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WAKE ISLAND US Navy Medal Group - POW Hero

Started by KASTAUFFER , Dec 07 2014 12:12 PM

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#1 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 12:12 PM

Wake Island was one of the pivotal battles at the beginning of WWII and gave the American public a rallying cry to avenge the Japanese push through the Pacific along with the Pearl Harbor Attack, the attack on Guam, and the defense of the Philippines.

This group is to one the Pharmacist Mates who was sent to the Island to help support the Marines and the Naval Air Station. There were only 68 US Navy Personnel on the island as compared to 449 Marines, making a group like this scarce.

He was captured when the island fell and was sent to a POW camp in China and was later transferred to Japan. As a POW he preformed gallantly and saved lives and was awarded the Commendation Medal. Based on his Citation, I feel he should have earned a Bronze Star or a LOM, but the Navy was very stingy with decorations during this time period and especially to POWs.

He later became an officer and retired from the Navy.

His Navy Expeditionary Medal correctly has the silver W, and does not have a Wake Island bar like you see with Marine Expeditionary Medals.

I will let the documents tell his story.


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#2 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 12:13 PM

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#3 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 12:14 PM

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#4 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 12:14 PM

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#5 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 12:15 PM

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#6 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 12:16 PM

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#7 David D

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 12:38 PM

That is an amazing group! He defiantly deserved more than he was warded.

 

-Dave



#8 bellasilva

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 12:46 PM

That's a wonderful group

#9 fstop61

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 12:59 PM

What a tremendous group!-you can't help but admire those brave sailors, Marines, and civilian workers that gave it all in the defense of WI. Though, Devereux denied sending the message "send us more Japs" it sure gave the folks back home something to hope for in those dark days of the war. Thanks for posting in time for the 73rd anniversary.



#10 LuftStalg1

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Posted 07 December 2014 - 02:28 PM

Another great grouping Kurt!

 

Mark



#11 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 09:26 AM

I was able to get a new copy of the award cards to him and was able to put together his citation for the Commendation Medal accurately. Here it is:

 

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Edited by KASTAUFFER, 16 June 2015 - 09:39 AM.


#12 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 09:28 AM

He was recommended for a Bronze Star, but it was denied:

 

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Edited by KASTAUFFER, 16 June 2015 - 09:39 AM.


#13 KurtA

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 09:57 AM

Amazing they wouldn't award a Bronze Star for his actions in the POW camp considering what they will award a Bronze Star for today (i.e., be within 2 time zones of a war zone and have a pulse). 

Always like seeing this rare and historic grouping.



#14 Wharfmaster

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 10:35 AM

At that time, the Navy Commendation Ribbon was a prestigious award.

 

 

Wharf



#15 bobgee

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 10:48 AM

NavComm ribbon may have been prestigious but I have always felt his heroism/conduct as a POW was undervalued by Board of Awards & Decs. . I also believe he rated a LOM. My 2-cents. Nice to see an "old friend." Semper Fi.......Bobgee


Edited by bobgee, 16 June 2015 - 01:05 PM.


#16 kanemono

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 12:05 PM

Kurt, I am sorry I missed this the first time! A great group. I have several Navy and Marine Corps groups where the man deserved awards and either got nothing or the least medal possible. I have also seen many of your Navy or Marine groups where the man received a minor award or nothing. If any of those men were in the army or AAF they would have medals up the wazoo!

Dick


Edited by kanemono, 16 June 2015 - 12:06 PM.


#17 Kurt Barickman

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 05:56 PM

I absolutely love this grouping. What a great piece of Americana from the early days of the war when an Allied victory was not assured. Great early war PTO grouping. Thanks for sharing.

#18 mghcal

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 08:52 PM

Great grouping to a real hero! Think of the lives he must've saved and you can bet they never forgot the man who saved them even if he didn't get a significant award for it. Thanks for sharing this great group!

#19 PaulR

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 04:21 AM

Outstanding group to a Pharmacist Mate.  For a medical collector like me, this would be a top shelf pinnacle centerpiece.  If you ever sell, please let me know.  It would be worth it for me to get rid of other items in my collection, if need be. 

 

The Coast Guard(and I think Navy) is still pretty stingy with the higher awards (Achievement Medal and higher).



#20 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:05 AM

time to bring this back up



#21 ParanormalTrooper

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 09:24 AM

Fantastic grouping, WOW i cannot believe i missed this thread earlier!

 

Thanks for bumping this thread!



#22 bobgee

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Posted 01 June 2017 - 08:58 AM

Great group to a true Hero! Semper Fi......Bob



#23 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 06 December 2017 - 08:00 PM

BTT


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