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Soldier´s Medal


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Friends, I need a little help with this medal.   Thanks to a very nice approach of a members of this forum  I managed to get all possible information about Stanley Skrzypek.

 

Except for one essential one..  What was the reason for awarding the medal?

 

In the newspaper article, the citation is mentioned: 

For heroic action against the enemy on january 13,1945.  At Hill 580 private Skrzypek displayed outstanding courage and devotion tu duty in manning a machinegun under terfific small arms and mortar fire and supporting the advance of the troops until he was finnaly killed by enemy mortar fire.

 

Sounds good, BUT ....This is not a typical citation for the Soldiers Medal, which is awarded for non-combat actions. Sounds more like a Silver Star or something related. 

 

What do you think? Is it an exception and he got it for what they write?  There was also a reminder that they could have made a mistake in the newspaper when writing the article....etc.

 

Does anyone have the opportunity to get a citation, or a daily report, or anything to help me to solve it?

 

Thank you very much 

 

Lubos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I would caution against assumptions that the Soldier’s Medal you have belongs to the soldier killed in the Philippines.  

 

As presumably uncommon as that name may appear, there are eight WWII Draft Registration cards that match it, and four enlistment records - and these records are not complete.  Meaning, there were at least four inductees with that same name.

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CNY Militaria
5 hours ago, Blacksmith said:

I would caution against assumptions that the Soldier’s Medal you have belongs to the soldier killed in the Philippines.  

 

As presumably uncommon as that name may appear, there are eight WWII Draft Registration cards that match it, and four enlistment records - and these records are not complete.  Meaning, there were at least four inductees with that same name.

The top article notes that this service member was presented the Soldiers Medal posthumously after being KIA in the Philippines. I doubt there was another Soldier of the same name, in the Infantry, that received the SM. 

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4 hours ago, CNY Militaria said:

The top article notes that this service member was presented the Soldiers Medal posthumously after being KIA in the Philippines. I doubt there was another Soldier of the same name, in the Infantry, that received the SM. 

 

Yes . . . I did a lot of research on this with Lubos, and I don't think there is enough doubt cast to say this is not the correct soldier. Especially with the article stating the Soldier's Medal. I was a bit doubtful before Lubos found that article. Kind of sealed it for me! This name isn't that common, either, so narrowing it down wasn't hard. And, that article was pretty conclusive, once there weren't many options to choose from. 

 

I haven't had much experience with Soldier's Medals, and read the designation of how it is awarded, and it is odd that it seems to have been awarded for battlefield. But, were they sometimes awarded for action against an enemy? 

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7 hours ago, CNY Militaria said:

The top article notes that this service member was presented the Soldiers Medal posthumously after being KIA in the Philippines. I doubt there was another Soldier of the same name, in the Infantry, that received the SM. 

Ah yes, my apologies.  That’s what I get for wee-hour web surfing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Does anyone have any knowledge? 🙄  I still couldn't get anything new for this medal :)

 

thank you

 

Lubos

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dhcoleterracina

So, back to basics...the Soldiers Medal was instituted in 1926 to recognize heroism NOT involving actual conflict with an enemy. The very detailed newspaper article says that the PFC did exactly that. Since there has been no documentation found, probably because of the fire, we may receive nothing further.

 

The newspaper article seems very detailed. What jumps out to me is that the award came at the designation of a Colonel McDowell from the Western New York District. It seems odd that the medal didn't originate from the brass in Luzon. Did the family, which appears to be large, discover thru letters that Stanley acted bravely but no medals were awarded? (Speculation I know). Was the SM the highest award that this Colonel could push thru from New York? (Speculation again).

 

If you know the regiment then perhaps there is a unit history out there that details exactly what happened on Jan. 13 1945. 

 

Hopefully Kurt, Adam, Frank, Jeff or Robert or other really old collectors will chime in.  

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The medal would not have originated with Col McDowell. The award would have originated in the Pacific and been sent to the War Department. The War Department would send the information on to the PQMD for medal-naming, and then to the Service Command for the recipient's home of record (or his next-of-kin's address) and, from there, it would filter down to the headquarters closest to the presentation site. The commander there would appoint an officer to make the presentation according to the NOK's desires.  Some families wanted full-scale ceremonies; some wanted a very low-key presentation; some just wanted the medal mailed to them; and some wanted nothing to do with the medal or the Army and refused the award. But, no matter the circumstances, the Army made every effort for an appropriate presentation.

 

Posthumous awards can offer beneficial publicity opportunities, but they also can generate very unpleasant situations. It's hard to tell a mother "your youngest son isn't coming home, but here's a medal". That's why the services put great emphasis on presentations and ceremonies and strive to get the most senior officer available to make the presentation. These things are usually well coordinated in advance to ensure a smooth presentation.

 

While there may be several men with this name, I'm sure a few can be weeded out by looking at the places of enlistment. Most folks enlisted fairly close to their home of record. With this man's name, I'd expect some enlistments in Western Pennsylvania or Chicago.

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Austin_Militaria

No doubt that article is to the same soldier. There have only been about 18,500 of these medals awarded. It is possible that some action was taken by Private Skrzypek that was not against the enemy. Maybe some sort of friendly fire incident? There had to be some reason for a non combative valor medal to be awarded, but excluded from the article to not upset the family?

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unclegrumpy

dhcoleterracina brought up the newspaper article, but one explanation that I don't think has been postulated yet, is the newspaper published the wrong citation.  Maybe the General Order they were given for Skrzypek had a number of awards and citations for other soldiers which they then attributed incorrectly, or maybe this citation is to another soldier from Niagara Falls that got mixed up on the reporter's desk and then erroneously attributed to this man.  

 

Over the years, I have seen a number of errors in wartime news articles.  Sometimes it is because of the lack of information provided at the time, but often it is reporters writing about things they didn't  know much about and making errors.   

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