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Request Assistance - Identification of WWII ETO Army Ribbons.

Discussion in 'Medals, Insignia, Badges & Recalls' started by Art, Feb 27, 2018.

  1. Art

    Art New Member

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    Greetings.

    My father served in the 63rd Infantry Division, 254th Infantry Regiment during WWII. Most of his army ribbons I have figured out, a couple have me stumped. I also have some general questions about ribbons.

    1. I have some repetitive ribbon bars (same ribbons, different bars) just in various states of decay. Are the extras ribbon bars simply replacements?

    2. What is this ribbon? It's current color is silver with a white, black, and "copper" stripes. I suspect the "copper" color may have once been red. The white on silver is hard too distinguish, so I suspect one or both may have been another color in the past. If identified where can I find a replacement? Photo below.

    3. Are both of these ribbons Army Of Occupation? "Copper" vs Red color leads me to this question. Photo below.

    4. His European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon has two bronze stars on it. What are the stars for? I have 3 versions of this ribbon with 2 stars and 1 version of this ribbon with 3 stars. The "best condition" ribbon has 2 stars. Photo below.

    5. On the Bronze Star ribbon, what does the V mean? Photo below.

    6. Does the orientation of a ribbon matter? His European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon has different orientations on 2 different ribbon bars. The ribbon in question is pictured center in the below photo?

    7. I am planning on placing his ribbon bars in a shadow box. What is the proper orientation? What is the proper bar order; which bar on top, middle, bottom? Photo below.

    Thank you in advance for your time, talents, and knowledge.

    Regards,
    Art
     

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  2. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    Last picture starting from the top:
    Bronze Star with Valor Device
    American Campaign Medal-European Theater of Operations Medal w/ 2 campaign stars-WW2 Victory Medal
    Army Good Conduct Medal-No Idea-Occupation Medal​
     
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  3. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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  4. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    The bronze stars on the EAME ribbon indicate named campaigns. I'll have to look further to see what campaigns the 63rd was involved in.
     
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  5. formerjughead

    formerjughead The Cooler King

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    I think the "No Idea Ribbon" is what is called a : "Local, State or Organization Ribbon". Think Lodges and Rotary Clubs as a show of local appreciation.
     
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  6. Art

    Art New Member

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    FJH, Thank you for you responses.

    The Panama angle is interesting. When the ribbon was created, he was still in the Army in 1953, a Major in the 75th Infantry Division. Though I am incline to believe that is not it because the strips are wider on my father's ribbon, but I will continue to explore this angle. I am amazed you found something even close!

    If this is a "local ribbon", that will be hard to figure out. Anyone in my family who would know has past away and I do not know what clubs/lodges he was involved in.

    Concerning the "No Idea Ribbon" here is some speculations I have. My thinking is along the line of flag colors. (List of flags by color combination - Wikipedia).

    If the original colors were White-Black-Red; these are the colors of Germany's WWI & WWII and the City of Berlin flags. If the original strip was White, the background color would need to be something besides what it is now to make the White strip stand out.

    If the original colors were Gold (yellow)-Black-Red, these are the color of the post WWII Germany flag adopted in 1949.

    In his patch collection there is one SHAEF shoulder patch, not sure if this was a common patch to have (I have one with a blue background too). I have been told he spoke fluent German. Also, my mother told me, when I was a little boy, he was on Eisenhower's staff; however my mother also had a wicked sense of humor; if you think about it, anyone in the Army was on Eisenhower's staff. :)

    Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) Shoulder sleeve insignia
     

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  7. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    They could be either extras or replacements. As to which they might be would be guess work.

    The 254th was credited with Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe, and Rhineland campaigns. I don't know that you can read much in to which ribbon has X number of campaign stars. The Fold3.com website has a great collection of 63rd ID records including some Morning Reports. You may want to search through them to see if you can find when your father joined/left the 254th. If you don't mind sharing his name, some of us may do some of the digging for you.

    Jugs already mentioned that the "V" on his Bronze Star Medal Ribbon is a Valor Device. That means his BSM was not awarded for "meritorious service", but for an act of "valor". To find out what that act of valor entailed will require finding the citation or the General Order under which it was awarded. You may be able to find the GO at the link I referenced earlier.
     
