The Spanish Campaign Medal was established by Navy Department Special Orders Number 81 for the Navy, and by Navy Department Special Orders Number 82 for the Marine Corps on June 27, 1908.
The Spanish Campaign Medal was awarded for qualifying service in the Navy or Marine Corps during the Spanish-American War between the inclusive dates of May 1 and August 16, 1898.
The Spanish Campaign Medal was originally awarded for qualifying service in the Philippine Theater of the Spanish-American War between the inclusive dates of May 1 and August 16, 1898. In 1913 the West Indies Campaign Medal, which had been awarded for qualifying service in the West Indian Theater, was discontinued in favor of the Spanish Campaign Medal. After 1913 it was issued to any member of the Navy or Marine Corps who served on active duty during the Spanish-American War.
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
The Spanish Campaign Medal was worn after the Civil War Medal and before the Philippine Campaign Medal.
No devices were established for the Spanish Campaign Medal.
Admiral George Dewey was issued Spanish version 1500, which was the lowest number for the Spanish Campaign Medal. Marine Corps Spanish Campaign Medal #1 was issued to Sergeant John M. Adams.
The Spanish Campaign 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 fortress is displayed on a hill overlooking a body of water. Directly beneath the fortress is a stack of fifteen cannon shot, and the scene is encircled by the words SPANISH CAMPAIGN and the date 1898 in the exergue.
The fortress is the Moro Castle and lighthouse which stood at the entrance to Havana Harbor, Cuba. The stacked cannon denote arms of war, and the harbor represents naval service. The date is the year of the Spanish-American War.
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 style ribbon was used from June 27, 1909, to August 12, 1913. It consisted of a gold background with a red stripe inside each edge. This ribbon was adapted from the Spanish Merchant Flag. It was discontinued on August 12, 1913, based on the recommendation of a Joint Board which felt the colors of both the Army and Navy Spanish Campaign medals might be offensive to Spain, which was then a friendly foreign power.
Ribbon (Second Type)
The colors of the second ribbon retained the gold background but changed the stripes from red to blue. These colors represent Spain (gold) and the United States (blue).
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.