The War Cross

The War Cross is one of the most rare and expensive early Viet Minh medals. It dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s era of the Viet Minh struggle against the Japanese and subsequently the French Colonial forces. The obverse is a blackened Maltese Cross with a central disk containing a five-pointed star, mounted above a slightly smaller disk. The star is surrounded by the inscription, VIET NAM DAN CHU CONG HOA. The reverse is plain. It was obsolete by the time of the Second Indochina War with America. John Sylvester, Jr. speculates in his ground breaking that the obvious Christian symbolism of the cross, doomed this medal to early obsolescence.

To erase any doubt that this medal was ever awarded, a photograph of Viet Minh combatant, Nguyen Van Vui, a grenade maker, has been included with this article. He is definitely wearing the War Cross medal on his left breast. Relatively few of these medals have ever made it to the west.

Original Viet Minh War Cross and
Nguyen Van Vui,
Viet Minh grenade maker
With War Cross (on left)