Gunboards Forums banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good evening. My grandpa recently passed and my son and I are interested in putting together a shadow box to memorialize his service.


On his discharge papers, under decorations and citations, it reads as follows:

4 Overseas Service Bars European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal W/2 Bronze Battle Stars Good Conduct Medal World War - II Victory Medal
Under Military Qualifications it reads as follows:

MM With Rifle

We have his uniform and I believe the bars are on it, but none of the medals are.

My uncle has suggested that perhaps he didn't actually physically receive the medals or citations. Is that possible?

Through an unrelated purchase I believe I have a Good conduct and Victory medal, but I do not have a that Campaign medal or the bronze battle stars. If I need to purchase the campaign medal is there a recommended way to do such a thing? I don't really see them show up in the random collections posted here and there.


Any input appreciated, thanks all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
it's very well possible he may not have physically received certain medals like in a ceremony, like the Victory Medal or European African Middle Eastern Campaign that would have annotated in his Offical Military Person File (OMPF) and he would have went to supply to pick it up or it was given to him when he was discharge or the ribbon. there was over a million+ soldiers that were entitled to those medals, it was almost like "thanks for coming to the war" kinda of medal and wasn't a "big thing" to have it awarded it in a ceremony

I, and tens of thousands soldiers/saliors/airmen/marines, didn't get a Southwest Asia Service Medal, it was annotated in our OMPF and DD214 when we were discharged. when I retuned back to the states I just went to supply and picked up the ribbon. didn't bother with the medal itself, I picked it up later I retired, actual bought it at a gunshow :D

now, in a peace time army a good conduct medal is awarded to a soldier in a ceremony along with the citation and the orders for it. it may or may not have been awarded in a ceremony with citation in a war zone, depending where he was, it would have been annotated in his OMPF and DD214 for sure

you can buy the European African Middle Eastern Campaign on the net, along with the 2 bronze campaign stars

Europe-Africa-Middle East Medal (medalsofamerica.com)
2 Bronze Star Device (unmounted) (medalsofamerica.com)

funny story, a year after I retired I got a letter from my last unit, in it was a memorandum for record, tell me I, along with the rest of by battalion was awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal, when my battalion was deployed to Gitmo bay, Cuba for OPERATION SEA SIGNAL. the memorandum has a list of all guys in my battalion, with my name highlighted, there with a annotation on top stating: the following listed personnel are awarded the HSM. it stated to received the medal, send this memorandum to, can't recall where, and they would send me the medal. ah, it was easier just to go to a gun show and buy it :)


Operation Sea Signal - Wikipedia ; yep, that was me; 1st Battalion, 3rd ADA, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,706 Posts
When I was on board my ship, the Chief came down to our engine room and just handed us our medals. National defense and Vietnam medals. But we had to buy our other Vietnamese medal when we could. And all three are listed on my DD214. Had a buddy with whom I served with email me about what medals were listed on my DD214 as he couldn't find his. Listed what I had and he went online and bought them. And I believe he is a member in one of the veterans organizations and they do check what medals he was given. That was done to eliminate the posers. Time sure flies and I enlisted at 17 and my dad had signed my enlistment papers 50 some odd years ago. Frank
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,649 Posts
When I was on board my ship, the Chief came down to our engine room and just handed us our medals. National defense and Vietnam medals
no one in my Battery, or Battalion for all I know, that got a NDM or the SWASM , we were just told in formation by the 1st Sergeant that we were authorized to wear them and the medal and ribbons would be in the supply room.


on another note, then there are medals that are retroactive to all military personnel who have served;
one of them is the Korean Defense Service Medal, retroactive to 1954.
Korea Defense Service Medal - Wikipedia

I didn't know that till just 3 years ago, even though it was establish in 2002, so I started a thread about it. figure there are a bunch of folks here who fall in that category and are unaware of it

