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KIA Purple Heart of SSGT Robert Kaye, 1st Inf. Div.

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I just found this purple heart yesterday still in it's gov't issued shipping box. The name inscribed on it belongs to: Robert W. Kaye. He enlisted in Buffalo, NY, January 30th, 1941. He was originally from Wisconsin and was born in 1922. This is the basic information I got from NARA.

 

Imperial Quest was able to find his grave at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium. He was KIA November 18th, 1944 after having attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. That is all that I have, any other help from the guys on this forum would be appreciated. I currently have no divisional information or war time record for him. Maybe one of our members in Belgium could get me a picture of the grave marker. I would make it worth your time!

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"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Thanks Steve! I really appreciate your help with this one. My focus has always been on Helmets and headgear. I've only dabbled with medals and I've had a few other purple hearts that are ID'd to an individual but not engraved and never a KIA. So, I guess I'm stepping out here into a new realm of collecting.

 

Here's the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery in Belgium where SSgt. Kaye is buried.

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"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Thanks Robert, I really appreciate it! Where did you find this information?

It is on American Battle Monuments Commission and he also won a Silver Star.Robert


Always Buying...Medals...Patches...Wings... Singles or Groups...Top Cash Paid!!!

My Website...http://www.purpleheartsnorthcarolina.com/

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My wife gets spooked out by the fact that my helmets one time sat on someones head who is now dead. But, she still "acts" like she's interested. ermm.gif

 

I've sent a request to the American Battle Monuments Commission for a photo of the grave marker of SSgt. Kaye at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery. We'll see what transpires.

 

Your man also has a Bronze Star with oak leaf cluster and it would be safe to assume a combat inf. badge plus the usual European Campaign, WWII Victory medals if applied for and probably an Army Good Conduct. Happy hunting, Fred


Anything just made for collectors just isn't worth collecting.

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Fred, Where did you locate the information on the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf?

 

Erwin, Thanks! I've sent away for a B&W photo of the marker from the ABMC but, a color picture would be much more desirable. I look forward to your next trip there!


"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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This content on the Home of Heroes page is now premium. It is accessible for $100 a year i think.

 

It looks like SSGT Kaye was killed during Operation Queen on 18th Nov 1944.

These is a overview what the 16th IR did on this day.

 

 

To reinforce the assault on Hamich on the third day, 18 November, the 16th Infantry used the unit originally intended for taking Hill 232, the 3d Battalion under Lt. Col. Charles T. Horner, Jr. While Colonel Driscoll's depleted battalion maintained a base of fire and while artillery pummeled Hill 232, Colonel Horner's infantry with tank and tank destroyer support pressed the attack. Dashing through a steady thunder of German artillery fire, they gained the first houses. This signaled the start of a methodical house by house killing match against an enemy who had to be rooted from barricaded cellars that often were connected by communications trenches. Five German tanks that started down the Hamich ridge toward the village might have turned the balance in favor of the enemy had not clearing weather on 18 November enabled planes to operate. P 47's of the IX Tactical Air Command with an assist from the artillery quickly turned the tanks back. By midafternoon Colonel Horner's infantry and armor had cleared all but a few houses on the northern edge of Hamich.

 

Seizing quickly upon his advantage, the 16th Infantry commander, Colonel Gibb, directed his remaining battalion under Colonel Dawson to strike immediately for Hill 232. Preceding the assault, fifteen battalions of field artillery laid an impressive TOT on the height. With no conspicuous struggle, Colonel Dawson's infantry took the hill. Dazed, bewildered survivors of the 12th Fusilier Battalion, which had been sent to bolster the faltering 48th Regiment, hardly knew what had hit them.

 

In the meantime, remnants of the 48th Regiment had tried to get back into Hamich. In particular, they punched against Colonel Driscoll's 1st Battalion in the woods southeast of the village. Here the hero of the defense was a platoon leader, T. Sgt. Jake W. Lindsey, who refused to budge from his position even after casualties reduced his command to only six men. Despite a shell fragment in one knee, he personally accounted for two enemy machine gun crews, drove off two tanks with rifle grenades, and was credited officially with killing twenty of the enerny.

 

Though these counterattacks were troublesome, the toughest was reserved for the night of 18 November. It grew out of an authorization by the Army Group B commander, Field Marshal Model, for active commitment of the 47th Volks Grenadier Division. Reversing General von Zangen's earlier order, Model directed that the new division assume responsibility for the southern half of the 12th Division's line. This meant that almost the entire line in front of the 1st Division was to be taken over by the new division.

 

The Germans threw a green division into the thick of the fight not without considerable reluctance. They chose the line opposite the 1st Division as the lesser of two evils, for they considered that the U.S. main effort was not here but farther north along the boundary between the XII SS and LXXXI Corps, within the zone of the Ninth Army, where terrain was more negotiable. If committed opposite the main effort, the Germans reasoned, the 47th Division surely would be chewed to pieces. If committed in the less threatened southern sector, the new division might survive while enabling the other divisions to shorten their zones and achieve greater concentration opposite the main effort.

 

One of the first moves of the 47th Division was to prepare a counterattack with the support of the combat team of the 116th Panzer Division to retake Hamich and Hill 232. This combat team consisted of a battalion each of tanks and half tracks, an artillery battery, and an engineer company. Half the combat team was to join each of two battalions of the 47th Division's 104th Regiment after nightfall on 18 November in assembly areas near Hill 232. At 0530 the next morning, half the force was to retake Hill 232, the other half, Hamich.

 

 

 

Regards,

Stephan


"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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I wrote to the American Battle Monuments Commission in Arlington, Virginia and got the following 16" x 20" fully frameable color photo with a B&W inset of SSGT Kaye's grave along with a booklet about the museum and cemetery at Henri-Chapelle. This was all FREE of charge. It did take nearly 2 month's to get this but, I think you'll agree it was well worth the wait!

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"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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Forum members:

 

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