Wartime Collectables
Military Antiques

Andrew H. & Gale V. Lipps
P.O. Box 165
Camden, SC 29021   USA

ph. 803-463-6935 (text o.k.)
Email wartime@wartimecollectables.com
(Email is far better than phone!)

Militaria updated 3/17/20 


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.

Medal with numbered matching box

Plain numbering on campaign medals

Army Civil War Campaign Medal


In 1908 the U.S. Navy established the awarding of campaign medals for USN & USMC service. The Army had chosen the U.S. Mint to produce its medals, the Navy contracted with Bailey, Banks & Biddle of Philadelphia.   The campaign medals have a common reverse the title “United States Navy” or “United States Marine Corps” an eagle & anchor motif and curved title "For Service".  These awards were numbered on the rim at 6:00.

US Navy Civil War Campaign medal numbering and r
im engraving.  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

USMC Good Conduct Medal engraving

1930's Purple Heart hand engraved naming as issued to WWI (and earlier) recipients.

1930's Silver Star hand engraved naming as issued to WWI & pre-war recipients.


Numbered rim of a Purple Heart

Numbered rim of a Silver Star

Numbered rim of a WWI issue Distinguished Service Cross

WWI Purple Heart 1932 issue; the medal, shipping box, and medal box.

WWI Purple Heart issued in 1942

Treasury Silver Lifesaving Medal

WWII Purple Heart rim number

WWII Air Medal, numbered broach, msall numbers

Typical WWII US Army hand engraved medals.

Slanted italics hand engraving, typical for WWII Silver Stars, Legion of Merits & Bronze Stars.

Similar naming on a WWII Army DSM

Army Soldier's medal awarded to Navy recipient

Pantagraph naming usually seen on Good Conducts and some Purple Hearts

An engraved WWII Distinguished Service Medal & Legion of Merit pair

Legion of Merit, WWII

Below shows circa 1948 pattern script engraving as seen on awards sent out shortly after the wars end such as CIB conversion Bronze Stars, late war MIA's, and WIA medals applied for after the vet was discharged.

Numbered broach on an Air Medal

Early WWII pattern official USN engraving.

USN Silver Star / Purple Heart pair

Later war USN engraving

WWII USMC engraving


Korean War Silver Star

Post Vietnam USCG awards