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The Case Of The Curious Korean War Vet IKE Jacket


patches
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Stumbled across this long sold IKE Jacket on Worthpoint, the CMB caught my eye as I was searching for CMB realted fotos from Korea. As we a see a 7th Inf Div vet serving in the 2nd Armd Div circa 1955-56 , probably when it was still in Germany, a Specialist 3rd Clas, that alright, say this guy fought in Korea in 1953. Yes what's curious about it all is the Two Service Stripes, indicating between 6 and 9 Years of Service, and no Good Conduct Ribbon on that exquisite Theater Made Rack below that equally exquisite CMB.

 

Your Thoughts Please.

post-34986-0-41324200-1571273271_thumb.jpg

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Would it be possible that he was in the 2nd Armored in Germany for the post WW2 occupation before they returned to the US, and then transferred to the 7th?

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Would it be possible that he was in the 2nd Armored in Germany for the post WW2 occupation before they returned to the US, and then transferred to the 7th?

Nope because those Spec Ranks came out in 1955.

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So then he stayed in until the mid 50's? And would explain length of service ? Just a thought

The whole gist is that there are Two Service Stripes, that means between 6 and 8 years of service, yet he doesn't have a good conduct ribbon he should, and is of a junior grade, an E-4. In the old days, like in the 20s and 30s, you could indeed see literally Privates, Privates First Class that were in for 10 years, 15 years, Corporals and Buck Sergeants in for 18 years, 25 years etc etc, and in reality were decent or fair soldiers or even good soldiers, but really by the mid 50s, not really, in Army at any rate up or out was the term.

 

The idea some might have was this GI was a dead beat, a goldbrick, kept being busted, broken in ranks a lot you know as to warrant no Good Conduct Medal, maybe that's it and got lucky and wasn't RIFed :lol:

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Kind of interesting that the medic was the guy that was misbehaving, not really who'd you necessarily think. Definitely an interesting jacket to say the least, if only it could talk. Matt-M's theory is possible if he perhaps he first joined in the late 50's like 48/49, but I think most likely he joined at the end of Korea like patches said. He must have gotten out around 1956 though as the green service jacket would have been phased in around this point. Definitely interesting though again, I find guys who went over to korea in the late-war period to be very interesting as by the point the war had really died down. In documentaries they only ever talk about 1950-mid 1951.

 

Hunt

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Kind of interesting that the medic was the guy that was misbehaving, not really who'd you necessarily think. Definitely an interesting jacket to say the least, if only it could talk. Matt-M's theory is possible if he perhaps he first joined in the late 50's like 48/49, but I think most likely he joined at the end of Korea like patches said. He must have gotten out around 1956 though as the green service jacket would have been phased in around this point. Definitely interesting though again, I find guys who went over to korea in the late-war period to be very interesting as by the point the war had really died down. In documentaries they only ever talk about 1950-mid 1951.

 

Hunt

It's said that more Marines were KIA in the Trenches in 52-53 then at Pusan and Inchon and Chosin in 50-51.

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Kind of interesting that the medic was the guy that was misbehaving, not really who'd you necessarily think. Definitely an interesting jacket to say the least, if only it could talk. Matt-M's theory is possible if he perhaps he first joined in the late 50's like 48/49, but I think most likely he joined at the end of Korea like patches said. He must have gotten out around 1956 though as the green service jacket would have been phased in around this point. Definitely interesting though again, I find guys who went over to korea in the late-war period to be very interesting as by the point the war had really died down. In documentaries they only ever talk about 1950-mid 1951.

 

Hunt

My theory on that would be the rank, that he as a E-4 a Specialist 3rd Class in say 1955-56, would be most reasonable if he came into the Army altogether sometime in 1952 or very early 1953 getting over to Korea then after all his training at least for that one final campaign, see the one campaign star there and say he's not a two year draftee but a three or even four year enlistee, thus the lack of a Good Conduct Medal, yes even though he might be entitled to it after one year service in wartime, he may not of thought of it.But. It's the hashmarks that throws everything, who knows maybe someone added the hashmarks???

