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Odd Purple Heart Group - Gulf War?


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I picked this up as a BIN this last week on eBay, mostly because it was really strange. 


We've got a Purple Heart, Army Achievement, Navy Good Conduct, National Defense, SWASM, Multi-National Forces and Observers Medal, Liberation of Kuwait from Saudi Arabia and a Navy Expert Pistol medal.

 

So I'm trying to figure out...was he prior enlisted Navy, who then served in the Gulf War as an Army officer? It's odd that there are no campaign stars on the SWASM...but perhaps he may have been wounded in a SCUD attack, and not actually qualified for a campaign? 

 

Or maybe he was a Navy guy who had a really strange career track...I can't recall seeing too many Multi-National Force medals awarded to the Navy, so that would be pretty strange. 

 

The same seller had a random selection of Navy rates SN rating patches and a GM2 patch, which makes me think that this guy could have been a Navy Gunner's Mate. Unfortunately, the seller had no name or anything else to ID the group. It was mounted professionally and definitely belongs together...but it's one that would cause me to do a double take if I saw someone wearing it, for certain.

 

I'm open to any thoughts/ideas...maybe it can be IDed or at least narrowed down?

Dave

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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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My guess - Navy dude who was wounded in Lebanon or the Gulf War, with a random Army Achievement for some joint duty or maybe later service in the Army Reserve. Or reverse that, Army Reserve or Guard and then Navy service. 

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Trivia question for the group- What unit had the highest casualty rate in Operation Desert Storm? The answer is the 475th POL (Petroleum, Oil & Lubricants) Group. They ran the warehouse that was being used as temporary billets for military personnel that was hit by a SCUD missile on February 25, 1991. 

The attack killed 28 and it wounded at least another 250. Approximately 110 of those were hospitalized. The rest were treated and released. This one SCUD strike accounted for more than one third of all U.S. soldiers killed during the war.

 

The warehouse was located near Dhahran, at a place called Al Khobar. This was near King Fahad Air base, where many service members arrived in theater.  It billeted both male and female service members and had different branches of the military housed there as they came into theater and awaited assignment to other units. The carnage that ensued after the missile struck was terrific. People were running around in the dark trying to get out of the wrecked building, with many trying to help others who were more seriously injured. The media reported that a Patriot missile intercepted the SCUD, but I don't know whether it was ever confirmed.  Whatever hit the building, it set fire to the barracks which quickly turned into an inferno. An hour later, all that was left of the place was a charred and twisted skeleton of a building.

 

The 475th POL Group awarded a number of medals to people who were involved in the attack. Several received Army Achievement Medals as the 475th Commander had authority to award those and Army Commendation Medals. I know that a few recommendations were submitted for the Soldier's Medal,  though I have no idea of how many may have been awarded. 

 

While I have no idea if any of that was the case with the medal group that Dave acquired, it is a real possibility, as Purple Hearts to Navy personnel in Desert Storm were pretty rare.

 

Allan

Never under-estimate the power of prayer.

 

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Could be a USN CB attached to a US Army element or mission.  When I deployed with the 21st TSC into Turkey during the Northern Option 2003....we had a USN CB element assist in a mission.  After talking with them....they were a small stand alone detachment working supporting the mission.  So the sailor could be a CB.  The CBs are an outstanding and proud  organization.  

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7 hours ago, Allan H. said:

Trivia question for the group- What unit had the highest casualty rate in Operation Desert Storm? The answer is the 475th POL (Petroleum, Oil & Lubricants) Group. They ran the warehouse that was being used as temporary billets for military personnel that was hit by a SCUD missile on February 25, 1991. 

The attack killed 28 and it wounded at least another 250. Approximately 110 of those were hospitalized. The rest were treated and released. This one SCUD strike accounted for more than one third of all U.S. soldiers killed during the war.

 

The warehouse was located near Dhahran, at a place called Al Khobar. This was near King Fahad Air base, where many service members arrived in theater.  It billeted both male and female service members and had different branches of the military housed there as they came into theater and awaited assignment to other units. The carnage that ensued after the missile struck was terrific. People were running around in the dark trying to get out of the wrecked building, with many trying to help others who were more seriously injured. The media reported that a Patriot missile intercepted the SCUD, but I don't know whether it was ever confirmed.  Whatever hit the building, it set fire to the barracks which quickly turned into an inferno. An hour later, all that was left of the place was a charred and twisted skeleton of a building.

 

The 475th POL Group awarded a number of medals to people who were involved in the attack. Several received Army Achievement Medals as the 475th Commander had authority to award those and Army Commendation Medals. I know that a few recommendations were submitted for the Soldier's Medal,  though I have no idea of how many may have been awarded. 

 

While I have no idea if any of that was the case with the medal group that Dave acquired, it is a real possibility, as Purple Hearts to Navy personnel in Desert Storm were pretty rare.

 

Allan

This is great, Allan, thanks for sharing and educating!

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Just found that there were exactly 12 Navy "Wounded, Not Mortal" from the entire Desert Shield/Desert Storm period. 

 

Now just to find out some names and maybe make a match...

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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I think that the Multi-National Observer Medal is the key, with your Sailor wounded in the October 1983 Marine Barracks Bombing in Beirut. 

 

Lebanon is a more likely scenario given that medal and the much higher number of casualties there to Navy people. 18 Navy KIAs and likely a bunch of the wounded were Navy too as there were medical and dental units in the bombed barracks. I can’t find a breakdown of Navy wounded that day, as far as numbers go. 

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IfI recall correctly personnel serving in Lebanon from 1983-1987 earned the Armed Force Expeditionary Medal not the Multi National Force and Observers Medal. THe MNFO medal is awarded only for service in the ceasefire zone in the Sinai between Egypt and Israel.

Dennis (Bertmedals)

Collecting WWI AEF relics, artifacts, and memorabilia

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If that is the case then Lebanon is for sure off the table as a possibility. And I think you are spot on correct about the Expeditionary Medals.  

 

That would likely take it back to being maybe Gulf War, and maybe the Army Achievement and MNF medal for Army service in the Sinai or Egypt? 

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The fact that there are no campaign stars on the SWASM and no Kuwait KLM, it looks like they got out right after the war...the SWASM must be worn with at least one star, but I can't recall when the three campaigns were named. The Kuwait KLM didn't come out for months after the Saudi version. 

 

Mark sends

Mark Conrad, MSgt, USAF (Ret)

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37 Purple Hearts were awarded to crewmen of the USS Cole.  Many others to service personnel wounded in various terrorist attacks including in CONUS.  I would also not discount Somalia.  I know a Navy logistics officer who earned a Purple Heart there in 1993.

Dennis (Bertmedals)

Collecting WWI AEF relics, artifacts, and memorabilia

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8 hours ago, bertmedals said:

37 Purple Hearts were awarded to crewmen of the USS Cole.  Many others to service personnel wounded in various terrorist attacks including in CONUS.  I would also not discount Somalia.  I know a Navy logistics officer who earned a Purple Heart there in 1993.

 

Somalia would have still rated an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. So, it's possible if the guy left off that medal (not impossible). 

 

Someone from the Cole bombing would have had other medals as well, as that happened a decade after the first Gulf War. 

 

If this guy didn't mount all of his medals, then it will be near impossible to figure it out (probably still is) LOL I've pinged the seller several times and he told me that the medals were consigned to him by a guy who bought them at an auction, so the chance of getting anything more (or a name) is pretty much very slim. 

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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