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Jump Wings (With Combat Stars)


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Note the single gold star signifying five combat jumps centered on his jump wings.


Shade Ruff




"CW4 Howard P. Melvin entered military service in 1942, volunteered to be an Army paratrooper and graduated from the Airborne School that same year. CW4 Melvin received his commission in 1949 and graduated from the Rigger School in 1953. He served in various positions around the world to include assignments in Austria, Korea, Japan and Thailand. His military service spanned over 31 years.


CW4 Melvin holds the distinct Army honor of being the only Quartermaster to have made five combat mission jumps as a parachutist. From July 9, 1943, to September 17, 1944, he participated in four combat parachute missions while assigned to the 505th Parachute Infantry Battalion, 82d Airborne Division. The missions were in Gela, Sicily; Salerno, Italy; Ste. Mere Eglise, France; and Nijmegen, Holland. He made his fifth combat mission jump on February 22, 1967, at Katum, Vietnam, while assigned to the 173d Airborne Brigade.


CW4 Melvin's awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal (with two Oak Leaf Clusters), the Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), and the Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster). He also earned the Master Parachutist Badge with five Combat Jump Stars, as well as the Combat Infantry Badge with one star. CW4 Melvin was inducted into the Quartermaster Rigger Hall of Fame on November 9, 1984."


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Command Sergeant Major Paul B. Huff who, as a Corporal with the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion, won the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in action on 8 February 1944, in Italy. He was the first American paratrooper awarded the Medal of Honor.


Note the three combat jump stars on his wings. He particpated in three of the four combat jumps the 509th PIB was credited with during the war.


Shade Ruff


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