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A German POW Made This Medal Display For A 3rd ID Veteran

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Many Eastern parts of Pennsylvania were heavily populated by German immigrants.

 

In many sections they clung to their old way of life and language and became known as the "Pennsylvania Dutch".

 

When WWII came along their boys went off to war just like any other patriot would.

 

Mr. Stauwertz was one of these boys.

 

He ended up in the 3rd Infantry Division and served with them from North Africa To the final defeat in Germany.

 

When it was discovered that he spoke German fluently he landed a job with G2 as an interpreter.

 

It was in this role that he started his souvenir collection.

 

When ever someone came in to be interrogated and he liked what they had he removed it and added it to his collection.

 

What was interesting is that many of the badges he took from German soldiers had a variety of field repairs especially the pins.

 

But this is not about that.

 

At the end of the war he was transferred to a unit that handled German POWs.

 

One of these POWs developed a friendship with him and this display was the result.

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The box itself is made of thick cardboard and covered with a feldgrau material and aluminum foil.

 

What is interesting to note is the silver foil German army eagle that is de-nazified.

 

The recessed eagle now just sits on a little perch and gone is the daunted swastika of the evil empire.

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Open the box and you have a representative array of German badges.

 

It reminds me of a funeral pillow.

 

Of note are the ribbons in each corner and the lid is removable.

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Just in case our 3rd ID vet didn't remember what they were all the pieces have been identified.

 

And nothing is lost in the translations.

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Stunning piece of artwork and great bringback souvenirs. A very interesting stroy with an ironic twist...

 

Leigh


"Pain is only Weakness Leaving the Body"

MSG Leigh E Smith Jr
US Army (Retired)

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Notice the labels...infantry assault he thought was for bayonet charges, he refers to the wound badges as Purple Hearts

 

The eagle on the box really stood out to me. Neat trophy. Mt buddy's grandfather was a guard at a POW camp in PA and a guard made him a ring with the silver of melted coins.


-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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According to Stauwertz many times pins would break depending how rushed he was taking badges off.

 

He wasn't the only one with the collecting obsession and several times had to give up pieces to those with higher rank.

 

The Luftwaffe Flak badge is missing it's catch.

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The wear on some of those badges suggests some of the recipients saw a lot of field time...in today's military, taking a decoration from a POW would land you in the seat besides him!


-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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donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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What an interesting piece! Did they actually 'build' a new eagle without a swastika underneath or did they remove the swastika of an existing eagle? I wonder why they would take away that swastika but keep the other ones?


"In almost all wars, the sight of foreign troops brought fear and terror to the local people, destruction and often senseless killing of local citizens. However, the sight of the American GI always brought smiles and joy to the local French people. They knew we were there to liberate, not to conquer; to help, not to terrorize."

Captain Leo T. Hury, M-Company, 330th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division.

In honor of Captain Leo, March 19, 1920 - June 10, 2012

 

Profile picture: Pfc. John T. DiMauro, E Company, 331st Infantry Regiment

January 23, 1926 - KIA January 13, 1945 near Langlire, Belgium after 11 days on the frontline

 

Looking for anything related to the 83rd Infantry Division (1917-today)

Visit my personal website: www.normandytothebulge.be

Learn more about the 83rd Infantry Divison assocation at: www.83rdassociation.com

 

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What an interesting piece! Did they actually 'build' a new eagle without a swastika underneath or did they remove the swastika of an existing eagle? I wonder why they would take away that swastika but keep the other ones?

 

 

The eagle on the cover was made the way it is.

 

As to why all the medals weren't de-nazified I have no idea.

 

None of the medals in this hoard were de-nazified.

 

What was especially interesting was that all the medals and badges were wrapped up in paper.

 

Some individually and others in small groups.

 

Each wrapping had some sort of reminder written on it as to what it was and some even had information on where it came from.

 

The most interesting one came from a German paratrooper in North Africa.

 

It included his collar insignia, a Kreta cuff title, para badge and IC 1st class.

 

The pin on the para badge was made of heavy twisted wire and you could tell it had been repaired more than once.


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None of the medals in this hoard were de-nazified.

 

 

Well as it seems he took them before they were put in with the gen pop of the camp, I imagine they didn't have time to de-nazify them


-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'

donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Might have something to do with the eagle being om the outside of the box. Anyways I love how its set up! Great piece


"In almost all wars, the sight of foreign troops brought fear and terror to the local people, destruction and often senseless killing of local citizens. However, the sight of the American GI always brought smiles and joy to the local French people. They knew we were there to liberate, not to conquer; to help, not to terrorize."

Captain Leo T. Hury, M-Company, 330th Infantry Regiment, 83rd Infantry Division.

In honor of Captain Leo, March 19, 1920 - June 10, 2012

 

Profile picture: Pfc. John T. DiMauro, E Company, 331st Infantry Regiment

January 23, 1926 - KIA January 13, 1945 near Langlire, Belgium after 11 days on the frontline

 

Looking for anything related to the 83rd Infantry Division (1917-today)

Visit my personal website: www.normandytothebulge.be

Learn more about the 83rd Infantry Divison assocation at: www.83rdassociation.com

 

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wow , very very impressive thanx for sharing ,

this section is one of my favorite sections to brows and comment in , always impressed with items found here

 

thanx so much for sharing this great piece and again wow


Iam Ben from michigan , always looking for ww2 German award documents

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Great POW work. BTW de-nazification came AFTER the war when the swastika was outlawed and forbidden by the new German government. Bobgee


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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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These are Great !!!! I like all the badges. Blue Skies Mark


In Memory of Air Corps Technical Sergeant Carl F. Durfee. He died of wounds on 30 December 1944 while serving in the South Pacific. You are not forgotten.

ASMIC member

American Legion member

US Air Force & Air National Guard TAC - MAC

JOHN N. DANIELS ---152nd COMPANY C New York State Infantry--- captured 1864 survivor of Andersonville ---- Great-Great-Great Uncle

Captain Robert L. Hosler, 522nd Fighter/Bomber Sq. 12th Army Air Corp. World War Two P47 Pilot - 1 DFC- 5 Air Medal & 0ne Purple Heart---Uncle

1st Sgt Ann Barry, US Army Air Corp WAC World War Two --ETO --- Aunt

Sgt Willam M. Barry, USMC----Pacific World War Two--Father





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Thanks for the photos and history. What an interesting piece!

 

Frank


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I've seen similar post-war gifts to U.S. officers that were stationed in Germany to help with reconstruction.

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Wow, great story & item! Similar to my step-father's experiences in WWII. He was from southeastern PA, Amish Country, and also spoke German. After the war ended, he didn't have enough points to go home so he was put in charge of taking German prisoners on work details. He actually became good friends with some of the prisoners and one of them made him a gift shortly before he went back to the U.S. It was a canvas shaving kit case. The German painted a picture on the outside of it of a deer jumping over a log in a forest.

I have the case today and I will post some pictures of it when I have a chance to dig it out.


Mike B. in 'Bama

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I found some pictures of it from a post I made on another forum 10 years ago. The painting is signed "P W Boosmann 1945". I might be spelling the name wrong because it is not clear. The initials on the back are "JCS" for my step-father, John C. Snyder. He was in the 50th Armored Infantry Bn. during the war.

 

Well I can only get one picture to load...

 

 

 

 

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Mike B. in 'Bama

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