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Looking for posthumous Vietnam War Medals of Honor to photograph


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I know I haven't been around as much as normal, but my job has me a bit more involved than normal. When I'm back in a normal operating state, I plan on finishing up my Volume 2 of Sacrifice Remembered. This volume is about posthumous awards of the Purple Heart from the Korean War to the Global War on Terror.

 

I was able to include quite a number of WW2 posthumous Medals of Honor along with their respective Purple Hearts in Volume 1, including ones from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard. In the Korean War chapter of Volume 2, I have sufficient representative posthumous Medals of Honor (with their Purple Hearts).

 

However, I am very slim on the examples of Vietnam War posthumous Medals of Honor (and again, their Purple Hearts)...I only have a single one (Marine Corps) photographed at the moment. For the sake of the collecting community, I would like to include examples from all of the other branches, but I haven't been able to track any additional ones down. It's not that they aren't out there...it's just that I haven't found them yet.

 

So, what I'm looking for are posthumous Medals of Honor from the Army, Navy, and Air Force (that's a tough one) that have their posthumous Purple Hearts with them (a posthumous Medal of Honor without its Purple Heart is unfortunately unusable). I've actually reached out to several families, but I've had no luck with them so far. If anyone happens to know of any of these medals that reside in museums - preferably east of the Mississippi (even better in the mid-Atlantic area!) please let me know. I have no issue working with museums who are willing to work with me - in fact, all of the Medals of Honor photographed in Volume 1 are in the hands of museums across the country.

 

While on this topic, I also do not have any posthumous Navy or Marine Corps Navy Cross groups from either Korea or Vietnam. I have more than enough posthumous Army DSC and Air Force AFC groups, but Navy Cross groups have eluded me thus far, which is kind of surprising to me. I would be very interested in photographing any of these as well once I have an opportunity to travel again here in the next few months.

 

As a note, I have photographed an incredible amount of Purple Heart groups, to include groups from all branches with the Silver Star, etc., for all conflicts from the Korean War through Gulf War One, plus associated "conflicts" and acts of terror of the 1970s through the 2000s, so I'm set with examples of those. I am pretty thin on representation from the Global War on Terror (Afghanistan/Iraq/9/11) so I am always interested in groups awarded for the current wars, so long as they are the medals awarded to the immediate next of kin (e.g. for the Army and Air Force, the actual named medals, not the unnamed ones awarded to "other" family members). I would be willing to go to print with what I have now as I have sufficient representation, but am always interested in growing that chapter to be more inclusive and representative.

 

Feel free to PM me if needed.

 

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!

Dave

 

 

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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Dave,

 

When I worked for the History Museum of Western Virginia we had the Posthumous Medal of Honor, Purple Heart, etc awarded to Lt. Gary Lee Miller who was KIA in Vietnam. That was several years ago but I can't imagine they have deaccessioned it. Somewhere I have a flash drive with closeups of the group. I'll see if I can find them. Below is the only photo of the Medal I have handy. I will be at the museum next week for an event, I'll try to find out if they still have the medals.

 

-Ryan

post-44370-1314149353.jpg

 

Looking for Purple Hearts to service members from Roanoke Virginia and the surrounding area (Bedford, Botetourt, Vinton, Salem, Floyd, Franklin, Craig, Giles, etc.)

I'm willing to pay a premium. $$$

Also looking for:

Purple Hearts named to service members buried in the Normandy Cemetery or Arlington Cemetery.

Dog tags named to service members from Virginia.

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Ryan-

 

That's awesome! Please do let me know if they still have them.

 

Thanks!

 

Dave

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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Hi Dave,

 

I am one of the curators at the MAPS museum in North Canton, Ohio. https://mapsairmuseum.org/. We currently have the MOH and companion medals of USMC PFC. Ralph Dias on display. You may also be interested in the Purple Heart and companion medals of 1st Lt. Sharon Lane. She was the only servicewoman killed in Vietnam as the direct result of enemy action.

