Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Captain Zero

(6,649 posts)
Tue Jul 26, 2022, 02:21 AM Jul 2022

My Uncle (deceased) was awarded 3 Silver Stars in WW2. Question.

I've known this for a few years now. My mother had them and some others. My nephew has them now since she wanted him to have them and he promised to keep them framed with the info on the back, which was really very little info.

My question is how would an Army Air Force Ground Mechanic for fighter planes win 3 silver stars in WW2?

He was in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and Germany, but I would have thought he was always out of harm's way at an air base in the rear. Yet, he had 3 Sliver Stars.
I know he had like a 20% disability due to some injury on one of his legs and he always helped at the DAV to help other younger guys from Korea and Vietnam to fill out whatever Veterans forms they had trouble with. At his funeral 4-5 of those guys showed up just heart broken, but he lived into his 80's, and sold Auto Parts on the road to gas stations back when gas stations did auto repairs. But no one in the family ever heard him talk about why he got Silver Stars. But if you google they are not for nothing by any means.

Oh all mom ever said is that several times in letters home during WW2, he would be sad and mention it was a rough day when one of his pilots didn't come back from a mission.

Any of your thoughts appreciated. Regards.

6 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
Highlight: NoneDon't highlight anything 5 newestHighlight 5 most recent replies
My Uncle (deceased) was awarded 3 Silver Stars in WW2. Question. (Original Post) Captain Zero Jul 2022 OP
My grandfather was also a mechanic, but for bombers JackintheGreen Jul 2022 #1
I think it's called a Unit Citation or Service Stars MartyTheGreek Jul 2022 #2
Possibility - aircraft would sometimes return to base, on fire. Maybe he rescued pilot or crew. 3Hotdogs Jul 2022 #3
I think you are referring to the small stars worn on a ribbon decoration. Here is some information. John1956PA Jul 2022 #4
I could definitely see this DashOneBravo Jul 2022 #5
Silver Star Medal (SSM) douglas9 Aug 2022 #6

JackintheGreen

(2,036 posts)
1. My grandfather was also a mechanic, but for bombers
Tue Jul 26, 2022, 02:41 AM
Jul 2022

There might have been enemy action at the air base, which may or may not have been close to the front lines (for example in North Africa). He may have rushed to fight a fire after incendiary bombing or pulled somebody from wreckage. Phrases like “with reckless disregard for his own safety” are often attached to Silver Star commendations.

MartyTheGreek

(555 posts)
2. I think it's called a Unit Citation or Service Stars
Tue Jul 26, 2022, 04:50 AM
Jul 2022

My grandfather was awarded five bronze service stars and one star noted with air combat. Interesting that he was in the same countries as your grandfather above. Add, France for my grandfather. Check his paperwork. His DD-214 should note more specifics on where he served etc. Many records were burned in the 1973 warehouse fire but as a descendant you can ask for a copy of his medical records and you may find a copy of his DD-214 in his med folder and get more specifics on his disability and service.

My grandfather served in the US Army Air Corps, First Emergency Air Rescue Squadron (Forerunner of the PJ's). The airmen that flew behind the lines to rescue downed pilots. His job was as an aircraft Sheetmetal mechanic and he was an expert on the 30 cal? if I recall. May explain the air combat note?

3Hotdogs

(12,008 posts)
3. Possibility - aircraft would sometimes return to base, on fire. Maybe he rescued pilot or crew.
Tue Jul 26, 2022, 06:29 AM
Jul 2022

I suggest you bring whatever documents you can accumulate and take them to your local Congress office. They have access to the pentagon that you and I don't. If the records weren't burned in the fire, you may get your answers.

John1956PA

(2,644 posts)
4. I think you are referring to the small stars worn on a ribbon decoration. Here is some information.
Tue Jul 26, 2022, 07:03 AM
Jul 2022

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service_star#:~:text=Service%20stars%2C%20campaign%20stars%2C%20and%20battle%20stars%20are,Star%20Medal%29%20or%20Silver%20Star%20%28Silver%20Star%20Medal%29.

Service stars, campaign stars, and battle stars are worn with one point of the star pointing up on the suspension ribbon of a medal or service ribbon. A silver star is worn instead of five bronze stars. A service star is sometimes mistaken for a Bronze Star (Bronze Star Medal) or Silver Star (Silver Star Medal).
Awarded for: Worn to denote subsequent awards or periods of service.


DashOneBravo

(2,679 posts)
5. I could definitely see this
Tue Jul 26, 2022, 11:53 AM
Jul 2022

North Africa and Sicily were horrible. Lots of mistakes and losses. Whole units wiped out or captured

The Navy shot down like 20 something planes full of US Army paratroopers. I think that an entire Ranger Battalion was captured

Latest Discussions»Issue Forums»Veterans»My Uncle (deceased) was a...