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Uniform of Major General Richard Collins


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Uniform with custom made ribbons of Major General Richard Collins MD:

Graduate of Harvard Medical School, Artillery Executive Officer of the 87th Division, Assistant Chief of Staff of the US Army’s Far East Command, Director of US Army Intelligence, and the officer who created the original report on the German defensive positions and geographical features of the Normandy coast for the D-Day invasion.

 

Richard Collins was born in Waltham, Massachusetts on November 2, 1904. Before college, Collins was enrolled in the elite Phillips Exeter Academy and after graduating, attended Harvard Medical School where he earned his Medical Doctorate.

 

His military service began in 1926 when he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant while still in college, and placed in the Army Reserve. After earning his doctorate in 1930, he practiced medicine both privately and at numerous hospitals in the Northeast while an active reserve member who frequently fulfilled his drill obligations as a gunnery instructor.

 

After being mobilized for active duty in 1940, Collins continued to serve as a gunnery instructor, and was later made Executive Officer of Artillery for the 87th Division.

 

After spotting the many talents of this young officer in 1943, SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Forces) transferred him to their intelligence section, where he immediately began collecting reconnaissance on the German defensive positions, geography, and topography of the Normandy coast as preparation for Operation Overloard, which at the time was of the utmost secrecy. It would be Collins’ report on these crucial elements of Normandy that would allow Eisenhower and Montgomery to craft their plan for the invasion of France and the liberation of Europe. For his incredibly important contribution to the allied war effort, Collins was awarded the Legion of Merit, The Order of the British Empire, the French Croix d’Guerre, the Officer grade of the Belgian Order of Leopold, and the Belgian Croix d’Guerre.

 

After the conclusion of WWII, Collins served on the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as Director of plans, programs, and security, and as Director of US Army intelligence before retiring in 1964.

 

He would pass away of heart failure in 1987.

 

His awards include:

The Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the American Defense Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European North African and Middle-eastern Campaign Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, the Army Occupation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Order of the British Empire, the French Croix d’Guerre, the Officer Grade of the Belgian Order of Leopold, the Belgian Croix d’Guerre, Taeguk of the South Korean Order of Military Merit, and the United Nations Korea Medal.15ffeb0de8e1e2393f237d72631c3c59.jpg

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