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Help With Id of WW2 AAC medals from picture

Article about: The NARA info was minimal at best, one card had Bronze star typed on it and another one had Air medal. For the amount of time in service, I added the good cookie, The ribbon bar that I got f

  1. #1
    ?

    Default Help With Id of WW2 AAC medals from picture

    Hello To All
    I'm trying to put together a display case in honor of my Uncle' service.
    I have a photo of him and was hoping someone could help identify the medals he is wearing.
    Here is a little about Tech Sgt. Joseph Rachunas.
    He was attached to the 8thAAC, 384th Bomb Group, 545th Bomb Squadron stationed in GraftonUnderwood,England, He was a tail gunner on the B17 #42-38112 the " Mrs Geezil". They were shot down on April 13th 1944 during the Schweinfurt mission (MACR Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TSgt Joseph G. Rachunas in uniform.jpg 
Views:	461 
Size:	49.2 KB 
ID:	2062153869), he was blown out of the B17 when it exploded, he was able to open his chute and was taken prisoner. He spent the next 13 month as a POW at Stalag 17B.
    I know that he was awarded the Air Medal and had three oak leaf cluster's. His unit also did receive a Presidential Unit Citation.
    So any help with the ID of the medals he is wearing in this Pic would be greatly appreciated.
    Semper Fi
    Phil

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help With Id of WW2 AAC medals from picture

    I can tell the one in the middle on the bottom is the American campaign Medal, and to the right is the Euro-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal.

    Top right might be a purple heart?

    And the bottom left might be the American Defense Service Medal, but he would only get that if he was in service from Sept of 1939 to Dec 7th 1941.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help With Id of WW2 AAC medals from picture

    Thank you Sir for that info!

    I have ordered a copy of his service record. But that take's up to 90 days. I guess I'll find out then, about when he started his service.
    Thanks Again
    Semper Fi
    Phil

  4. #4

    Default Re: Help With Id of WW2 AAC medals from picture

    HI, I my grandfather was also on 'Mrs Geezil' when they were shot down, he was the waist gunner I have a photo with the whole crew, but I do not know if it is the 'Mrs Geezil' crew., my email is vorisekd@newpaltz.edu. D.Vorisek


    Quote by AZPhil View Post
    Hello To All
    I'm trying to put together a display case in honor of my Uncle' service.
    I have a photo of him and was hoping someone could help identify the medals he is wearing.
    Here is a little about Tech Sgt. Joseph Rachunas.
    He was attached to the 8thAAC, 384th Bomb Group, 545th Bomb Squadron stationed in GraftonUnderwood,England, He was a tail gunner on the B17 #42-38112 the " Mrs Geezil". They were shot down on April 13th 1944 during the Schweinfurt mission (MACR Click image for larger version. 

Name:	TSgt Joseph G. Rachunas in uniform.jpg 
Views:	461 
Size:	49.2 KB 
ID:	2062153869), he was blown out of the B17 when it exploded, he was able to open his chute and was taken prisoner. He spent the next 13 month as a POW at Stalag 17B.
    I know that he was awarded the Air Medal and had three oak leaf cluster's. His unit also did receive a Presidential Unit Citation.
    So any help with the ID of the medals he is wearing in this Pic would be greatly appreciated.
    Semper Fi
    Phil
    Last edited by Walkwolf; 10-01-2012 at 05:24 AM. Reason: spelling.........

  5. #5
    ?

    Default Re: Help With Id of WW2 AAC medals from picture

    Top left appears to be the Purple Heart. To the right is most likely the Air Medal with one or two Oak Leaf Clusters. Looks like there is a Campaign Star on the EAME ribbon as well.

    Good luck in obtaining your uncles service records. Hopefully they are available as a lot were lost in a fire at the National Archives in 1973.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help With Id of WW2 AAC medals from picture

    Very nice project, I wish you good luck with your journey, I suppose you've already seen this, but if not, here you go:
    NARA - AAD - Display Full Records - World War II Prisoners of War Data File, 12/7/1941 - 11/19/1946

    Best Regards

    Vegard T.
    -------------------------------
    Looking for militaria from 38. Batterie, Heeres Küsten Artillerie Regiment 977, also from 31, 32 and 36. Batterie.

  7. #7
    ?

    Default Re: Help With Id of WW2 AAC medals from picture

    You know I need to check back in here more often.
    Here I get an email address of somebody who I have been researching and trying to make contact with him or his family and there it was. Then the other's helping me out with more info.
    You Guy's are Great
    Once again and probably not the last
    Thanks You All!!!
    Semper Fi
    Phil

  8. #8

    Default Re: Help With Id of WW2 AAC medals from picture

    Hi Phil. Looks like you got a pretty nice representation of the Gunner wings in the photo.
    The medals he is wearing are the Purple Heart, Air Medal with Clusters, American
    Campaign Medal, American Defense Medal, and the European Middle-Eastern
    Campaign with Star ( representing air combat ).

    He is also wearing the tan/pink cotton summer shirt.........
    Last edited by Walkwolf; 10-01-2012 at 07:06 AM.
    Regards,


    Steve.

  9. #9
    ?

    Default Re: Help With Id of WW2 AAC medals from picture

    Thanks Steve
    I also found that he was awarded a Good conduct and a Bronze star according to the records I got from NARA. I stll need to find the Bronze star ribbon and add some oak leaf's to the Air Medal ribbon and a star to the European campagne ribbon then I should be able to put his shadow box together.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	wings and ribbons.jpg 
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Size:	123.3 KB 
ID:	404566
    Thanks Again
    Phil

  10. #10

    Default Re: Help With Id of WW2 AAC medals from picture

    It would be good to assemble the bar like it is in the photo, or all that he was awarded.
    There is a specific order of precedence for them:

    Bronze Star
    Purple Heart
    Air Medal
    Good Conduct
    American Defense
    American Campaign
    European Middle-Eastern Campaign

    He might also have been eligible for the 'WWII US Victory' and 'Army of Occupation'
    medals as well, which would follow the EMEC in this order.........
    Regards,


    Steve.

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