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Vietnam USMC KIA Silver Star group.
Old 01-14-2005, 04:16 PM   #1
wartimecollectables
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Default Vietnam USMC KIA Silver Star group.

I'm always looking for poignant and interesting Vietnam groups and was pleased to pick this one up.

Officially named Silver Star, Purple Heart, New York Conspicuous Service Cross...all with the original documents. Telegram notifying his wife of his death, and more. His Silver Star citation reads ...
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Squad Leader with Company G, Second Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division in Vietnam on 28 February 1967. On this day Company G made solid contact with a larger enemy force in the vicinity of Hill 124, just northwest of Cam Lo.The enemy was well dug-in and was able to put out such a volume of small arms and automatic weapons fire that the company was pinned down. Under a hail of hostile fire, Corporal Crawford, a machine gun squad leader, brought his guns forward and set them up on the left flank of his platoon's most forward positions, only 40 meters from enemy emplacements.
From this position, he caught sight of a Marine who had been wounded during one of the earlier assaults. Unhesitatingly, he bounded forward, exposing himself to enemy fire to render assistance to the fallen Marine. As he cleared his cover an enemy sniper opened up from close range wounding him in the leg and knocking him to the ground.
Ignoring his wound, Corporal Crawford was able to whirl and send a lethal burst of rifle fire into the sniper's spider hole, killing him. He then continued to move forward to the Marine casualty. He had advanced only several more meters, when he was fired upon again and mortally wounded. Corporal Crawford's selfless courage, perseverance and loyal devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."

This was his 2nd Purple Heart and he was 19. These guys are incredible.
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Old 01-14-2005, 04:33 PM   #2
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Very nice group Andrew! Would love to see the engraving!Kurt
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Old 01-14-2005, 05:16 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kastauffer
Very nice group Andrew! Would love to see the engraving!Kurt
Thanks Kurt! Here's a pic of the naming. As Kurt can tell you, there are few absolutes in medal collecting (though there are pretty constant rules). BUT I've seen official USMC named decorations from as early as 1962 to the 1970's and EVERY ONE I've seen except the Medal of Honor was identically named in this small format. Air Medals, Purple Hearts, GC's, Silver Star, etc. Now granted though I've seen dozens of Hearts I've only seen a couple of Air Medals and this one SS but I think it's safe to say the USMC used this format fairly exclusively. Small capitalized block even naming. Navy naming is different. FYI This group was sold by his daughter who was an infant when he was killed and had no one to pass it onto.

Something I think is interesting too... regarding Crawfords PH & SS certificates.
Note that his Purple Heart Certificate is standard Gov.t engraving office pattern as used by the Army as well AND that BOTH his wound dates are on it. Though the PH shows a Gold 2nd award star the USMC chose to use only one certificate for both awards. I've never seen that before
Secondly note that the Silver Star document is distinctly a Department of the Navy embossed document, not at all like the one's used by the Army.

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Old 01-14-2005, 05:25 PM   #4
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Awesome pair! The engraving is definately consistant with ones I have seen too. I have seen a few VN USMC PH's engraved in the same style, but with the naming pushed more towords the bottom of the heart. The font style , size , and format was the same. Overall a truly scarce group.

Kurt
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Old 01-14-2005, 05:29 PM   #5
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Thank you Andrew. This is a stark reminder of the sacrifice and valor of our military personnel. Thank you and God Bless Cpl. Crawford and his family.
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Old 01-14-2005, 05:37 PM   #6
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Andrew.That is a lovely group to the Marines.I note your comments re naming of awards.Can you advise me what the situation was for the US Army for awards to a soldier killed in action in Vietnam.I ask because I have a small group bought direct from the family with all original paperwork...the soldier was KIA in the Tet Offensive...neither his Silver Star nor his Purple Heart are named.His campaign medals are in the card boxes of issue and his two awards cased.His parents were deceased and I bought the group from his younger brother who came to live in Australia.As far as the ARMY is concerned (in Vietnam)am I right in saying:
SOMETIMES awards were named and SOMETIMES not when the recipient was still living. And if KIA in the winning of the award SOMETIMES but not ALWAYS issued named to Next of Kin.
I presume a field award, ie an "on the spot" award would not be named ... could the recipient return it to be officially named once he was back in the States?Thank you.Mike Downey