 

I would be happy to work with you if you are interested.

 

Scott Denniss

denniss.scott@mapsairmuseum.org

 

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"The history of gunfighting fails to record a single fatality resulting from a quick noise...speed's fine, but accuracy is final." William (Bill) H. Jordan, 1965

 

North Coast Military Antiques

https://northcoastmilitaryantiques.com

"preserving history, one piece at a time"

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Hey Dave, I'll be happy to send you a few photographs of my Vietnam era KIA PHM, if you're interested. Just let me know. It's an relatively early U.S.M.C. Heart, named in the standard USMC pattern of that era. [ Slot Broach, #'s on Rim ] It's named to; L/Cpl William F. LaBrecque, who was KIA [ GSW to head ] on 15 July 1966, during the initial hours of Operation Hastings. [ NOTE that official USMC records list his KIA date as July 16th, which I absolutely incorrect. I've fully confirmed his correct date as 15 July, & I even have the time of Death in my files !! ] It's somewhat interesting that the location in which he was Killed was soon named 'Helicopter Valley' by the Marines. William was hit right smack in the middle of the valley earning its name of Helicopter Valley. It took me quite a while to fully document this Heart, but I finally got in done. I even tracked down, & was fortunate enough to obtain his fellow Marine's statements as to what happened to him. In all my years of collecting, I've rarely managed to get so close to such an event ! So, if you're interested, please just let me know & I'll get some photos out to you. Take care Dave,

 

Best, Dom / dpast32@aol.com

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The posted pictures clearly demonstrate why it is difficult to find photos of posthumous VN MoHs. Sometime between the presentation of Milton Olive's award to his father on April 21, 1966 and the award to the father of Daniel Fernandez on April 6, 1967, the army went from giving the medal in its normal presentation case to having the MoH in a frame. I've not been able to find photos of the posthumous presentation ceremonies between these two events so I can't pin it down any narrower. In photos on the internet, Olive's father is clearly holding the normal presentation case while Fernandez's has the frame. I'm not 100% sure if this was a DoD decision, or one of the branches started it first and the others followed.

 

I've been stymied on photographing these engravings in the past because the family member who had the piece doesn't want to risk damaging the frame, etc. I was fortunate when I got Lauffer's medal because his surviving brother worked in a history museum as a display maker!

 

Also, since I doubt if any VN recipient's parents are still living the location of the medal among the surviving family could be almost impossible to determine. Could be anywhere from a child to a sibling to a cousin.

 

If you haven't done so already, Michigan's Own museum has several posthumous VN awards and I would assume the PH.

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FFZ-

 

Yes, that's what I've found with the later MOHs...Michigan's Own has two, sadly only one with the Purple Heart. Luckily, the black fabric of the Army MOH was pretty easy to work with, and fit well in my photo box. The Marine Corps style is a bit more difficult. I've never had a chance to handle a VN time period Navy or USAF one, and the one Navy MOH I found was without backing (sadly, the museum was unresponsive to my requests...) What I do carry are additional lights that I can set up to mitigate some of the issues with not being able to get the Medal itself into my photo box. (As an aside, the most challenging thus far was photographing Douglas Munro's MOH, as it was hard-mounted on a plastic frame, and they could not remove it from the frame...so that made it extremely difficult to photograph...I did the best I could and spent about two solid days cleaning up the photo in Photoshop. It's on page 292 of Volume 1...which hopefully should be available very shortly...)

 

The biggest issue is finding the MOH with the PH...for whatever reason, there are plenty of posthumous MOHs to photograph, but more often than not, the PH was either lost or not donated to the museum. Since my books are about Purple Hearts, with MOHs included as a "value added" for the book, having a MOH without the PH is unusable (though I have been able to get some great photos of MOHs!)

 

Dave

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


donation2007.gifdonation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif

donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif
donation2017.gifdonation2018.gifdonation2019.gifdonation2020.gif

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