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WW1 Victory & WW2 Bronze Star group to Colonel

Started by Tom Nier , Mar 30 2010 09:16 AM

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#1 Tom Nier

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 09:16 AM

This is a two war interesting group which illustrates the unexpected events that can happen to a career soldier. Donald B. Hilton was a 2nd LIeut. in the CAC, in WW!, having been appointed from Colorado. His Victory medal has the clasps Oise-Aisne, St. M., M-A, & Def. Sector, and is rim engraved "Donald B. Hilton". He most likely served with either the 55th or 56th Coast Arty Regt. in France. Promoted 1st Lt (RA). May 1919, Captain July 1926, Major Aug 1935, Lt. Col. Aug 1940.

The outbreak of WW2 found him as the XO of the 45th Inf. Regt, Philippine Scouts. In Feb. 1942, Col. Hilton (AUS) took command of assorted US troops at Quinauan Point, reinforced by five tanks from C/192 Tank Bn plus a radio contral car. His coordinated infantry-tank attack succeeded after several previous failures, but at heavy cost. By day's end, the survivors of the Japanese 20th Inf. Regt. had been driven back to the beaches of Quinauan Point, Bataan Peninsula. The 45th Inf. won 3 PUCs for their spirited defense of Bataan, but had to surrender in April 1942. This combat was one of the few bright spots in the tragic Bataan campaign.

Col. Hilton was taken POW in May 1942, was sent to Hoten Camp in Mukden, Manchuria, was liberated in Oct. 1945. His 1947-48 script engraved BSM does not seem commensurate with his victory at Quinauan Point. But there are many cases of inadequate reward for outstanding WW2 service. The 1914 Iron Cross was undoubtedly a sourvenir. One Colonel's eagle is a US made clutch-back. The other eagle is a crude pot metal pin-back casting, and sure looks like it was a POW camp product. Col. Hilton retired in 1947, the BSM his only decoration. He died in Seattle in 1957.

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#2 Jack's Son

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 09:39 AM

Tom,
That is a very nice and unusual grouping.
Well researched and well done.

But, that's the usual for you.

JS

#3 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 11:34 AM

Very nice Tom! I didnt know you had this one.


If you ever get tired of it let me know!

Kurt

#4 BigJohn#3RD

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 12:41 PM

Very nice Tom! I didnt know you had this one.
If you ever get tired of it let me know!

Kurt

Hi Tom,
Well done as always, I would like second dibs as well. :thumbsup:
Regards
John

#5 ww1collector

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Posted 30 March 2010 - 12:54 PM

Count me in. Dave

#6 Tom Nier

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 07:10 AM

The ribbon bars are exactly as found with the Hilton medal group. The battle star on the Philippine Defense was rated by Hilton as the qualification for this star required actual combat with the enemy in addition to having been stationed in the Philippines during 8 Dec. 1941 to 15 June 1942. What puzzles me is the Philippine Liberation ribbon with bronze star. Hilton remained a POW until October 1945, which was well after the Japanese surrender. Also, Hilton would have ultimately rated only one battle star on his Asiatic-Pacific ribbon, that for Defence of the Philippines. But a senior officer, newly liberated from POW camp, could have added an extra ribbon or star without any immediate objection??

#7 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 08:00 AM

The ribbon bars are exactly as found with the Hilton medal group. The battle star on the Philippine Defense was rated by Hilton as the qualification for this star required actual combat with the enemy in addition to having been stationed in the Philippines during 8 Dec. 1941 to 15 June 1942. What puzzles me is the Philippine Liberation ribbon with bronze star. Hilton remained a POW until October 1945, which was well after the Japanese surrender. Also, Hilton would have ultimately rated only one battle star on his Asiatic-Pacific ribbon, that for Defence of the Philippines. But a senior officer, newly liberated from POW camp, could have added an extra ribbon or star without any immediate objection??


Since he was held in a POW camp in Manchuria, he probably rated the campaign star for " China " too. That was not uncommon. My Uncle has a star for " New Guinea " because he passed through there in a hospital on his way home from the Philippines after being a POW.

Kurt

#8 bulldog06

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 08:21 AM

This is an interesting group and a great find.

I like the mixed ribbon bars.

I believe that Hilton was eligible for the CIB based on his 1942 combat. I wonder if the BSM is a conversion rather than an award for his 1942 action.

Possibly his 1942 action was unrecognized due to the circumstances. His actions sound more like a Silver Star if witnesses could be found in 1945.

