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reinking71

USMC GCM question

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Recently picked up some medals to a WWII/Korea Marine and trying to make sense of what I have. The GCM has 3 stars on it and is stamped with the name and date 1950. It also came with an Asiatic-Pacific, WWII Victory, Occupation, China Service, Korean Service, and UN Korea medals. What has me wondering is the Asiatic-Pacific has 2 stars. With a GCM issue date of 1950 something, at least in my mind, doesn't add up as far as timelines. Would this be a reissue or was he a bad boy and not eligible till 1950.

 

Thanks

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Provide his name and the muster rolls may shed some light - I suspect that he may have served a first enlistment 1944 to 1946 which may not have qualified hime for a GCM - He could have reenlisted in 1947 so by 1950 he had a 3 year enlistment that qualified him

 

Bill


"The Americans on this Island are not ordinary troops, but Marines, a special force recruited from jails and insane asylums for blood lust." -Japanese Newspaper found during the Battle of Guadalcanal - "They Got That Right!!" Chesty Puller

 

 

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It may also be that he didn't earn the GC on his first cruse. That happened, and maybe even to my Dad;

 

Steve


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Hello,

I often wonder way collectors often think the worst about the men who served. Yes, I’m well aware that not every man earned a good conduct medal during World War II. The usual reason for the absence of a good conduct medal is simple - the man (especially those in the naval services) did not have enough time in service to rate a medal.

Your Marine, Joseph G. Hicks, is a prime example. A little research relived that he enlisted in April 1944 and was honorably discharged around April 1946. He re-enlisted in 1947, which easily explains his good conduct medal with the 1950 date on it.

He earned an Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two star while serving aboard the USS NEW YORK. NEW YORK earned two battle stars in the Pacific for IWorks Jima and Okinawa.

I think if collectors want to collect attributed items, they should research their items first, get a good picture of what went on before they paint these veterans in negative light. Just my two cents.

Semper Fi,
Bruce Linz


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I often wonder way collectors often think the worst about the men who served. Yes, I’m well aware that ever man earned a good conduct medal during World War II. The usual reason for the absence of a good conduct medal is simple - the man (especially those in the naval services) did not have enough time in service to rate a medal.

 

I agree - too many novice collectors are too quick to make assumptions - Let the research speak before statements are made

 

Bill


"The Americans on this Island are not ordinary troops, but Marines, a special force recruited from jails and insane asylums for blood lust." -Japanese Newspaper found during the Battle of Guadalcanal - "They Got That Right!!" Chesty Puller

 

 

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Thank you both for your reply. Wasnt assuming the worst, just raising the question. Have two Navy GCMs where the recipient wasnt eligible for a period due to scoring too low. Also have a buddy who served 15 years and only earnd the GCM twice. It happens.

 

As for researching, between my old eyes and the condition of the medal I originally thought the last name was Nicks. Looked and couldn't find anything prompting me to post the general question I did. After USMCR79 asked me to post the name I went and looked again, in better light, and noticed it was Hicks not Nicks.

 

Interesting he was at both Iwo Jima and Okinawa

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I don't want to step into the line of fire, but I do not feel reinking71's question was disrespectful. I read his "bad boy" reference more of a possible bookend to several possibilities that were on the table that he was trying to make sense of...not the conclusion he made.

 

That said, I totally understand how and why this was read that way by the following posters, because I think it is safe to say USMC CGs from this era are a reoccurring sore spot. They were at the time as well, because the Army gave their Good Conduct Medal out after one year, but for the Marines, up until the end of 1945, it was four years. The four year time requirement excluded the vast majority of those that enlisted and served for the duration.

 

My feeble brain is not allowing me to recall the specifics, but this reminds me of a Marine I researched some years ago. He enlisted in 1942, and was severely wounded, and found himself still sitting in a hospital recovering in 1946 or 1947. In his service file was a letter he wrote from his hospital bed asking for his Good Conduct Medal to be sent to him. There was a reply as well, essentially to the effect that they had discharged him while he was in the hospital, so he did not have the four years of qualifying service.

 

I am digressing, but often think about how difficult it was for WW II Marines to get a Good Conduct Medal....which I think is the nut of what both Bruce and USMCR79 were really trying to say...even the best Marines did not get one...which circles back to that sore spot.


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No disrespect was intended. I am proud to come from a family with a long and colorful military tradition. When I have the chance to find a named group my goal is to first make sure it belongs together and then document the history of the individual. My hope is to preserve their memory so when my time is done the find a good home.

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Remember what a wise Eleanor Roosevelt said about the US Marines during WW2.

 

 

 

Wharf


In Peace and War, US Merchant Marine. WARNING: Dangerous Cargo. No Visitors, No Smoking, No Open Lights.

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Having researched more WWII Marines than I can count, I have found all sorts of transgressions that stopped many Gyrenes from getting their GCM. Two come to mind recently as I recently just reunited a rather large high valor group and one incident that was in his record dealt with being AWOL when he was with the 4th Marines in China and he was busted in rank, forfeit of pay and restricted; didnt stop this Marine from being awarded the Navy Cross five years later. Another officer group I have was not recommended to re-enlist in 1922 for not having military bearing. He is later allowed to reap, gets a commission, is awarded the Bronze Star in WWII and becomes one of the highest ranking Hispanics in the Corps by making flag rank in the 1950s. All sorts of reasons for not getting the GCM. My two cents.

Kurt


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

 

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Also have seen being late for quarters in the morning and missing ships movement quite often.

Kurt


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

 

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….

 

My feeble brain is not allowing me to recall the specifics, but this reminds me of a Marine I researched some years ago. He enlisted in 1942, and was severely wounded, and found himself still sitting in a hospital recovering in 1946 or 1947. In his service file was a letter he wrote from his hospital bed asking for his Good Conduct Medal to be sent to him. There was a reply as well, essentially to the effect that they had discharged him while he was in the hospital, so he did not have the four years of qualifying service.

 

 

A good friend of mine enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1964 for three years when he was 17. He was in one of the first planes carrying members of 1/3 from Okinawa to Danang on March 8, 1965. He served his full 13 months in South Vietnam as a grunt, earning 2 PHs (one for sitting on a punji stick) and a BS w/V. Assigned to Camp Pendleton after his tour he was due to be discharged on a Monday when a kindly 1st SGT (I know that's an oxymoron) asked him if he wanted to spend the weekend at home. My friend of course said "Yes!", as would any 20 year old who'd been through what he had, so he was discharged on a Friday morning and was home late that same evening. Years later he applied for his medals and was surprised there was no GCM. You guessed it - getting discharged 48 hours early meant he hadn't serve the full 36 months needed for the GCM.

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I have a uniform to a Marine who spent 20 years enlisted. He didn't earn a GCM until year 20...and despite his track record was allowed to commission and serve another 12 years, retire, then come out of retirement nearly ten years later for WWII. If I can ever find the last mini medal to restore it then I will be able to share with you all who he was.

 

People forget that GCMs weren't the gimme awards back then that they are now...as we call them around the bricks, the "I didn't get caught medal"

 

However, I do understand the frustrations in research mentioned above. It's very easy for those of us who spend countless hours researching to become jaded...we have certainly seen a ton of people over the years repeatedly buy named stuff then ask others to do the legwork, because an ancestry account takes money away from their collecting budgets. I have grown very choosy who I am willing to peek into ancestry for because of this over the years.


-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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