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"AWESOME" War Hero Uniform on eBay!


Dave

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Here's the rest of his medals, sold in PA in 2013: http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/american-miniature-medal-grouping-identified-3045-c-17eb574425

 

 

Description: American Miniature Medal Grouping - Identified Grouping of miniature medals attributed to Harold M. Carothers. Miniature medal grouping includes DSC, SS, PH w/OLC, Soldier's Medal, DFC w/2 OLC, Air Medal w/ 5 OLC, Army Commendation Medal w/ V device as well as others. Miniature grouping accompanied by five full sized medals (WWII Victory Medal, European Theater Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Asia Pacific Campaign Medal, and American Defense Medal) along with sterling Aerial Gunner's wing, leather name strip for A-2 jacket, stamped ID tag. Grouping also is accompanied by a large binder of Xerox copies documenting Carothers' service as well as several original photographs and membership cards named to Carothers for veteran's organizations.

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There is a photo of him here: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=25460230

 

Here is something interesting that seems to corroborate the story:

"Gen. Henry (Hap') Arnold, commanding general of the army air forces, has commended S/Sgt. Harold M. Carothers of Denver lor deciding to fight the Japanese although the bemedaled sergeant's 168 points make him eligible for discharge. Carother's decision to "stick to your guns" with the AAF "has served the purpose of emphasizing to the American public that we are still at war and that the AAF will not rest until the strategic targets of Japan are reduced, as were those of Germany, to rubble," Gen. Arnold wrote. The sergeant soon will leave the AAF redistribution station here for B-29 flight engineer school in preparation for a crack at the Japanese. In his European warfare, he won the silver star, distinguished flying cross, distinguished service cross, the soldiers medal, the purple heart with one cluster and the air medal with 11 clusters. He rates as his greatest thrill his experience on Feb. 3, 1944, when the allied air forces began the "obliteration campaign" over Berlin. His ship dumped a cargo of bombs over Hitler's headquarters, and as tail gunner, he was able to see the destruction caused by the raid. Sgt. Carothers received the soldiers medal for pulling the pilot out of their crashed plane on Jan. 16, 1945."

 

From the Mason City (Iowa) Globe of July 25th, 1945. http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/38191157/

 

 

The problem is, I think he was concocting stories for newspapers. And when one newspaper carried it, it made the newswire and then got everywhere. Seems like most of these stories originated in June 1945 when he was in Los Angeles and was interviewed there. I have a funny feeling he "self decorated himself" on his way home from the ETO and rolled into his next command as a "war hero".

 

If there were official documents that could corroborate the newspaper articles, it would be one thing...but as we have now, there's nothing but newspaper articles that he was interviewed for, and a piece of paper listing awards that are nothing close to his actual separation document.

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Wait a second...according to the article, he saw the devastation as a tail gunner in February 1944...and then he has a Lucky Bastards certificate from May 1944. But according to his separation paper, he didn't make it overseas until October 1944?

(And as a point of random interest, has anyone else seen a Lucky Bastards Club certificate that just states "enough" flights instead of the actual number? I have only seen a couple, so I am no one to judge. Also, both generals signed their signatures as "USAF"...I didn't think that was commonly used in 1944??)

 

Another fish thrown into the gears...

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And just to clarify...I could be 100% wrong on my above post. I'll say again I haven't seen enough Lucky Bastards certs to say what was the "norm" for mission number...and I also can't remember for the life of me people commonly using "USAF" in 1944, though I'm sure it happened...

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Thanks to the 100th BG website, here are some examples of other Lucky Bastard certificates from the group. And compare them with Carother's...

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Looking and comparing and contrasting, it looks like Carother's Lucky Bastard certificate was done after the war was over. Why would you have a two star general as BG ops? I'm guessing they signed it at a reunion or something...

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I hate to keep beating up the guy, but we can all agree that he served in the 34th BG, as that's where he was in 1945 when he parachuted out of the plane.

 

However, looking at his report of separation, these things stand out to me:

 

First, this report of separation starts on 5 Dec 43. No foreign service, awards, or whatever were carried over from his previous service, which was from 1940 to 30 Nov 1943 (and he had a previous enlistment from 1938 to 1940). However, during the course of the time period he was in the US from 5 Dec 43 to the date of separation, 5 Dec 45, he attended aerial gunnery school in Kingman, AZ. From what I've read, the school was about five or six weeks long (IIRC). So TECHNICALLY he could have made it to the ETO to fly with the 100th BG by February 1944. However...his report of separation doesn't support that.

 

The report says he left the US on 16 Oct 44, arrived in the ETO on 19 Oct. He left there on 13 Apr 45, arriving in the US on 28 Apr 45 for a total credit of 6 months, 13 days overseas. That jives completely with the 34th BG information - but completely leaves out his service with the 100th BG.

So the question then is - did the personnel officer leave out his service with the 100th BG for some reason? Likewise, he could have potentially earned the DSC, SS, 3x DFC and 7 AMs while with the 100th - all of which he claimed but are not on his report of separation covering that period. But if he did earn them all, why isn't he mentioned anywhere? That's a pretty darn fine wartime record with one BG, most certainly for a tail gunner!

 

But instead, all we have during that period are 4 AMs. I could believe his SM being awarded - if the story of the crash is true - and perhaps catching up to him later...but at the same time, it was being claimed as of July 1945...and should have then been on the Dec 1945 report of separation.