Mike

#9 Tom Nier

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 05:02 PM

Mike (Bulldog 06) raises a good point, about Hilton's BSM possibly being a CIB conversion issue. In addition, I seem to recall that the War Dept. belatedly authorized a general award of the Bronze Star Medal to all defenders of the Philippines, especially to survivors of the Bataan Death March. But I think that this blanket award occurred after Hilton's death in 1957. Does anyone have the particulars & date of this general award of the BSM to Bataan survivors??

#10 Tom Nier

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 06:35 AM

Mike (Bulldog 06) raises a good point, about Hilton's BSM possibly being a CIB conversion issue. In addition, I seem to recall that the War Dept. belatedly authorized a general award of the Bronze Star Medal to all defenders of the Philippines, especially to survivors of the Bataan Death March. But I think that this blanket award occurred after Hilton's death in 1957. Does anyone have the particulars & date of this general award of the BSM to Bataan survivors??


I found a reference in the Aug/Sept 1992 issue of Journal OMSA. It described the recently authorized "blanket award" of the Bronze Star Medal to about 4000 Navy & Marine Corps personnel who participated in the defense of the Philippines during 7 Dec. 1941 to 10 May 1942. The article also mentioned the previous blanket award of the BSM in 1983 to all Army troops who received a DUC (later the PUC) for the defense of Luzon. Medals were to be issued upon the written applications from qualified veterans or their NOK.

#11 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 10:57 AM

I want to thank Tom for allowing me to acquire this group from him.

After some research I found his Bronze Star was awarded on a WD GO in 1947, for actions over a few days in Feb 1942. It was not a CIB award. While the citation was not very specific it can be assumed it was for his participation in his unit driving back the Japanese to the beaches of Quinauan Point, Bataan Peninsula.

Kurt

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 25 August 2011 - 11:00 AM.


#12 jmar

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:04 AM

Kurt,

A very interesting thread, before my time on the forum, but a very good read and tied up very nicely by your additional research. Thank you for the additional info and for resurrecting this unusual story.

Joe

#13 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:06 AM

Thanks Joe! I enjoy reading your posts and threads on the forum as well.

The wrong initial was put on his headstone at the Ft. Lawton cemetary in Seattle

20138098_130471501236.jpg

Edited by KASTAUFFER, 25 August 2011 - 11:07 AM.


#14 BigJohn#3RD

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:08 AM

If you pulled his record jacket you would probably find a CIB awarded retroactively for the time he commanded the Infantry units in the PI Defense.
John

#15 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:37 AM

If you pulled his record jacket you would probably find a CIB awarded retroactively for the time he commanded the Infantry units in the PI Defense.
John


He did get an OLC for the CIB, but the medal I have is the one awarded for the 1947 General Order and does not have an OLC.

Kurt

#16 BigJohn#3RD

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 02:30 PM

Kurt
My limited experience of medal vets received during the late 40s and early 50s, two to be exact, the OLC was loose in the awards in the case bronze star came in and battle/campaign stars were loose (not attached to the medals ribbon) in the box's that the campaign medals came in. I assume that they were just overwhelmed by folks asking for their awards. So the Colonel may have gotten and just never mounted the OLC or lost it. This is my SWAG on the situation. :think: :rolleyes:
John

Edited by BigJohn#3RD, 25 August 2011 - 02:33 PM.


#17 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 07:49 PM

Kurt
My limited experience of medal vets received during the late 40s and early 50s, two to be exact, the OLC was loose in the awards in the case bronze star came in and battle/campaign stars were loose (not attached to the medals ribbon) in the box's that the campaign medals came in. I assume that they were just overwhelmed by folks asking for their awards. So the Colonel may have gotten and just never mounted the OLC or lost it. This is my SWAG on the situation. :think: :rolleyes:
John



Hi John,

It all depends on when the OLC was authorized for him. The engraving on this medal is circa 1947, but CIBs BS awards were also being made at the same time. Offically named medals during this time frame normally had the OLCs affixed to the ribbon if the initial award and the OLC were issued at the same time. Only his file has the exact answer.

Kurt

#18 KASTAUFFER

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 01:21 PM

BTT in memory of the 71st Anniversary of the attack of the Philippines.


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In Memory of Co-Founder GREG MILLS ROBINSON, a.k.a. "Marine-KaBar"
(February 17, 1949 - March 5, 2011)