Scarce 1903 Badge, identified and customized.
Very similar to another 1903 Master Gunner badge listed on this sight, this particular badge has been customized for the recipient, F.A. Whiting, who received this badge between the dates of issue 1903- 1909, yet the date “August 11, 1880” engraved on the reverse likely indicates his initial enlisted into the Army. August 11.
This new badge replaced three previously specialist badges for artillery beginning in 1897. The design was based on Artillery School at Fort Monroe, Virginia. The gunners were held to the highest standard and were instructed in:
Surveying & triangulation.
Orientating guns and determining the height of gun trunnions and position finders above mean low grade.
Construction of various harbor charts.
Construction of plotting boards.
Construction of topo. maps.
Use of photos & blue prints.
Production figures are unknown, but a roster of master gunners in 1907 listed only 31 men.
Bronze medal with large amount of original bronze finish remaining. The arched pin bar bearing the recipient’s name is the customized aspect to this badge. Along with the engraved words, “Sharp Shooter” place on the top of the upper planchet. 57mm high. These badges were made at Rock Island Arsenal.
Condition is fine.
Ref. Marksmanship in the U.S. Army, A History of Medals, Shooting Programs, and Training, by Wm. Emerson.