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grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division

Article about: hello all.... just wanted to share a group of items, mostly documents, that belonged to my great uncle(by marriage), I just came back for a memorial service for my great aunt(his wife) and w

  1. #1

    Default grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division

    hello all.... just wanted to share a group of items, mostly documents, that belonged to my great uncle(by marriage), I just came back for a memorial service for my great aunt(his wife) and was surprised by my cousin when he gave me his fathers items that he had, I assume , knowing that I collect....

    there is nothing spectacular here but I can vouch for the authenticity and I learned a few new things and I am sure I'll learn some more....

    what I know....he died awhile back in 1984 I believe, at that time his son made an effort to get his war records and then once he had those he applied for his awards...this likely was spurred on by the release of the US POW medal in 1985....

    what I have.... the reissued medals sent directly from the government, all of the application for the records and all of the copies of his service file, some of which have been in a fire of some sort...also have some pages from a scrapbook with telegrams, newspaper clippings and a few other things

    briefly....he was a radio operator for the 434th Armored Field Artillery under the 7th Armored Division...landed in Normandy after D-Day, captured Dec 22 1944 in Belgium during the Ardennes Offensive....it seems both he and Lt Bundy(forward observer) were captured together....he spent the rest of the war in a POW camp in Germany

    so...here are some pics of the items for viewing and thanks for any input...sorry, it's a bit long

    the scrapbook pages
    grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division

    bad news telegram
    grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division

    I'm stumped on this 16AD patch when he was in the 7AD....the 16AD's only battle was the liberation of Pilsen and then deactivated shortly after the war...and the good news telegram
    grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division

    close up of the guys standing in the chow line....arrow points to "Hockenberry (Hoc) 43-44 swell guy"
    grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division

    his mom(whom I've also met at a few thanksgivings) was constantly writing letters trying to find out information her son...this letter was sent to her from his CO
    grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division

    service history
    grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division
    grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division

    his discharge papers
    grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division
    grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division

    there were also these German documents in the file, I assume from the POW camp--any insight would be appreciated
    grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division
    grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division

    his medals and awards as reissued ~ 1986 * American Campaign Medal * European Campaign w/ 2 stars * Victory Medal * Ruptured Duck pin * Expert- SubMachine Gun Badge and the US POW Medal which is engraved on the reverse
    grouping - 434th Field Artillery - 7th Armored Division

  2. #2

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    This is a great grouping that I would be happy to have in my collection..

    The provenance and letters are especially important to tie this grouping together..

    A great connection to your family and a Battle of the Bulge POW.

    The POW letter confirms his status as being in German Captivity. He was in Lager Stalag (Camp) IV B which was located in Muhlberg. About 7500 US Soldiers were sent there after they were captured during the Battle of the Bulge..

    Well done and glad you are the new caretaker of this grouping.

    Try to get the documents into some acid free document protectors and get them unfolded..

    Smitty

  3. #3

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    Smitty....thanks for your feedback, I definitely plan on removing the items that are in that "sticky" sheet stuff they came out with in the 80's....it was just interesting to read thru all of the letters and such....the funny thing is that I always thought he was on a B24 during the war and was captured that way, I didn't learn until last Friday that he was actually in the 7AD and captured during the Battle of the Bulge....it just wasn't something that was talked about at gatherings....his mother Hilda was German born and with a last name of "Mann" I am guessing he may have been treated well in captivity
    "Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life" - Herbert Henry Asqulth

  4. #4

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    The best part for me is the letter sent to his mother personally from his CO. I can't imagine many family members got this courtesy for their missing sons.

  5. #5

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    Smitty....looking at another post about the PUC on an Ike jacket got me thinking.....as I was researching the grouping above I found out that the 434th FA received the PUC for action at St. Vith during the Battle of the Bulge....my great-uncle was captured near St Vith on Dec 21, 1944 but there is no indication that he qualified nor received the PUC in his records....is that because he was already captured before it got intense ?.....I also noticed it wasn't awarded until 1948 so I don't know if that has anything to do with it.....you seem to know a bit about these things, hence my questions ....Thanks ! ....David

  6. #6

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    David,

    It would more than likely have been an error that the PUC was not included with the replacement medals but if it is not documented on the discharge/separation papers then your relative would not have known about it. Since the PUC was awarded in 1948 and your relative was already discharged then it would not have shown up on the paperwork, but I do know that retroactive awards were still being sent out to WW2 veterans for many years after the war.

    All Infantryman for example who were awarded the Combat Infantryman's badge were retroactively awarded the Bronze Star Medal (for meritorious service). Combat Medics awarded the Combat Medical Badge were also retroactively awarded the Bronze Star (for meritorious service).. But in the case of the PUCs and unit commendations I believe that Soldiers were never sent the PUCs after the war and it was never reflected on their records. Some Soldiers received the Bronze Star but for a valorous act, hence the "V" for Valor device on some of the Bronze Star Ribbons.. The Army justified that all Combat Infantry Soldiers and Medics who were in combat but their units did not award them Bronze Stars deserved them so they went and retroactively awarded them.

    I just found a copy of General Order 48 that shows the dates of Action for St Vith as being 17 December to 23 December 1944. So your relative would have been there for this time period and retroactively authorized the PUC.


    Even after I was discharged I found copies of orders for decorations I was authorized that were awarded during my time in service but the orders were published after I got out but I was able to print a copy of the Orders and I attached them to my DD-214 discharge certificate and submitted the documents to Army Personnel Command and they were able to update my DD 214 to reflect all awards I was authorized. There was a statute of limitations so anything after that date I would not have been able to update my discharge paperwork so I attached the orders to accompany the Discharge certificate should any questions arise as to why I was wearing a decoration that wasn't on my DD214. The proof was on the orders that I was in a specific unit at the time the award was granted...

    So here is the document, print this out and include it with your relatives information and then you can get a PUC to add to the shadow box..

    Hope this helps

    Best regards, stay safe

    Smitty
    Attached Files Attached Files

  7. #7
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    Katman, I found a captured Nazi flag with guys that would have served with your family’s relative. I posted it under German Flags and Smitty had to actual move it to the correct place. I’ll have to see if Eugene signed but doubt it if he was in a POW camp. Members of the 434th armored field artillery. 7th armored division signed it

  8. #8

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    Quote by Rakkasan187 View Post
    This is a great grouping that I would be happy to have in my collection..

    The provenance and letters are especially important to tie this grouping together..

    A great connection to your family and a Battle of the Bulge POW.

    The POW letter confirms his status as being in German Captivity. He was in Lager Stalag (Camp) IV B which was located in Muhlberg. About 7500 US Soldiers were sent there after they were captured during the Battle of the Bulge..

    Well done and glad you are the new caretaker of this grouping.

    Try to get the documents into some acid free document protectors and get them unfolded..

    Smitty
    Superb group of articles KatManDude, I see from the archives that the date of confirmation of his liberation from captivity was recorded as 16th June 1945, it obviously took a while for him to be tracked down. Perhaps the POW record card was rescued from burning by the retreating Germans at his moment of liberation?

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