Nicaraguan Campaign Medal
|Nicaraguan Campaign Medal|
First (left) & Second (right) Nicaraguan Campaign Medals
|Awarded by United States military|
|Awarded for||service in Nicaragua or nearby naval operations|
ribbons and streamers: 1st campaign (top) & 2nd campaign (bottom)
The Nicaraguan Campaign Medal is a military decoration of the United States Navy which was authorized by Presidential Order of Woodrow Wilson on September 22, 1913. The medal was again authorized by an act of the United States Congress on November 8, 1929. The Nicaraguan Campaign Medal is therefore considered as two separate decorations, commonly referred to as the First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal and the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal.
First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal
The First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was created to recognize those U.S. Navy personnel and U.S. Marines who had participated in amphibious actions in Nicaragua between 29 July and 14 November 1912. The following naval commands, and all embarked U.S. Marines, were eligible for the First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal:
- USS Annapolis (gunboat)
- USS California (armored cruiser)
- USS Cleveland (protected cruiser)
- USS Colorado (armored cruiser)
- USS Denver (protected cruiser)
- USS Glacier (stores ship)
- USS Maryland (armored cruiser)
- USS Tacoma (protected cruiser)
The medal for the First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal displayed a volcano, rising from a lake, with the words “Nicaraguan Campaign” and the date 1912 on the edges of the medal. The medal itself was suspended from a red ribbon with two thick blue stripes. On the reverse of each medal was a Navy or Marine Corps crest, depending on the recipient's branch of service.
The First Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was a one-time-only decoration and there were no devices or attachments authorized.
Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal
The Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was created General Orders of the Navy Department and approved by Congress to recognize naval operations in Nicaragua between the dates of August 27, 1926 and January 2, 1933.
To be awarded the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal, a service member must have either served on a United States ship, or as an embarked Marine, in the waters or land territory of Nicaragua during the aforementioned dates.
The Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal appeared as a medal suspended from a red ribbon with several white stripes. The medal displayed a woman (representing Columbia), armed with a sword, defending two other figures with a cloak. The medal bore the words "Second Nicaraguan Campaign" with the dates “1926 – 1930” displayed on the medal’s edges (although the medal was authorized until 1933). No devices were authorized.
The Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal was considered a separate award from the first version of the medal and Navy regulations permitted the receipt and wear of both decorations, if so authorized. Admiral W. H. Sutherland, who had been in overall command of both Nicaraguan campaigns, was the first recipient of both versions of the Nicaraguan Campaign Medal. Another notable recipient of the Second Nicaraguan Campaign Medal is U.S. Marine Corps Brigadier general William K. MacNulty, who also was awarded the Navy Cross for, then, Capt. MacNulty's valiant relief of an ambushed Marine supply pack train during the Campaign on February 27 and February 28, 1929. MacNulty latter commanded the U.S. Marine Corps defense of Guam against overwhelming Japanese Imperial forces during the Battle of Guam (1941) and was, thereafter, interned as a Japanese prisoner of war.
- Bernard C. Nalty, The United States Marines in Nicaragua (1958, as reprinted in 1968 and out of any copyright), (Doc.) Marine Corps Historical Reference Series, Historical Branch, G-3 Division Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington, D.C., "A pack train guarded by Marines was returning empty from Yali to Esteli on the afternoon of 27 February. One hundred yards west of the tiny village of Bromaderos, a dozen bullets cracked over the head of 1st Lieutenant Edward F. O'Day, the officer in charge. The 35 Marines and their mule drivers took cover. Easing to the left of the trail, they worked their way to the crest of a small ridge. From this excellent position, they managed to break up two enemy attacks, neither of which was well planned or aggressively executed. … While O'Day's column was being attacked, a powerful combat patrol was moving toward Yali. Captain William K. MacNulty had 88 Marines under his command, a sufficient force to accomplish his mission of suppressing rebel activity along the route to Yali. At dawn of 28 February, reinforcements reached the beleaguered O'Day. Although MacNulty's patrol had suffered no casualties, three were killed and ten wounded in the other group. Two more were to die before they could be evacuated. Enemy losses were placed at 10 dead and 30 wounded.", pp. 22 and 23, (Internal cite "Combat Operations in Nicaragua", Marine Corps Gazette, v. 14, no. 3(Sep 1929), pp. 170-179.)