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Roguish Lawyer
06-14-2007, 16:22
My mother is visiting, and she brought my son a Bronze Star my father's uncle (who I was very close to and who one of my kids is named after) won in World War II. Does anyone know if there is a web site or other source of information where I can find out what he did to earn this medal? I am curious.

Thanks very much for any help.

Shar
06-14-2007, 17:31
I'm assuming your uncle is deceased, in which case your mom - as his sister can file a request for his records. If his wife is still living you'd need to get her to sign the form. The form to do so, as well as the instructions can be found here -
http://www.archives.gov/research/order/standard-form-180.pdf

I've done it as couple of times. In the record received you should find the citation for the Bronze Star as well as any other awards he received. They are generally worth the time and effort to get a hold of - it does take a little time.

Let me know if you have other questions - family military history is an obsession of mine... :o

Roguish Lawyer
06-14-2007, 17:43
Thanks, Shar! He has one sister still alive, so maybe I can get her to sign. Of course, I also have to figure out what unit he was in, etc., which may be quite difficult.

Shar
06-14-2007, 17:51
No unit necessary for this form - just dates of service as close as possible. The most important piece of information is his SSN.

I'm horribly nosy when it comes to this kind of stuff and when I visit my grandmother I ferret through all of her trunks and drawers and everything I can get my hands on. She's 94 and is the keeper of all the information about her father, her brother, her husband and her own life so I figure I'm on borrowed time to get good information and I can't afford to be shy about asking any longer. Once she's gone, it's gone and this stuff is too important for my kids and future generations to know about.

Hipshot
06-14-2007, 18:33
I am a military historian for a WW2 Army Air Corps unit. If he was in the Air Corps there are some additional paths to follow. You can also request the information yourself under the Freedom of Information Act. I'm currently doing that to fill in information on my Dad's bomb group (in which Jimmy Stewart was a Squadron Commander and flew 10 missions over Germany as Air Commander).

The Military Personnel Records Center on Page Blvd in St. louis is where all military records are maintained. Back in 1973 they had a major fire and lost most of the WW2-era records (all records lost for last names starting with H - Z).

Shar
06-14-2007, 19:00
The Military Personnel Records Center on Page Blvd in St. louis is where all military records are maintained. Back in 1973 they had a major fire and lost most of the WW2-era records (all records lost for last names starting with H - Z).

That's awful. My maiden name starts with a G - so I hadn't hit an issue with it yet, although I've got a request in for my Great-Grandfather's record and his last name starts with an S. That is the same location where the form I linked to is sent so I'm sure it would be affected. Luckily my Grandfather, et al were fairly good about keeping their records, journals, photos, etc so I've got a decent history (plus I've got my Grandma who has a very good long term memory) but there are a few holes I've found and some very interesting documents I was hoping to see more context on. These are mostly pre-WWII, do you know if that was affected as well?

CoLawman
06-14-2007, 22:09
RL,
Shar and Hipshot are right on the money. If your great uncle's name began with one of the listed letters you may not be able to recover the complete record. What they will try to do is furnish whatever information that might have associated with his VA benefits. At times this can give you a unit, dates of service, and service number.

His social security number is easily obtained from this site. In fact you can use this site to find out all sorts of information on relatives who have passed away.
http://ssdi.rootsweb.com/cgi-bin/ssdi.cgi

Use the advanced search.

This will also give you his date of birth, place of birth and date and place of death.

I have checked records for winners of the bronze star in the past and there is no central data base for the information. Your best hope is finding letters he had sent home during the war, or determining his unit. If you have his unit there are several sites you can check to see if there is an alumni site. I would also check his local VFW and other veteran organizations he probably belonged to. To use the Bronze star on his VFW hat or uniform he would have had to provide proof of award to the post. Just some thoughts from a person who spends alot of time delving into such pursuits.

Roguish Lawyer
06-15-2007, 08:10
Thanks, all. Last name starts with R, unfortunately. I believe he was infantry, but not sure. I printed the form and assigned the task to my mother. LOL

The Reaper
06-15-2007, 08:37
What you are looking for is the citation that goes with the medal.

Unfortunately, unlike the MoH and DSC, so many BSs were awarded that a website listing them all would be huge.

Does your uncle's medal have a "V" affixed to it?

Best of luck.

TR

Roguish Lawyer
06-15-2007, 08:38
What you are looking for is the citation that goes with the medal.

Unfortunately, unlike the MoH and DSC, so many BSs were awarded that a website listing them all would be huge.

Does your uncle's medal have a "V" affixed to it?

Best of luck.

TR

No V.