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Another American in the RCAF!?

Started by LuftStalg1 , Oct 17 2011 10:38 AM

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#1 LuftStalg1

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:38 AM

After reading a thread by “SEABEEBRIAN” on the Battle of Brittan clasp, and now another by “Canadian bacon”, I remembered an American Volunteer ribbon bar I have that I had tried to ID.

The ribbon bar is obviously a war time bar with no victory ribbon. It has the American Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross w/BOL, Air Medal with SOL & BOL, EAME w/star. Commonwealth medals: Distinguished Flying Cross, 1939-1945 Star, Aircrew Europe Star, Defense Medal, Canadian Volunteer Medal w/leaf, War Medal.

I think the obvious is that he started out with the RCAF, went overseas pre US involvement, transferred to the AAF after the US joined the fight, a common scenario for American Volunteers.

USA: Silver Star (No time/date requirements)
USA: Distinguished Flying Cross w / bronze oak leaf (No time/date requirements)
USA: Air Medal w / silver oak leaf and Bronze oak leaf (No time/date requirements)
USA: EAME Campaign medal w / bronze star (Service in theater between 7 Dec 1941 to 8 Nov 1945, Permanent assignment, temporary with 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days or awarded an active combat (against enemy) decoration. (No real bearing on identification of this individual)

CW: Distinguished Flying Cross (No time/date requirements)
CW: 1939-1945 Star (Service between 3 Sep 1939 to 2 Sep 1945; RAF members two months service in operational unit against the enemy or Non-aircrew with 6 months service in area of operational army command.)

CW: Aircrew Europe Star (Service between 3 Sep 1939 to 5 Jun 1945; RAF members require 2 of the 3 following; Two months service as air crew, previously awarded the 1939-45 star, 4 months service as aircrew in an operational unit.) [Obviously he had the 1939-45 star.]

CW: Defense Medal (Service between 3 Sep 1939 to 5 Jun 1945; to many to list)
CW: Canadian Volunteer w/leaf ((Leaf denotes service outside the dominion) Service between 2 Sep 1939 to 1 Mar 1947; Many but the obvious is simply “for those of the United States”))
CW: War Medal (Service between 3 Sep 1939 to 5 Jun 1945; Full time service of 28 days or more of service)

(Sources: The Call of Duty; British Battles & Medals)

I had originally thought that finding an American Volunteer in the RCAF that was awarded the Silver Star and the CW DFC then from there narrow it down with the other medals would be easy. Boy was I wrong! I have spent many hours going over possible airmen from “RCAF PERSONNEL - HONOURS AND AWARDS - 1939-1949” compiled for the Air Force Association of Canada by Hugh A. Halliday. As well as “NON-CANADIAN PERSONNEL DECORATED FOR SECOND WORLD WAR SERVICES WITH RCAF UNITS OVERSEAS” compiled for No.1 Air Division by Hugh A. Halliday. And of course a listing of the 4th Fighter Group as so many transfer into this unit when the US became involved. I purchase a 2 volume set of books listing ALL Commonwealth DFC’s awarded during WW2 but sadly there are NO specific identifications of American Volunteers. I also have the 3 volume set on the Silver Star in WW2 but it is incomplete.

Looking for suggestions?

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#2 SEABEEBRIAN

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:44 AM

I love it. I should start collecting them.

I would start with the British DFC since that would have the most limited number of recipients and then cross reference with the SS and DFC's. How many DFC's were gazetteered?

Edited by SEABEEBRIAN, 17 October 2011 - 10:46 AM.


#3 SEABEEBRIAN

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:48 AM

I love it. I should start collecting them.

I would start with the British DFC since that would have the most limited number of recipients and then cross reference with the SS and DFC's. How many DFC's were gazetteered?


Found it... 20,354 were awarded

#4 Ricardo

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:50 AM

NICE!! :thumbsup:

One more in: http://www.usmilitar...d...1798&hl=raf

BR, Ricardo.

#5 LuftStalg1

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 11:00 AM

Found it... 20,354 were awarded


That has been my problem. The books I have listing ALL of them but has no mention if they were American Volunteers or not. I have not been able to find such a listing yet to start with and then the listing for Silver Stars in WW2 is incomplete. :unsure: It sounds easier then it really is! :crying:

Edited by LuftStalg1, 17 October 2011 - 11:00 AM.


#6 Allan H.

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 11:04 AM

"I had originally thought that finding an American Volunteer in the RCAF that was awarded the Silver Star and the CW DFC then from there narrow it down with the other medals would be easy. Boy was I wrong! I have spent many hours going over possible airmen from “RCAF PERSONNEL - HONOURS AND AWARDS - 1939-1949” compiled for the Air Force Association of Canada by Hugh A. Halliday. As well as “NON-CANADIAN PERSONNEL DECORATED FOR SECOND WORLD WAR SERVICES WITH RCAF UNITS OVERSEAS” compiled for No.1 Air Division by Hugh A. Halliday. And of course a listing of the 4th Fighter Group as so many transfer into this unit when the US became involved. I purchase a 2 volume set of books listing ALL Commonwealth DFC’s awarded during WW2 but sadly there are NO specific identifications of American Volunteers. I also have the 3 volume set on the Silver Star in WW2 but it is incomplete."