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Gee I hope that campaign star on the Korean Service Ribbon is not a Silver Star, that would throw things even more. Is it Silver or is it Bronze :lol:

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PacificGunner

Gee I hope that campaign star on the Korean Service Ribbon is not a Silver Star, that would throw things even more. Is it Silver or is it Bronze :lol:

Judging from the second picture the star looks like it is silver to me, this guy just became more of an enigma!

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I have a couple of more scenarios for you. Collectors always seem to over-simplify the awards criteria for various medals and when something like a Good Conduct is missing, we start assuming that the guy was among the sick, lame and lazy, or worse. The reality is that in the 1950's and 60's, awards of medals was actually quite rare. Even the Army Commendation medal was a rarity in those days. As we look at the requirements for the army Good Conduct, the soldier had to serve for three years without a blemish to their record. One case of non-judicial punishment could get the eligibility for the award to be revoked. Also, if a soldier moved units a time or two, it would be up to a unit clerk to realize that the soldier in question needed to have the award recommended and approved. This was an entirely manual activity. It isn't like the potential recipient is hanging around the company HQ hounding the clerk to take a look at his file and get the award processed.

 

Another possibility is that this soldier spent a few extra bucks on a custom ribbon rack, complete with his CMB. He didn't have a GC at the time he bought the rack, so it wasn't included. The soldier could have been awarded the GC later and simply decided that "everybody has one" so it wasn't that big a deal for him to go to the expense of buying a new rack. I know that if I had spent the money to have that gorgeous bullion CMB made, I would want to wear it.

 

Allan

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I'm imagining that Army of Occupation ribbon would be for Germany, the scenario in this case now being the custom rack, CMB and the Korean PUC (Which is sewn in the normal position in those days, on the left pocket flap) being German made, in that after or shortly after Korea he goes to Germany to the 2nd Armd Div say sometime in 1954, the cut off date for the Army of Occupation Medal in Germany being 5 May 1955.

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Patches,

 

I don't have any theories to contribute as to why a ribbon may be missing or not, but I just wanted to comment on how beautiful the bullion work is on the CMB..

 

I have never seen one like this before..

 

Thank you for sharing and hopefully an explanation will be soon found..

 

Leigh

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The occupation ribbon could also be for Japan and would be reasonable to think that if he were assigned to a general hospital in Japan prior to or after service in the field in Korea would have been entitled to the ribbon for that service.

 

Allan

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What I find interesting is the jacket, bullion CMB/custom ribbon rack & divisional patches look great...then those ugly-rumped Spec patches are slapped on. Not the most flattering insignia out there.

 

TH1

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I have a couple of more scenarios for you. Collectors always seem to over-simplify the awards criteria for various medals and when something like a Good Conduct is missing, we start assuming that the guy was among the sick, lame and lazy, or worse. The reality is that in the 1950's and 60's, awards of medals was actually quite rare. Even the Army Commendation medal was a rarity in those days. As we look at the requirements for the army Good Conduct, the soldier had to serve for three years without a blemish to their record. One case of non-judicial punishment could get the eligibility for the award to be revoked. Also, if a soldier moved units a time or two, it would be up to a unit clerk to realize that the soldier in question needed to have the award recommended and approved. This was an entirely manual activity. It isn't like the potential recipient is hanging around the company HQ hounding the clerk to take a look at his file and get the award processed.

 

Another possibility is that this soldier spent a few extra bucks on a custom ribbon rack, complete with his CMB. He didn't have a GC at the time he bought the rack, so it wasn't included. The soldier could have been awarded the GC later and simply decided that "everybody has one" so it wasn't that big a deal for him to go to the expense of buying a new rack. I know that if I had spent the money to have that gorgeous bullion CMB made, I would want to wear it.

 

Allan

 

I was just about to post much the same. A break in service, a minor disciplinary infraction, or a lazy S1 shop could explain the lack of a GCM.

