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Joe Chadwell and his uniforms. Two-campaign paratrooper.

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I ran across this article today, great looking ike jacket and M42 for a hard-charging paratrooper.

Original article here: http://controversialtimes.com/news/what-this-old-man-is-holding-proves-hes-a-bigger-badass-than-you/

 

 

"A picture of an senior citizen is going viral and people can’t talk enough about what’s in his hands.

Joe Chadwell is part of The Greatest Generation – those that fought the horrors of World War II, came home, and quietly went about their lives.

Most of those men fought in either Europe or the Pacific. But not Chadwell. He fought in both campaigns.

From jumping into Normandy on D-Day with the 101st Airborne to jumping into New Guinea with the 11th Airborne and fighting in the Phillipines, he was on the frontline every step of the way.

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That’s why the picture of Chadwell holding both of his uniforms – one from the European theater and one from the Pacific is going viral online.

The man who started the war jumping into Normandy on D-Day would end his service as part of the occupying force in Japan following the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The folks over at the Zero Foxtrot Facebook page summed it up best:

When you’re so hardcore, one war theater isn’t enough. Joe Chadwell, displaying the two uniforms he wore during World War II. The one on the left represents the U.S. Army 101st Airborne Division he parachuted with into Normandy, France, on D-Day, while the other shows the 11th Airborne Division he served with in the Pacific Theater. Hard@#$%..nuff said"

 


Always searching for items from 83rd Div (WWII), 3rd Div (Korea), and anything related to the Civil War in Arkansas or Missouri! Will buy or trade!

 

In memory of Pvt Roland L. Gates, Co G, 2nd Bn, 15th Inf, 3rd Division. KIA 15 June 1953 defending Outpost Harry.

 

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OK, there is something really strange going on here. Either the reporter had no idea what he or she was talking about of Mr. Caldwell was having some problems with his story. Even in this modern age. it would be IMPOSSIBLE for Mr. Caldwell to co-locate in New Guinea and Normandy at the same time. Both operations were going on in June 1944.

 

It appears that Mr. Caldwell was a glider trooper as evidenced by the glider badge on the oval on his jump jacket. It is rather obvious that the 11th A/B patch is a new one and was probably recently added to the jacket for the veteran to wear to reunions etc.

 

It is rather uncommon to see soldiers going from the ETO to the Pacific and to see combat in both theaters. With the absence of a Purple Heart, there would have to be an interesting story behind the reason for Mr. Caldwell to leave the ETO and then head to the Pacific. It is far more likely that Mr. Caldwell stayed on active duty after VE Day and was sent to Japan for the occupation.

 

Thanks for posting the photo.

 

Allan


Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Most of those men fought in either Europe or the Pacific. But not Chadwell. He fought in both campaigns.

From jumping into Normandy on D-Day with the 101st Airborne to jumping into New Guinea with the 11th Airborne and fighting in the Phillipines, he was on the frontline every step of the way.

 

The man who started the war jumping into Normandy on D-Day would end his service as part of the occupying force in Japan following the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

 

I'm not sure who wrote this or what it was based on, but the first paragraph makes no sense. Airborne operations in New Guinea were conducted by the independent 503d ARCT in SEP 1943 and JUL 1944, so kinda hard to do that and land at Normandy with the 101. And the 503d PIR didn't become part of the 11th Airborne Division until 1951. As Allan H. already pointed out, Caldwell appears to have been a glider rider anyway. The second paragraph is probably much closer to the truth: Caldwell fought in Europe with the 101st Airborne, then did occupation duty with the 11th Airborne.

 

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You are both correct, obviously there are pieces of the story that make no sense. Most likely the authors got unit info off of wiki and did not bother researching or asking the vet. Most of us here can see right through all of that mess. However, the uniforms are great and the vet's story is very interesting and unique.


Always searching for items from 83rd Div (WWII), 3rd Div (Korea), and anything related to the Civil War in Arkansas or Missouri! Will buy or trade!

 

In memory of Pvt Roland L. Gates, Co G, 2nd Bn, 15th Inf, 3rd Division. KIA 15 June 1953 defending Outpost Harry.

 

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First thing... Allan H. .... CHADWELL was his name.

 

I will try and clear up a couple things.

I contacted Joe within 2 days of the story appearing in the paper.
Nobody else had contacted him at that time. I wanted to discover more, and also if there were relics to be purchased.

 

Obviously the "Journalist" who wrote about Joe enhanced that fanciful fiction to make it appealing.

 

Joe was not exactly a gung ho "Hero" type guy , in fact he was pretty reticent to get too deep into his memories of the war.

