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Potential Omaha Beach D-Day WIA Purple Heart Research Help


Jake Zenger
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Jake Zenger

SEEKING RESEARCH HELP! I recently acquired this great WW2 WIA purple heart grouping to Alton Richard Person who served in the 29th Infantry Division. The grouping came with the medals shown, his discharge paperwork, his death certificate, and a newspaper clipping. I did a rudimentary search on Family Search and was able to find his baptismal records as a child, his high school yearbook photo, and his draft card. This is my first named medal grouping so I’m not sure what other resources I should be consulting to try to find more information about him. Just from my initial examination of his DD214, what I’m gathering is that he received a purple heart with 1OLC, the EAME with a bronze arrowhead and 4 stars from the Normandy N., France, Rhineland, and Central Europe campaigns. He also earned the CIB. What I don’t see on the DD214 is the Bronze Star or the Good Conduct Medal. I’m also guessing that he earned the Army of Occupation with Germany bar due to the Rhineland Campaign which wasn’t included in the grouping. Back to the EAME with arrowhead…from what I understand, the 29th Infantry Division landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day. Based on the fact that he received his first purple hearts on 14 July 1944 while in the hospital (hence the private engraving style on the PH as was typical for WIA PH recipients from what I understand) and since he has the EAME arrowhead, is it too far off to assume he might have landed on Omaha Beach with the 29th ID and was perhaps wounded in the invasion? Is there any way I would be able to verify that? I’m also curious about when/how/where he received his second purple heart. I see from his DD214 that he was in the hospital on 19 September 1944. Any help with any aspect of researching more about Alton Person would be very helpful and appreciated. Below is also some generic information I found about him. Thanks in advance!

 

Name: Alton Richard Person

Gender: Male

Race: White

Age: 30

Relationship to Draftee: Self (Head)

Birth Date: 5 Feb 1910

Birth Place: Cranston, Rhode Island, USA

Residence Place: Boston, Michigan, USA

Registration Date: 16 Oct 1940

Registration Place: Boston, Suffolk, Rhode Island, USA

Employer: Jorden - Marsh Co

Height: 5' 9"

Weight: 158

Complexion: Light

Hair Color: Brown

Eye Color: Blue

Next of Kin:   Father: Carl Person    Mother: Betty Person

Baptism Date: 1909

Church: Bethany Lutheran Church (Swedish Lutheran)

School: Cranston High School

School Location: Cranston, Rhode Island, USA

Yearbook Date: 1930

Yearbook Title: Cranstonian Yearbook

 

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Alton R. Person Draft Card.png

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Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Swedish American Church Records.png

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Yearbook.PNG

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Jake Zenger

Apologies in advance, not sure why all the photos uploaded sideways...

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Editing my text (sorry had to rush to help with groceries!) this is whats in the muster rolls:

image.png.3f225104505d003d72f03bf29e502d85.png

 

The July rolls seem to jive with what DH says below: 

image.png.450cfe3717d6b5c8a390469b5cded66d.png

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dhcoleterracina

Great grouping.  On Fold3 there is a hospital admission entry showing he was admitted in June 1944, with leg wounds caused by artillery shell fragments and discharged in July 1944. 

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Jake Zenger

Gentlemen,

 

Thank you so much for your prompt replies. Seeing as this is my first time with a named medal group and trying to conduct more research, and still being new to the collecting community, Wondering if you wouldn't mind teaching me how to fish? Where would I go to find the morning reports or look up the muster rolls? And perhaps it's just a little hard to read but what are the morning reports telling me? I mostly just see his name, rank, and serial number. And @dhcoleterracina, when you say Fold3, what are you referring to? Thank you again for your help so far, already learning a lot!

 

Best,

 

Jake

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dhcoleterracina

Jake,  Fold3 is a subscription service that allows a search of military records. I think they have been bought by "Ancestry" so if you have an account there you might have access too. On this site there is a research section. Have you posted this there? I've found people very helpful there. 

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KASTAUFFER

I can see he was wounded in June and had a return trip to the hospital for treatment in Sept 1944.

 

from ancestry.com

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F192CC79-8374-41A3-A378-62805522B9CC.png

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You'll also note from the Morning Report he was in M Company, 175th Infantry.  If memory serves they did receive invasion credit but did not land until much later on D-Day (if at all).

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Jake Zenger

Gentlemen, 

 

Thank you for your time and help researching more about this soldier. I did not know about Fold3 but will look into that today as I'm sure it will be a useful tool. And good to know about the 29th getting invasion credit but perhaps didn't land until later. Thanks again for everyone's help so far.

 

Best regards,

 

Jake

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