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First Lieutenant Joseph Widseth USMC Silver Star Peleliu KIA Sept. 26, 1944


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The uniform of Joseph Helmer Widseth who was born in McIntosh, Minnesota. He was the younger brother of University of Minnesota All-American Ed Widseth who went on to play for the New York Giants for four seasons. Joseph also attended the University of Minnesota and played football there. He graduated in 1942 and applied for a commission in the Marine Corps in Dec. 1942. He was accepted and assigned to attend 18th Reserve Officers Class in Quantico. By March 1943 he was assigned to Co. B Infantry Training battalion officers infantry course. By June he was with the 20th Replacement Battalion assigned to Company A 1st Battalion, 5th Marines at Camp Balcombe in Victoria, Australia. By August he was reassigned to Company B 1st Bn 5th Marines and participated in the landing at Cape Gloucester on the island of New Britain as a mortar platoon leader. After New Britain, Widseth spent quite a bit of time training on the island of Pavuvu, a horrid place to train according to the men who were there. On September 15, 1944, the 1st Marine Division landed at Peleliu. 1st Battalion landed on Orange Beach 1 under horrendous resistance and spent much of the day establishing a beachhead and working their way inland toward the airfield. They had to fight across the airfield, from southwest to northeast, and through the built-up area. They were subjected to observed fire from the Umurbrogol region and to small arms fire from Japanese defenders in the rubble-filled built-up area east and north of the airfield. Under the cover of tanks, they made their way across. For the next eight days, 1st Bn 5th Marines battled their way north. On the afternoon of 25 September, they seized the Radio Station complex, and the portion of a hill commanding it. The next day, the 5th Marines attacked four hills running east to west across Peleliu, dubbed Hills 1, 2, 3, and Radar Hill in Hill Row. The row was perpendicular to and south of the last northern ridge, Amiangal Mountain. These hills and the ridge were defended by some 1,500 infantry, artillerymen, naval engineers, and the shot-up reinforcing infantry battalion which landed the night of 23 September, in caves and interconnected tunnels within the ridge and the hills. What was not yet appreciated was that the Marines were confronting the most comprehensive set of caves and tunnels on Peleliu. They were trying to invade the home (and defensive position) of a long-established naval construction unit most of whose members were better miners than infantrymen. During the afternoon of June 26th, First Lieutenant Widseth was detached from his mortar platoon and instructed to lead the 25 men of a pinned down company up a steep hillside under heavy mortar fire. In the process, Widseth was struck in the right side of the chest and killed instantly. For his indomitable courage, he was awarded the Silver Star posthumously. He is currently buried at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery.

 

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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his uniform

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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Photo from his service file

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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another view of his uniform

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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another view

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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Tailor's tag identifying the uniform to him.

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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copy of his diploma from the University of Minnesota

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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assessment of his death out of his service file

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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. . .

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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His silver star citation

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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His headstone at Ft. Snelling. The irony is that before this tunic ever surfaced, I vividly remember seeing his headstone at Ft. Snelling while going to visit the graves of my grandparents and other family members who are buried there. The USMC and date jumped out at me as having been killed at Peleliu. When this tunic surfaced by a friend who acquired it out of the estate of a collector and I saw the name, it jumped out at me immediately.

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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. . .

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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. . .

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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Marines of Able Company 1st Bn 5th Marines operating near the foothills of Hills 1, 2, 3, and Radar Hill in Hill Row on September 26, 1944.

 

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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Joseph's older brother Ed Widseth who was an all-American at the University of Minnesota. Ed died in 1998 in St. Paul, it is believed that the collector whom this was obtained from perhaps acquired this from the estate of the brother in St. Paul as this is where the tunic was acquired by the individual I obtained it from. Below is a photo Ed

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Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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You've done an impressive job of putting the marine back in the uniform, so to speak. Good job, Kevin.

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Actively seeking WW1 4th and 5th Brigade USMC helmets and also a named WW2 Raider green blouse.
I'd rather be a sparrow than a snail, if I could I surely would....

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Kurt Barickman

Beautiful! This was on the Forum a few months ago from a person who pulled it out of the woods here in Minnesota, correct?

Kurt

My hobby is my job and my job is my hobby. High School and University History Instructor

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Are the ribbons original to the uniform or just a placeholder?

 

-Seth

Looking for WWII Americal Division and 147th Infantry Regiment Uniforms and anything relating to the Army on Guadalcanal.

 

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Are the ribbons original to the uniform or just a placeholder?

 

-Seth

No they were added. These would have been the only ribbons that would have been worn on this tunic so that's what I went with. The Fourragere was frayed in half so that was also replaced. The bird and cover are all original to the tunic.

donation2012.gif


Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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Alright, are you going to add another campaign star, Purple Heart and Silver Star?

Looking for WWII Americal Division and 147th Infantry Regiment Uniforms and anything relating to the Army on Guadalcanal.

 

donation2018.gifimage.png.eeda3e0d45132eb99f4dd8b07fd60103.pngdonation2020.gif

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Alright, are you going to add another campaign star, Purple Heart and Silver Star?

No because he would have never had these on his uniform since all of those were awarded posthumously to him.

donation2012.gif


Always looking for quality WWI and WWII USMC items. Particularly 4th Marine Brigade related items, medals, uniforms helmets ephemera, Also WWII USMC items including uniforms, medals, etc. to combat veterans especially Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima. Let me know what you have. Semper Fi


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No because he would have never had these on his uniform since all of those were awarded posthumously to him.

 

Alright I was just wondering, I know some people like to put posthumous awards on KIA uniforms.

 

-Seth

Looking for WWII Americal Division and 147th Infantry Regiment Uniforms and anything relating to the Army on Guadalcanal.

 

donation2018.gifimage.png.eeda3e0d45132eb99f4dd8b07fd60103.pngdonation2020.gif

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