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WAC Campaign Ribbons

Started by Sgt Brown , May 20 2008 06:18 AM

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#1 Sgt Brown

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 06:18 AM

This jacket is for sale on eBay. I'm not interested but am curious. The story is she was an aide to a 2-star.

My question is this. Look at the ribbon bars - which do appeared to be the sewn-on style. Anyhow, three battle stars?

Would/could she have earned those or has this uniform been "improved"?

Tom

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#2 JBFloyd

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 07:22 AM

The 3 stars are certainly possible. If you assume that she was not in North Africa, Italy or Southern France, it would require that she be on the continent for three of the Army campaigns:
Normandy - 6 Jun-24 Jul 1944
Northern France - 25 Jul-14 Sep 1944
Rhineland - 15 Sep 44-21 Mar 1945
Central Europe - 22 Mar - 11 May 1945

The presence of the Occupation Medal indicates that she was probably there at the end, so the later campaigns are certainly easily possible.

If the uniform was a WAC's, I'd expect the WAC Medal ribbon to be there. She certainly would have qualified unless she were not a WAC (e.g., in the Army Nurse Corps).

#3 Sgt Brown

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 08:11 AM

THANKS!

However, I always thought receiving battle stars required one to be "in harm's way". Am I wrong on this? A general's aide would probably not find him or herself in such a situation.

As for the WAC medal, it was my impression that was issued only to WAC's who had previously been in the WAAC. If she joined after the WAAC was changed to the WAC, she would not be eligible for that ribbon. Again, am I wrong?

Tom

#4 101combatvet

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 09:10 AM

I think she would have been entitled to the medal.

award here

THANKS!

However, I always thought receiving battle stars required one to be "in harm's way". Am I wrong on this? A general's aide would probably not find him or herself in such a situation.

As for the WAC medal, it was my impression that was issued only to WAC's who had previously been in the WAAC. If she joined after the WAAC was changed to the WAC, she would not be eligible for that ribbon. Again, am I wrong?

Tom


Edited by 101combatvet, 20 May 2008 - 09:10 AM.


#5 Teamski

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 10:01 AM

Yep, the WAC medal was issued from 1943-46. I agree, it's odd that she doesn't have the ribbon in the group. Definately no reason to fake the uniform, though. It may be possible that the ribbon manufacturer didn't do WAC medals.... (?)

-Ski

#6 Wailuna

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 11:19 AM

Here are contemporaneous news clippings referring to women in the services wearing the WWII campaign medals and on the introduction of the WAC Service Medal. NY Times is not an "official" source, of course, but these articles probably are reliable indicators of current official thinking on these awards.

Campaign_Medals_1942.jpg WAAC_Service_Medal.jpg



#7 atb

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 04:29 AM

THANKS!

However, I always thought receiving battle stars required one to be "in harm's way". Am I wrong on this? A general's aide would probably not find him or herself in such a situation.

As for the WAC medal, it was my impression that was issued only to WAC's who had previously been in the WAAC. If she joined after the WAAC was changed to the WAC, she would not be eligible for that ribbon. Again, am I wrong?

Tom

A soldier only needed to be in the specified geographical area for the required time period to receive a campaign star for the theater medals. Being "in harm's way" is irrelevant. If she was not a member of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps who stayed on to be in the Women's Army Corps, she would not qualify for the WAC Service Medal. She needed to have been in both organizations.

Edited by atb, 21 May 2008 - 04:30 AM.


#8 101combatvet

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 04:54 AM

Yes.... that makes sense. For some reason I thought the were awarded later then that.... until 1978 when they were disbanded. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/emba0005.gif Nope.


A soldier only needed to be in the specified geographical area for the required time period to receive a campaign star for the theater medals. Being "in harm's way" is irrelevant. If she was not a member of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps who stayed on to be in the Women's Army Corps, she would not qualify for the WAC Service Medal. She needed to have been in both organizations.



#9 Wailuna

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 08:02 AM

...I always thought receiving battle stars required one to be "in harm's way"...


That is a reasonable supposition. The Army's official position on the bronze service stars worn on campaign ribbons during WWII strongly supports that interpretation:

"Bronze service stars are worn on the service ribbons of campaign medals for the current war [WWII] to indicate credit for battle participation, a star for each battle or campaign for which credit is awarded..." (paragraph 73b(3) AR 600-40, March 31, 1943).

As a practical matter, however, the term "battle participation" evidently was not taken literally. Campaign participation credit was tracked on a unit basis, depending on the unit's presence in a designated campaign area during specific time limitations, regardless of whether the unit was involved in actual combat. If a solider were in that unit at that time, he or she would attain the same campaign participation credit as the unit.

Is that ebay listing still up? Is no SSI shown? It also appears that the WAC was a Warrant Officer.

Edited by Wailuna, 21 May 2008 - 08:03 AM.


#10 Sgt Brown

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 09:00 AM

That is a reasonable supposition. The Army's official position on the bronze service stars worn on campaign ribbons during WWII strongly supports that interpretation:

"Bronze service stars are worn on the service ribbons of campaign medals for the current war [WWII] to indicate credit for battle participation, a star for each battle or campaign for which credit is awarded..." (paragraph 73b(3) AR 600-40, March 31, 1943).

As a practical matter, however, the term "battle participation" evidently was not taken literally. Campaign participation credit was tracked on a unit basis, depending on the unit's presence in a designated campaign area during specific time limitations, regardless of whether the unit was involved in actual combat. If a solider were in that unit at that time, he or she would attain the same campaign participation credit as the unit.

Is that ebay listing still up? Is no SSI shown? It also appears that the WAC was a Warrant Officer.


It started at $9 and is up to $162 with four days to go. It's gonna go high.

http://tinyurl.com/4uu987 or try

Auction number 160242060615

Tom http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif

#11 Laury Allison

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 10:41 AM

The branch insignia(s) make me wonder???? http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif Was she a warrant officer....a WAC....or a general's aide????? http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif I don't remember ever seeing a warrant as a general's aide....but I guess anything could be possible???? http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif But if she were a warrant....why would she be wearing WAC insignia too???? http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/think.gif The U.S. insignia is normally worn on the upper portion of the lapels of an officer...not branch insignia as this one has. Aides to general officers are considered a special assignment and when aide insignia is worn, the regular assigned branch insignia is not worn. Also, until 9 July 2004, warrants wore only the "eagle rising" insignia, regardless of their MOS.

I'm not a uniform collector...but this one would appear to raise some flags and questions. The uniform could have easily had some of the insignia at some point. It would appear that this person may have stayed in the Army after WWII since there is no ruptured duck.

Just something to think about....now you all can have fun picking these apart....

Laury

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#12 Wailuna

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 12:02 PM

The bizarre combination of branch and aide-de-camp insignia aside, at least the First Army SSI is consistent with three bronze service stars on the EAME (confirming JBFloyd's observation). First Army headquarters units (Hq. Company and Special Troops) had the following campaign participation credit during WWII:

Normandy (June 6 to July 24, 1944)
Northern France (July 25 to September 14, 1944)
Rhineland (September 15, 1944, to March 21, 1945)
Ardennes-Alsace (December 16, 1944, to January 25, 1945)
Central Europe (March 22 to May 11, 1945).

Were WAC officers or warrant officers assigned to First Army on the continent between June 6, 1944, and March 11, 1945? Is that penciled name on the jacket label useful clue: Wojeiko?


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