The Sampson Medal is a military decoration of the United States Navy which was first authorized in 1901. The decoration was awarded to those personnel who were assigned in the fleet of Rear Admiral William T. Sampson during the Spanish–American War and who engaged in combat operations in the waters of the West Indies and Cuba.
Campaign clasps were authorized for wear on the Sampson Medal, showing various battles and the ship name which had participated. When worn as a ribbon on a military uniform, there were no devices authorized.
The Sampson Medal was declared a commemorative medal shortly after its issuance and never appeared on official U.S. Navy award precedence charts. The decoration was nevertheless worn on active duty uniforms, typically following the Spanish Campaign Medal. The decoration was issued under the same criteria as the West Indies Campaign Medal, and U.S. Navy regulations prohibited service members from receiving both medals for the same period of duty.
The Sampson Medal was also known as the West Indies Naval Campaign Medal, not to be confused with the West Indies Campaign Medal which was a separate award. A similar commemorative decoration was the Dewey Medal, considered senior to the Sampson Medal.
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