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eMedals-A Fine Anglo-American Medal Group to the Jewish Legion

Item: W2975

A Fine Anglo-American Medal Group to the Jewish Legion

On April 1, 2017 Auction Won For


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A Fine Anglo-American Medal Group to the Jewish Legion

A Fine Anglo-American Medal Group to the Jewish Legion - British War Medal (J-5787 PTE. S. BULLASKY. R. FUS.) and Victory Medal (J-5787 PTE. S. BULLASKY. R. FUS.); United States: World War I Victory Medal; and Army of Occupation of Germany Medal; Canada: 1939-1945 Star; Defence Medal; Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp; and War Medal 1939-1945; and United States: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal; World War II Victory Medal; and Army Good Conduct Medal. The British pair are un-mounted, with original ribbons, both medals with the Ribbon Bar of the American Army of Occupation of Germany Medal sewn to their reverses, in the "brooch" format. The Canadian group is mounted to a swing bar pinback, as worn by the veteran, with original ribbons and are un-named. The five American medals are un-named, each have original ribbons with brooch pinbacks, the pinback missing on the Army of Occupation of Germany Medal, while the others are intact. Dark patinas on the silver medals, contact marks and surface wear, very fine. Accompanied by a copy of his First World War 39th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers Medals Award Index Card, along with assorted research papers.   Footnote: Samuel Bullusky was from the United States and born around 1900. He enlisted for service with the 39th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (AKA The Jewish Legion). The Jewish Legion (1917–1921) is an unofficial name used to refer to five battalions of Jewish volunteers, the 38th to 42nd (Service) Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers, raised in the British Army to fight against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War. In August 1917, the formation of a Jewish battalion was officially announced. The unit was designated as the 38th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers and included British volunteers, as well as members of the former Zion Mule Corps and a large number of Russian Jews. In April 1918, it was joined by the 39th Battalion, raised at Fort Edward, Nova Scotia, which was made up almost entirely of Jews who were resident in the United States and Canada, one of which appears to have been Bullasky. Thousands of Palestinian Jews also applied to join the Legion and in 1918, more than 1,000 were enlisted. Ninety-two Ottoman Jews who had been captured in the fighting earlier were also permitted to enlist. This group was organized as the 40th Battalion. The 41st and 42nd Battalions were depot battalions stationed in Plymouth, England. The 5,000 member Legion was composed of "thirty-four per cent from the United States, thirty per cent from Palestine, twenty-eight per cent from England, six per cent from Canada, one per cent Ottoman war prisoners, one per cent from Argentina." The soldiers of the 38th, 39th and later the 40th Battalions of the Royal Fusiliers served in the Jordan Valley and fought the Ottomans north of Jerusalem. In June 1918, the volunteers of the 38th Battalion began engaging the Ottomans some twenty miles north of Jerusalem. In the fighting in the Jordan Valley, more than twenty Legionnaires were killed, wounded, or captured, the rest came down with malaria, and thirty of this group later died. The Legion then came under the command of Major-General Edward Chaytor, who commanded the ANZAC Mounted Division. Besides various skirmishes, the Legion also participated in the Battle of Megiddo in mid-September 1918, widely considered to have been one of the final and decisive victories of the Ottoman front. Almost all the members of the Jewish regiments were discharged immediately after the end of the war, in November 1918. Some of them returned to their respective countries, others settled in Palestine to realize their Zionist aspirations. For his First World War Service with the 39th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, Bullasky was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Bullasky later joined the American Expeditionary Force after the War, as part of the Army of Occupation on Germany, before returning to Canada. Since his original purpose was to fight with the 39th (Service) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, his passage was paid for by the British Government. He embarked Glasgow, Scotland, arriving in Montreal, Quebec on September 14, 1919 aboard the S.S. Saturnia, along with other soldiers from the Jewish Legion. As he was an American citizen serving with the AEF, he was also awarded the World War I Victory Medal and the Army of Occupation of Germany Medal. Bullasky appears to have later served overseas with the Canadian Forces during the Second World War, possibly enlisting with them before the Americans entered the war in December 1941, and for his service, was awarded the 1939-1945 Star, the Defence Medal, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Overseas Clasp and the War Medal 1939-1945. Afterwards, he likely returned to the United States during the later stages of the war and fought for his home country in the Pacific Theatre, and for his service was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the Army Good Conduct Medal.   NOTE: This is a First World War recruitment poster published in American Jewish magazines, illustrating the Daughter of Zion (representing the Jewish people), exclaiming "Your Old New Land Must Have You! Join the Jewish Regiment." (C:36)  
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