The West Indies Campaign Medal was established on June 27, 1908, by Navy Department Special Orders Number 81 for the Navy, and by Navy Department Special Orders Number 82 for the Marine Corps.
The West Indies Campagin 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 West Indies Campaign Medal was awarded for qualifying service in the West Indies during the Spanish-American War between the inclusive dates of May 1 and August 16, 1898. This medal was awarded to personnel who served afloat or on shore in Cuba, Puerto Rico, or Guam between May 1, 1898 and August 16, 1898. Those who served in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War originally received the Spanish Campaign Medal. In 1913 West Indies Campaign Medal was discontinued in favor of the Navy's Spanish Campaign Medal ( previously issued for qualifying service in the Philippine theater) which was then awarded regardless of the theater in which the recipient served.
ORDER OF PRECEDENCE
The West Indies Campaign Medal was worn after the Civil War Medal and before the Philippine Campaign Medal.
No devices were established for the West Indies Campaign Medal
West Indies Campaign Medal #1 was issued to Rear Admiral John E. Pillsbury on September 25, 1908 for service aboard the Vesuvius.
The West Indies 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 WEST INDIES 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 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.
Ribbon (Second Type)
The first ribbon 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. 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.