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Legion of Valor of the United States of America, Inc.


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Kevin,

 

These are great badges! Do you know the significance of the keyhole in the bottom of the Boston badge?

"You can't please everyone so you have got to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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While the suspension bar depicts buildings which are iconic to Boston, I have yet to determine the significance of the pendant with a predominant keyhole.

 

The pendant may not have been originally designed for use with this particular badge. It could have been chosen from a pre-existing die, used by the LOV as a means of cost cutting. (That is pure speculation on my part.) When you look at other LOV pendants it is clear that they were specifically designed for the organization. Enameled ribbon bars and emblems for the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, and the Navy Cross adorn many of the previous and post year's badges. I am sure that the pendant for the 1946 Buffalo badge had been used by other organizations. The same may be true for this one.

 

I welcome any additional thoughts or knowledge on the subject.

 

Kevin

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  • 7 months later...

I am publishing the World War II memoir of one of the past presidents of the Legion of Valor. I thought folks might like to see his garrison cap worn at their convention. The hat remains in the possession of his daughter, but she graciously let me photograph it.

 

10714505_10103313219039308_2839692947844

 

There should be a cluster on the Purple Heart, plus his POW medal is missing (I helped his daughter have that added to his military record, among other items).

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Colonel David Lyddall Hardee. Here is a brief bio I compiled on him for the book.

 

David Lyddall Hardee was born in the area of what is now part of the Camp Butner Military Reservation in Granville County, North Carolina on 16 September 1890 to Dr. Parrott Rastus Hardee and Roberta Buford Bacon Hardee. He graduated from Stem High School in 1909 and from Trinity College in 1913. Following graduation, he worked for the Atlantic Coast Realty Company before becoming a public relations officer for Wachovia Bank and Trust Company of Winston-Salem in 1914 and continuing with the bank until December 1917. Having previously registered with the Selective Service on 5 June 1917, Hardee enlisted in the army on 28 January 1918, joining Company H, 61st Infantry, 5th Division. He shipped out with the 61st Infantry to France on 1 April 1918 and joined the 28th Infantry, 1st Division on 1 September 1918. While overseas, Hardee rose through the ranks from private to corporal to sergeant before being commissioned as a second lieutenant in Langres, France on 1 October 1918. As a member of the 3d Battalion, 28th Infantry, Hardee participated in the Anould Sub-Sector (defensive action), the St. Die Sector (defensive action), and the Meuse-Argonne and Muizon-Sedan offensives, earning five battle clasps in all during the war. He received his first Silver Star for gallantry during the Meuse-Argonne offensive from 4 – 12 October 1918. He received a Purple Heart and second Silver Star for actions near Exermont, France on 9 October 1918, and a third near Chavenges, France on 7 November 1918. Promotion followed gallantry, and Hardee rose to first lieutenant on 25 October 1918 (accepted 1 November 1918; later promoted to first lieutenant in the regular army on 1 July 1920). Following the Armistice, he served in the Army of Occupation in Germany at the Coblenz Bridgehead.

 

Hardee returned home on 4 September 1919 and participated in the victory parades in New York City and Washington, D.C. Remaining in the army, he was stationed with the 28th Infantry at Camp Zackary Taylor in Kentucky and he served as a recruiting officer for the First Division’s North Carolina recruiting drive in 1920, receiving a commendation for his work from division commander Major General Charles P. Summerall. Upon graduation from the infantry school at Fort Benning, Georgia, Hardee served at Fort Ontario and Plattsburg, NY. On 5 October 1922 in Salisbury, NC, he married Elizabeth Neely Harry (born 26 August 1888 in Charlotte). From 1923 to 1924, Hardee became the first non-aviator to graduate from the Air Corps Tactical School, Langley Field, VA. Following graduation he went to Fort Sam Houston, TX before returning to Fort Benning and was an instructor at the Infantry School, teaching air corps tactics courses to infantry personnel as a member of the 24th Infantry, the first of its kind for ground service schools and a model for future course development. At Fort Benning, his daughter, Elizabeth Frances, was born on 18 May 1927.

 

On 12 September 1929, Hardee and his family moved to the Philippines where he served with the 31st Infantry in the Cuartel de Espana in Manila. His second daughter, Mary Lucile, was born in Sternberg General Hospital, Manila, on 18 December 1931. In February 1932, Hardee and the regiment shipped out to Shanghai, China to guard a section of the International Settlement, returning to Manila in July. For his involvement, Hardee received the Yangtze Service Medal, awarded by the Commandant of the Marine Corps on 13 March 1935.

 

Hardee returned to the United States on 30 July 1932 and served at Ford Howard, MD until 1934 with the 12th Infantry. Promoted to Captain on 22 October 1934, the Army ordered Hardee to Winston-Salem on 1 November 1934 where he served as instructor of organized reserves for the 322nd Infantry) in Winston-Salem until 15 August 1938. Hardee next received orders to move to Oak Ridge, NC and serve as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Oak Ridge Military Institute. Promoted to Major on 1 July 1940, Hardee and his family enjoyed their time in Oak Ridge until 1941. Then, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared a national emergency in 1941, Hardee received orders to report to Camp Wheeler, Macon, GA on 15 May to train new recruits in the fundamentals of infantry tactics.

