USS Newport News CA-148 Naval Research - Missing Medals
"Thunder" USS Newport News CA-148 off North Vietnam October 1967 / image adapted from photo by John Glass  
USS Newport News CA-148 Research Pages
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USS Newport News CA-148 off North Vietnam
( image from photo by John Glass October 1967 )

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Notes About Getting Missing Medals And Awards

OPNAV NOTE 1650 is primarily relevant to this web site as a source of identifying combat dates for USS Newport News CA-148 but it is also a primary reference for veterans who are missing medals and awards.  Based on my own experience and on what I read about other Vietnam veterans,  many may be missing awards to which they're entitled.

In October of 2002, shipmate Al Siegel posted a message to the main Newport News mailing list with information about requesting missing medals.  This page presents similar info in this semi-permanent location.

Basically, it's a three-step process:  identify what you think you're missing,  write to the Bureau of Naval Personnel,  and wait patiently.  Al reported waiting about a year and a half;  I waited about a year.

OPNAV NOTE 1650 Eligibility for Medals and Awards

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has a web page with directions and addressess to write for replacement of military service medals, decorations, and awards.

NARA:  Military Awards and Decorations

Be sure to get the address that is specific to Navy records.  That address, currently at least, is:

Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

If you ask,  they'll issue a DD215,  which is a revised DD214,  and will send missing and replacement medals.  They don't issue foreign medals  -  like RVN medals  -  so you'll have to buy those from a private company like Medals of America

Here's a sample letter.  This is the actual letter I wrote, modified to remove my personal identifying info.

Sample letter requesting missing medals and awards.

Here's the result of writing the letter.  My Medal Ribbons

Cold War Recognition Certificate

If you're interested,  the same NARA web page mentioned above has information and a link for getting a "Cold War Recognition Certificate"  issued by the Secretary of Defense..

Carl W. Cole
James Island SC
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