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Question
My grandfather was in World War II and never talked about his service. I sent off several years ago for a copy of his military records and they stated that they were destroyed in the Chicago fire. I did get his discharge paper and replicas of the medals he was awarded. I have several questions about his campaigns and what company he was in.
It says Co K 11th Infantry under organization.
Military Occupations: Rifleman 745
Military Qualifications: CIB M1 Rifle SS 03 Rifle MM Bar Exp LMG SS
Battles and Campaigns: Normandy No France G033 WD45, Rhineland G040 WD45, Ardennes G040 WD45, and Central Europe G048 WD45
Decorations and Citations: Good Conduct Medal, EAMET Service Medal, Purple Heart Medal G013 Hq 11th Inf 5 Apr 45, Silver Star Medal G053 Hq 5th Inf 6 Jan 45
They also sent me a Bronze Star but it's not listed here?
Wounds received: EAMET 28 Mar 45

While researching, I got confused bc he was part of the 11th infantry but then it lists the 5th infantry when he got his silver star? I would love to know where he was during the course of the war and even when he was wounded. I heard stories growing up and would love to know more. I read that the 11th went to Iceland for about a year too. Any information would be very much appreciated!!

Answer
The 11th Infantry Regiment was part of the 5th Infantry Division during World War II. (A Division is made up of battalions and regiments.)

If he was with the 11th, he started out the war in Iceland as you said, then took part in D-Day and in operations in Europe following that. That's what the "Battles and Campaigns" section of his DD-214 indicates above.

From that information, too, it appears he was wounded during the fighting in Europe in April. But that's the date the Purple Heart was awarded and his wounded very likely happened sooner than that. It could have been during the Battle of the Bulge, which the 11th took part in. Or it could have been in the fighting following D-Day in France and Germany any time after June of 1944. You simply can't narrow it down any farther than that from this information.

By the way, the fire was at the Records Center in St. Louis (not Chicago).

I would suggest that you try to get more info on the 11th and your grandfather from the U.S. Army Center of Military History. The website is http://www.history.army.mil

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Marc Leepson

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I can answer most questions dealing with all aspects of U.S. military history. My expertise is the Vietnam War. I also have written extensively about the U.S. Civil War, World War II, World War I, The Philippine War, and the American Revolution. My books include a concise biography of the Marquis de Lafayette, the history of the American Flag, and the post-Jefferson history of Monticello, and therefore know a great deal about those specific subjects. I specialize in writing about matters of strategy--not tactics. And I also am interested in personalities. I have very little knowledge about ordnance or the value of old military memorabilia. Nor do I know a lot about uniforms and insignia--except about the Vietnam War. To repeat: I have no expertise in assessing the value of ordnance or uniforms or any type of military equipment. And my knowledge about military uniforms is only limited to those of the Vietnam War era. If you have questions on these topics, I recommend contacting an antiques dealer in your area who specializes in military uniforms, ordnance, etc.

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Author and journalist with more than 35 years' experience.

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New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribute, New York Newsday, the Arizona Republic, St. Petersburg Times, Detroit News. Magazines: Smithsonian, Preservation, The VVA Veteran, Vietnam, Civil War Times, America's Civil War, Military History, World War II. Editor: The Webster's New World Dictionary of the Vietnam War

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BA, 1967, George Washington University, History MA, 1971, George Washington University, European History

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Vietnam Veterans of America Excellence in the Arts Award, 2011

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