Medals | Gunboards Forums

I just now brought this thread up to the top to inform folks :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
In the UK during and after WW2 it was done a little bit differently. At least for certain medals, you received them in the mail, in a nice box with a letter from The King and a little inventory tag with the enclosed medal checked off on a list of possible medals. It was not actually signed by The King, but it was on Buckingham Palace letterhead stationery. We recently sold my father-in-law's entire set of memorabilia including uniform stuff, hats, photographs, medals, and most importantly, his flight logs. He was a decorated RAF Bomber Command Flight Lieutenant (that is, pilot) who actually survived the War. He flew 33 successful round-trip missions over enemy territory, most of them in an AVRO Lancaster, though his plane did not return in the same condition in which it departed for all of those. The flight logs were spine-chilling to read. Bomber Command pilots were required to take photographs of their loads exploding on the ground to prove that they did not simply dump them into the Channel in order to then return home to base alive, and his photos were taped or stapled into the flight log pages. He flew in the June 5 1944 night raid on the port of Le Havre which was designed to make the Germans think that the main D-Day landing force would be making a direct assault on the port itself in a few hours (which would have been foolish, so heavily fortified was that place). His description of the flak that night is actually terrifying. That was one of his last missions as he had already completed his scheduled first tour of duty (30 sorties, which not very many Bomber Command airmen reached), but no one was released until after D-Day and the following Normandy Campaign, whether or not your tour had ended. He saw many friends and colleagues get shot down and die -- a terrible number -- in service of their country and humanity and the forces of good versus evil. It astounds me every day the sacrifices made by those who went to war to save us, and how little we today, as a society, are willing to sacrifice to save each other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
In the UK during and after WW2 it was done a little bit differently. At least for certain medals, you received them in the mail, in a nice box with a letter from The King and a little inventory tag with the enclosed medal checked off on a list of possible medals. It was not actually signed by The King, but it was on Buckingham Palace letterhead stationery. We recently sold my father-in-law's entire set of memorabilia including uniform stuff, hats, photographs, medals, and most importantly, his flight logs. He was a decorated RAF Bomber Command Flight Lieutenant (that is, pilot) who actually survived the War. He flew 33 successful round-trip missions over enemy territory, most of them in an AVRO Lancaster, though his plane did not return in the same condition in which it departed for all of those. The flight logs were spine-chilling to read. Bomber Command pilots were required to take photographs of their loads exploding on the ground to prove that they did not simply dump them into the Channel in order to then return home to base alive, and his photos were taped or stapled into the flight log pages. He flew in the June 5 1944 night raid on the port of Le Havre which was designed to make the Germans think that the main D-Day landing force would be making a direct assault on the port itself in a few hours (which would have been foolish, so heavily fortified was that place). His description of the flak that night is actually terrifying. That was one of his last missions as he had already completed his scheduled first tour of duty (30 sorties, which not very many Bomber Command airmen reached), but no one was released until after D-Day and the following Normandy Campaign, whether or not your tour had ended. He saw many friends and colleagues get shot down and die -- a terrible number -- in service of their country and humanity and the forces of good versus evil. It astounds me every day the sacrifices made by those who went to war to save us, and how little we today, as a society, are willing to sacrifice to save each other.
That's incredible. what sort of amount did his collection fetch if you dont mind my asking?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
We shopped it around in England, where my wife lives and we have a home (in addition to our home in Texas). Several collectors were interested, mainly because of her dad's flight logs. One of the collectors in fact looked at nothing else, as if he didn't care what else we had. The whole lot sold for about $6K USD which we were actually quite surprised to get for it; we would've been happy with $3-4K USD.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
I'm sorry it is off topic, but you got me started and I could talk all day about my father-in-law, who sadly I never met before he died in 2005. He flew with No. 610 Squadron (Bolt Head), No. 115 Squadron (Witchford), and No. 514 Squadron (Waterbeach). Among his other medals, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in December 1944. Besides his officer's cap and the log books, the coolest things (to me) were his silk escape maps that he carried in his pockets for use in case he survived a crash. One covered most of Northern Europe, and the other most of Southern Europe; they showed paths where he could hope to find friendly Resistance fighters who would help him get back to England.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
913 Posts
There's tons of this sort of stuff around. Here's a description of one Bomber Command mission that mentions Bill McFetridge, my late father-in-law, the raid being 6 days after D-Day:

Events of 12th June 1944, described in 'Nothing Can Stop Us'

