|1932, 37||Battle of Soochow
Creek Bravery and Valor Medal
Created by members of the United States Fourth Marines as an ironic comment on the nature of their service as part of the Shanghai Defence Force, which protected the foreign concessions during other fighting in the area. It was purchasable during both the 1932 and 1937 crises, with the appropriate year shown on the medal.
Yangtze Barrier Medal
There are two versions of this: one with a scuttled ship on the obverse and the other with a gate. The reverse of the one with the ship reads "Presented to / ------ / U.S.S. Luzon / Yangtze Patrol / for Privations / During Yangtze / Blockade / 1937-38". The reverse of the other one read "Presented to / ----- / Yangtze Patrol / for Endurance / during Yangtze / Blockade / 1937-38". Both of these are from the Gene Christian Collection.
|1930's||The Houseboat Medal
This is another medal associated with Marines serving in China in the 30's. I've not been able to uncover anything related to its creation. Hangchow is a city south of Shanghai which was (and is) a major tourist destination for a scenic combination of lakes, temples, and pagodas. While it could be reached by train during the period, some tours carried on the tradition of traveling there on houseboats through the age-old canal network to revel in a taste of old China. I'd guess that the medal relates to a trip or program of trips of this sort.
"Cafard de Wang-Kia-to"
Created by the officers and crew of the French river gunboat "Balny" and the French Naval barracks in Chungking, after the Japanese invasion had isolated them. It literally translates as the "Cockroach of Wang-Kia-to", although "cafard" seems to have been used among the French expatriate community as a word to express the sense of oppressiveness or weariness of colonial life. This image is taken from the cover of Estival's "Les Canonnieres de Chine 1900 -1945", where the background of the creation of the medal is described on p. 144.