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Allied Victory Medal 1914-1918 (USA), 1919

Victory Medal 1914-1919 (American), 1919

Obverse, Liberty with sword and shield standing atop a disc

Victory Medal 1914-1919 (American), 1919

Reverse, the arms of the USA done as a totem pole with a double-headed axe at the top

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Allied Victory Medal 1914-1918 (USA), 1919 (Great War 1914-1918)

When the Great War of 1914-1918 had ended, there was a genuine feeling among the victorious Allies that their military efforts had been instrumental in preserving modern civilization, and this and the united spirit of the Alliance were commemorated in a combined issue of medals to those who had seen active service during the conflict. 13 nations in all issued a variety of this medal; all shared the rainbow ribbon and suspension, and all but the Japanese, who lacked a comparable symbolic figure, used a form of Victory on the obverse and a legend on the reverse.
The United States was alone among the issuing nations in issuing campaign and battle clasps along with the medal, 47 different ones being authorised to cover all the theatres in which United States personnel had been involved.
This medal carries no bar, which suggests that its recipient's service was performed at home. This can be explained by the fact that it has been privately engraved, "L. Watson, Capt. A. S. A.", and it is assumed to be Lester Watson's own award for service in the Army Security Agency. It was therefore presumably awarded to him in 1919 and must have been part of the Collection since that time.