Below are assorted images of American medals
illustrating original period naming & numbering styles.
The attempt is more a photo essay than text.
US Army Campaign medal No. prefix numbering.
US Army Campaign medal M.No. prefix numbering.
Plain numbering on campaign medals
(below) Army Civil War Campaign Medal
(below) US Navy Civil War Campaign medal numbering.
BB&B numbered USN Campaign
Campaign medal rim
Officially done by order of the Navy. Typically slanted capitals done on either side of the number.
Impressed naming on a Sampson medal.
Navy Specially Meritorious Service Medal
USN Good Conduct
Silver Lifesaving medal
USMC Good Conduct Medal engraving.
USMC rim number
Distinguished Marksman's badge
Rim numbering on
Army decorations WWI-WII
Numbered rim on Army Distinguished Service Cross
Numbered rim Silver Star
Numbered rim Purple Heart
1930's Purple Heart & Silver Star hand engraving as issued to WWI (and earlier) recipients.
The medal, shipping box, and medal box.
Officially hand engraved 1932 contract BB&B Silver Stars.
The example to Craney was issued for Gallantry in the Philippine Insurrection, the example to the right for service at the outset of WWII.
Typical WWII US Army hand engraved
Note: Rank & A.C. on Air Medals & DFC's. Name only on Purple Hearts.
Typical of the pattern engraving found on Silver Stars, Legion of Merits & Bronze Stars.
Stamped "pantograph" naming.
An engraved WWII Distinguished Service Medal
Below shows post WWII pattern script engraving.
Generally attributed circa 1948 as seen on awards sent out at the wars end such as CIB conversion Bronze Stars.
WWII pattern official USN engraving examples.
USN Silver Star / Purple Heart pair
Fully engraved DFC
Late WWII pattern official USN engraving.
WWII Posthumous US Coast Guard
Purple Heart engraving
WWII era hand engraved DSM / LoM pair
Korean War naming patterns
Air Force DSM/LoM pair
Air Force posthumous Purple Heart for Vietnam
Vietnam Navy pattern official naming...not 'squiggle' on some.
era engraving styles
Images & info on the engraving styles found on US medals of that period.