, and US eagle) from a thrift store in a bag full of costume jewelry. I love taking old/broken jewelry apart to make something new... so he gave me the bag full of trinkets. We both have researched the medal as much as possible and came up dry. I stumbled across your blog and further searched Mason medals. I found a blog that was helpful, .
sorry I can't help with the other two medals.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if it still matters but the last medal with the black band and maltese cross is a knights templar "widow" was awarded to wives and families of the fallen mostly around ww2.