Porto Rican Occupation Medal group issued to Sgt. Peter Steffes, Battery B, 4th US Artillery
Group to Mess Sgt. Peter Steffes; Spanish War Service Medal # 30646, Porto Rican Occupation No. 303, Mexican Border Service 32768, WWI Victory with five bars and United Spanish War Veterans membership medal.
The PR Occupation and Mexican Border both trace by number to Steffes. Both medals were issued to him in 1923 when he was a Mess Sergeant in the 30th Infantry. The SPWS was part of a 1938 Northern Stamping contract and is above the traceable range. However Steffes died in 1934 (he’s buried at Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee) so this medal couldn’t have been issued to him while he was alive, but it may have been claimed by his next of kin after his death. Steffes is not shown in the SPWS medal roll as ever being issued a traceable numbered medal. This is somewhat unusual, as it should have been issued at the same time as PR Occ and SPWS medals.
Sgt. Steffes first enlisted in 1895 and served in the 11th Infantry until March 1898. He immediately reenlisted and served with Battery B of the 4th Artillery until discharged by special order in January 1899. This service with B/4th Art. qualified him for the PR Occ. Pension index cards show him with the 26th Infantry from 1906 to 1909 and with the 30th Infantry from 1914 to 1919. During WWI the 30th Infantry, as part of the 3rd Division, earned the Victory Medal with six bars; the five bars shown on the VM in this group and also the Meuse-Argonne bar. Based up his VM bar combination, Steffes somehow missed this operation, most likely due to illness or wounds. After WWI he served with the 5th Infantry at Andernach, Germany as part of the Army of Occupation (per 1920 census). Steffese was with the 26th Infantry Regiment from 1924 until April 1926, when he probably retired.
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