French Croix de Guerre medal issued to Cpl. Lawrence Leslie McVey
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- Issued by
- French Republic, French, founded 1792
- Designed by
- Albert Bartholomé, French, 1848 - 1928
- Received by
- Cpl. Lawrence Leslie McVey, Sr., American, 1897 - 1968
- Subject of
- 369th Infantry Regiment, American, 1913 - 1945
- 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.
- Florentine bronze cross patée, with two crossed swords between the arms. The center of the front side shows the symbolic profile of the French Republic: a young woman wearing a Phrygian cap. The words [REPUBLIC FRANCAISE] (French Republic) encircle the portrait. The cross is suspended by a green ribbon with seven narrow vertical red stripes. A bronze star affixed to the ribbon indicates McVey was honored at the regiment or brigade level. The back of the medal has the dates of World War I, [1914 / 1918].
- 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.
- bronze, ribbon and metal
- H x W: 4 1/4 x 1 1/2 x 1/8 in. (10.8 x 3.8 x 0.3 cm)
- Place made
- France, Europe
- See more items in
- National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
- Awards and Medals
- Double Victory: The African American Military Experience
- On View
- NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Community/Third Floor, 3 053
- National Museum of African American History and Culture
- African American
- World War I
- Record ID
- Metadata Usage (text)
- GUID (Link to Original Record)
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