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What do medals say about a sailor, diver or serviceman? This picture is all my grandfather's medals. He was in the U.S. Navy from 1945 - 73. I know a lot of his story. He started out an E1 and went as far as an enlisted rank and I remember seeing all his diving pictures.

He was a Diver, and I know about some of the medals but others I do not. He passed away in 2010.

Does anyone know what all of these medals are?

Update I remember when he was buried, he had a full naval funeral. I remember the hash marks on his on his uniform. He had 7 red hash marks. What is the difference between Red and Gold? This is Adam F Bragg Jr. In the dive suit.

Here is his headstone if it gives any

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2 Answers 2


Partial response, feel free to complete/correct it:

First row:
1. Navy Occupation Medal
2. WW2 Victory Medal
3. European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
4. Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal
5. American Campaign Medal
6. Good conduct medal

Navy presidential Unit visitation
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation

Second row:
1. China Service Medal
2. National Defense Service Medal
3. Korea Service Medal
4. United Nations Service Medal (Korea)
5. Korean War Service Medal

  • 1
    I take it that the red-with-white-stripes bar that is above the awards should actually be above the Good Conduct Medal? If so, might be worth mentioning. Took some digging to figure out which of the three bars on the right were the two awards, and then more to figure out what the third one was. Also, noting which ones you are missing (looks like just the blue-yellow-blue medal that’s right-most on the second row, and maybe the rope and whistle or the corner of the American flag, that are missing).
    – KRyan
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 16:02
  • 1
    I think the right-most in the bottom row is the Korean War Service Medal. Commented May 29, 2018 at 4:31
  • This is actually my step Grandfather. It's my step dad's father. This is the medals. If you notice the hinge on the box in the picture, that is the other side, it has pictures and stuff on that side. The flag is in the triangle on the side with the pictures.
    – Halonic
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 12:11
  • Thing is my mother passed away, in 2017, at age 55, and my step dad is no longer in the picture. When I got all of mom's stuff, I found this in with all of the history of the family. For years I seen this and never really paid any attention to it. I come from a long long line of military history. And since I am down for the next several months, due to triple spinal fusion, and I am only 31, I figured I would do some family history. I know we are descending line of Braxton Bragg (civil war) and my dad's side is military as well.
    – Halonic
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 12:32
  • Thanks @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas . I added that medal to the list, originally I thought the color in the middle was green instead of yellow.
    – Santiago
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 12:58
  1. The medal at the top/left (Navy Occupation Medal) is mistakenly showing the obverse. That is, the ribbon is okay, but the medal suspended beneath it is backwards. It should be turned around for proper display.

  2. About the ribbon at the top/right (the red one with three white stripes at each end): That's an Army Good Conduct ribbon. Perhaps it was meant to be a Navy Good Conduct ribbon? If so, it should then be displayed above the Navy Good Conduct Medal.

  3. The 'rope and whistle' is a Boatswain's Pipe with its lanyard. It could mean that your Step-grandfather had the enlisted rating of Boatswain's Mate (BM). BM's would usually make the lanyard themselves, so that may be an item hand-crafted by your family member.

  4. Just so there's no confusion: If he was a Boatswain's Mate, he could still have been a Diver at the same time. Navy Diver didn't become an enlisted rating until 2006. So every enlisted diver also needed a rating in order to advance through the Petty Officer ranks.

  • My mother had these and she passed away last year. I remember him telling me what ships he was on. I know one was the USS Tripoli (I think I spelled it correct) but I know he was enlisted and went as high as you could go as enlisted. He was a Diver. I know he was in WWII and Korea, and I think he retired right before Vietnam. I have been doing family history since my triple spinal fusion, and this is history of my step grandfather and his Navy Career. He set the medals and everything before he passed away, so I am not sure if they are correct.
    – Halonic
    Commented Jun 14, 2018 at 1:38
  • The photo of Mr. Bragg's tombstone shows that he was a BM1; a Boatswain's Mate First Class Petty Officer. Look for a Diver's qualification badge among his memorabilia. It will look like a diver's helmet with either an S, 1, 2, or knotted rope design on it. That will tell you what type of diver qualification he had.
    – user32229
    Commented Jun 16, 2018 at 14:46

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