 

 

10-28-2015 1-50-43 PM.jpg

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Good detective work, Dave! I can see an Air Medal or two being omitted, but a DSC and 3 DFCs? I guess only a complete file from NARA for him from 1938-1945 would answer all the questions.

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Quiet a mystery. The ribbons show him in the PI in 41-42 ( Defense of the Philippines ). Did he serve there? With who? There were B-17s there of course for a short time before they escaped to Australia. Lucky Bastards were awarded in the European Theater at the time a crew member completed his required missions, not at some reunion years later as far as I know. Min medals show him on the Berlin Airlift so he stayed in the AAF then USAF? Hope his records show up from Saint Louis.

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Back on page 2 of this thread, post #37, is his enlistment in the USAF from 1945 to 1948, but no mention of being in Germany during that time. Still a mystery.

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usmc-collector

I have found this article regarding his ETO service and awards. Published in Manson City Globe-Gazette, Iowa - 25th July 1945.

 

- silver star

- distinguished flying cross

- distinguished service cross

- soldiers medal (for saving pilot's life from crashed plane)

- purple heart with one cluster

- air medal with 11 clusters

 

post-31-0-77922800-1446485744.jpg

 

 

 

 

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I have found this article regarding his ETO service and awards. Published in Manson City Globe-Gazette, Iowa - 25th July 1945.

 

- silver star

- distinguished flying cross

- distinguished service cross

- soldiers medal (for saving pilot's life from crashed plane)

- purple heart with one cluster

- air medal with 11 clusters

 

attachicon.gifcar03.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

See post #77...I think he concocted a story for one newspaper and then many others ran with the same story...kind of like a game of "telephone"...

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Someone need to request his AAF award cards from the NARA in St. Louis.

 

Kurt

 

Exactly. Until then, this is ALL speculation from everyone.

 

...Kat

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Someone need to request his AAF award cards from the NARA in St. Louis.

 

Kurt

 

 

Kurt-

I'm legitimately asking because I don't know...is it possible the award cards would contain awards not listed on his report of separation? Neither of the reports of separation (covering through December 1945) contain the awards he was purported to have on 5 May 1945 (the date of the doc from the personnel officer) or in the June/July 1945 newspaper articles. I would personally consider the reports of separation documents as "gospel"...though they are typically so hard to come by because of the fire (bummer for this guy that his name starts with a "C") that I don't have enough familiarity with them to make the call one way or the other. From your experience, have you seen differences like that before?

 

If the cost is within reason, I'd be happy to pitch in to pay for his AAF award cards - just so we have all parts of the equation covered.

 

Dave

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Kurt-

I'm legitimately asking because I don't know...is it possible the award cards would contain awards not listed on his report of separation? Neither of the reports of separation (covering through December 1945) contain the awards he was purported to have on 5 May 1945 (the date of the doc from the personnel officer) or in the June/July 1945 newspaper articles. I would personally consider the reports of separation documents as "gospel"...though they are typically so hard to come by because of the fire (bummer for this guy that his name starts with a "C") that I don't have enough familiarity with them to make the call one way or the other. From your experience, have you seen differences like that before?

 

If the cost is within reason, I'd be happy to pitch in to pay for his AAF award cards - just so we have all parts of the equation covered.

 

Dave

 

AAF award cards have awards that go up through the 1950's. His WWII awards should be there even if awarded after the war. I have lots of groups where awards were were presented after seperation and are not on a discharge or DD214. This is especially true for POWs.

 

I have had cards come up missing before, but have always been able to verify an award through another route. If the cards there, you know he got it. I have a DSC in my collection where the card is missing, but I located a GO. If there is no card and no GO, I would say the odds are slim he earned a DSC.

 

Kurt

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AAF award cards have awards that go up through the 1950's. His WWII awards should be there even if awarded after the war. I have lots of groups where awards were were presented after seperation and are not on a discharge or DD214. This is especially true for POWs.

 

I have had cards come up missing before, but have always been able to verify an award through another route. If the cards there, you know he got it. I have a DSC in my collection where the card is missing, but I located a GO. If there is no card and no GO, I would say the odds are slim he earned a DSC.

 

Kurt

 

 

Thanks Kurt!

 

For the benefit of the thread (and...shhhh...I'm not clear on how to do it...) ;) what would be your advice for finding the GO for an award...IF the award card isn't there and it's not listed on the report of separation? Typically, like for a Silver Star, I'd reach for Gleim's books, but in the case of this guy's DSC, there doesn't appear to be any record of it anywhere (that I can find) and it's not on his report of separation. If the award card isn't there...what would be the next step? Or is it a dead issue at that point?

 

 

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Thanks Kurt!

 

For the benefit of the thread (and...shhhh...I'm not clear on how to do it...) ;) what would be your advice for finding the GO for an award...IF the award card isn't there and it's not listed on the report of separation? Typically, like for a Silver Star, I'd reach for Gleim's books, but in the case of this guy's DSC, there doesn't appear to be any record of it anywhere (that I can find) and it's not on his report of separation. If the award card isn't there...what would be the next step? Or is it a dead issue at that point?

 

 

 

Hi Dave

 

If there is no card and its not in Gleim's book it is pretty much a dead issue unless you have some idea of who the awarding authority might be and then it would require a trip to College Park and a dig through boxes from that command to find it!

 

Kurt

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