its been a while since I posted but I wanted to show you all a uniform I just received. As many of you may know, tank destroyer items are one of my main areas I collect due to my one grandfather. What I have to show is a really nice and semi local uniform group to a PA vet who won the Silver Star for heroic action on March 29th 1945.
Wendell Chamberlain was born on Jan 29th 1921 in Shippensburg PA. He entered the service on Jan 1st, 1943 and was assigned to C Company of the 628th Tank Destroyer Bn, C Company. I do not know exactly when he was promoted, but at any rate, Wendell became a Sgt commanding a M10 which was later upgraded to a M36 when the 628th received them in late November 1944/ early 1945. Wendell was with the 628th for the duration from the time the Bn landed in Southern England in early February 1944 till the time he landed in Normandy on July 30th 1944 all the way till May 1945 (he was mustered out in November 1945). The Bn was primarily attached to the 5th AD. He fought in the envelopment of the Falaise Pocket where the Bn got its first taste of combat, took part in the dash to the Belgian/Luxembourg border in September and committed to the horrendous Hurtgen Forrest campaign in late November/early December 1944. When the Battle of The Bulge began, the Bn was detached from the 5th AD for a period of time and attached to the 82nd Airborne and 75th ID. When the Bulge was contained, the Bn was reattached to the 5th AD in early 1945 where it again, took heavy losses entering Germany. Chamberlin was awarded the Silver Star during this heavy casualty period in March 1945. On his obituary which included an original article from 1945 it states:
SILVER STAR AWARDED SGT. CHAMBERLIN - Mother Gets Letter Telling of Decoration Made for 'Gallantry in Action' WAS SOLE SURVIVOR Last Monday, Mrs. Adam Chamberlin, R.R. 1, received a letter from her son Sgt. Wendell Chamberlin, Fifth armored division, 628th TD battalion, in which he stated that on March 29, he had been awarded the Silver Star for gallantry in action. Sgt. Chamberlin came through a battle the sole survivor of his five-man tank crew. The award was made by Major-General Oliver, commanding general for the Fifth armored division. "Dear Mother," begins the hastily written letter, "I have good news for you. I got the Silver Star awarded to me today. I am proud of it and am sending it to you to keep for me. I hope that you get it all right. You will hear about it later. Mother, it was a great experience for me. I received your lovely letter yesterday. I am well and doing fine. I hope that you folks keep on doing the same. I wish you good luck. Your son, Wendell." After extensive training in this country, the sergeant was shipped overseas where he went into action with the 628th tank-destroyer battalion in August. After an engagement with the enemy from which he emerged the only one of his five-man tank crew, he spent several weeks in a rest camp in Holland. He has now joined another tank crew and is mopping up in Germany with the Ninth Army. Two brothers, Sgt. Albert Chamberlin, Army Air Corps, England, and Pvt. Glen Chamberlin, recently transferred to the infantry and now training in England, are also serving the colors. Sgt. Wendell Chamberlin in an earlier letter to his parents wrote of meeting his old tank-destroyer outfit in Germany. A foot operation had separated him from them while training in this country. He said that it was a happy meeting and that they seemed surprised to see that he had come so far. In an attempt to enlighten the folks back home on his particular type of action, Wendell sent an excerpt from an issue of the Stars and Stripes. It tells of action participated in by the 628th TD battalion, of which Sgt. Chamberlin's tank crew is a member. It reads: "Two Panther tanks knocked out in 30 seconds at 20 yards range is the record of Sgt. Gilbert M. Moser of Pittsburgh and his 628th TD bn. crew. The Germans were attacking at night with tanks and infantry at the bulge and they made the mistake of trying to crash Moser's road block. Moser let the leading Panther come within 20 yards before he fired the first round. The German tank exploded. In the flash the crew saw the second Panther desperately backing behind a building. Moser's gunner, Cpl. Patrick P. Pennitti of Bridgeville, fired through two building to knock out the second tank. At the same instant the German tank fired through the same two buildings to score a hit on the TD. The two Panthers brought the 628th TD Bn. score to 60 German tanks knocked out since the battalion went into action in August. Fighting with the Fifth armored division all the way, the TD's have destroyed 50 vehicles and 15 AT guns, smashed 55 pillboxes, captured 330 PWs, knocked down two German planes and caused 1300 German casualties. The sergeant gets the News Chronicle and says that he hopes he won't miss any issues as no news is better than home news. News Chronicle, Shippensburg, PA April 17, 1945
The uniform is in excellent condition and interesting to note is the order/placement of the ribbons. Sorry about sizing and I will be happy to take more if anyone is interested.