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1944 Man of the Year Bronze Star / Purple Heart


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Jim, Hobart Drew is my grandfather. Not only was he a hero during the war, he was a hero off the battlefield. When my father's dad tragically died when he was 7 during a construction accident, he accepted him and his two siblings as his own and raised them like they were his own. I was very glad to see that his dedication to this country is being remembered. Thank You, Mark Van Orden

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Hi Mark,

 

Thanks for writing. Your grandfather is well remembered by me and all who read this post. I would be very interested to know more about him or if you have any other photos of him. Please feel free to PM me if you like. You may also feel free to post any other information about him you feel comfortable with here.

 

I'm very glad to know he was a good guy after the war. So many times we collectors never really "know" the people who's items we collect. Often they are only medals or certificates awarded to men who have died long ago. We wonder what they were like before and after their service. The little bit of information you just provided makes this little grouping even more special to me.

 

Merry Christmas,

Jim

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Collecting WWII Armor and Tank Destroyer Items

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I thought I would add this since it's part of Drew's story. This is the DSC citation for Jimmie Leach. Drew was driving one of the vehicles destroyed that day and was wounded as a result.

 

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Captain (Infantry) James H. Leach (ASN: 0-1012388), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company B, 37th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division, in action against enemy forces on 26 December 1944, during the Ardennes Offensive. On that date, Captain Leach led his company in an assault on the strongly defended town of Bigonville, Luxembourg. Early in the attack two of the Captain's tanks were destroyed, and he suffered a painful head wound; but despite this, he courageously continued on, inspiring his men by his fearless leadership. Later in the fight Captain Leach was again wounded, but he continued to lead and direct the attack with such ferocity that the enemy was completely defeated and the town secured. The conspicuous heroism of Captain Leach, and his fearless, inspiring leadership and loyal devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 4th Armored Division, and the United States Army.

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Collecting WWII Armor and Tank Destroyer Items

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Great group! Thanks for sharing the story!

 

JD

AAF Collector...........
**Always Buying WW2 Aviation Related Items: Especially Operation Tidal Wave items (1st Ploesti Raid) ..... WW2 Fighter Ace Related Items.....Higher End A-2 Flight Jacket Groups....AAF Related Valor Medal Groups**

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Really nice Jim! This group definetly went to the right person!

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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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  • 7 years later...

What an awesome story. Hobie (Hobart) is my grandfather also. He married my mother's mother in About 1950. My mother says she remembers his eyes and he loved kids. She said she remembers sitting on his lap blowing a horn when he married her mother. My mother was about 7 at that time. I never met him but today I was asking my mother about him and looked him up and found that you have his medals. Thank you so much for preserving them.  I will try and find all the info I can get out of my mother.  My mothers mom married Hobart and her two brothers married Hobarts sisters. Isn't that crazy.  I asked my mom about Mark Van Orden and sure enough she is friends with some of the Van Ordens on Facebook.

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/21/2020 at 1:00 PM, Robbiesworld said:

What an awesome story. Hobie (Hobart) is my grandfather also. He married my mother's mother in About 1950. My mother says she remembers his eyes and he loved kids. She said she remembers sitting on his lap blowing a horn when he married her mother. My mother was about 7 at that time. I never met him but today I was asking my mother about him and looked him up and found that you have his medals. Thank you so much for preserving them.  I will try and find all the info I can get out of my mother.  My mothers mom married Hobart and her two brothers married Hobarts sisters. Isn't that crazy.  I asked my mom about Mark Van Orden and sure enough she is friends with some of the Van Ordens on Facebook.

 

Hi Robbie,

 

Sorry I missed this and I hope you see this response.  I love getting this kind of info and would love hearing anything else you have to share.  Thanks so much for posting and I hope to hear from you.

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Collecting WWII Armor and Tank Destroyer Items

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1 hour ago, Jim Baker said:

 

Hi Robbie,

 

Sorry I missed this and I hope you see this response.  I love getting this kind of info and would love hearing anything else you have to share.  Thanks so much for posting and I hope to hear from you.

Jim!!!!!! I haven't seen you around in a LONG time, glad you're back...I've been running out of sardonic kinsmen

-Brig
GySgt/USMC/0369
RSU-Quantico


"FOR OUR TOMORROWS, THEY GAVE THEIR TODAYS"
RIP
Sgt Jesse 'Jeff Nasty' Balthaser
Sgt John P Huling
Cpl Carlos 'Gilo Monster' Gilorozco
Cpl Stephen C 'Socks' Sockalosky
LCpl Joshua A 'Scottie' Scott
LCpl Jason Lee 'Birdman' Frye
LCpl Nicolas B Morrison
LCpl Jon T Hicks
LCpl Osbrany 'Oz' Montes De Oca
Pvt Lewis T D Calapini
'The SOI 5'

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On 10/21/2020 at 8:23 PM, Brig said:

Jim!!!!!! I haven't seen you around in a LONG time, glad you're back...I've been running out of sardonic kinsmen

Jim 

same here ! Hope you are well ! 
Collecting at all ?

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Hey guys, how's it going.  Good to hear from you both.  I check in now and then but haven't posted much.  Still collect, but mainly just the armor and TD patches.  I also like CIB's and maneuvers items.  So, just hanging out and trying to survive this horrible year.  How have you all been doing?

 

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Collecting WWII Armor and Tank Destroyer Items

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4 hours ago, Jim Baker said:

Hey guys, how's it going.  Good to hear from you both.  I check in now and then but haven't posted much.  Still collect, but mainly just the armor and TD patches.  I also like CIB's and maneuvers items.  So, just hanging out and trying to survive this horrible year.  How have you all been doing?

 

Doing good ! Wanting this 2020 gone !

 

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17 hours ago, scottplen said:

Doing good ! Wanting this 2020 gone !

 

 

I hear that.  And everything that goes with it.  I'm already prepping for next spring.

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Collecting WWII Armor and Tank Destroyer Items

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I too am one that is glad to see you back around these parts my old friend!  Heck, you are the one that turned me on to this forum in its formative years when I followed you from the "bad guys" to the good side of collecting.  Good to hear you are well!!!!

Always looking for 325th G.I.R. and WWII USMC items!
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