1908 Australian Great White Fleet Visit Medal
1908 Australian Great White Fleet Visit Medal - Bronze gilt with red and blue enamels, obverse illustrating a map of Australia and Tasmania surrounded by the inscription "COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA 1908", reverse illustrating the coats-of-arms of the six Australian states and territories, flanked by a Union Jack flag on the left and an American flag on the right, surrounded by the inscription "VISIT OF AMERICAN FLEET SOUVENIR", 23.8 mm x 28.2 mm, ring suspension, extremely fine.Footnote: The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe between December 16, 1907 and February 22, 1909, by order of American President Theodore Roosevelt. Based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia, it consisted of sixteen battleships divided into two squadrons, along with various escorts. Roosevelt sought to demonstrate growing American military power and blue-water navy capability. Hoping to enforce treaties and protect overseas holdings, the United States Congress appropriated funds to build American sea power. Beginning with ninety small ships, over one-third of them wooden, the navy quickly grew to include new modern steel fighting vessels. The hulls of these ships were painted a stark white, giving the armada the nickname "Great White Fleet". Along with three stops in Australia in 1908 (Sydney (August 20-28), Melbourne (August 29-September 5) and Albany (September 11-18)), the fleet also visited Trinidad, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Hawaii, New Zealand, the Philippine Islands, Japan, China, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Egypt and Gibraltar, before returning home to Hampton Roads.