Quote:
Originally Posted by wartimecollectables
Thanks Kurt! Here's a pic of the naming. As Kurt can tell you, there are few absolutes in medal collecting (though there are pretty constant rules). BUT I've seen official USMC named decorations from as early as 1962 to the 1970's and EVERY ONE I've seen except the Medal of Honor was identically named in this small format. Air Medals, Purple Hearts, GC's, Silver Star, etc. Now granted though I've seen dozens of Hearts I've only seen a couple of Air Medals and this one SS but I think it's safe to say the USMC used this format fairly exclusively. Small capitalized block even naming. Navy naming is different. FYI This group was sold by his daughter who was an infant when he was killed and had no one to pass it onto.

Something I think is interesting too... regarding Crawfords PH & SS certificates.
Note that his Purple Heart Certificate is standard Gov.t engraving office pattern as used by the Army as well AND that BOTH his wound dates are on it. Though the PH shows a Gold 2nd award star the USMC chose to use only one certificate for both awards. I've never seen that before
Secondly note that the Silver Star document is distinctly a Department of the Navy embossed document, not at all like the one's used by the Army.

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Old 01-14-2005, 05:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Downey
Andrew.That is a lovely group to the Marines.I note your comments re naming of awards.Can you advise me what the situation was for the US Army for awards to a soldier killed in action in Vietnam.I ask because I have a small group bought direct from the family with all original paperwork...the soldier was KIA in the Tet Offensive...neither his Silver Star nor his Purple Heart are named.His campaign medals are in the card boxes of issue and his two awards cased.His parents were deceased and I bought the group from his younger brother who came to live in Australia.As far as the ARMY is concerned (in Vietnam)am I right in saying:
SOMETIMES awards were named and SOMETIMES not when the recipient was still living. And if KIA in the winning of the award SOMETIMES but not ALWAYS issued named to Next of Kin.
I presume a field award, ie an "on the spot" award would not be named ... could the recipient return it to be officially named once he was back in the States?Thank you.Mike Downey
You've pretty much got it down. I've never encountered a KIA group where the posthumous awards were unnamed. And yes, a soldier could send his medals back in to be named in a WIA group or if they were mailed out to him (say after he got out) then there is a pretty good chance he would recieve named awards. With your group, unless it simply slipped through the cracks to name a posth. group which is certainly possible, then the most likely scenerio is that these were earlier awards. I have a group I just bought to a KIA 1st Cav fella in 1971. He earned a DFC, multiple Bronze Stars, and multiple Air Medals before being killed. Only the Purple Heart is named as the others were given to him prior to his death and any posthumous decorations other than the PH were oakleaf clusters.
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:21 PM   #8
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Last year at the Show of Shows in Louisville, Andrew put up what I consider to be one of the finest medal displays that I have ever encountered. Andrew blew me away with his collection of KIA Purple Hearts from the Vietnam war. The display was very tastefully done and it evoked storing images to me of the life behind each of those small, pieces of metal and ribbon.

What REALLY blew me away at the show was the fact that Andrew received virtually NO recognition for the accomplishment of collecting so many of these medals. I don't even know if he received an honorable mention for his efforts.

I realize that not everyone can win a prize, and not everyone can appreciate just how much time and effort went in to that display, but I can tell you that the judges, who failed to see the quality of the display, really missed what collecting is all about when they bypassed those Purple Hearts on that display table. Perhaps they wanted to see a complete collection of Elbonian Air Force cap badges, or Herman Goring's underwear. It was crystal clear to me that the judges did not want to see a collection with a Vietnam theme, nor did they want to see a batch of very similar looking medals on a table.

I am posting here tonight to say that Andrew's collection of Vietnam KIA Purple Hearts is amazing, that he puts a lot of time and effort into the memory of those men whose medals he has been entrusted, and that even though he didn't get the judge's nod, his efforts certainly had a significant impact on me.

