Sooner or later every medal collector will find a medal or group that just has to be researched. Such a group is this Silver Star group from a Kenosha, Wisconsin WWII veteran. The previous owner managed to get some basic information about the original owner of this group from the Kenosha County Veterans Service Office which included that he was Army and his last duty station was
the 44th Evacuation Hospital.
The Good Conduct medal tells us that he was not officer for at least part of his time in the service. Assuming that the group is complete the fact that there is no Purple Heart indicates that he was not wounded which confirms that he was on
duty with the 44th Evac. Hosp. and not a patient. This would make him a
noncombatant who must have been under fire to earn the Silver Star. I was able to confirm his Silver Star on a web site that lists all known S.S. winners names! This would also explain why even with six battle stars on his European campaign medal ribbon the group does not contain a Combat Infantry Badge.
There must be an interesting story there. Checking Google I did find some minimal references indicating the 44th Evac. was in the Battle of the Bulge up
around Malmedy, site of the infamous Malmedy Massacre. Next time I am in the Chicago-Milwaukee area I will have to stop in at the Kenosha Historical Society and see If they have an obit on file for this brave veteran. On the Social Security Death Index I was able to get his Social Security Number and date of death. Armed with all this information I was ready to go to the NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) site where I was able to fill out and down load the proper information request forms which I then mailed to the St. Louis address. If all goes well they will send me information confirming his medal and decoration entitlements, his ranks and promotions and the units he was assigned to.
I’ll keep you posted.