Late awarding of medals.

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by David Layne, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    Frank Malloy was shot five times the day in 1944 that he was captured by German forces.

    ”It was just me and one other fellow,” said Malloy, who was in France serving in the Army during World War II. “We got split up from the group.”

    They ran. When the German soldiers caught up to Malloy, they gave him news of his fellow soldier: “Comrade kaput,” he said.

    Malloy was taken as a prisoner of war to a camp in eastern Germany where they served water flavored with pine branches, a few slices of bread and small boiled potatoes, he said. There was a safety wire that if you crossed it meant you would be shot. His mother didn't know where he was for months. And the Germans never removed the bullets from his body.

    Still, Malloy remains humble. Now in his 80s and living in Uncasville, he was presented with a number of medals in a ceremony at U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney's office in Norwich Friday to replace ones he had lost over the years.

    ”I wasn't the only one there; there was thousands,” Malloy said. “So I don't think I did anything special. That's life.”

    Courtney and his staff helped Malloy replace the medals so he could pass them on to his adopted son, Charlie Malloy, a recent graduate of Grasso Southeastern Technical High School who will continue his studies at the Baran Institute of Technology.

    ”He makes us all proud,” said Charlie Malloy. “I gotta keep (the war stories) in my mind.”

    Malloy remembers the day in May of 1945 when American forces liberated the camp he had been held at for eight months. Bullets were flying and he took cover behind a chimney in the barracks.

    But more than earning his freedom, Malloy recalls another joy: Getting to eat.

    ”Hey, that stomach was empty,” he said.

    The bullets in his body were removed once Malloy returned to the United States. He believes what kept him alive was having to walk a long distance after being shot, which kept the wound in his leg open and infection running out. He was also shot under the chin and remembers blood running from his chin to his ankles as he walked.

    ”But hey, that's years gone by,” he said.

    When he got back, he worked for his father in the oyster business, then at a mill in Norwich, and finally in the Connecticut College maintenance department for 37 years. Now he jokes that he focuses on keeping Charlie in line.

    Malloy received the POW Medal, the Good Conduct Medal - which he joked he didn't earn - the American Defense Service Medal; American, European, African and Middle Eastern Campaign Medals; World War II Victory Medal; and the Honorable Service Pin.

    Representatives from various veterans groups were also present at the event, including Herbert L. Mitchell of the state Department of Veterans Affairs, who brought a bottle of champagne, Malloy's favorite drink, to celebrate.

    Courtney said the Fourth of July was “a time for us to honor those who wore the uniform.”

    The recent anniversary of D-Day highlights the fact that “World War II veterans deserve our special attention,” he said
  2. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    HOLLY POND –– PFC Dewel McGriff, U.S. Army, remembered the day well. He was a 19-year-old soldier on his way to Japan to defend his country.

    McGriff was a machine gunner in the Philippine Islands from August 1945 to November 1946. He spent a total of 19 months in the South Pacific.

    “I had some close calls, but I was fortunate,” McGriff said. “Anyone that went over there and went through what we went through was fortunate to get out.”

    McGriff recalled meeting a fellow Alabamaian. He said he knew they would be friends.

    “The first thing you did was tell people where you were from,” McGriff said. “One boy said he was from Alabama, and he said we’re going to get along just fine since we were both from Alabama. Just then, they started throwing mortars and we dove into a foxhole and he got killed.”

    Recently, McGriff joined other World War II veterans at a ceremony to receive a Bronze Star. The program was held on the 65th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.

    The Bronze Star is awarded to any person who served, who distinguished themselves by heroic or meritorious achievements or service, not involving participation in aerial flight, in connection with military operation against an armed enemy while serving in the U.S. Army, or while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party.

    McGriff’s wife, Faye, along with 21 members of their family, were at his side when he received the award.

    “We had such a crowd,” McGriff said.

    McGriff is thankful for the honor he received, even though it came 64 years late.

    “Everyone that got a combat infantry badge was to get a Bronze Star and I got mine 64 years late,” McGriff said.

    “It was nice to receive it. It was an honor to live this long to celebrate because a lot (soldiers) didn’t make it back.”

    McGriff is proud to have served his country.

    “I feel WWII is the only war we really won,” McGriff said. “That is the only one in my lifetime we really won and defeated two countries.”

    McGriff said he came close to dying many times. He remembered one close call when a Japanese soldier threw a hand grenade in his foxhole.

    “If it had exploded, it probably would have taken my legs,” McGriff said.