The key here is Services with RCAF UNITS Overseas. There were pleanty of Canadians and British servicement who found themselves in other nationalities named squadrons. A veteran friend of mine, Bob Raymond, who wrote the WWII best seller "A Yank in Bomber Command" flew with no less than three members of his crew being Canadians. All of them served in a Rhodesian Squadron. I once asked Bob how many Rhodesians served in the Rhodesian Squadron. His opinion was that the Rhodesian Squadron was simply named Rhodesian and not an indication that it was commanded by or manned by Rhodesians. As at least one of the Canadian crewmen that flew with Bob received a DFC, perhaps we can see if he is mentioned in the book?

Allan

#7 SEABEEBRIAN

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 11:48 AM

Is there a list of Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Bar recipients?

#8 Teamski

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 12:22 PM

Nice rack!

-Ski

#9 Dave

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 12:23 PM

Is there a list of Canadian Volunteer Service Medal with Bar recipients?


There were 525,500 bars awarded....so chances are, probably not. :pinch:

#10 Dave

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 12:32 PM

Without a name in the uniform, this becomes exceedingly difficult. There were 20 thousand awards of the DFC, 525 thousand awards of the Canadian Volunteer Medal with bar. Roughly 90 thousand Silver Star awards (with no complete reference) for the Army in WW2, God-knows how many DFCs and AMs...you're looking for a serious needle in a haystack! What you can pare down though is that the guy was with the RCAF, transferred over to the USAAF prior to D-Day, and then flew in 6 campaigns with the AAF...a pretty significant number for someone who came over from the RCAF and probably did a single tour overseas before being rotated home.

Does he have an RCAF wing on his other breast? If so, what is it? If it's anything other than a pilot, it might make it a slight bit easier to pin down.

I've owned about a dozen cross-over former RAF and RCAF officers (and enlisted) and without a name, they are impossible to pin down, unfortunately.

Dave

#11 Jack's Son

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 01:53 PM

That rack was bound to get attention. Like AllAn, I thought it would be traceable (is this a word).

#12 canadian bacon

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 02:34 PM

okay "luftstalg1" this is from canada's deptment of veteran affairs
First World War: 193 to Canadians in the RAF, plus 9 first bars
Second World War: 4,018 to RCAF, plus 213 first bars and 6 second bars
Second World War: 247 to Cdns in the RAF, plus 34 first bars (also 358 to FAF/RAA/RNZAF in RCAF, plus 23 first bars)*

Korea: 1 to RCAF, and 1 to the Canadian Army

* Not included in Canadian totals.
from the digging i have done i can conclude that only around 11 dfc's were awarded to americans in the rcaf but around 100 were awarded to americans by the raf during the war (including for service in the american AAF)
hope this helps you
cheers michael

Edited by canadian bacon, 17 October 2011 - 02:35 PM.


#13 LuftStalg1

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 02:36 PM

Yup, no name with this baby just the ribbon bar. Glad to see I am not the only one that figured it would be "easy". :crybaby:

Thanks guys!

#14 BigJohn#3RD

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 03:14 PM

LuftStalg1,
GREAT RACK ;) Are you sure that the star is bronze and not silver, if it was silver that lost the finish it could represent 5 campaigns and that might help narrow the guy down to a senior officer in the 8th or possible 15th AF possibly served in both. If it were me I would start with COLs, LTCs and Majors with long tours. overseas. I know it is a needle in a haystack but sit down and think about it :lol:
Regards,
John

#15 gilhoolie

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 05:33 PM

I agree it will be very diffcult to put a name to this ribbon set without more to go on. He could have earned his British DFC while still with the RCAF - 4017 were awarded to the RCAF during WWII, including Americans serving in the RCAF. It could also have been awarded after he transferred to the AAF, in which case it would be an honorary award made to non-Commonwealth servicemen. About 250 honorary awards of the DFC were made to Americans during WWII, most for service from the UK. The Air Crew Europe Star indicates an operational tour flown with the RAF from the UK, with either Bomber or Fighter Command, so an operational 8th AF connection after he transferred to the AAF is a possibility.

#16 LuftStalg1

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 06:25 PM

You are absolutely correct John! :blink: I got the dummy, it not me, down and put on my bionic eyes and "presto" the obvious. :w00t: It is a Silver Star with bronze edges where the silver was worn off.

My assumptions, yes I know all about assumptions ;) , when looking at the commonwealth awards he must have joined the RCAF then was sent overseas to serve with the entire commonwealth in who knows what unit. Because of the two campaign stars, the war medal and the defense medal I tend to think the DFC was not an honorary type award. Also the fact he went on to earn the Silver Star causes me to lean away from the honorary award even more. :think:

Well you all have inspired me to get my lists out again and start sending off for individuals’ records with the archives. It has been a few years since I worked on this last so there may be more hints out there to find.

It sure helps to have multiply pairs of eyes, connected to brains, looking at the same thing, thanks all! :salute: Even if I can only narrow it down to a hand full it would still be neat. :thumbsup:


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