The Spanish Campaign medal was established by Navy Department
Special Order No. 81, of June 27, 1908. It was awarded to Navy
personnel who served aboard ships in Philippine waters between May 1
and August 16, 1898. Many of the recipients also received the Dewey
Medal for the Battle of Manila Bay. (The West Indies version of this
medal was awarded to those who served in Cuban waters during the war.)
I previously sold this medal on eBay in 2007 for $925 and have recently reacquired it.
While serving on the Concord, Ensign Kaiser participated in the Battle of Mania Bay on May 1st, 1898, and the subsequent operations in the Philippine Islands during the Spanish American War.
Click here for the after action reports of the Commander and the Executive Officer of the USS Concord, following the Battle of Manila Bay. The first report mentions Ens. Kaiser by name.
In December of 1898, Kaiser was promoted to Lieutenant, junior grade and several months later he was assigned to command the collier USS Nanshan. During this time he also served briefly as acting-Governor of Guam, in preparation for the arrival of Governor Richard Phillips Leary. In the fall of 1899 Kaiser was transferred to the gunboat USS Wheeling and participated in the Philippine Insurrection aboard that vessel before returning to the United States. (See my other auction for Kaiser’s Philippine Campaign Medal.)
In 1904, he was transferred to the Bureau of Equipment. In this role, Kaiser was a pioneer in early wireless transmissions and conducted many of the early tests of wireless telegraphy. In 1905, he demonstrated a 1100+ mile range while testing it aboard the USS Brooklyn. Following promotion to Lieutenant Commander in 1905, he was invited to speak on these innovations to the Washington Society of Engineers in Washington, DC.
In 1912, he served aboard the cruiser USS Montgomery. The following year, he transferred to the USS Tennessee before being promoted to Commander. He served in the Boston Naval Yard and Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island in 1915, before commanding the battleship USS New Jersey and receiving a promotion to Captain.
During WWI he served at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. Following the war he commanded of a number of different shore stations. In 1926 Captain Kaiser retired from the US Navy after more than 40 years of active duty.
Below is an outline of Kaiser’s service from 1885 until his promotion to Captain in 1917.
The research file that accompanies this medal includes:
- A color copy of the 1912 transmittal letter for Spanish Campaign Medal. :
- A brief “Who’s Who” entry. :
- A detailed listing of duty stations from 1889 to 1904. :
- An outline of naval service from 1889 to 1926, listing all promotions. :
- 1918 and 1925 Navy Register entries. :
- Two newspaper obituaries on Captain Kaiser’s death. :
- A photo of Kaiser’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery. :
- Other miscellaneous research related to Captain Kaiser and his family.