The First Haitian Campaign Medal was established by Navy Department General Orders Number 305 on June 22, 1917.
The First Haitian Campaign Medal was awarded for qualifying service between the inclusive dates of July 9 and December 6, 1915.
The First Haitian Campaign Medal was awarded to Navy and Marine Corps personnel who served ashore in Haiti between the inclusive dates of July 9 and December 6, 1915, or aboard ships listed below during the dates indicated.
The First Haitian Campaign Medal was worn after the Mexican Service Medal and before the Dominican Campaign Medal.
Members of the Navy or Marine Corps who served in Haiti during the 1915 campaign and received this medal, and who subsequently served in Haiti during the second qualifying period (April 1, 1919 to June 15, 1920), received a bar bearing the dates 1919-1920 for wear on the ribbon of the First Haitian Campaign Medal. This bar was represented on the service ribbon by a bronze star.
First Haitian Campaign medal #1 was issued to Rear Admiral William B. Caperton.
The First Haitian Campaign Medal was designed by Rudolf Freund (1878-1960) of Bailey, Banks & Biddle.
DESCRIPTION AND SYMBOLISM
To the left of center in a bronze medallion one and a quarter inches in diameter, a palm tree is shown facing a body of water behind which appears a stretch of beach lined with palms. In the background there is a mountain range with a building on one of the mountains. Following the contour of the upper portion of the medal are the words HAITIAN CAMPAIGN; and in the exergue, the date 1915 is shown.
The scene is the north coast of Haiti. The squared off top of the right hand peak is the Citadel of Christophe, the most famous of the old Haitian forts. The palm tree represents the political stability re-established by the U.S. military presence (when every township and municipality in Haiti was required to plant a single palm tree in an open space known as the "Forum of the People"). The date is the year of the campaign. The beach scene alludes to the landing by American forces on Cape Haitian on July 9, 1915.
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.
The ribbon to the Haitian Campaign Medal consists of a dark blue background with two parallel center stripes of red. The colors were taken from the flag of Haiti.
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.