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Named WWII Marine Corps / Canadian Army Medal Group
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DESCRIPTION

A group of medals of Benjamin Fish, an American who enlisted in the Canadian Army in August of 1941, before the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the United States into the Second World War. He served in the Irish Regiment of Canada until September of 1942 when, presumably because of his American nationality, he was discharged so that he could enter American military service. Fish promptly did just that, enlisting in the United States Marine Corps the following month, and serving until his discharge in June of 1946. Fish evidently had his medals assembled by the London medals firm of Spink & Son in the 1950's. The medals are contained within a leather case which bears Fish's name and units on the exterior lid. The interior consists of two compartments. The upper tray has a hook for holding a full size medal bar. Also present in this tray are the cap insignia of the Marine Corps and of the Irish Regiment of Canada. The lower section of the case has a smaller recessed area and a hook, and it contains the miniature medal bar and the ribbon bar of Fish. Loose in the case are six full size medals: the WWII Canadian Volunteer Medal and the Canadian 1939-1945 War Medal in its box; and the American Campaign Medal, the Pacific Campaign Medal, the Marine Corps China Service Medal (all three of these having crimped broach suspensions) and the World War II Victory Medal (with a slot broach suspension). It is unknown as to why the full size medals were not mounted. However, Spink was obviously confused by the proper order of precedence for the medals, since both the ribbon bar and the miniature medal bar have the medals in an incorrect sequence. It is possible that Fish, seeing that Spink had been confounded by the task, took back his medals after the leather case and the miniature medal bar had been prepared, and then never got around to having his full size medals mounted. The fact that the miniature medals were assembled post-war is reflected by the fact that the interior lid of the case bears the Royal Warrants which identify Spink as the official medalists to both "Her Majesty the Queen" and to her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, indicating that the case dates from post-1952, after King George VI had died and his daughter, Elizabeth II, had become Queen. The medal group is accompanied by archival military records from Canada and from the Marine Corps which provide information on Fish's service in the Canadian Army and the Corps.