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Chile: Order of Merit. 4th Class 'Officer' enamelled breast badge. Customised with replaced centres for the Silver Campaign Star for the Campaign against Bolivia & Peru 1879-80

Important: The obverse and reverse centres on this Order are not those of the Order of Merit, but are the centres of the considerably rarer Chilean 'Star for the Campaign against Bolivia and Peru, 1879-1880' (Campana A Bolivia I El Peru 1879-1880)

In Spanish language the order is called 'Medallas Orden al Mérito de Chile, Oficial'

The order fitted with original length of riband and brooch buckle fitting as issued. The riband with silk rosette denoting the award to an 'Officer'

Unusually, this Order was originally instituted to reward both Chilean Military Officers who were training or on secondment to foreign and allied nations, and to foreign nationals who were military & diplomatic officers from friendly & allied nations (including officers from the armed forces of Great Britain & United States of Amerca)

The award criteria for what foreign officers ae eligible for this grade of the Order are:

First Secretaries of Embassies, Private Consuls, Majors and Army Captains, Corvette Captains and First Lieutenants of the Navy, Squadron Commanders and Aviation Flight Captains and superior officers of the Order and Security Forces,
Judges of Letters, members of the Municipalities and authorities of the same category

An interesting - and useful - customised Chilean order

Condition: GVF

Code: 20369

80.00 GBP

Shortlist item
Finland (Republic). Cross of Liberty. 1st type '1918' reverse. 3rd Class (Military) with Swords. In gilt and enamel

The reverse of the badge with raised dates '1918' - and of the scarce 1st type of this prestigious order that was only awarded 1918-1919

Initially the order was only bestowed for gallant and meritorious acts during times of war

The Senate of Finland established the Crosses of Liberty and the Medals of Liberty on 4 March 1918 following proposals put forward by General of the Cavalry Mannerheim, Commander-in-Chief of the Finnish Military Forces. Mannerheim declared that the Cross of Liberty was established for the purpose of denoting and rewarding the heroic acts of soldiers on the battlefield and the self-sacrifice undertaken to lay the foundations for the liberty of Finland. As commanded by Mannerheim, and following his detailed guidelines, renowned Finnish artist Axel Gallen-Kallela designed the Crosses of Liberty and the Medals of Liberty. The highest classes of the Cross of Liberty incorporate a white cross similar to that of the Russian Order of St George. Gallen-Kallela superimposed on this a straight swastika, which was declared to be “a symbol of the sun, life and freedom, a symbol of many nations”, and placed a heraldic rose at the centre. In the manner of the Russian Order of St George, the Cross of Liberty has four numbered classes, but it also has a Grand Cross in the Western European tradition. When, in January 1919, a new class was added to the Cross of Liberty, namely First Class with Star, the wearing of the Order’s four highest decorations corresponded to the classes of the Order of St George

On 28 January 1919, having considered that the Cross of Liberty had fulfilled its purpose since Finland had gained her freedom and sovereign independence, Regent Mannerheim discontinued its conferral. However, the Cross of Liberty was reinstated during the Winter War, and a permanent Order of the Cross of Liberty was founded by decree on 16 December 1940. The later crosses all being dated 1940 on the reverse

Condition: GVF

Code: 20368


International Commission for Supervision and Control (ICSC): ICSC Medal

Medal fitted with a original clean stitched length of silk 'tricolour' riband

Awarded for 90 days service after 7 August 1954, in any of the three countries of the Indochina region, comprising Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia to military & civilian personnel of the 3 x participating member countries that formed the ICSC (India, Canada & Poland)

By 1965, and the escalation of the 'American-Vietnam War', the effectiveness of the ICSC had to all intents dwindled, with only token personnel in theatre - and no substantive reports being returned after that year

It is estimated that 1,403 x Canadians (the only Commonwealth country to participate in the International Commission for Supervision and Control) received the medal

Scarce seen

Condition: About EF

Code: 20357

175.00 GBP

Shortlist item
International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS): Service Medal. 2nd Type Medal (1973-1975)

Awarded for 90 days service in Vietnam to military & civilian personnel of the 4 x participating member countries that formed the ICCS

The medal with second type obverse including the national emblems of Iran, Hungary, Poland & Indonesia, and fitted with the unique second style riband awarded 1973-1975

This type of award was only sanctioned for award in the latter half of 1973 - after the Canadians left the Commission in July 1973, and were replaced by a contingent of troops from Iran. The medal ceased to be awarded after the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975


Condition: EF

Code: 20356


Republic of China: Sino-American Cooperative Organization Service Medal 1942-1945. Second type. Gilt & enamel

Note: This a later 'Second Type' item of insignia with 'Silver solid crossed hands' in obverse centre

Medal riband complete with original mounting bar, the reverse of which retains the long-hinged pin and clasp fittings

Reference 'Sino-American Cooperative Organization Commemorative Medal' (Frank C. Brown and Vernon Brook published in the Journal of the Orders and Medals Society of America, Volume 26, Issue 9 of 1975, that provides a description of the first type medals;


SACO (Sino-American Cooperative Organization), also generally referred to as the "Rice Paddy Navy", was a joint Chinese Nationalist/U. S. Navy and Marine Corps unit which operated against the Japanese invaders on the Chinese Mainland during WWII (1942-45). SACO was headed by Lieutenant General Tai Li, Chief of the Nationalist Chinese Intelligence Bureau, while the ranking American was Captain (later Rear Admiral) Milton "Mary" Miles, U. S. Navy.