    On July 29, McGriff will travel on an honor flight to see the Veteran’s Memorial in Washington, D.C.

    “I’ll probably see a lot of the names I knew from the war,” he said
  3. spidge

    spidge Active Member

    Hi David,

    Is there a numerical list of veterans that they are sorting through?
  4. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    Not that I am aware of. I read about them and post them here when I see them.
  5. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    TRENTON — World War II veteran William Schuster was honored for his tribute to his country.

    The 92-year-old received a Bronze Star medal Thursday at the Farmington Health Center in Farmington, a skilled nursery facility where he is staying as he battles cancer.

    Richard Williams of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1888 in Trenton conducted the ceremony and presented Schuster with the medal. About a dozen people attended the private ceremony.

    “He received the Bronze Star because the Japanese shot him and it shattered his radio,” said his wife, Lorene, 84. “The bullet hit his radio and gave him a scratch.”

    Before moving into the nursing home, Schuster lived with his wife at their Trenton home. The Montana native lived in several places out West before moving to Michigan at age 17.

    At the ceremony, Schuster joked that he didn’t get the same amount of commotion at his wedding. His wife said she had to laugh when she heard that, because they had a big wedding in 1973.

    Though the veteran, who served in the 33rd Division of the Army, has an indentation in his back from the bullet, he didn’t bleed. The radioman was shot in New Guinea and also was stationed in the Philippines.

    When the federal government tried to offer him the Purple Heart after he was wounded, he turned down the commendation.

    “He said no to that and said the radio should get the Purple Heart because it was the one that got shot, not him,” his wife said. “He is very honest and he has a dry sense of humor.”

    The effort to recognize Schuster was initiated by U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-15th District) when Lorene Schuster contacted his office about trying one more time to bestow her husband with the Purple Heart.

    His military record in the South Pacific is being reviewed to determine his eligibility for a Purple Heart, said Pat Andrews from the congressman’s Dearborn office.

    Because Schuster didn’t go to the hospital on a stretcher, officials are trying to obtain written records of his injury and that is difficult to research, the veteran said.

    “I’ve been after the Purple Heart for him because I want him to get it while he is living,” his wife said. “I hear of so many that get the Purple Heart when they are dead. Each day is a different day. I never know who he is going to be tomorrow.

    While his record is reviewed for the Purple Heart, it seemed appropriate to honor him with another honor, the Bronze Medal, according to officials.

    William Schuster’s mother constantly reminded him and his two brothers while they were growing up to never forget their heritage. Their uncle, Josiah Bartlett, was the second signer of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.

    “I’m very proud of my husband,” Schuster said. “He’s been very good to me. I am sorry that he is ill.”
  6. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    PORTLAND, Ore. -- Three World War II veterans have been awarded the Legion of Honor by France for their military service.

    The French consul general on Friday presented the award to 88-year-old Dale Reynolds of Lake Oswego, 84-year-old William Tankersley of Gold Beach and 87-year-old George Insley of Roseburg.

    A fourth Oregon vet, Donald Malarkey of Salem, was out of the country but will also receive the honor.

    Insley flew more than 50 bombing missions. Tankersley was wounded three times as he fought across northern France, Belgium and Luxembourg. Reynolds was wounded twice as he fought in Lorient, Nantes and Saint-Nazaire.
  7. aghart

    aghart Former Tank Commander Moderator

    Great Britain has at long last agreed to honour those WW II veterans who took part in the Arctic convoys to Russia and those who served in RAF Bomber Command. The award of the "Arctic Star" at long last recognises the bravery of those who helped take supplies to Russia. Previously the Russian convoys were included in the Atlantic Medal and did not get the individual recognition they deserved.

    RAF Bomber Command who suffered over 55,000 casulaties during WWII have now got a clasp to put on the ribbon of their 1939-45 star. Fighter pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain had a BoB clasp, now the bomber crews who suffered such heavy losses are put on the same level.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014
  8. Watson

    Watson Member

    Does anyone know the criteria for that specific award? The men listed above had noteworthy accomplishments, but we have a local "boy" who received the same honor and whose only experience during the war seems to have been being captured during his first action, the "Battle of the Bulge". I personally know his niece and she says that he's not even sure why he received it.
  9. cavtrooper

    cavtrooper Member

    A few years ago,we had a local guy finally recieve his Bronze Star from Viet Nam,presented to him by a minor flunky from one of our senator's offices,at the County Fair.Last year,we also had a ceremony for all of the veterans within the county who had served during the Berlin Crisis,and they were presented with awards.

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