! -- 1998 - 10/06/2014 -->
A DISCUSSION OF THE MEDALS
I have searched the web a bit and found an Army site which shows medals for the Phillipine Expedition, Puerto Rico and China from the SAW which are the right shape tho the ribbons don't correspond. I'm hoping that the navy ribbons will be different from the army ribbons tho the medals themselves are the same or at least similar. But in fact? it turns out that there was an effort to conform the ribbons across the services, tho they didn't always start the same.
The Maltese Cross is the Veterans of Foreign Wars membership medal.
Interestingly, I have researched the Maltese Cross in connection with one of K's Great grandfathers, William Cassidy. You may find that page, and the links in it, of interest.
Below are some more relevant sites and observations:
Here are some navy medal links which show the medals and ribbons and the list of ships eligible and dates. The ribbons don't match the ribbons on Denis's chest. The medals could match but it's hard to tell.
This site suggests that there are also state-issued medals!!!! Indeed, even the people of Brooklyn got together and awarded a medal to the sailors who served on the USS Brooklyn.
This site shows the first medal, evidently issued by a an ngo to " members of the "United Spanish War Veterans." Anyone who served in the armed forces during the Spanish American War or during the Philippine American War was eligible for membership (this organization and the U.S. government both treated both of these separate wars as the same conflict). Of course, over 325,000 served in the Spanish American War, with the U.S. forces in the Philippine-American War peaked at over 70,000 men. As a result, the medal is not tremendously rare. To our knowledge, the serial numbers are not traceable on these medals." Denis's placement of this medal in the position of first precedence is certainly inappropriate for an ngo medal, though size- and color-wise it was certainly the most prominent and (except for precedence) seemed to be suited to that position.
West Indies Campaign Medal
The Spanish Campaign Medal. This site lists the Amphitrite as eligible but the ribbon doesn't match.
But this non-USN site: Spanish American War Spanish Campaign Navy Service Medal" shows a medal with a ribbon that matches the third from the left, top row.
West Indies Naval Campaign Medal, 1898 (Sampson Medal)
Battle of Manila Bay Medal (Dewey Medal)
The Philippine Campaign Medal
This could be the medal on the right, top row, China Relief Expedition Medal. The ribbon color pattern seems to match but the colors are reversed. The pagoda image is possibly the same as on Denis's chest.
Here is the index page for these sites.