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Spanish American War

West Indies Naval Campaign

Special Meritorious Service Medal

Contributed by Tim Wilson

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Front - West Indies Naval Campaign Special Meritorious Service Medal  back - West Indies Naval Campaign Special Meritorious Service Medal

The Spanish Campaign Navy Special Meritorious Service Medal was authorized by Congress on march 3, 1901 and was meant to be issued to qualifiying individuals for acts of valor done between May 1 and August 16, 1898. This medals was to be issue to mebers of the Navy and Marines to commemorate "heroic and conspicuous service, other than in battle in the West Indies Campaign. Most were issued to men involved in the rescue of Spanish crewmen after the Battle of Santiago.

The medal is in the form of a maltese cross. In the center is a fouled anchor, surrounded by a wreath of oak and laurel (representing strength and victory respectively). In the circle around the wreath are the words " * U.S. NAVAL CAMPAIGN * WEST INDIES." On the arms at the cross, beginning at the left, are the following words: "SPECIALLY," "MERITORIOUS," "SERVICE," and "1898."

The reverse side (right, above) was left blank to allow for the inscribing of the recipient's name indication of the act for which it was gained.


(As a service to our readers, clicking on title in red will take you to that book on

Strandberg, LTC John E.,  and Roger James Bender, The Call of Duty.  2nd Edition (San Jose, CA: R. James Bender Publishing, 2004).

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