« Back to Finds Posted May 1st, 2009 by Bill B.

  • dfxcoolidge.jpg
  • dfxcoolidge2.jpg
Item Found: Medal

Location: Oregon

Metal Detector Used: Other (800-0284-LSP)


May 1st, 2009

In April of 2008, I was detecting a ghost town site not to far from my home here in Oregon. The site was bulldozed in the 1970's and planted with fir trees. The bulldozing has mixed a lot of trash with the treasure so it is a very difficult place to hunt, but with a lot of patience and a great machine like my White's DFX, I still continue to make great finds.

On this April day though, I made my greatest find to date. I got a half-dollar signal on my DFX and after digging down I uncovered a medal with a soldier on the front. I thought it must be a kid's toy badge and didn't think much oabout it until I got home and cleaned it up.

After cleaning the dirt off I noticed that above the soldier's head it read, "THE PRESIDENT'S GUARD" and halfway down his body it has "4TH" on one side and "CAV." on the other and the date 1927 at the bottom. On the back it has the words, "SUMMER WHITE HOUSE" then "BLACK HILLS SOUTH DAKOTA" then the soldier's name, but rust has wiped out a few letters, but it appears to be "PFC JOE H HEID__ERKIN", then "MEMBER OF THE PRESIDENT'S GUARD", THEN "JUNE - SEPTEMBER 1927".

I started to research this on the internet and found that President Coolidge summered at the State Game Lodge in Custer State Park, South Dakota, in 1927. Soldier's from Fort Meade, South Dakota, were selected to guard him. They were chosen from the 1st Squadron 4th Cav and consisted of 50 men, 30 officers, a surgeon, and a medical detachment. The guardsmen were selected by LTC R.W. Walker. Major General Harry A. Smith, Commander of the 7th Corps Army Area Omaha, said "Every man will be as perfect a soldier as there is in the United States Army." This was the first Army Presidential Guard as previously the Marines had always served as the presidential protectors.

To find a medal given to one of only 50 enlisted men from the very first Army Presidential Guard is to great of a feeling to put into words, but it goes to show that with a lot of hard work and a great detector like my White's DFX, that you can still find great treasure laying in the trash.

Thanks,
Bill B.
Eugene, OR

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