In early 1974 the Ministry of National Defense of the Republic of China ordered the manufacture of some 600 SACO medals, and these were presented to the American participants at the annual SACO convention that summer in San Diego.

The medals are in a boxed presentation case, and include miniature, ribbon bar, and lapel pin. The manufacturer was the Hsiang Fat Industrial Works, Taipei, Taiwan. The characters on the back read "In recognition of the contributions made by those who fought against the aggressors for freedom during the period 1942-45. Presented by their Chinese comrades-in-arms".

Additionally, information received from the Chinese Intelligence Bureau in Taipei states that a biography of the late Lieutenant Genera! Tai Li is underway, and scheduled for release in late 1975 or early 1976.

The medal is multi-rayed alternating blue, white, and red separated by gold rays. The center of the medal shows the flags of Nationalist China on the left and the United States of America on the right, in their proper colors, over which is superimposed two hands, in gold, clasped in friendship. Below the hands there are Chinese characters on the left and "SACO" on the right in silver. Maximum diameter of the medal is 5.8 cm measured from the tips of the longest (Blue) rays. The superimposed circle showing the flags and hands has a diameter of 2.7 cm. Weight of the planchet is 34 grams.

The ribbon is made up of a narrow stripe of gold in the center, flanked by wider stripes of red, white, and blue. Maximum ribbon width is 3.4 cm with the blue stripes being 6 mm in width, the red and white stripes measuring 5 mm while the center gold stripe is 2 mm in width.


SACO (pronounced SOCKO), Sino-American Cooperative Organization, was a U.S. Naval Group which operated during World War II behind Japanese lines in China. Some of the men who walked the seemingly endless berms around the flooded rice fields declared that they had joined a Rice Paddy Navy. SACO consisted of 2,964 American (Navy, Army, and Marine) servicemen, 97,000 organized Chinese guerrillas, and 20,000 individualists, who included rival pirate groups as well as lone-wolf saboteurs.

SACO operated extensive networks of weather stations and intelligence agents, guerrilla columns, saboteurs, and 18 training camps in China, Burma, and India. Operations extended from the northern Suiyuan Province (Inner Mongolia) in the Gobi Desert southward into Indochina and Siam, and from Tibet in the west to Shanghai in the east.

The command center was Happy Valley, about eight miles west of Chungking. It also acted as a training center. Two- and three-man teams not only spread throughout China to measure and report the local weather but also occupied coast watcher observation posts which were dangerously close to Japanese troops. These watchers often had to move after each use of their radio in order to avoid capture. Communication within this broad network was achieved by numerous runners, the occasional homing pigeon, and 600 hand cranked radios.

By the first week in July, 1945, Mary Miles had successfully achieved the objective of his secret orders from Adm. King . . to prepare the China coast . . . SACO had surveyed 80 percent of the possible landing sites with detailed photographs of the surface and, in most cases, profiles at 100-foot intervals showing the bottom conditions and underwater defenses. And SACO not only watched and denied safe harbor to Japanese shipping along the 700 miles stretch between Swatow and Hangchow but controlled 200 miles of that Chinese coastline as well as three seaports, Changchow, major parts of Amoy Harbor, and Foochow along with its airfield.

As for the order. . . to heckle the Japanese, the direct actions by SACO yielded the following results:

- Japanese killed, 31,345,
- Japanese wounded 12,969
- Japanese captured 349
- Ships sunk 141
- Locomotives destroyed 84
- Bridges destroyed 209

Two and a half Japanese were killed for every U.S. weapon placed in Navy-trained guerrilla hands; that was more enemies per gun than the U.S. Marines. All this was achieved despite being limited, for various reasons, to never more than 150 tons of supplies monthly.

These American men lived and worked with the Chinese under cultural conditions previously unknown to each. They became dedicated brothers in arms despite limited knowledge of each others language. When asked what he had done in China, a SACO veteran usually has replied "nothing" but the group contributed significantly to the defeat of the Japanese invaders.

Necessarily, most of the activities of SACO had to be kept secret during the war. To the citizens of the United States the Asian campaign seemed minor compared the war elsewhere; most never heard of SACO. However. these men and their deeds continue to be revered in China and studied in the tenth-grade history books in Taiwan.

Admiral Milton E. Miles was in essence, the captain of SACO, a ship that sailed in uncharted waters. A truth within the Navy is that the success of a ships mission depends upon the strength, hard work, and capability of the crew. Up to the day of his death, March 25, 1961, Admiral Miles was more than satisfied with the performances and achievements of each, and every one of his men, the crew of SACO. His two most often used words to two describe their actions bear repeating;

"Well done".

