|War Merit Cross|
War Merit Cross
|Awarded by Italy|
|Eligibility||Members of the Italian armed forces|
One year of service in combat operations|
Being wounded in combat
|Established||19 January 1918|
|Next (higher)||War Cross for Military Valor|
|Next (lower)||Army Merit Cross|
Ribbon bar of the cross
Ribbon bar of the cross for two awards
From its institution until 30 May 1927, 1,034,924 Crosses were issued.
Eligibility[edit | edit source]
The Italian War Merit Cross was awarded to members of the armed forces with a minimum of one year's service in contact with an enemy who received the Medal of the Wounded, or to those who, when mentioned for war merit, received a promotion. Also, if an act of valour was deemed insufficient for the Medal of Military Valour, the War Merit Cross could be awarded instead; from 1922 onwards a bronze sword on the ribbon showed this class of award.
Design[edit | edit source]
The War Merit Cross was in bronze, 38mm wide (1-1/2 inches), with a blue ribbon. A second award was indicated by a bronze star on the ribbon. The reverse side bears a 5-pointed star on a background of rays. The obverse has the royal cypher ("VE III" under a crown) in the upper arm, "MERITO DI GVERRA" (War Merit) on the horizontal arms and a Roman sword point upwards, on oak leaves, in the lower arm. During World War II, the War Merit Cross underwent a number of significant changes.
In 1941, by decree, the War Merit Cross was replaced by the Medal of Military Valour.
Notable recipients[edit | edit source]
- Robert L. Blackwell, Private, US Army, MoH
- Tasker H. Bliss, General, US Army
- Evans Carlson, Brigadier General, US Marines, leader of Carlson's Raiders
- William J. Donovan, Major General, US Army, MoH
- Edouard Izac, Lieutenant, US Navy, MoH
- Clayton P. Kerr, United States Army Major General and member of Allied Mission to Italian Army in World War II
- Frank Luke, Jr., Second Lieutenant, US Army Air Service, MoH
- Douglas MacArthur, General, US Army, MoH
- Alvin York, Sergeant, US Army, MoH
- Richmond H. Hilton, Sergeant, US Army, MoH
- Carioti Quinto, Private, Italian Army
- Guiseppe Cirrincione, Maresciallo Dell'aeronautica
References[edit | edit source]
- "Esercito Italiano- Nastrini delle decorazioni in uso" (in Italian). Esercito.difesa.it. http://www.esercito.difesa.it/Equipaggiamenti/Militaria/Decorazioni/DecorazionieOnorificenze/Nastrinidecorazioniinuso/Pagine/default.aspx. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
- "Italian Army Awards and Medals WW1". diggerhistory. 11 Nov 2002. http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-medals/italian1.htm. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
- Shackelford, Micheal (1998). "Medals of Italy". http://www.gwpda.org/medals/italmedl/italy.html. Retrieved 17 October 2010.
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