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Forum: The 78th Division Veterans Association Message Board
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Medal & adornments question

Hi again everyone,

More questions on my grandfather's service - pff Lester Lundahl, 311th, 2nd battalion, G company.

As his original medals have all been lost, my main source of info is his obituary (which contained lots of misinformation, like "Lightning Regiment") and my Dad's recollections - better than my mother's.

I've confirmed the Good Conduct, WWII Victory, European Campaign and Army of Occupation medals. My father and the obituary recall a bronze star also, but the Combat Journal list does not indicate that he was a bronze star recipient. Lester almost never once spoke of his service or displayed his medals, so I'm a bit perplexed at that inconsistency. Are such inconsistencies common?

My Dad recalls that he once asked him about the Battle of the Bulge, and Lester said he was injured in training (in England maybe; he did disembark from the US with everyone else) just before they deployed, and so he missed the Hurtgen forest action, but was thrown into "a mess" when he met up with his unit. We presume this was Kesternich. We also know that he was involved in the Remgen bridge actions; the one story I did hear was how he and another guy accidentally (?) scared a group of prisoners that they were escorting when they fired off a couple rounds from a Luger, and how it nearly kicked him in the head.

Anyway - the Army of Occupation medal should include the GERMANY cross bar, correct? And would the European Theater medal include 2 or 3 star adornments? Presuming he actually missed the first battle, would 2 be more correct - or are the three adornments awarded across an entire company/battalion/regiment?

Thanks!

Dave

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Re: Medal & adornments question

Quote: Dave van der WIel

I've confirmed the Good Conduct, WWII Victory, European Campaign and Army of Occupation medals. My father and the obituary recall a bronze star also, but the Combat Journal list does not indicate that he was a bronze star recipient. Lester almost never once spoke of his service or displayed his medals, so I'm a bit perplexed at that inconsistency. Are such inconsistencies common?


Thanks for the e-mail replies; I'd like to post the info from the Institute of Heraldry on the Bronze Star being retroactively awarded in 1947 to WWII soldiers who earned the Combat Infantryman Badge. Since the 311th Combat Journal was published in 1945, this explains the inconsistency.

"As a result of a study conducted in 1947, the policy was implemented that authorised the retroactive award of the Bronze Star Medal (without the "V" device) to all soldiers who had received the Combat Infantryman Badge or the Combat Medical Badge during World War II. The basis for doing this was that the badges were awarded only to soldiers who had borne the hardships which resulted in General Marshall's support of the Bronze Star Medal. Both badges required a recommendation by the commander and a citation in orders."

Thanks again,

Dave

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