See below website for more details and nominal roll of the American members of SACO, or 'Rice Paddy Navy;


A very scarce and highly desirable 'China' theatre medal for the highly distinguished 'Rice Paddy Navy'

Condition: About EF

Code: 20345


Republic of China (1912-49): China War Memorial Medal (Medal in Commemoration of Victory in the Resistance Against Aggression). With nationalist sunburst emblem

The full transcribed name of the commonly called China War memorial Medal is 'Medal in Commemoration of Victory in the Resistance Against Aggression'

The medal was established by the Republic of China, (now known as the Nationalist Republic of China or Taiwan), in 1944 and was first issued in October 1946. It was issued to all servicemen and other people who assisted the Chinese Armies in the war against Japan during World War Two. Both military and civilians could be awarded. The best-known group of United States recipients were about 200 veterans of the 14th Air Force, or the 'Flying Tigers'

Acceptance of this medal for United States military personnel was authorized in accordance with the provisions of Public Law 80-314, which authorized the acceptance of foreign awards and decorations during World War II for the period of 7 December r 7, 1941 through to 24 July 1948

The effective dates and qualifying criteria for award of the China War Memorial Medal when awarded to United States personnel, was 30 days service in support of Chinese forces in China, Indochina and the India-Burma theatres between 8 December 1941 to 2 September 1945

Condition: EF

Code: 20344


South Korea (Republic): Vietnam War Participation Medal 1964-1973 (Welnam Chamcen Kicang 1964-1973)

At the height of its presence in the Vietnam War, the Armed Forces of the Republic of South Korea had an estimated 50,000 personnel serving in theatre

During their service in Vietnam the Koreans suffered an estimated 5099 x 'All-Ranks' killed, or died and 10,962 x All-Ranks' wounded

The medal retaining the original stitched silk corded riband, suspended from a white metal mounting brooch. This latter complete with hinged pin and clasp fittings as issued

Inspite of the number of Korean personnel, who were eligible for the medal, it remains a scarce seen medal on the market, the more so in such fine condition as the example here offered

A scarce seen Vietnam War campaign medal from one of the major participating 'Allies' of the Republic of Vietnam

Condition: EF

Code: 20343


Spain (Franco era): War Medal for Ifni-Sahara 1958. Officer issue. Type II. With integral 'Passador' buckle on riband

The Ifni-Sahara campaign was fought in Spanish Morocco between 1957-1958, and was fought between Moroccan irregulars and indigenous Sahrawi rebels against Spanish and allied French colonial forces. At its peak in 1958, the Spanish-French field force comprised 15,300 uniformed personnel (10,300 Spanish & 5000 French) including 150 aircraft, against an estimated 30,000 Moroccans. The focus of the campaign centred around the Moroccans - failed - siege of Sidi-Ifni. It is estimated that the Moroccans and Sahrawi rebels suffered an estimated 1000 killed, against Spanish-French losses of 300 killed

The Spanish Legion or, Legion Espanola, was widely deployed during the Ifni-Sahara campaign with all four battalions of 'La Legion' in theatre during the period of hostilities

The campaign medal was instituted on 21 August 1958 in two issues, for Officers and Other-Ranks respectively. Officers medals were issued in gilt and enamel, while those to 'Other-Ranks' was issued in bronze. 1st type medals had a hinged crown suspension, while later second type medal had fixed suspensions

A medal with a highly distinctive obverse depiction of a desert scene with mounted armed camel trooper taking aim, under a palm tree

A choice example of this most attractive award

Condition: GVF

Code: 20342


Thailand: The Most Illustrious Order of Chula Chom Klao. 3rd Class 'Junior Companion' Breast Badge

The Order in silver and enamel, with blue enamelled crown suspension'. The riband complete with two-pronged issue riband buckle

The Order was established in 1873 by King Rama V to commemorate the 90th Jubilee of the Chakri Dynasty, and is awarded in seven classes (three classes for men, and four classes for women). The obverse of the badge has a portrait of a young King Rama V, while the central enamelled band has His Majesty's Name in the central band with legend 'I Shall Maintain My Royal Family'. The distinctive pink riband signifies His Majesty's birthday colour of pink. The Order is awarded to members of Royal Families and Royal Households including Foreign Royals and Foreign Royal Households

A scarce item of insignia, not least as there are only 100 male members of this class of the order at any one time

A nicely age toned example of a scarce seen Thai order

Scarce seen on the market complete with integral buckle and original silk riband

Condition: GVF

Code: 20341

225.00 GBP

Shortlist item
Thailand (Kingdom of Siam): East Asia Campaign Service Medal 1941-1945

Complete with integral top brooch bar with pin to reverse

The medal was awarded for the border-war campaigns against French Indochina (Laos / Cambodia / Vietnam) 1941-1942, and other specified active service in South East Asia during the Second World War

Condition: GVF

Code: 20338


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