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Napalm, Vietnam & Dow Chemical

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Military and Wartime3947 of 6072Military patch 187th infantry given in 2002The Confederacy
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Posted 5 years ago


(177 items)

Every war has two fronts. The battle front where all the military action is and the home front where all the political action takes place. The length of a war usually adversely effects the intensity of the political home front activity from the government’s point of view. During the Vietnam “war” (which was undeclared) there were lightening rods which always attracted anti-war activity mainly on college campuses. One of the main lightening rods was the Dow Chemical Company which was the main manufacturer of napalm since WWII. Napalm is a form of sticky petroleum jelly which sticks to everything and burns like crazy. It’s use by the military in Vietnam became a flash point issue for the anti-war movement. When Dow Chemical Co. recruiters came to any campus or even near by, the home front action was guarantied to flare up like napalm. Eventually things became so hot for Dow and the local authorities that local on site recruiting stopped. To work for Dow must have been challenging for their employees too. Dow however treated their employees so well that many of them worked there long enough to earn gold retirement medals. The obverse of each medal has a portrait of the company founder Herbert H. Dow above the gold content statement. The oldest version that I have seen was 24k gold and weighed one troy ounce! Later versions like the one illustrated here are only 10k and weigh 19.77 grams. The reverses are inscribed with “PRESENTED TO _______ IN RECOGNITION OF ____ YEARS OF SERVICE _____.” In the blank spaces are the engraved name, number of years served and date. Since all the medals that I have seen have different numbers of years served I assume that these medals were presented to an employee only once when they left the company and not on any standard anniversary date. Currently on eBay there is a Dow Chemical long service pin about the same diameter as a dime. I guess the high price of gold has taken it’s toll on Dow too.


  1. Militarist Militarist, 5 years ago
    Thanks bb and miKKo.

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