I hope that this February, when I go back to Louisville again, I'll get to see another offering from Andrew Lipps' collection. Those of you who are also fortunate enough to visit the SOS, need to be sure to check out the displays. There is some fantastic stuff being shown to our collecting community.
OK, I'll get off my soapbox.
Allan
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:02 PM   #9
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Thank you Allan,
No display this year as I can only be at the show Friday and a bit on Saturday AM. But the positive comments I received from historians made the effort of the display last year worth it and I'll do it again.
Andrew
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Old 01-14-2005, 10:09 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info Andrew.You are spot on as I rechecked the group and his SS and PH were awarded for a previous contact about 4 months prior to TET.I guess he would be entitled to an OLC on his PH....a lot of fighting a long time ago...still not sure if we won....
Happy new Year.Mike.















Quote:
Originally Posted by wartimecollectables
You've pretty much got it down. I've never encountered a KIA group where the posthumous awards were unnamed. And yes, a soldier could send his medals back in to be named in a WIA group or if they were mailed out to him (say after he got out) then there is a pretty good chance he would recieve named awards. With your group, unless it simply slipped through the cracks to name a posth. group which is certainly possible, then the most likely scenerio is that these were earlier awards. I have a group I just bought to a KIA 1st Cav fella in 1971. He earned a DFC, multiple Bronze Stars, and multiple Air Medals before being killed. Only the Purple Heart is named as the others were given to him prior to his death and any posthumous decorations other than the PH were oakleaf clusters.
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Vietnam group!
Old 01-14-2005, 11:34 PM   #11
Paul V
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Default Vietnam group!

Andrew

Great group!

Super effort!

Thanks for showing!

PVON
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Old 01-21-2005, 01:45 PM   #12
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An aquaintance had a brother that was a mid 1969 Marine Corps KIA in Vietnam, and he has his brother's KIA medals and papers. The original KIA Purple Heart his family received was not named in any fashion. A couple years ago he also requested a replacement to see what he would get, and he did in fact get a replacement Purple Heart from the Marine Corps, which also was not named. I have heard others speak of some Marine Corps posthumous Purple Heart awards from Vietnam that were not named, but the thought was that they were KIA's from the Tet Offensive time period and due to larger numbers of USMC casualties then that medals from that time frame were not engraved at all. Thoughts??
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Old 01-21-2005, 04:02 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Walsh
An aquaintance had a brother that was a mid 1969 Marine Corps KIA in Vietnam, and he has his brother's KIA medals and papers. The original KIA Purple Heart his family received was not named in any fashion. A couple years ago he also requested a replacement to see what he would get, and he did in fact get a replacement Purple Heart from the Marine Corps, which also was not named. I have heard others speak of some Marine Corps posthumous Purple Heart awards from Vietnam that were not named, but the thought was that they were KIA's from the Tet Offensive time period and due to larger numbers of USMC casualties then that medals from that time frame were not engraved at all. Thoughts??
Mike

Good to see you on the web board!

It was my understanding that USMC Posthumous Purple Hearts issued 1968 onwards are not always named. I work with someone whose brother was KIA in 1969 and he brought in the medals and paperwork to show me and the PH was not named.

Kurt
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Old 01-21-2005, 04:12 PM   #14
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Great Group!!!

Regards,

Ricardo.
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Old 01-21-2005, 05:40 PM   #15
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Hey Mike,

I've heard this one before. In fact, I think Al Gleim had found some government notice stating that the official naming of Vietnam posthumous USMC Purple Hearts was to be discontinued. I don't remember the exact date but I believe it was sometime mid 1968. This note might be found in the "Gleim Papers" and/or in one of his old auction catalogs...I'd have to pull my old catalogs to check.

That said...I do have a Vietnam posthumous USMC Purple Heart to LCPL Juan R. Garcia that was issued on August 13, 1968. I have a copy of the forwarding letter from that date. LCPL Juan R. Garcia was killed in action in the Quang Tri Province, RVN on June 26, 1968. He was also wounded on May 13, 1968 and again on May 28, 1968. He was promoted to LCPL on June 25, 1968.

.

Last edited by vicjoy1945; 01-21-2005 at 05:51 PM.
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