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DSC - no citation?

Printed From: Cross & Cockade
Category: General Discussion
Forum Name: General
Forum Discription: General Discussion
Printed Date: 28 Feb 2020 at 04:07
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 10.03 -

Topic: DSC - no citation?
Posted By: AndyK
Subject: DSC - no citation?
Date Posted: 27 Dec 2012 at 15:31
I'm helping with research into an Italian officer who was awarded the DSC in February 1917. I can find no reference in the London Gazette - but then I'm not seeing citations or listings for ANY foreign officers being awarded the DSC.

The medal ribbon and a letter survive - so it seems a pukkha award. Could it have "come up with the rations" and therefore not been listed in the LG???


Posted By: Thomas Guinan
Date Posted: 01 Jan 2013 at 13:26
Hi Andy
Medal awards are both immediate and periodical (e.g. New Year's), though I would expect that your Italian was awarded a medal because he had performed som feat fro which he had received an Italian decoration shortly before his unit/ part of the front was visited by someone British prone to handing out such medals...
Immediate awards often have citations, periodic awards usual have a blanket citation for a list.
I can find no one with an Italian sounding- name gaining a DSC up to late May 1917.
DSC awards to foreigners were gazetted, notably there is a list of Frenchmen service in the Dardanelles.
One possibility is that it was not a DSC awarded, but possibly a DSM or DCM.
Can you confirm that your Italian was both commissioned and serving/ associatd with naval (including RNAS) forces ?
If you let me have a name, I can check the other lists....

Posted By: KK
Date Posted: 01 Jan 2013 at 18:15
try Norman Macmillan's "Offensive Patrol " Appendix 7   -  Piave Battle Medallion and Foreign Decorations Awards, for an explaination. Might also help you as a beginner in Italian air operations Wink


Posted By: Thomas Guinan
Date Posted: 02 Jan 2013 at 19:37
Macmillan's Appendix 7  explains the striking and issuing of Italian medals to RFC/RAF officers, and touches upon the supposed award of the Italian Silver  Medal of Valour to Barker, but not the award of British medals to Italians...

Posted By: KK
Date Posted: 03 Jan 2013 at 22:32
which makes me think the system was poorly documented in both directions....


Posted By: Thomas Guinan
Date Posted: 04 Jan 2013 at 11:54
Croix de Guerres were handed out to denote mentions in dispatches, and the Italian Bronze and Silver Medals seem to have been pretty much the same, so it would not surprise me to learn that some RAF pilots received them.
Baracca received a British Military Cross, a French Croix de Guerre (Palme), a Serbian Gold Star and the Officer's Cross of the Belgian Crown.
The DSC is roughly equivalent to the Military Cross, so 'Andy's Italian' would have had to be something special to have received it for aerial duties.
As the British awarded a 'plam' (to be worn on the Victory Medal) as a mention in despatches, instead of a medal like the French & Belgians, it would have been difficult for the British to recognize foreigners in a similar way. I woud think it more likely that an order of merit would have been awarded, though foreigners were not eligible for many of these.
Some RAF officers received the DSC, these, presumably, being those invoved with naval operations.
The DSC citations, except some for WW1, are not generally published in the London Gazette.
Italian airmen with foreign awards :
Marziale Cerutti received the French Croix de Guerre and the Serbian Star of Karageorgevic with Swords.
Guglielmo Fornagiari received the Serbian Cross of Karageorgevic
Cesare Magistrini received the Serbian Cross of Karageorgevic ?
Guido Masiero received the Belgian Croix de Guerre
Giovanni Nicelli received the Belgian Croix de Guerre
Gastone Novelli received the Serbian Gold Medal of Merit
Lugi Olivari received the Serbian Cross of Karageorgevic  & the French Croix de Guerre
Giorgio Pessi received the Serb Gold Medal & French Croix de Guerre
Ferruccio Ranza received the Serbian Star of Karageorgevic, French Croix de Guerre (Palme) & Belgian Croix de Guerre (Swords) 
Cosimo Rennella received Belgian & French Croix de Guerre

Posted By: Thomas Guinan
Date Posted: 04 Jan 2013 at 12:27
Having checked the DSC listing 1901-1938, the only oreign recipients of the DSC i have found are:
Lieutenant de vasseau Henry Julien Paul de l'Escaille, de la Marine Francaise (LG 13.9.1915)
Lieutenant de vasseau Alfred Louis Marie Cintre, de la Marine Francaise (LG 13.9.1915)
29 French officers (LG 23.12.1915) : "The King has been graciously pleased to confer the undermentioned awards on Officers and Men of the French Navy, with the approval of the President of the Republic, in recognition of their bravery and distinguished service in the campaign"
These are all French, the first two concerned with the seaplane unit in Egypt and the other with operations in the Dardanelles.

Posted By: KK
Date Posted: 04 Jan 2013 at 17:13
Its a nitpick but the port of Dunkirk got one in 1919 and thats a"foreign recipient"


Posted By: Thomas Guinan
Date Posted: 04 Jan 2013 at 20:11
It doesn't seem to be listed ~ what's the LG date ?
No Italian recipients listed in the DSM or DCM books either....

Posted By: AndyK
Date Posted: 04 Jan 2013 at 20:38
The Italian DSC awards I've been chasing don't appear in the LG - no citations. According to John Flannigan (aviation awards expert!) there was a reciprocal arrangement between British and other foreign powers, whereby a certain number of DSCs, MCs etc were awarded without citation, for the receiving power to distribute as it saw fit amongst its officers. Luigi Bologna and six other Italian Naval officers received their DSC in February 1917 as part of the of these "medal swaps".

As Kevin pointed out, several British flyers received the Italian Bronze & Silver Medals for Valour - not for any particular act, but sometimes because they'd been recommended for, and turned down for an MC, DSO or similar. Squadron commanders were asked to put forward names to Wing / Brigade for these awards - and the lucky winners were then selected at that level, based on the unit recommendation, or maybe just "pulled from a hat". I suspect the same happened in revers on the Italian side.

Posted By: Thomas Guinan
Date Posted: 05 Jan 2013 at 17:06
So,  I assume that Bolgna was part of the navy that floats ?

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