The China Relief Expedition Medal was established for the Navy by Navy Department Special Orders Number 81 and for the Marine Corps by Navy Department Special Orders Number 82 on June 27, 1908.
The China Relief Expedition Medal was awarded for qualifying service between the inclusive dates of May 24, 1900, and May 17, 1901.
The China Relief Expedition Medal was awarded to Navy and Marine Corps personnel who served ashore with the China Relief Expedition between May 24, 1900, and May 27, 1901, or who were assigned to certain designated ships in support of the China Relief Expedition.
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
The China Relief Expedition Medal was worn after the Philippine Campaign Medal and before the Cuban Pacification Medal.
No devices were established for the China Relief Expedition Medal.
Navy China Relief Expedition Medal #1 was issued to Rear Admiral Bowman H. McCalla on November 10, 1908; Marine Corps China Relief Expedition Medal #1 was issued to Sergeant John M. Adams (who also earned the Medal of Honor during the China Relief Expedition).
The China Relief Expediton Medal was designed by Rudolf Freund (1878-1960) of Bailey, Banks & Biddle.
DESCRIPTION AND SYMBOLISM
In the center of a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, a gate in the Chinese style in front of which is a dragon in profile. The whole is surrounded by the words, CHINA RELIEF EXPEDITION in the upper half and the date 1900 (or 1901) in the exergue.
The gate is the Chienmen, the main gate to the walled city of Peking. The dragon at the bottom is the Imperial dragon, representing the government which supported the Boxers, and the date refers to the year of the campaign.
In the center of a bronze medallion, an eagle with its wings displayed is shown alight upon an anchor with draped chain, over the words FOR SERVICE in raised letters. At the base of the medal, and following the contour of its rim, there is an elongated wreath composed of oak on the left and laurel on the right. Following the contour of the upper portion of the medal, the words UNITED STATES NAVY (or) UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS) are shown in raised letters.
The eagle is the American bald eagle and represents the United States. The anchor and draped chain allude to naval service. oak represents strength and laurel represents victory.
Ribbon (First Type)
The first Ribbon, which was used from June 27, 1908, to August 12, 1913 was a field of yellow with a narrow black stripe inside each edge (the colors of the Manchu Dynasty).
Ribbon (Second Type)
The ribbon was changed on August 12, 1913, at the direction of the Secretary of the Navy to conform to the colors of the ribbon used by the Army on its China Relief Expedition Medal.
This medal was originally manufactured by Bailey, Banks and Biddle of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was serially numbered without prefix on the rim at the 6:00 o'clock position.