My father is a WWII vet (3rd Army, Engineering Corp.)He has passed away and I have all of his military medals/ribbons/badges etc. I have purchased a shadow box to put all of his military items in to give to my son. I know that medals of highest honor go first then ribbons, badges. But I do not know much else about the placement, or for that matter where pins, robes go. Below are the items that I have:
Good Conduct with Ribbon 2 stars
ETO with ribbon 3 stars
American Campaign with ribbon
WW2 Victory with ribbon
Army of Occupation with ribbon
French Croix de Guerre with shoulder rope
Presidential Unit Citation with 1 oak leave
3rd Army shoulder patch
ETO Communication Zone Patch
Technician 5th Grade
Ruptured Duck Cloth patch / with pin
Pin – shape is round
Engineer’s Turreted Castle service insignia hat pin
U.S. hat pin
Combat Infantry badge
Army Sharpshooter with Rifle Qualification Bar
Other items I want to put in the shadow box:
Shell casing from gun salute at his funeral
If anyone can help me with this I would appreciate it. As I want to honor my father's memory and service correctly. Thanks Sandy
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The Army doesn't use stars on it's Good Conduct Medals or ribbons.
This is how the ribbons and medals would be arranged. The patches do not have a specific order so do with them as you please. The presidential unit citation is not pictured in this graphic and would have been worn on the right side of his uniform while the other ribbons are worn on the left. The CIB should go over the ribbons by today's regulations, although folks in WW2 sometimes wore them under the ribbons. The rifle qual should be under the ribbons.
WOW that is a surprise to hear, as I have his original ribbon and it has two stars attached to it. Hmmm
Thank you for this information. So the patches would just go under all of the ribbons and medals?
That's up to you. Whatever looks good to you.
First off, thank you for your father's service. Truly a member of the 'Greatest Generation,' which will always have a special place in my heart!
Secondly, I wanted to say based off your dad's awards and the info you provided, he had quite the interesting career!
I took the liberty of making a mock-up shadow box that may assist you in putting your father's actual one together:
There are a few interesting points; 1) Your dad obviously served with the Combat Engineers, but you state that his discharge papers show that he has awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge. Very few non-infantry units were awarded this most-coveted of awards. 2) In WWII, the CIB was sometimes awarded to non-infantry units; people who volunteered to fight as infantry during major campaigns (Normandy, Anzio, Battle of the Bulge, ect.) black soldiers who volunteered as infantry from other branches as Fifth Platoon members, as well as personnel from some Artillery, Combat Engineers & Anti-Aircraft Artillery units. 3) I wanted to point out that if you dad's CIB award is legit, then under current Army regulations he would also be eligible for a retroactive award of the Bronze Star. Here's a link of how to obtain one: Retroactive Bronze Stars
I hope this answers your questions and helps with your endeavors! BTW, how many years total did he serve and how many of those years of service overseas? Just curious.
Somebody had some time on his hands.
The mock up that you did is outstanding! Thank you so much. Way above and beyond what I was expecting. My father was in the Army from March 1944 - May 1946. He was stateside for 1 year and was in Germany from April 45 - May 46. He was in the 291st Engineer Combat Battalion, something that he was very proud of, assigned with the 3rd Army, supporting the 99th Infantry Division.
I have his WD AGO Form 53-55 and it does not list the CIB on it. It has the Sharpshooter M1 Rifle. He mentioned to me once that his documentation was not correct, but that he did not do anything to fix it with his superiors before leaving to come home. I don't know if he was speaking about the CIB. The time he spent overseas he did not speak about. I only heard a few items. If I tried to get him to open up he would not. Not like the young kids today who freely speak of their ordeals in combat. It was a very painful memory for him which he had nightmare from until he passed.
I did get copies of the After Action reports for the 291st Engr. Battalion. But when I tried to get more records from the National Personnel Records Center I was told that the fire they had destroyed the major portion of the Army records from 1912 through 1959, So I was unable to locate further information. He mentioned that he did sniper duty for a short time, so I just assumed that is why he received it. I can not imagine why he would have the CIB and give it to me if it was not his?? But I guess that will be a question I won't get answered. Maybe I should not include it in the shadow box since I am not 100% sure if it was his. To receive the bronse star it shows you must provide documentation which I don't have. Thank you for including the website with the information. Maybe I need to try to find out my Grandfather's military history, he was in the Army during WW1, maybe it is his??
SandyThis message has been edited. Last edited by: verasa,
I can help with that last bit. The CIB didn't exist during WW1, so it couldn't have been your grandfather's. Unfortunately, a lot of people get out of the Army without completely correcting their documents. You can imagine what it was like, a young man wanted to get home, he didn't want to mess around with paperwork.
Thanks for this information. And yes my mom said that my dad basically said those exact words when they wanted him to stick around to get the French Croix de Guerre award put on his paperwork. They gave him the ribbon on the spot but needed to fill out the paperwork so it would show up on his official documentation. "Nope don't care, just want to get home", were his words.
Thanks for the wonderful comments! It was definitely my pleasure! In regards to the Combat Infantryman Badge, despite popular belief, some Combat Engineer Battalions were awarded CIBs during WWII when they first came out. This is due to the fact that many Engineer units were actually assigned as infantry units for long stretches at a time, serving right along side their infantry brethren.
You are correct, we may never find out if your Dad's unit was awarded the CIB's or not, but there have been unofficial awards for many years. There are many unofficial version of the CIB for various combat arms branches. Here's an example of a CIB (Engineer version) that you can purchase online:
Combat Infantry Badge (CIB) Style Engineer Pin
Also, I took the liberty of updating your Dad's display. I added the unofficial Engineer CIB above the ribbons. Took off the Bronze Star medal, as it unfortunately sounds like your Dad wasn't qualified for it. I also added the Engineer Regimental Insignia above the brass nameplate. Note it has the symbol of the engineers (the castle) as well as their motto, 'Essayons.'
I also added the Service stripe on the right of the display which represents 3 years of honorable service as well as the Overseas Bars on the left. These are awarded for foreign service during a time of war. Each bar represents six months of service.
It was my pleasure helping you put together a display for your father. I'll also keep looking for some more info on you Dad's unit as well. It's been difficult finding other info besides what has been written about them during the Battle of the Bulge.
Here is the updated display:
Well runfuret, when you're a disabled vet who can't work (like me), you tend to have lots of time on your hands! Mine happens to be doing graphics and whatnot for vets and their families who want an idea what a military display should look like.
So phhhhhttttttt!!!!!!!! (As he sticks his tongue out, and waves his hands in a ridiculing gesture! Neener neener!)
Oh, right on. I go shooting.
Thank you again. I had not seen the CIB for the Engineers that you added or the pin. I will probably end up buying all of the items that my dad did not give me. I am having to buy two of everything because I have two son's and want to give each of them their own box. So I am spliting up the original pieces that I have of my dads and adding the purchased items so they both end up with a combination of both original and purchased. Thanks again for the mock up. It really does help to see an actual picture.
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