295: USA ww1 uniform & Insignia Carl Stevens

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USA ww1 uniform & Insignia worn by Pte Carl Gustav (Jensen) Stevens

Inter-Allied Victory Medal, USA, Escort bar

Circular bronze medal of the  official Type 2 with the “wire-loop” suspension on original   ribbon mounted for wear with ‘ESCORT’ bar. The idea of an  inter-allied medal to commemorate victory in what was termed ‘The Great  War for Civilisation’ is credited to the French Field-Marshal Foch. It  was agreed that each of the Allies should issue a medal to their  nationals featuring a figure representing ‘Victory’ on the front and  have a symmetric double rainbow ribbon with red, the colour of courage  and sacrifice at the centre, representing the colours of the allies  flags and presenting an allegory of calm after storm. The original  intention to institute the American version of the medal by Act of  Congress never materialised and it was left to the Service Departments  to do so by General Orders. This was done by the Army in April 1919 and  by the Navy in June 1919, to be awarded for active service between 6  April 1917 and 11 November 1918. The award was later extended to those  who served in European Russia between 12 November 1918 and 5 August 1919  and with the Expeditionary Force in Asian Russia between 23 November  1918 and 1 April 1920. It was designed by the eminent sculptor James  Earle Fraser (1876-1953).

For service attached to a Naval Escort vessel  for one voyage across the North Atlantic between Apr 6th 1917 and Nov 11th 1918

In honour of my late Uncle Carl Gustav Jensen Stevens 1897-1980 I post his uniform and pictures in this blog.

Carl Gustav Jensen was born 18 May 1897 in Denmark.

When arrived to the United States He changed his name to Stevens in relation to the cliff of Stevns the name of the county from where he was born.

I let him tell his story himself: I immigrated to United States in 1916 and volunteered to the Army 8 Decembre 1917 and was detached to the 1st Gas & Flame Regiment, 30th Engineer Company, later changed to E Company in which I was the whole war.

We were in fighting at the St-Mihiel Sector from the 9 Septembre to the 23 Septembre 1918 and in the Verdun Sector from 23 Septembre to 18 Octobre 1918 and again along the Meuse River from the 20 Octobre to the 11 Novembre 1918 the Armistice day.

The last day of fighting I was hit by a shrapnel which tore up my gas mask and before I could get it repaired I swallowed a lot of gas which get me very ill.

This did me a nuisance for many years, but I was not wounded. My fellow soldiers nursed my the best way they could and furthermore we had a clever medic. I would not leave my fellows and my company, because there was rumours about we should go back to the United States at once and I would not miss this.

But we got not back to the States before March 1919. When we left Verdun my weigh was 90 pound. I was discharged the 24 March 1919 with high exellent character.

For many years Carl Gustav Stevens lived in South Dakota with his wife Gertrude, but in the 60ties they moved to Phoenix in Arizona were they died in 1980.

The poem in the image sounds:

Thou old guy, before fading the shine of your eye

and even you walk home to the coast of peace

here you see your son, returning from distant land

to your celebration, with honour on his breast

At the rivers of Marne he received the honour

where death day after day took its victims

believe, he went to and stayed at places

where only the cannon raises its voice.

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