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Bronze Star For All CIB Holders?


Jim Morris

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I was at the big gun show at Chantilly, VA yesterday, looking for several items for my collection. While talking to a dealer there, I mentioned that I was building a memorial plaque for a high school friend whose father was in the 116th Infantry and landed with the first wave at Omaha Beach. I have his original CIB and medals, and am in the process of mounting the items on a back board covered with OD wool, and will frame the whole thing behind glass.

 

During the conversation, the dealer told me that sometime in 1946 or 1947, the War Department issued an order that awarded the bronze star with combat V to all soldiers who had earned the CIB. He also said that my friend should write to the Department of the Army, and request that the medal be sent to her (as next of kin) so that we can include it with his other medals on the plaque.

 

Quite frankly, I have never heard of anything like this. I really can't imagine that the Army would give a blanket award of the bronze star to everyone who earned the CIB.

 

Anyone here know anything about this?

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kyhistorian01

Its true that they authorized the Bronze Star for everyone who had earned the combat infantry badge or the combat medical badge. It is also true that you pretty much have to request it. It was not awarded / authorized with a V for valor and the award was only authorized for CIB or CMB holders from WWII and does not apply to any other war. I sent away for my late uncles medals some years ago and recieved the Bronze Star with his medals because he had earned the CIB in WWII.

 

Here is a paragraph from the history of the medal that explains it better:

 

CIB & CMB Conversion

 

As a result of a study conducted in 1947, the policy was implemented that authorized the retroactive award of the Bronze Star Medal to soldiers who had received the Combat Infantryman Badge or the Combat Medical Badge during World War II. The basis for doing this was that the badges were awarded only to soldiers who had borne the hardships which resulted in General Marshall's support of the Bronze Star Medal. Both badges required a recommendation by the commander and a citation in orders.

 

 

I hope this helps,

 

Robert

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I thought I had read it was done to give extra points in the ETO to get guys who had alot of time overseas but no other decerations home sooner.

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I thought I had read it was done to give extra points in the ETO to get guys who had alot of time overseas but no other decerations home sooner.

 

The correct answer has already been provided by Kyhistorian

 

As a result of a study conducted in 1947, the policy was implemented that authorized the retroactive award of the Bronze Star Medal to soldiers who had received the Combat Infantryman Badge or the Combat Medical Badge during World War II. The basis for doing this was that the badges were awarded only to soldiers who had borne the hardships which resulted in General Marshall's support of the Bronze Star Medal. Both badges required a recommendation by the commander and a citation in orders.

 

 

He nailed it, and his answer is spot on correct

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I thought I had read it was done to give extra points in the ETO to get guys who had alot of time overseas but no other decerations home sooner.

 

I believe you are confusing stories here. At the end of World War II, Maxwell Taylor, Commander of the 101st Airborne Division ordered that all soldiers who had been in the 101st from D-Day to the end of the war and who had participated in each of the 101st's four campaigns be recommended for a Bronze Star medal. As MG Taylor had the authority to award the Bronze Star medal, since he was a two star and commanding a division, his staff processed hundreds (if not thousands) of awards of the Bronze Star to soldiers serving during the occupation. By doing this, those "old hands" who were languishing on occupation duty in Austria could get the added service points that would get them shipped home.

 

It would not surprise me if there were other division commanders that did the same thing.

 

The congressional action that awarded a Bronze Star for those awarded the CIB or CMB was done to give veterans who had evidently served in combat some recognition for that combat service. It helped that the legislation was passed just before elections!

 

Allan

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