July 15th, 2016, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Sep 2014
The cap badge is odd since the 345th Inf was part of the 87th Inf Div and they only served in North/Central Europe: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/87th_I...United_States)
The campaigns annotated on his -214 sync perfectly with service in D Co, 6th Armored Inf Bn, 1st Armored Div. Per KurtC's wiki link, the 6th Inf Regt was, on 20 Jul 44 reorganized such that the 1st Bn became the 6th Armored Inf Bn. 2nd and 3rd Bns became the 11th and 14th Armored Inf Bns respectively.
As others have said, the pic could've been taken later, even spur of the moment when the opportunity presented; maybe he borrowed the cover for his 'hero shot?' Based on when he entered the theater, he should've been near the 'head of the line' in 1945 as soldiers were processed for return to CONUS.
Glad you received his Bronze Star. Don't believe it is widely known that awarding of the CIB was considered sufficient for the award of the BSM. General Marshall advocated for this somewhat early on and it was eventually approved for the last couple years of WW II. Not well known by the mainstream but even by 1944, the U.S.A. face a manpower crisis which manifest itself on the battlefield as a real shortage of riflemen. As a result the ASTP program was truncated, draft age raised, etc. General Marshall had somewhat foreseen this and wanted to recognize the sacrifice and importance of the basic Mark 1 Mod 0 rifleman. I did not know about the CIB / BSM connection myself until researching why my grandfather also received a BSM (posthumously) when my grandmother was getting replacement ribbons for him and I did some digging.
Your FIL is a hero. Thank you for honoring his memory and sharing with us.