 

On 17 September 1941, Hardee was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and a week later advised that General Douglas MacArthur selected Hardee and other officers to sail to Manila to assist in the organization and training of ten new Filipino divisions. On 1 November 1941, Hardee bid his family in Durham, NC and the United States goodbye as he sailed off on the SS President Coolidge to the Philippines once more. Arriving on 21 November, he had little time to get to work before the Japanese attack on 8 December. Initially attached to the headquarters, United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), Hardee handled a series of jobs for Major General Richard K. Sutherland, Chief of Staff for General Douglas MacArthur in the initial weeks of fighting. On 26 January 1942, USAFFE reassigned Hardee as executive officer of the Provisional Air Corps Regiment under the command of Colonel Irvin E. Doane.

 

Hardee and the regiment would remain on the front lines for 73 consecutive days, withstanding countless attacks by artillery, heavy bombers, and infantry assaults. In the course of the fighting, Hardee received a Purple Heart for wounds sustained in action on 9 April 1942 near Cabcabin, Philippines, a Bronze Star for meritorious service near Orion and Limay, Bataan on 7 April 1942, and a fourth Silver Star near Orion, Bataan on 7 April 1942. For extraordinary heroism from 7 – 8 April 1942, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (he did not receive the award until 9 October 1949). After months of desperate fighting for Manila, Corregidor, and Bataan, Hardee surrendered with the remaining American forces at Bataan on 9 April 1942. Taken prisoner on the afternoon of the ninth, Hardee would spend the next 34 months, until 4 February 1945, in Japanese captivity.

 

Hardee’s prisoner of war ordeal began with the Bataan Death March to Camp O’Donnell, the site of his initial imprisonment. The journey to the camp, from 16 – 25 April, covered 85 miles on foot and rail. During the march, Hardee lost the majority of what few possessions he retained and estimated about 250 American and Filipinos died along the way, a number he later recognized as low. He spent 40 days at Camp O’Donnell, witnessing the deaths of thousands of American and Filipino prisoners. The Japanese moved Hardee and other American prisoners to the Cabanatuan Prisoner of War Camp No. 1, where he arrived on 6 June 1942 and stayed until 26 October. The Japanese next shipped Hardee to the Davao Penal Colony (Dapecol) on Mindanao on 8 November 1942 aboard the Japanese “Hell Ship” Erie Maru. At Dapecol, Hardee worked as an agricultural worker harvesting coffee until he suffered a serious hernia which would cause him constant pain and suffering until his liberation. Hardee credited the hernia with possibly saving his life. While in the prison hospital, other groups of lieutenant colonels were shipped out of the camp on “Hell Ships,” unmarked vessels that fell victim to American submarines. On 6 June 1944, Hardee was moved with other prisoners to the port of Lasang where the prisoners were herded like cattle into the holds of the Yashu Maru on 12 June and after a stop in Cebu and transfer to the Singoto Maru No. 824, Hardee left for Manila on 22 June. There the prisoners were transferred to Bilibid Prison in late June – early July, located within the northern sector of the city. It was here that American forces liberated Hardee and other American prisoners of war on 4 February 1945.

 

During his imprisonment, Hardee was beaten in captivity on multiple occasions by Japanese prison guards and suffered a severe hernia in March 1943 while picking coffee that was not fully repaired until February 1950. Malnutrition was a constant problem, and in captivity he lost approximately 70 pounds from his normal body weight of 185 pounds. In addition, Hardee dealt with off and on instances of dysentery, beriberi, and pellagra. He was witness to several incidents of murder and torture of American prisoners by their Japanese guards, as well as several successful prison escapes. One escape, by Captain Damon J. “Rocky” Gause, brought word in November 1942 that Hardee was alive and in captivity. Upon liberation in February 1945, he was promoted to the rank of colonel on 16 March and he returned to the United States aboard the USS Cape Meares on 12 May. Technically, he was promoted to full colonel on 7 April 1942 but the orders were never relayed to him due to the confusion in the final days of fighting. Following a period of convalescent leave and medical treatment for his hernia at the Walter Reed General Hospital in July 1945, he served the remainder of his time in the army as an instructor and adviser in the Adjutant Generals Office for the North Carolina National Guard from July 1946 until his retirement from the Army on 31 December 1949.

 

After his time in the Army, Hardee kept active. From 1950 to 1953, he organized and served as president of the ready-mix Hardee Concrete Company in Durham. He sold the company in 1954 when he took the position as Civil Defense director for Wake County and Raleigh, on 1 March 1954, a position he held until his resignation from the post on 1 July 1961. From 1957 to 1958, Hardee served as the national commander for the Army and Navy Legion of Valor. In 1966, he published the book, The Eastern North Carolina Hardy-Hardee family in the South and Southwest, a genealogical history of his family. Hardee died in Raleigh on 23 November 1969 at the age of 79 and is buried in New Maplewood Cemetery in Durham.