 

He told me there were just a few guys trained for his job

His Normandy did not include any jumping, in fact he was shipboard with the duty of coordinating Naval Artillery support (One would assume the planners had a neat little idea of every detail of the plan, but things did not always go as planned DUH!) He sat out a lot of the 6th and 7th as there was almost no requests from the dispersed and disorganized division, for fire support.

So Joe did go ashore, and saw the battlefield. He picked up some souvenirs, received orders to board a ship.

He ended up back in England, and did not take part in the rest of the ETO campaigning.

Probably the only reason his jump suit survived!

I asked him about those uniforms and also other items.

The Jump suit was his original one, but who knows when which patch was added to it.

He left it at home when he shipped out for the Pacific and Japan.

The Class A tunic also was his war time tunic, and he wore it during his time in the occupation of Japan.

The 11th Airborne were (I believe he said) the very first army troops into Japan and I believe he said he was stationed at Sendai base, a former Japanese military area taken over by the US Military..

 

Somewhere on his property were many firearms including some K-98 Mausers and pistols from Europe, as well as Swords and other items from Japan.

This came out during just general conversations about his working years and post war life.

You can imagine I was treading carefully.

 

I had intended to travel to Tullahoma and see if I could develop a friendly rapport, which would make some purchasing possible, but I felt he was unlikely to be amenable to that.

 

I came away from the long conversation with the impression that he was a strong willed cranky old codger, that never thought he would actually die.

He seemed cantankerous and likely to kibosh any proposal just to prove he was in control, or out of suspicion he was getting cheated

(the kind of guy who was always suspicious and wary, no matter if you were willing to pay him twice the real value)

That was my impression, so a trip back east simply was not worth taking the gamble.

Somebody ended up going through his belongings after he died, and the WW2 stuff is someplace different now.

That is life!

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Given that this forum and its members generally appreciate history and the service of veterans, I would certainly hope that your above post isn’t criticizing Mr. Chadwell for not selling you items based on a cold call and an attempt at developing a friendly rapport to accomplish such a goal. I think he deserves more respect than to be labeled a “strong willed cranky old codger.” Vets aren’t expected to sell their items simply because they will die one day.


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Combat vets have certainly earned the right to be as cantakerus as they want in old age. I certainly will be, if I make it to even half his age


-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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Mea culpa for misspelling Mr. Chadwell's name. That was a mistake. I do believe it is the only mistake that I made in my assessment of the story in relation to the uniforms, as even two years after the original post, and with the addition of the information that Charles68 supplied based on his conversation(s) with Mr. Chadwell, the facts speak for themselves.

 

Obviously, the "journalist" took a lot of liberties with the article as it is clear that as a glider rider, Mr. Chadwell didn't jump anywhere. Not in Normandy and not into New Guinea. I find it fascinating that Mr. Chadwell was trained to coordinate Naval Artillery support in Normandy. Most of the guys doing this work were naval officers. Perhaps he was a radio operator for one of the Naval Fire Direction liaisons? Mr. Chadwell's recollection of coming ashore in Normandy on the 7th or 8th is pretty consistent with other experiences of 101st A/B Glider troopers.

 

As for jump suits, it is difficult to say when and where the jump jacket that Mr. Chadwell held in the photo came from. They weren't issued to glider troops, but that doesn't mean that he wasn't able to get his hands on one. By the time Mr. Chadwell was heading to the Pacific, the jumpsuit had stopped being issued as the M1943 field uniform had become standard by that time. My comment on the recent vintage of the 11th A/B SSI on the shoulder of the jacket is based on the fact that it has a merrowed edge, and thus would have been made in the 1970's or later. That is why I said it was probably added for wear at a reunion or parade.

The 11th A/B was the first of the US forces to arrive in Japan. They served as MacArthur's honor guard until MacArthur banished them to the Northern island of Hokkaido. It is there that the 11th set up camps at Sendai and Sapporo.

 

Charles68, thank you again for adding more information to this story. It really helps to flesh out Mr. Chadwell's story and to confirm the inaccuracies in the "journalist's" story.

 

Allan










Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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A few data points on this man:

 

- Joseph Dock Chadwell ASN 34733829 enlisted 18 May 1943 at Fort Oglethorpe, GA

- His obituary states that he served as a forward observer in the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment during D-Day (slightly wrong...see below)

- His obituary further states that he returned home on leave, got married and was then sent to the PTO.

- Joseph D. Chadwell ASN 34733829 appears on the Pulles Rosters as having served in the 501st PIR. The Pulles rosters are very complete. The gaps exist mainly with the very late war replacements to the 101st, many of whom saw little or no combat. I have found that if a name appears in Pulles, the person most likely had significant service with the division.

