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Service Details, Ardennes

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by Nightlock, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. Nightlock

    Nightlock New Member

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    My grandfather, a purple heart recipient, served during the Ardennes Counteroffensive. Other than a handful of photographs, some strange german memorabilia, nazi flags, cigarette cards and his dog tags, I know so little about his service.

    I think I need some help in asking the right questions.

    Using his tags, I get his enlisted status, birthday, birthplace...things I already know. Where do I look for details on his service in the Army?

    Additionally, I was wondering what I should do with these artifacts. They probably belong in a museum. I have some photos somewhere but maybe I should post those in a different thread.

    Below is a dropbox link to some pictures I have.
    His name was Pete Klay, 37708941 T44-5 A

    I no longer have the small flag he is holding in the photo. I remember it being around for many years, but haven't seen it lately. I also have one that is large enough to be a car cover it's so big.

    Cheers,
    Pete
     
  2. Owen

    Owen O

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    Nightlock likes this.
  3. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    The writing below the photo places it in Grünstadt, Germany on 23 May 1945.
     
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  4. Nightlock

    Nightlock New Member

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    Thanks Owen.

    Is there a database somewhere that details deployment, dates? Or a database regarding his purple heart?
     
  5. Nightlock

    Nightlock New Member

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    Yes. This is written on the back of the photo.
     
  6. Owen

    Owen O

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    All I can suggest is getting his service records.

    Request Your Military Service Records Online, by Mail, or by Fax

    I hope the US members of the forum can help you with those once you get them.
     
  7. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

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    Welcome to the forums!

    I would strongly encourage you not to donate these items to a museum. A lot of the artifacts which go into the museum world never see the light of day and end up sitting in a storage box for years and years -- both unappreciated and unmissed. Please keep these items in your family.
     
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  8. Nightlock

    Nightlock New Member

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    Owen: Thank you - put in the request.
    George: I agree, but I don't know where to start. I will do some research. Other members of the family are pretty shaken by this stuff, and on more than one occasion I have rescued it all from the trash can. It understandably has a visceral effect for some members of my family. I always tell them that my grandfather brought these items back for historical record, and that we should respect that.

    Here are some pictures - the flag (banner? tapestry?) is a little over 9' x 5'. I did end up finding the smaller flag with swastika in the photos.

    swastika_tapestry.png

    nazi junk.png
     
  9. Natman

    Natman Member

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    Hey Pete. If you know the county your grandfather returned to when he left the military, check with the county clerk there. Servicemen were told to file copies of their separation records with their local county as the military would not replace them if lost. Some folks on the forums have indicated they have had success with this procedure. It's worth a try.

    Steve
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    If the museum does not sell them off first...Unless "Not for sale" is so specified at donation.
     
  11. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    It may be worth trying to figure out which element of the 28th ID was in or near Grünstadt on or around 23 May 1945. Do any of the pins in that collection look like a unit crest or insignia? If so, posting a photo may be helpful in narrowing down the specific unit he was in.
     
  12. Nightlock

    Nightlock New Member

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    I sent in for his separation papers - we'll see what that brings about.
     
  13. Nightlock

    Nightlock New Member

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    Got a response on the Service Records. Unfortunately they say that his records were consumed in a fire, but they did send confirmation of his service.

    Details still elude me...
     
  14. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    This is a difficult question. It depends on how committed your family is likely to be down the generations. Leaving it in the family might mean someone throwing it all away. (we have a box of stuff from a German Jew who took refuge. My wife rescued these after helping a friend clear the house of a relative. Its a collection of papers and newspapers that look interesting and tell an important life story, but nothing directly to do with me.

    You might consider loaning the items to a museum.

    There are local museums in Belgium which might welcome such items. The 28th Division bore the brunt of the German initial attack across the border between Belgium and Luxembourg east of Bastogne. They held the line before the patratroops of 101st occupied that town. Several musems in that area might welcome and display these artifacts. The 28th also defended Clervaux in Luxemburg. You need to find out where he served.

    You could try the US National Museum in New Orleans. I have worked with them . They seem well organised and funded. They have a commitment to preserving WW2 heritage.
     

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