At this year's SOS, I found a wonderful grouping that had belonged to Dale E. Gillespie, 307th Medical Company, 82nd Airborne Division. Corporal Gillespie enlisted on 26 March, 1942, eleven days after his 18th birthday. Volunteering as a medical paratrooper, Corporal Gillespie received training in gliders before being deployed to North Africa in 1943. He took and completed his jump training in North Africa in time to be involved in the invasion of Sicily. Awards included the Bronze Star, European Theater Medal with six battle stars and one arrowpoint, the National Defense Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and The World War 2 Victory Medal.
The grouping includes Corporal Gillespie's jump jacket, which he wore on all four 82nd jumps-Sicily, Naples-FFoggia, Normandy and Holland, his jump pants worn on D-Day and Market Garden, his M-43 field jacket worn in the Ardennes and Central Europe campaigns, his Ike jacket with wings and ribbons, trousers, overseas cap, dress shirt and wool field shirt. The grouping also includes his jump boots worn on all four combat jumps, his dress jump boots, his jump knife, his M-1 carbine bayonet, his medic's armband, copies of his military records and a couple of cards sent home and several pictures of him in uniform. Due to the size of this grouping, I will post parts of it over the upcoming week.