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Catalog Data

Issued by:
United States Army, American, founded 1775  Search this
Designed by:
James Earle Fraser, American, 1876 - 1953  Search this
Received by:
Cpl. Lawrence Leslie McVey, Sr., American, 1897 - 1968  Search this
Subject of:
369th Infantry Regiment, American, 1913 - 1945  Search this
bronze and ribbon
H x W x D: 3 7/8 × 1 1/2 × 1/8 in. (9.8 × 3.8 × 0.3 cm)
Place made:
United States, North and Central America
Due to racial tension within the US Army, the 369th Infantry Regiment was assigned to the French Army for the duration of US involvement in World War I. Formed from the 15th New York National Guard Regiment and nicknamed the "Harlem Hellfighters," the 369th was the first African American regiment to reach the battlefields of World War I and the first Allied troops to reach the banks of the Rhine. Upon completion of the 369th’s service in the war, the regiment had spent 191 days in combat, the longest of any American regiment. In appreciation for their actions in the Maison-en-Champagne campaign, the 369th was awarded the Croix de Guerre by the French Government for acts of bravery in conflicts against the enemy. In addition to this honor, 171 individual members of the 369th Regiment were awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Legion of Honor. The 369th Regiment finished their service in Europe and returned to the US in February 1919.
U.S. World War I Victory medal issued to Corporal Lawrence Leslie McVey with army battle and service clasps. The ribbon is rainbow colored with red in the center surrounded by yellow, green, blue and purple. The ribbon is extremely frayed and has areas of loss. The four bronze army battle and service clasps attached to the metal have a star on each side and read, [CHAMPAGNE - MARNE], [AISNE - MARNE], [MEUSE-ARGONNE], and [DEFENSIVE SECTOR]. The circular medal hangs from its ribbon by a circular metal loop. The front of the medal has an image of the figure Victory with wings and a halo holding a sword and shield. At the bottom of the medal the designer's name is inscribed, [FRASER]. The back of the medal features a shield with a battle ax above comprised of six staffs roped together. The shield has the inscription [U / S] on either side of central ax. On top of the medal, the inscription curved reads, [THE GREAT WAR FOR CIVILIZATION]. On either side of the central image is a list of the Allied countries. The countries on the left are [FRANCE / ITALY / SERBIA / JAPAN / MONTENEGRO / RUSSIA / GREECE]. The countries on the right read, [GREAT / BRITIAN / BELGIUM / BRAZIL / PORTUGAL / RUMANIA / CHINA]. Curved along the bottom are six stars.
African American  Search this
Military  Search this
World War I  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Gina R. McVey, Granddaughter
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
No Known Copyright Restrictions
Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Awards and Medals
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture