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WWII POW Stalag 17B Silver Star group - 12th AAF North Africa


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I have decided to get busy and post another group that I have owned for at least 15 years

 

Cpl. Raymond Crosby served with the 3rd Communications Squadron operating in North Africa early in the war. He was a radio operator helping to coordinate air missions from the group. On February 14, 1943 all hell broke loose when the Germans decided to attack Sidi Bou Zid.

 

From Wikipedia :

 

" At 04:00 on 14 February four battle groups totalling 140 German tanks drawn from 10th and 21st Panzer Divisions and under the leadership of Lieutenant General Heinz Ziegler,[5] von Arnim's deputy, advanced through Faïd and Maizila passes, sites that General Dwight D. Eisenhower had inspected three hours earlier, to attack Sidi Bouzid.[6]

 

The attack started with tanks belonging to the 10th Panzer Division under the cover of a sandstorm advancing in two battle groups (the Reimann and Gerhardt groups) from Faïd to the west.[7] Elements of CCA tried to delay the German advance by firing a 105 mm. M101 howitzer semi-fixed installed in an M4 Sherman tank. This tactical move was in vain because they were shelled by German 88mm guns.[4][8] By 10 a.m. the Germans had circled Djebel Lessouda (defended by Lessouda Force, an armoured battalion group[7] commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John K. Waters, George S. Patton's son-in-law) and joined up north of Sidi Bouzid.[9]

 

Meanwhile the two battle groups of the 21st Panzer Division (Schütte and Stenckhoff groups) had secured the Maizila Pass to the south and the Schütte group headed north to engage two battalions of the 168th RCT[10] on Djebel Ksaira while Stenckhoff headed northwest to Bir el Hafey in order to swing round and make the approach to Sidi Bouzid from the west during the afternoon.[9] Under heavy shelling from the Schütte group, Colonel Thomas Drake requested permission to retreat. This request was denied by Fredendall who ordered him to hold his positions and wait for reinforcements to arrive. This never happened.[4] By 5 p.m. Stenckhoff and 10th Panzer had made contact and the tanks and artillery of CCA had been driven nearly 15 miles (24 km) west to Djebel Hamra with the loss of 44 tanks and many guns. The infantry were left marooned on the high ground at Djebel Lessouda, Djebel Ksaira and Djebel Garet Hadid.[9]

 

During the night US 1st Armored Division's commander Orlando Ward moved up Combat Command C to Djebel Hamra to counter attack Sidi Bouzid on 15 February. However, the attack was over flat exposed country and was bombed and strafed early in the movement and then found itself in a pincer from the two German armoured Divisions employing more than 80 Panzer IV, Panzer III and Tiger I tanks.[11] They were forced to retreat, losing 46 medium tanks, 130 vehicles and 9 self-propelled guns, narrowly regaining the position at Djebel Hamra.[12] By the evening von Arnim had ordered three of the battle groups to head towards Sbeitla. They were engaged by the battered CCA and CCC who were forced back. On 16 February, helped by intensive air support, they drove back the fresh Combat Command B and entered Sbeitla.

 

AftermathThe Germans handled the battle with ease and caused heavy U.S. losses before the U.S. withdrew on 17 February. The poor performance of the Allies during the actions of late January and the first half of February as well as at the subsequent Battle of the Kasserine Pass led the Axis commanders to conclude, notwithstanding that American units were generally well equipped, they were facing inferior opposition, both in terms of leadership and tactical skills. This became received wisdom among the Axis forces and resulted in a later underestimation of Allied capabilities as units became battle-hardened and poor commanders were replaced."

 

This was all a prelude to Kasserine Pass on Feburaru 19th.

 

Later in this thread is the eyewitness account of how Cpl. Crosby was captured. He earned the Silver Star for his actions that day.

 

 

 

Picture taken before he went overseas

 

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Photo taken by a German guard in Stalag IIIB

 

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!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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MVC_020L.JPG

 

His officially named and numbered Silver Star

 

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His Stalag ID tags from Stalag 7A which he wore for the entire war. The photo was taken after he was transferred to Stalag 17B. Note the number matches.

 

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!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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MVC_023L.JPG

 

MVC_024L.JPG

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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The uniform he was issued after he was liberated.

 

MVC_027L.JPG

 

MVC_029L.JPG

 

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!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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The questionaire he filled out describing how he was captured.

 

MVC_021L.JPG

 

MVC_022L.JPG

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Silver Star Citation

 

MVC_025L.JPG

 

MVC_026L.JPG

 

MVC_027L.JPG

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Transmittal letter and his Mother receiving the medal.

 

MVC_028L.JPG

 

MVC_029L.JPG

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

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MVC_030L.JPG

 

MVC_031L.JPG

 

MVC_032L.JPG

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

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MVC_034L.JPG

 

he was intially held in an Italian POW camp. This is a message he sent through the Vatican to his folks back home. The Red Cross was not the only organization helping POWs connect with their loved ones.

 

MVC_035L.JPG

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

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Postcards he mailed from Italy

 

MVC_036L.JPG

 

MVC_037L.JPG

 

 

POW mail from Germany

 

 

MVC_038L.JPG

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
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MVC_039L.JPG

 

This is the first letter he sent home after he was liberated from Stalag 17B

 

MVC_040L.JPG

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Photograph taken in Stalag IIIB with some POWs and a German Guard.

 

 

Notice the beer in the wagon

 

 

MVC_026L.JPG

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


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Sadly, Raymond Crosby died March 25, 1948 in a lumber mill accident in Oregon . To go through what he did in WWII, only to die shortly after he came home is a tragedy .

 

I grew up in Oregon very close to where Raymond Crosby did. I obtained this grouping 10 miles away from where he died. Logging and working in lumber mills is very dangerous and I know people who suffered the same fate as Raymond.

 

This thread is dedicated to his memory.

 

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!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

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:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

 

Fantastic and very complete POW grouping Kurt !! I like that one a LOT !!

 

Thanks for sharing !!

 

Vic

"We Polish soldiers, for your freedom and ours, gave our souls to God, our bodies to the soil of Italy, and our hearts to Poland"

 

-- inscription at the Polish cemetary - Monte Cassino

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Wow, another fantastic grouping-though what a terrible outcome-was expecting to read that he lived to a ripe old age with children and grandchildren. Never know what life's going to throw at you. Thank-you so much for sharing. Please keep 'em coming!

Looking for: Fourth/ Seventh Rhode Island Infantry items


Purple Heart : Robert L. Freitag KIA ETO 2/11/45


Any US/German items with the last name "Freitag"


also, war-related posters



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Another great group! Thanks for sharing!

 

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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Wow Kurt, another fantastic and wonderfully documented grouping. Terrific!

 

Thanks for posting...

 

RIP Raymond Crosby :salute:

 

Will

WWII USMC & USN - CAMOUFLAGE / CORPSMAN / PARAMARINE / MARINE RAIDER / DENIM / DECK JACKETS.

 

VIETNAM - CAMOUFLAGE / SF / 'IN-COUNTRY' ITEMS.

 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 years later...
  • 4 years later...

btt

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

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My Uncle Joe was a POW there and I tried to see what barracks Raymond was in on the Stalag 17B roster and his has ?? where the barracks number normally is.

I gave it a try.

 

Semper Fi

Phil

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My Uncle Joe was a POW there and I tried to see what barracks Raymond was in on the Stalag 17B roster and his has ?? where the barracks number normally is.

I gave it a try.

 

Semper Fi

Phil

 

Thanks for checking Phil!

 

Kurt

!!!! WANTED !!!!

WWII Prisoner of War items : Medals, Mail, Diaries, Photos, Documents, Scrapbooks + More

WWII Naval Aviation Groupings : Medals, Documents, Scrapbooks, Photos, Flight Logs, Flight Jackets + More

 


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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