 

There's also the fact that a soldier is not required to wear every award he receives.

 

I can also imagine that after spending an E-4's pay on a nicely embroidered ribbon rack, he might choose to leave it as-is rather than rip it off and put on a plain pin-on ribbon rack just to add a GCM.

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I will say it definitely looks like a silver star now that I got a better look at it. It could just be the bullion though making it look like that. Maybe he enlisted 50/51 went to korean 51-52 to earn 5 campaigns for the year he was overseas, then went to Germany with the 2nd Armored before leaving 56/57/58?

Hunt

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Captainofthe7th

A very interesting uniform indeed. I'll add +1 for the CMB and ribbons being German made. I just sold a similar uniform to a Korea vet who was 25th Div and has the exact construction 2d Armd patch with bevo tab and CIB/ribbon set up. Same bullion, embroidered, and sewn pad type work down to the stitching style.

 

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/332740-25th-div-korea-ike-jacket-bullion-cib/

 

To help with timeline calculations, if the battle star is silver he would have to be an early war vet to participate in five campaigns during the course of a year long tour. If he arrived any later than mid 1951 you begin to see only three or two stars and only one if he was late war. I'd have to review for sure, but for a 7th Div soldier to earn five stars he'd probably have arrived in 1950, either at Inchon or an immediate replacement after Chosin/Northern Korea operations.

 

Personally I think the star is bronze and 1953 combat is a proper theory.

 

I think the wear out date for the Ike is actually much later than the introduction of the AG coat. I can't recall for certain, but 1959 or maybe early 1960s.

 

Rob

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Personally I think the star is bronze and 1953 combat is a proper theory.

 

I think the wear out date for the Ike is actually much later than the introduction of the AG coat. I can't recall for certain, but 1959 or maybe early 1960s.

 

Rob

 

 

I'll have to check Stanton's book on Cold War uniforms but I think you are right. Early 60's sounds correct.

 

I think the Army tends to be fairly generous with wear out dates on major changes to the uniform, so they don't have to impose a significant expense on a junior enlisted soldier who's not planning on making a career out of the Army anyway. I seem to recall seeing photos of Ike jackets worn into the 1960 - 61 time frame even though the Army Greens became the official uniform in '57.

 

I should ask my dad when I see him this weekend. He was a Platoon leader in the 11th ACR from 1959 to 1963 (I was born in Munich in 1961 when he was stationed in Germany.) He was commissioned in 1959 so I presume he would have only had the army green uniform, never the ike (except maybe as an ROTC cadet?)

 

He did tell me a story that his unit was one of the first ones in Germany to receive the M-14 rifle, the M-60 machine gun and the M-151 "MUTT" Jeep to replace the old M-1, M-1919 and M-38A1 jeeps they'd had previously. When they rolled up to the border with all their new equipment it generated a huge degree of activity on the Czechoslovakian side because those soldiers had never seen these weapons in the field before.

 

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Had that wear out date for the IKE's on the back of my head, so with a little forum help..

 

Wailuna

  • photo-thumb-1963.gif?_r=0

Posted 28 March 2008 - 04:55 AM

Forum Support, on Mar 27 2008, 06:29 PM, said:snapback.png

...I had never before seen Specialist insignia on anything other than Army greens...

Yes, this transition occurred in 1955/56: The 2-inch wide gold on green specialist chevron was introduced in 1955 and was worn on the OD Ike jacket, whereas PFC and NCO chevrons continued to be 3-inches wide with either OD stripes on dark blue or the new gold on green color scheme. The Army Green uniform came on-line September 1956, with a wear-out date of September 1961 for OD uniforms, with only the gold and green chevrons on the Army Green uniform (source: Emerson, Encyclopedia of U. S. Army Insignia and Uniforms and Emerson:, Chevrons.) Note: See Emerson, Chevrons, p. 199 for a picture of a West Point Band specialist first class wearing the OD Ike ca. 1957.
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