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eMedals-United States. A Purple Heart & Philippines Medal Group to Sgt. George Beckley, WIA in the Battle of Bayan, May 1902

Item: M0215-27

United States. A Purple Heart & Philippines Medal Group to Sgt. George Beckley, WIA in the Battle of Bayan, May 1902

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United States. A Purple Heart & Philippines Medal Group to Sgt. George Beckley, WIA in the Battle of Bayan, May 1902

Purple Heart, multi-piece construction, bronze gilt with purple, red, white, and green enamel, measures 34mm (w) x 44.5mm (h- inclusive of horizontally pierced integral ball), reverse engraved GEORGE W BECKLEY, on original ribbon with brooch pinback, scattered gilt wear, wear to edges and Washington bust, near very fine condition; Philippine Campaign Medal, bronze, measures 34mm, rim impressed 24581, on original ribbon with brooch pinback, staining from 7-8 o’clock, wear to obverse, small nicks to edges, near very fine condition; Philippine Congressional Medal, bronze, 32.5mm, rim impressed No. 5613, on original ribbon with brooch pinback, dark patina, very light wear, very fine condition.

Accompanied by a framed black and white photograph of Beckley, CD containing PDFs of the medal records, and research documents pertaining to Beckley’s service and the Battle of Bayan.

Footnote: George W. Beckley was born in 1874, in New York. He first enlisted for the 13th infantry regiment on March 13, 1895 in Dallas, Texas and listed his occupation as a fireman. After three years of service, he enlisted for a second time on March 24, 1898 in Fort Brown, Texas. His final enlistment took place on April 13, 1902, at which time he was a single 27 year old man. Shortly afterwards, on May 2, 1902, Quartermaster Sergeant Beckley was wounded in the Battle of Bayan. This was the first hostile encounter between the Moros (the Muslim populations of the Philippines) and the United States Army. The battle took place near the south end of Lake Lanao, located on the island of Mindanao, and is considered a punitive expedition by many. Two soldiers from the 27th Infantry were killed for their rifles while outside of the camp boundaries. Commanding Officer Colonel Frank D. Baldwin took control of his 1,025 men and added the sixty-five men of the 25th Battery of Field Artillery, ten six-mule teams, forty teams of pack mules and three hundred hired Maguindanaos into battle after hearing the news of his soldiers. The result was approximately five hundred Moros killed, and eleven Americans soldiers killed and forty-two wounded. As a part of the 27th Infantry, it was recorded that Beckley sustained a severe gunshot wound to the left jaw and neck. Due to his injury he was recommended for discharge on account of “pain and stiffness in neck with difficult deglutition and nervousness when required to exercise his mental faculties.” Beckley was retroactively awarded a purple heart on September 13, 1932. He died in 1941 and is buried in Arlington.

The medal records included in this lot identify that the Philippine Congressional Medal was awarded to the clothing equipment branch of the office of the quartermaster general on May 22, 1919. The Campaign Medal (24581) was named to a P. Champ.

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