 

During his military career, Hardee received numerous decorations for service and valor. These include the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with three oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Presidential Unit Citation with two oak leaf cluster, the World War I Victory Medal with one bronze battle clasp and defensive sector clasp, Army of Occupation of Germany Medal, the Yangtze Service Medal, American Defense Service Medal with foreign service clasp, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Defense Medal with one bronze star, Philippine Liberation Medal with one bronze star, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, and Army Distinguished Unit Citation with two oak leaf clusters. In September 2013, the U.S. Army reviewed Hardee’s service record and posthumously awarded him the Prisoner of War Medal, an oak leaf cluster in lieu of a second Purple Heart, five battle clasps for his World War I service, and the Philippine Independence Ribbon.

 

10926359_10102544240762938_2396952240637Liberation in February 1945 compared to his December 1949 retirement photo.

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  • 1 year later...

I have just come across a great Army & Navy Legion of Valor photograph. It comes from the archives of the Los Angeles Public Library.

 

From their website: http://photos.lapl.org/carlweb/jsp/DoSearch?index=z&databaseID=968&terms=0005343910

 

Photograph caption dated July 10, 1954 reads "Sallie Kerns, 'Miss Army and Navy Legion of Valor' placing citations in heroes hall of fame. She has General Douglas MacArthur's citation."

 

LOV1954_MissLegionOfValor.jpg

 

I never knew that this organization bestowed such a title. Definitely more room for research on this one!

 

Kevin

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Photograph caption dated July 13, 1954 reads "A testimonial to the City of Los Angeles is presented to Mayor Norris Poulson by E. Lee Henderson, Los Angeles commander of the Army and Navy Legion of Valor, as the group begins its sixty-fourth annual convention here. Also taking part in the presentation is Sallie Kerns, 'Miss Legion of Valor.' More than 200 members are attending."

 

LOV1954_MissLegionOfValor2.jpg

 

Los Angeles Public Library web page: http://photos.lapl.org/carlweb/jsp/FullRecord?databaseID=968&record=1&controlNumber=5343909

 

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  • 1 year later...

LOV1947Baltimore_750_aa.jpg

 

Reunion badge for the 57th annual Army & Navy Legion of Valor reunion held in Baltimore, Md, on July 20-23, 1947.

 

This badge bears the nameplate of Robert M. Gaynor who was a Distinguished Service Cross recipient for action against enemy forces on 3 September 1944. Major Gaynor was the National Adjutant for the Legion of Valor.

 

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LOV1935BridgeportCt_500.jpg

 

Reunion badge for the 45th annual Army & Navy Legion of Valor reunion held in Bridgeport, Ct, on August 4, 5, 6, and 7, 1935.

 

I originally thought this badge was for the 1934 reunion due to the pendant. I closely inspected the ribbon fragments and there is clearly a gold-lettered '1935' on it. Unfortunately it doesn't scan well and is extremely delicate. So, until such time as I ever come across a replacement in better condition, this will have to do.

 

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  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...

Not something I specifically collect, but I just couldn't pass on this piece. I've never seen one before.

 

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KB tells me this is the 2nd type of Medal of Honor Legion certificate (thanks for the link!).

 

Probably the closet thing to an actual MoH that I'll ever own. What's really neat about this piece is that it's a certificate for a CW MoH recipient - signed by two other CW MoH recipients. I've pulled the information below together to display with the piece. I thought it might be of interest here.

 

No. 364

Medal of Honor Legion of the United States

George C. Williams

November 13, 1897

Quartermaster Sergeant, 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment

Medal of Honor Citation

Gaines Mill, June 27, 1862

While on duty with the wagon train as Quartermaster Sergeant he voluntarily left his place of safety in the rear, joined a company, and fought with distinguished gallantry through the action.

 

 

Signed: Adjutant

M. Emmet Urell

Private, Co. E, 82nd New York Infantry

October 14th, 1863 – Bristoe Station

 

Gallantry in action while detailed as color bearer; Was severely wounded.

 

 

Signed: Commander

Amos J. Cummings

Sergeant-Major, 26th New Jersey Infantry

May 4th, 1863 – Salem Heights

 

Rendered great assistance in the heat of the action in rescuing a part of the field batteries from an extremely dangerous and exposed position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mickey
Southern Cross Farm

 

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Always Looking to Purchase Gettysburg Related Veteran Items

1888/25th - 1913/50th - 1938/75th Reunions, Regimental Reunions, Monument Dedications

Medals, Badges, Ribbons, Photographs, Souvenirs, Programs, etc

mcintire_scf@yahoo.com, Mobile: (804) 306-8321

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mickey,

 

That early Legion of Valor certificate is a great find! I think the Medal of Honor Legion found one of the best printers to make it. The engraving on it is first rate.

 

This certificate, in my opinion, is more elegant and colorful than the Legion's first version. What is interesting is that this certificate depicts the second style ribbon for the Medals of Honor.

 

This piece is a fantastic addition to any collection. Congratulations!

 

Kevin

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