- The story about him returning home initially seemed far fetched...but his name and ASN appear on a flight manifest from Newfoundland to Washington DC dated 10-17-44. He did, in fact, return to the US for some reason, so it is quite possible that his story about wartime service in both theaters is absolutely correct.


I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

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.

post-110-0-54306300-1528407461_thumb.jpg


I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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..

post-110-0-24523500-1528407576_thumb.jpg


I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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Additionally, Joseph D. Chadwell was awarded the CIB as a member of the 501st PIR under GO#2, 1944 501st PIR. This tells us a few things. He was a paratrooper vice a gliderman and also an infantryman. Additionally GO#2 1944 most likely documented CIB awards for the Normandy campaign. So....almost everything about the story is correct, right down to his M42 set. Its possible that he received the glider wings while assigned to the 11th Airborne Division, as many members were dual qualified


I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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Andy...you are the man!!

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Thanks Alex! BTW, I may also know why he returned home. He came from a farming family, and his Father passed away in March 1946. During WWII, farming was seen as critical war work. If the head of the family was stricken with an illness and incapacitated to the point of not being able to run the farm, its conceivable that the family applied to have their son sent home to assist. A somewhat unusual occurrence in WWII, but I've seen it in several other records I've researched, also w/ farm families.


I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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There are several more articles about this man online, including a few pictures. The 11th patch on the M42 does appear to be post war. The other interesting one is his hat. It explains why the wings and CIB are missing from the Ike. Note that the wings appear to be original, and have one star on them. The articles also state that he was wounded, but didn't receive his PH until 2006 along with the (presumably) CIB Bronze Star and other campaign medals. Also note that his Ike jacket can be seen in one of the pictures on the table and appears to have an 11th patch on the left sleeve.

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I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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2

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I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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Andy,

 

If we marry your assessment and Charles68's added information, I would say that assuming that Charles68 was accurate in his report that Chadwell did not jump into Normandy, but rather came in by sea around the 8th of June 1944. I also find it interesting that the oval on his jump jacket is for the 502nd PIR rather than the 501st. I know that all of the parachute regiments of the 101st sent rear detachments in via sea during the Normandy campaign. Some were in jobs like finance, bandsmen, and truck drivers, while others went in late due to mistrust by their comrades in the units. The 506th PIR for example, had individuals in their rear detatchment to include a soldier who had a terrible speech impediment. He couldn't form a sentance without stuttering. Another soldier was a first generation German who had even been in the Hitler Youth prior to emegrating to the US prior to the war breaking out. I would think that as a radio operator for Naval gunfire, that would have been a priority, wouldn't you?

 

I didn't find Chadwell's name on the 101st jump manifests for Market Garden. Did you? I'd assume that if he was being processed for return to the states that he wouldn't have gone into the Netherlands, as corroborated by Charles68 when he said that Chadwell didn't participate in any other ETO Campaigning. So, where did the star on the jump wing on his ball cap come from? Perhaps it was for the 503rd jump on Corregidor in February of 1945? Since he came into Normandy by glider, he didn't get one for Normandy. It also explains why I couldn't find Chadwell on any of the jump rosters for Normandy. Corregidor is probably where the PUC on his cap came from as well since he would have left the ETO well before the 501st was awarded their PUC for Normandy in 1945. His award of the Philippine Liberation ribbon on his Ike jacket would lead me to the conclusion that he would have headed to the PTO soon after returning to the states in October 1944.

 

Chadwell's story is an interesting, albeit twisted one. The less than stellar reporting from the first article didn't help things any.

 

Allan


Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Allan, that is the thing....here is Chadwell's own account from one of the other articles. It differs from the one recounted above significantly. That oval may also be generic infantry IMO, perhaps from his time in the 11th Airborne...but the blue ovals can be confusing. Only his actual record and/or morning reports would confirm for sure. No, I don't think he served in Holland, but the Normandy jump is possible IMO

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I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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Not sure why that is so small...but he recounts his D-Day jump in some detail. After re reading what Charles68 wrote, it is possible that he misunderstood what the vet was telling him by assuming that someone controlling naval gunfire must have served aboard a ship.

 

Also of note, the awards officially presented to him by his Congressman in 2006 included the EAME w/ one star, the PTO campaign medal w/ 3 stars and the Philippine Liberation w/ one star. It is a confusing tale for sure!


I will pay top dollar for original WWII items pertaining to:

 

OSS

OSS Maritime Unit

NCDU

UDT

Scouts and Raiders

FSSF

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