I had believed that this was the version of the medal Siegel was first awarded. But upon reflection and review of files I see that he was probably in possession of at least 3 medals, each being at a different time and all for the same event.
Here is the medal I showed in error, as being the version first awarded...
The above Tiffany version was not authorized until February 1919. His first medal, was sent out by officialdom to get engraved on 21 Jan., 1919. Obviously before the Tiffany version was authorized and even actually created.
His first meal should have been the then current navy Medal of Honor, created in 1913, and looking like this...
When the Tiffany Medal was designed it was decided that it would be for the navy and marines and would have 2 different suspension ribbons. One would reflect action in the face of the enemy and one would be for non combatant heroism.
Yet like so much involving the Siegel case, this is the ribbon that he apparently received. The reverse of this medal appears at top of this blog.
On a side note, some 36 years earlier Nova Scotia's Joseph Noil also received a Medal of Honor for saving a shipmate from drowning at the same naval yard. Remembrance also is due this very month for this coloured sailor and hero as well as Robert Sweeney MOH, thought to be from Canada, but later disproved, Joachim Peace another coloured sailor and MOH recipient from Nfld, and William Hall from Nova Scotia, a Victoria Cross recipient, and also a sailor.
This of course being Black history Month!
Even formal government files contain curious entries.
Note also the several spellings of his name shown above.
For the next 77 years his place of exact burial was concealed by the fact that he was buried under the assumed initial R instead of O.
It was thanks to the investigative talents of one of our fellow members in the United States Medal of Honor Historical Society that the riddle has come to a rest.
John Otto Siegel's files at the Gary Indiana cemetery will be corrected and a marker, where there in none at present, will be erected with not only his correct name but the honour he holds as being a recipient of the most prestigious Medal of Honor.
As this story develops I will bring you more news.
In the mean time Winnipeg is still very much on my radar and many fascinating facts about that city and its military background will be further explored next Sunday. And at that time I shall reveal some military connections that VERY FEW are doubtfully aware of. Including its historians!
You will be surprised.
Hope you will again join me then,