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  8. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    It was not uncommon for soldiers to collect shoulder sleeve insignia (SSI). I have a relative who served with the 32nd Armored Regt. who had a collection of a few dozen SSI's of all kinds that he collected during his time in the Army. You would have to know a bit more about his service history to know if the SHEAF SSI was one he would have worn.
     
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  9. Art

    Art New Member

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    TD,

    Thank you very much for you responses.

    Now knowing about the Valor Device I can connect it to some papers I have. His valor act was that he cleared a pill box so a pinned downed company could advance; basically he charge the hill with a machine gun and fired from an open position.

    I briefly looked at the 3Fold.com website and will start digging around, it looks very promising. I have been able to piece together somethings from other websites so that should get me started on 3Fold.com. Sites I have used include:
    254thinfregtpage1
    63d INFANTRY DIVISION - Order of Battle of the United States Army - WWII - ETO | U.S. Army Center of Military History

    I will accept all help. His name was John Houston Seay. I have seen two service numbers associated with him; 0551030 and 0552030.

    I will be writing the National Personnel Records Center to see if his records survived the 1973 fire (The 1973 Fire, National Personnel Records Center). Maybe they will have something on the "No Idea Ribbon".

    et. al. Take care.

    Art
     
  10. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    According to Fold3, he was in the HQ Company of the 1st Battalion.


    Fold3_Page_9.jpg
     
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  11. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    He was also in HQ 2nd Bn as S2 and a Platoon Leader in H Company. Unlike enlisted men, it was common for officers to move around to different units within a Regiment or Division.
    Fold3_254th_Seay_Page_3.jpg

    Fold3_254th_Seay_Page_109.jpg
     
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  12. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Found 63rd ID GO #228 awarding 1st Lt. Seay his BSM. The action for which he received the BSM was on 17 Mar 45 at Ensheim, Germany. As an aside, my great uncle's TD Bn was attached to the 254th from 15-21 Mar 45 during the assault on the Siegfried Line.

    GO228_63ID_Seay_BSM_12Jun45.jpg

    GO228_63ID_EXCERPT.jpg
     
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  13. Art

    Art New Member

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    TD, Lou, and et.al.,

    TD. Wow, Small World, eh? Trying to learn the lingo; TD Bn - Tank Destroyer Battalion?

    Thanks to everyone for your research. Based on what you sent me and other places I have looked here is what we can piece together:

    Rank: 1st Lt
    Company: 63rd Division HHC 2nd Battalion
    Duty: S-2, Intelligence Officer
    March 1945

    Promoted 1st Lt
    16-Mar-1945

    Received Bronze Star Metal
    17-Mar-1945 (I think it was awarded in June 1945)

    Rank: 1st Lt
    Company: H
    Duty: Platoon Leader
    April 1945

    Rank: 1st Lt
    Company: 63rd Division HHC 1st Battalion
    Duty: ?
    Date ?

    Also, I have two sets of overseas service bars; one with 2 bars (1 year) and one with 6 bars (3 years), if he arrived overseas in 1945 he was ETO until 1948 (6 bars) or 1949 (8 bars). Not sure if the 2 bars are part of the 6 bar set? I have a black/white photo of him playing golf with the 2 bar set on the jacket sleeve and single bar on the hat; I'm thinking silver, therefore 1st Lt. By 1953 his rank was Major, so somewhere along the way he made Captain; these promotions may be post war.

    Also, the "No idea ribbon/metal" is still a mystery. As FJH suggested "Local, State or Organization Ribbon" and I have been thinking along those lines; Texas or Louisiana; Houston or Baton Rouge; not much luck. I did find a Russian metal with potentially the same coloring celebrating 30 year since WWII (red, black, yellow, silver); could be base on what was orginally awarded back in the day? See attachment.

    The question I have before the committee is should I post just the "No idea ribbon/metal" separatly to get more of a focus on it, as this threat is taking a turn toward my father military career? Any recommendations where I could post the request for information to expand the search?

    Cheers,
    Art
     

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    Last edited: Mar 7, 2018

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