French Croix de Guerre 1914-1918


The French Croix de Guerre (French: “War Cross”) was intituted in 1915 and 1939 to reward feats of bravery, either by individuals or groups, in the course of the two World Wars. This medal may be conferred on any member of the armed forces, on French citizens and foreigners who have been mentioned in army dispatches, and, in special cases, on military units and towns. Emblems worn on the ribbon denote the level at which the medal was achieved. For an Army Despatch: a bronze palm or laurel branch (known in French as “Croix de Guerre avec Palme”); for an Army Corps Despatch: a gilt star; for a Divisional Despatch: a silver star; for a Bri­gade, Regimental or Unit Despatch: a bronze star.

Normally, two citations are required before a unit becomes eligible for the award of the Fourragère (see right). The award of the Fourragère is not automatic, but must be specifically authorized by decree of the respective foreign government. A citation in orders or award of the Croix de Guerre to a unit does not authorize the wearing of the decoration by an individual. Likewise, no award of the Croix de Guerre to an individual will serve to constitute eligibility to wear the Fourragère. The Fourragère may be worn permanently by individuals who participated with the unit in both actions for which the unit was cited. The French Fourragère may be worn temporarily by individuals assigned to the unit subsequent to the time the award was made, but only so long as they remain with such unit. Listed below are the citations for the French Croix de Guerre (1914-1918) awarded to the 16th Infantry Regiment during World War I.


French Croix de Guerre with Palm
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  • Organization: U.S. Army, 16th Infantry Regiment
  • Place and date: Soissons, France, 18-22 July 1918
  • G.O. No.: War Department, General Orders No. 11 (1924)

FRENCH CROIX DE GUERRE WITH PALM, awarded under Order No. 23.332 “D,” dated January 28, 1920, French Ministry of War, with the following citation:

A superb regiment of attack. Under the command of Col. F. E. Bamford, during the desperate combats to the south of Soissons from July 18-22, 1918, it displayed glorious conduct and captured all of its objectives, winning the admiration of all by the spirit of offensive which it maintained in spite of severe losses.


French Croix de Guerre with Palm
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  • Organization: U.S. Army, 16th Infantry Regiment
  • Place and date: Soissons, France, 18-22 July 1918
  • G.O. No.: War Department, General Orders No. 11 (1924)

FRENCH CROIX DE GUERRE WITH PALM, additional palm awarded under Order No. 23.333 “D,” dated January 28, 1920, French Ministry of War, with the following citation:

The regiment has again displayed admirable dash and courage in the violent combats of October 4-13, 1918, between Exermont and Sommerance, seizing all the objectives which had been assigned to it.


French Fourragère in the colors of the Croix de Guerre
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  • Organization: U.S. Army, 16th Infantry Regiment
  • G.O. No.: War Department, General Orders No. 11 (1924)

FRENCH FOURRAGERE in the colors of the Croix de Guerre, awarded under General Order No. 160 “F,” dated February 3, 1920, French Ministry of War.

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