Rim Engraved US Navy Mexican Service Medal

US Navy Mexican Service Medal, rim engraved “W. R. Wessel BM1c Apr 1914” followed by the impressed number “2609”. Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class William Robert Wessel earned this medal while serving on the armored cruiser USS Montana in April and May of 1914. At this time the Montana was part of the naval force that was occupying the city of Vera Cruz, Mexico. The ship arrived at the harbor several days after the battle in which US forces seized the city.

Wessel originally enlisted in 1908 and served on the USS Montana though two enlistments from 1908 to 1915. During WWI he served on the USS Nero. In addition to the Mexican Service Medal, Wessel was issued a Good Conduct Medal and WWI Victory Medal with “Transport” bar. The location of these other two medals is unknown. He was released from active duty in 1919 and discharged from the Navy in 1920. Wessel attempted to reenlist for WWII but was not accepted due to his age.

This medal has the original ribbon and brooch but the ribbon has some damage on the front. The condition of the medal is otherwise very good. Included are scans of 35 pages from Wessel’s personnel file that document his naval service and issue of his three medals. These will be provided on CD-ROM. No original documents are included with the medal.

Price $375 (Sold)

First enlistment record.

Service details from the time the USS Montana was at Vera Cruz.

Letter requesting issue of the medal, with medal number and date of issue notated.

Transmittal letter for the medal. The bottom portion was supposed to be removed and returned as a receipt. The top part was to be retained by the recipient. It appears that Wessel returned the entire letter by mistake.

Bottom portion of transmittal letter.

Campaign medal index card.

This photo was in Wessel’s personnel file. It’s unmarked but is presumably of Wessel in civilian clothes. There was no notation on how or why it was put in his file.

US flag being raised at Vera Cruz after the capture of the city. (Copied from Wikipedia.)

Wessel’s service records for his first enlistment.

Notations of offences and punishments during first enlistment.

Service record from WWI.

Summary of service.

Burial card. (Copied from Ancestry.com)

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