John H. Lang’s medals

John H. Lang

I am seeking the medals of my uncle John Henry Lang, CWO, US Navy.  they disappeared after his death in California in 1970.  They would include the Navy Cross with Gold Star (second award) and the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum (Japan – awarded in 1928).  They are most likely engraved.  They should be in a museum, preferably the US Navy Museum.  pl




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9 Responses to John H. Lang’s medals

  1. John Minnerath says:

    What an interesting life in the military your uncle led.
    How did the medals become lost?

  2. turcopolier says:

    I think that he left them to his brother Gordon, another navy man, who may have left them to other relatives. they are not talking. pl

  3. MajW says:

    From the comments regarding the medals I’m not sure if this is a logistical, personal, or replacement issue 😊. I’d suggest you touch base with You may be able to find a POA in the forum.

  4. turcopolier says:

    I am not interested in possessing his medals. John Lang is the only American ever presented the Order of the Chrysanthemum. The elements of the award could never be replaced. He was given this award by the Japanese with the approval of the US Government. The award was made for his actions in commanding
    Japanese sailors and marines in action for a week in the Nanking Incident of 1928. That decoration is part of the heritage of the US Navy. pl

  5. turcopolier says:

    Why would I be interested in the Ohio State Medical Association? pl

  6. MajW says:

    Typo – Orders and medals society of America. very tight outfit with an edited journal and history of research. A good forum with noted expert. Its the place for discussions like yours, not for finding out if a PFC rates an overseas ribbon. I would reach out to Fred Borsch, President, directly.

  7. Charles I says:

    I see. Wow. That IS history.

  8. Charles I,
    Not historically significant, but certainly historically interesting, is his first decoration. When still a teenager, John Lang was seconded from the Canadian Black Watch to the British Black Watch — one of the two professional battalions of one of the most famous regiments in the British Army. That army had taken a terrible mauling since it was sent out to France at the onset of war in 1914.
    Following the Third Battle of Ypres — better known as Passchendaele — John Lang was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, given to ‘other ranks’ for having ‘set an example of bravery and resource under fire.’
    The Canadian Corps acquired a formidable reputation as ‘shock troops’ on the Western Front. From a review of a recent study:
    “In this follow-up to his acclaimed At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1914-1916 (2007), Tim Cook completes a masterful two-volume account of Canada’s infantry during the “War to End All Wars.” His story describes in wonderful detail the metamorphosis of the Canadian Corps into an elite fighting unit, known by friend and foe alike as “Shock” troops capable of breaching almost any defense. Much like volume 1, which Cook indicates “is meant to be read in conjunction with this one,” Shock Troops combines soldiers’ letters, diaries, and memoirs with the strategic and tactical account to provide an almost complete description of Canada’s frontline contribution to the final two years of the Great War (p. 8).”
    (See )

  9. bth says:

    Fourteen Purple Hearts must be near a record in and of itself.

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