Navy Distinguished Service Medal (by Bailey, Banks, & Biddle, with eagle suspension bar, 1917-1918)
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The Navy Distinguished Service Medal was authorized by Congress on February 4, 1919. Until 1942, the award was senior in precedence to the Navy Cross. However, the award has since been amended and it is now ranked below the Navy Cross. The Bronze Medal is awarded to any person serving in a position of great responsibility with the United States Navy in recognition of exceptionally distinguished and meritorious service to the government. The Medal is often awarded to senior Officers. Officers of foreign Navies may also be eligible for the award.
A gold star worn on the ribbon is awarded to denote subsequent awards of the Medal.
There are 3 versions of the Medal which differ by design. The first two versions feature an obverse depiction on the medallion of an anchor superimposed onto a background of an ocean and setting sun, as well as a reverse engraving of the recipient's name. The first version was manufactured by Whitehead & Hoag and does not feature a suspension bar while the second version was manufactured at a later date by Bailey, Banks & Biddle and features an eagle suspension bar with a scroll that reads "1917-1918." No first or second versions of the Medal were delivered to the United States Navy, but they were often presented to Officers of friendly foreign Navies. The third version was also manufactured by Bailey, Banks & Biddle, depicting an eagle on the obverse, a trident on the reverse, surmounted by a 5-pointed star.
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