African American Officers gas masks African American Soldiers 1 Riveters pilots in dress uniforms The pilots Mule Rearing doughboys with mules

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 Italian War Merit Cross
( Croce al merito di guerra )

merit crossSEVERAL 332nd INFANTRY SOLDIERS WERE AWARDED ITALY'S CROCE AL MERITO DI GUERRA  but the list of recipients is limited since there is very little documentation (mainly newspaper, book, journal, and magazine articles or the soldiers' letters).

King Victor Emanuel III instituted the Croce al merito di Guerra on 19th January 1918, for war merit in land, sea, or air operations either for at least a year's service in the trenches or elsewhere in contact with the enemy, to those who were wounded in action and who had earned the award of the Medal for Wounded, to those who had performed acts of bravery but not warranting the award of the Medaglia al valore militare (Medal for Military Valor) or for those who had received promotion for a mention for war merit.

It is a Greek cross in bronze. On the obverse are the words MERITO DI GUERRA across the transverse arms, the lower vertical arm of the cross has an upright Roman sword entwined in a spray of oak, on the upper vertical arm is the crowned monogram of Vittorio Emanuele III (VEIII). On the center of the reverse is a five-pointed star set upon diverging rays. Its ribbon is light-blue with two vertical white stripes. 

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