On the evening of 12th June, seventeen apprehensive crews watched the Waterbeach briefing room curtain draw back to reveal the target as Gelsenkirchen. This raid marked the start of the Oil Plan, which was to feature prominently in the squadron’s plans in the future. The Nordstern plant, known in German as Gelsenberg, was a synthetic oil production plant using forced labour from Buchenwald Concentration Camp. The oil plant was extensively damaged with local reports estimating some 1,500 bombs hit the target. This caused the loss of around 1000 tons of fuel per day, for a period of several weeks. The refinery was robustly defended, with heavy-calibre flak moderate to intense, along with much searchlight activity. Locals reported that six German schoolboy ‘Flakhilfers’ were killed, the Nazis having resorted to using teenagers to man the anti-aircraft defences. Whereas the stream had been relatively unmolested on its way to the target, circumstances conspired to put the bombers in the path of hordes of night fighters on their return, resulting in the loss of seventeen bombers in total.
Two combats were reported by returning pilots. The first of these was F/L William McFetridge in LL694, JI-E at 0047hrs whilst en route to the target. Sgt Ron Britnell in the rear turret saw an Me410 by the light of fighter flares and opened fire as the Lancaster corkscrewed desperately. Sgt WH Corney in the mid upper turret joined in, and the fighter broke away.
At 0141hrs, half an hour into the homeward journey, Sgt Peter Dawson, Mid Upper Gunner in LL670, A2-K reported an unidentified twin-engines aircraft 300 yards to starboard and ordered his Pilot F/S William Watkins to corkscrew starboard, opening fire as the Lancaster dived away. The enemy aircraft followed the Lancaster through three complete corkscrews, during which time Sgt Dawson fired at it as much as possible, though the fighter did not itself shoot at the Lancaster. Sgt Dawson was reduced to one gun, the other having suffered a stoppage, whilst Rear Gunner Sgt Bernard Ferries was mostly unable to bring his own Brownings to bear as the fighter was too far above, though he did manage to get one short burst in. Both gunners saw bullets strike the enemy fighter, which started to trail smoke and fall away into the sea where it crashed in flames. The official Luftwaffe records of fighter losses have not been found so it is not possible to verify the claims made by the gunners for the destruction of the aircraft stated.
Luck ran out for two of 514 Sqn’s crews who were amongst the seventeen bombers lost from the 303 sent on the raid. P/O Bertie Delacour RAAF and his crew in LL678, A2-L were shot down at 0124hrs at Zuid Loo, 3 km south east of Bathmen, Netherlands. ‘Nachtjagd War Diaries’ credits Hptm Gerhard Friedrich of I/NJG6 with shooting down LL678. P/O Delacour’s crew were approaching the end of their tour, having completed 25 operations with five others aborted, whilst F/O Alex Phillips was on his ‘second dickey’ trip. The Lancaster was attacked by a night fighter and set on fire. Ordered by P/O Delacour to bale out, Sgt Gerry Martin, Flight Engineer, saw that the Bomb Aimer, F/S George Palamountain, was no longer in the nose of the aircraft and presumed that he had managed to escape, and went through the hatch without further delay. Of the other crew members, only Sgt ‘Pop’ Williams, the mid upper gunner, manage to get out of the blazing aircraft alive. It crashed minutes later with at least four of the crew still inside. P/O Delacour, from Queensland, Australia, was twenty years old.
DS818, JI-Q, which bore the name ‘Maggie’, was hit by flak, possibly over the target, and damaged. As a result the aircraft was a relatively easy target for one of more than one hundred marauding night fighters which had been directed into the bomber stream as it made its way home over Holland. There has been no verification, but Dutch sources consider that Lt Ewald-Werner Hittler of 3./NJG1 was the most likely German Pilot to have claimed DS818. The Lancaster was flown by P/O Derek Duncliffe, another comparative veteran about two-thirds of the way through his tour. The Pilot along with Bomb Aimer, F/S Harry Bourne, and Flight Engineer Sgt Peter Cooper, were able to escape the aircraft which was on fire. F/S Bourne broke his leg when he landed in a beech tree whilst Sgt Cooper insisted on going to the wreckage of the Lancaster in the forlorn hope of rescuing his mates. He was taken prisoner when the Germans also turned up. P/O Duncliffe was able to remain hidden by the Dutch Resistance until the country was liberated, and he eventually returned to England.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
908 Posts
My father also never received his medals (USS Tuna, 203, 1943-1946).
A few years ago, our local Congressman's office announced an effort to correct this with his veteran constituents. I went to his office and filled out the paperwork (I had my father's DD214). Some weeks later, the medals arrived. It was a nice touch as my father lived until this year.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CoRifleman

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
As a First Sergeant of my rifle company in OIF 2005-2006, I was adamant that my Soldiers were going to get their medals (and associated paperwork) and ribbons BEFORE we left country and out-processed and went home. Myself and my training NCO manage by ordering, bartering, and over all scrounging to get the hand full of medals that everyone got for showing up. Every Soldier got a manila envelope and a plastic baggy full of their awards as they cleared customs and got on the plane. Not as I would have liked and they should have got more recognition, but they got their medals. Specific individual awards were awarded later. The medals awarded for showing up at the time didn't seem much, but they were important to those men at the time and I hope they are important to them now. Memories of when you were called up, left home for awhile and did your duty.
 

·
Gold Bullet Member and Noted Curmudgeon
Joined
·
100,606 Posts
As a First Sergeant of my rifle company in OIF 2005-2006, I was adamant that my Soldiers were going to get their medals (and associated paperwork) and ribbons BEFORE we left country and out-processed and went home. Myself and my training NCO manage by ordering, bartering, and over all scrounging to get the hand full of medals that everyone got for showing up. Every Soldier got a manila envelope and a plastic baggy full of their awards as they cleared customs and got on the plane. Not as I would have liked and they should have got more recognition, but they got their medals. Specific individual awards were awarded later. The medals awarded for showing up at the time didn't seem much, but they were important to those men at the time and I hope they are important to them now. Memories of when you were called up, left home for awhile and did your duty.
Many (most?) WWII servicemen did NOT get their medals or the ribbons they were authorized, though MOST awards for heroism were properly awarded in ceremonies (but not always). I know that Dad did not get any of his awards (except his "Ruptured Duck", handed out at out-processing at discharge center) until I got Charlie Wilson to help in the 1980s.

Vietnam era, I got an actual NDSM a couple of years after I was eligible, as part of my processing to leave Germany en route to RVN. Got both an ARCOM and an ARCOM w/OLC in awards ceremonies. Never did got my Armed Forces Reserve Medal or Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry w/Palm (they appear on my DD214). Have ribbons (bought at PX) for VN Service Medal nd Campaign Medal and AFRM. And miniatures for ARCOM, NDSM, VN Campaign and Vietnam Service, personal purchase (got them before got marriage as I wore blues for the ceremony and wanted to be "showy" as possible).
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top