I’m a huge fan of symbols as I believe they highlight accomplishments or connect stories from our past that can be quite touching.
I recently have been researching my client’s Grandfather, who served as a Pilot for the Air Corps in World War II. I found his U.S., Headstone Application for Military Veterans. This document provided me with a treasure trove of information including, his birth date, death date, burial site, his enlistment and discharge date, Branch of Service, his Grade, and a list of Medals that he had earned.
During his service from June 1942 through October 1946 he earned the rank of Major and the following medals: DFC Air Medal (1 OLC), the APC Medal (2 stars), and the EAME Medal.
DFC Air Medal
The DFC Air Medal: established by Executive Order9158, May 11, 1942, as amended by Executive Order 9242, Sept. 11, 1942 was “awarded to U.S. and civilian personnel for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievements while participating in aerial flight and foreign military personnel in actual combat in support of operations. The medal is a bronze compass rose of sixteen points with a fleur-de-lis design on the top point. On the obverse, in the center, is an American eagle, swooping downward (attacking) and clutching a lightning bolt in each talon. The reverse has a raised disk on the compass rose, left blank for the recipient’s name and rank. The ribbon has a broad stripe of ultramarine blue in the center flanked on either side by a wide stripe of golden orange, and with a narrow stripe of ultramarine blue at the edge, the original colors of the Army Air Corps (1).” OLC = Oak Leaf Cluster
The APC Medal: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign was created on November 6, 1942 by Executive Order 9265 issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This medal was awarded to any member of the United States Armed Forces who served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater from 1941 to 1945.
APC Medal Photo Credit: USAM
The medal was designed by Thomas Hudson Jones and the reverse side by Adolph Alexander Weinman. The flag colors of the United States and Japan are visible in the ribbon (2). “The Bronze medal is 11/4 inches in width. On the obverse is a tropical landing scene with a battleship, aircraft carrier, submarine and an aircraft in the background with landing troops and palm trees in the foreground with the words “ASIATIC PACIFIC CAMPAIGN” above the scene. On the reverse, an American bald eagle close between the dates “1941-1945” and the words “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” (3).”
The EAME Medal: “The EAME Campaign Medal was initially established by Executive Order 9265, dated 6 November 1942, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt,
and announced in War Department Bulletin 56, 1942. The European–African–Middle Eastern Campaign Medal was awarded as a service ribbon throughout the entire Second World War due to the ribbon design being approved by the Secretary of War in December 1942. (4)” The medal was also designed by Thomas Hudson Jones and the reverse by Adolph Alexander Weinman. “The Bronze medal is 1 3/8 inches in width. On the obverse is a LST landing craft and troops landing under fire with an airplane in the background below the words EUROPEAN AFRICAN MIDDLE EASTERN CAMPAIGN. On the reverse, an American bald eagle close between the dates 1941 – 1945 and the words UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. (4)
On June 11, 1946 in Dallas, Texas the subject of my research, Gaillard Mahoney filed a patent along with Raymond H. McNiece. They created a design for a pin or similar article (Des. 144,977). Patent records around the world are easily searchable thanks to Google Patents. Therefore, if you find your on-line research sources are sparse, stop in to check and see if your ancestor at some point had a desire to be known as an inventor.
Another useful website is the United States Patent and Trademark which offers a web based tutorial on how to conduct a Preliminary U.S. Patent Search, an outline of their Seven Step Strategy, and a detailed handout of this procedure with examples. This site also provides links to several different sources for your research:
I wonder what inspired Major Air Corp Pilot Gaillard Mahoney to design an aircraft pin design. Was he hoping that perhaps it would become a prototype for future Military medals? Did he ever actually make the pin? I suppose I have more digging to do and if it was never made, maybe it would make a great gift for my client and their family to remember him by.