Faciat Georgius

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Faciat Georgius (Let George Do It)
FGO.jpg
Obverse of the Faciat Georgius
Awarded by 1st Marine Division
Type Commemorative (Unofficial) Medal
Status Unofficial
Statistics
First awarded 1943
Last awarded 1943
Total awarded Approximately 50
FGR.jpg
Reverse of the Faciat Georgius

The Faciat Georgius was an unofficial United States Marine Corps medal given to officers on Guadalcanal.[1][2]

History[edit]

After the initial success of the landings on Guadalcanal the Marines of the 1st Marine Division the Imperial Japanese forces rallied. On D+3 Japanese Naval & Air forces joined the battle. On 10 August, the U.S. Naval Forces, outgunned, were withdrawn after unloading only half the supplies needed by the entrenched Marines. Several weeks would pass before the ships & supplies returned, leaving the Marines on their own subsisting on captured enemy rations.

During a lull in the fighting, Col. (later MGEN) Merrill B. Twining suggested that a commemorative medal be struck. He suggested that the suspending ribbon be made of worn green twill fabric from a Marine utility uniform and bear the inscription “Let George Do It”, the division’s state side motto from training days when they seemed to draw more than their fair share of onerous assignments. The motto was translated into Latin by Scottish Capt. Martin Clemens. The artist who designed the medal was Capt. (later COL.) Donald L. Dickson, who drew the designs on captured Japanese post cards using a half dollar to draw the circles. The cost to receive a medal was one Australian Pound. About 45 Officers and Senior Enlisted signed up.[3]

All that can be truly documented is that the medals were made in Australia using a lost wax casting process as the cost of creating a die would have been prohibitive. The number of medals cast range anywhere from 25 to several hundred with 50 being the commonly agreed upon number.[4]The medal was issued without a clasp, but instead was awarded suspended from an oversized safety pin (or other interesting device) used for closing Navy shipboard laundry bags. A certificate was issued with each medal.

When the medals were ready, Lieutenant Frank Farrell, 7th Marines' intelligence officer and columnist for the New York World Telegram was assigned to handle the details of the certificate. Second Lieutenant John C. Schiller Jr was charged with collecting the fee and Lt. COL (later COL) Edmond J. Buckley was appointed "Grand Master of the Order"[5] and signed several of the certificates.

In recent years, fakes have been cast and can be identified by a different metal, different patina and a loss of detail especially in the fingers on the obverse.[6]

Legend[edit]

Various accounts also state that the ribbon, to be official, was washed in the Lunga river of Guadalcanal.[7]

Certificate and Design Drawing[edit]

FGSmallCert.jpg GF Card.jpg

Description and symbolism[edit]

Obverse

A hand extended from a U.S. Navy uniform sleeve dropping a hot potato to an entrenched Marine. A cactus was included to symbolise the code name of the landings; "Operation Cactus." At the bottom are the words "Faciat Georgius"


Reverse

The rear end of a cow with an electric fan blowing across it symbolizing the times "when the s*** hit the fan." The words:

In Fond Remembrance of

The Happy Days Spent

From Aug. 7th 1942

To Jan. 5th 1943

U.S.M.C.

Ribbon

The ribbon is a washed olive drab and made from the twill cloth of the U.S.M.C.utility uniform.

Notable recipients[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://usswashington.com/worldwar2plus55/dl13se42.htm
  2. ^ http://books.google.com/books?id=wNo0v-6RXIAC&pg=PA168&lpg=PA168&dq=faciat+georgius&source=bl&ots=A4a32H1N1l&sig=0pfxyMIXBVxl4e6snhszhXuJktA&hl=en&ei=yDVDTIWnB4H88AbY1dXBDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEEQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=faciat%20georgius&f=false
  3. ^ "The George Medal" by Dick Camp, LEATHERNECK MAGAZINE, August, 2002
  4. ^ "Let George Do It" by P.L. Thompson, LEATHERNECK MAGAZINE, August, 1982
  5. ^ "Alone on Guadalcanal:A Coast Watcher's Story" by Martin Clemens;1998, The Naval Institute Press
  6. ^ "Faciat Georgius" by Jim Ruehemund (USNA 1948), The Virginia Numismatist Vol. 27
  7. ^ "The George Medal" by Dick Camp, LEATHERNECK MAGAZINE, August, 2002

References[edit]

  • "Let George Do It" by P.L. Thompson, LEATHERNECK MAGAZINE, August, 1982
  • "The George Medal" by Dick Camp, LEATHERNECK MAGAZINE, August, 2002
  • Clemens, Martin (2004 (reissue)). Alone on Guadalcanal: A Coastwatcher's Story. Bluejacket Books. ISBN 1-59114-124-9.
  • "Faciat Georgius" by Jim Ruehemund (USNA 1948), The Virginia Numismatist Vol. 27

External links[edit]