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William R Bragg: Medals

Discussion in 'Uniforms, Medals, and More' started by BC_2009, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. BC_2009

    BC_2009 New Member

    Hello All,

    467th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
    791st Bombardment Squadron
    James Mikkelsen Crew (Crew #84)
    William R. Bragg: Waist Gunner
    Dates of Service: March 1944 - August 1944

    My grandfather: William R. Bragg received the following medals that are listed in the screen shot of his discharge papers. We also have a DFC, but there is no documentation stating that this was issued to him.

    I was able to find documentation of other members in this crew and specific citations regarding OLC's and other medals for specific meritorious achievements.

    (The Air Medal and DFC Awards pdf is from a previous post on another thread)

    My question:

    Is there any documentation/information stating that Bragg received the DFC, and if so, does it state why it was given?
    My question repeats itself for the other medals as well: The 4 Bronze Battle Stars and 3 Bronze OLC's.

    -Of note, I understand that the attached pdf may explain the DFC, but the guidelines for issuance seemed to be changing during his dates of service.

    If any more information is needed, please let me know.

    Thank you

    Attached Files:

  2. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    I must be missing something here. Nowhere on the Discharge papers that you posted do I see anything about a DFC. It should be there in Box 33 along with the rest of his awards. You note that "we also have a DFC". Is his name engraved on the back?

    And yes to your other question, there should have been documentation for his other awards but if he did not save his copy I don't know of any way you could get copies. I have never seen award documents on any microfilm of Group records. These were literally awarded by the thousands.

    Attached is a copy of an Air Medal Oak Leaf Cluster award document with the recipients name and ASN removed. This is a typical award document, they were all pretty generic.

    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
    Airwar likes this.
  3. BC_2009

    BC_2009 New Member

    I have attached a photo of the DFC that is in my family's possession. I would have to inquire if anything is engraved on the back of the medal. This medal was included in his belongings and was given to someone in the family after he passed away.

    I found it strange that it was not listed on the discharge papers, prompting my question.

    Am I correct to assume that the 4 bronze battle stars were given for participation in
    1. Air Offensive Europe
    2. Southern France Campaign
    3. Normandy Campaign
    4. Northern France Campaign

    Attached Files:

  4. BC_2009

    BC_2009 New Member

    There is no engraving or the medal. We do not have any documentation related to the DFC either.

    Is anyone familiar with these records at NARA: https://research.archives.gov/id/644841

    Would it be worth searching there?

    Also, I have documentation of recipients of awards for the 791st BS during May 44. I don't have other months in my possession, but I imagine that those reports or similar reports would be at NARA as well.

    It's interesting as Jenkins was also member of the Mikkelsen Crew.

    Attached Files:

  5. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    There are several different points you have raised that I will try to address.

    Is anyone familiar with these records at NARA: https://research.archives.gov/id/644841
    You will note that the link states that these records "may not be available on line". Well actually they are NOT available on line, no "may" about it. Scroll down that page and you will see that to access these records you, or someone you hire, must go to the Archives in Maryland. these are original paper documents that have never been scanned or microfilmed.

    Also, I have documentation of recipients of awards for the 791st BS during May 44.
    These appear to be microfilm copies, curious how you obtained them.

    There is no engraving or the medal. We do not have any documentation related to the DFC either.
    I have only actually held in my hand about a dozen of such award medals, a very small sample out of the thousands awarded. But each one that I have seen had the recipients name and ASN engraved on the back. Surely someone on this forum has more experience to know if unmarked medals were ever awarded.

    I understand that the attached pdf may explain the DFC, but the guidelines for issuance seemed to be changing during his dates of service.
    Not only did the guidelines change with the passage of time but they also were different in the various Air Forces. What was policy in the 8th Air Force in England was not necessarily policy in the 15th Air Force in Italy.
    Airwar likes this.
  6. BC_2009

    BC_2009 New Member

    Visiting NARA is not out of my reach, and it's possible that I may make it there sometime this year.

    Yes, these are copies of documents on microfilm. It came to my attention, with the tremendous help of others, that some of the records for the 467th BG are located Maxwell AFB. It was just a matter of contacting the archives there and making a request.

    Of note, I came across a photo online of a serial# or ID# that is engraved on a different DFC.
    The photo is attached below and is NOT the medal in my family's possession. I don't have any other information related to the DFC in the picture: issue date, who it was issued to... etc.

    Unfortunately, the award that my family has does not have a number such as this either. The DFC we have doesn't have anything on it and is completely blank.

    Lucky Partners: I appreciate the information you have provided as it has been a great help. I am hoping that another member on this forum would be able to provide further information.

    Attached Files:

  7. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Mea Culpa, I have made a mistake. According to this web site the back of the DFC is blank and "suitable for engraving the recipient’s name and rank". http://www.dfcsociety.net/the-medal/
    I had ASSUMED that since all the medals I had seen were engraved that that was the way they were received.

    Even better, here is a site where you can search the names of those who were awarded the DFC. http://valor.militarytimes.com/search.php?medal=6

    If you are able to visit the NARA in College Park it would be worth doing prep work well in advance. An email to the Research desk is the place to start. They will research the location of the records you seek and send you a list of the boxes that hold those files. The records can be copied with a coin operated Xerox machine and I think they also have a camera stand where you can photograph the documents. Ask about bring a laptop and a scanner, not sure if they allow those but worth asking, a lot easier than feeding quarters into a copy machine. https://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/college-park/civilian-textual.html

    Good luck with your search.
    Airwar likes this.
  8. BC_2009

    BC_2009 New Member

  9. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Regarding the DFC all combat crew members in the VIII Air Force received one. Here is an example of how it would read http://www.398th.org/Awards/DFC/DFC_Citations/DFCs_450129.html for most, no extra valor was required other than completing ones tour. This policy did not sit well with other Air Forces member particularly those in the XV Air Force. Originally the VIII Air Force losses were so great and the chances of surviving so slim the award of the DFC seemed appropriate.

    Regarding William R. Bragg, the DFC should still be noted on his discharge, why it is not is a mystery.

    This DFC policy within the Eighth AF is discussed in this thread http://forum.armyairforces.com/threads/new-here-and-looking-for-info-on-my-dad.487/page-4 with this source https://books.google.com/books?id=RvAnUPn9LGAC&pg=PA253&dq="8th+Air+Force"+"DFC"|"distinguished+flying+cross"+for+completing+30+missions&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiV8ajv6ZDMAhXGJCYKHed3ARgQ6AEIOjAD#v=onepage&q="8th Air Force" "DFC"|"distinguished flying cross" for completing 30 missions&f=false

    This is actually noted in BC's post #1, first attachment. Here is the same doc different source http://www.americanairmuseum.com/sites/default/files/AFD-130506-008.pdf one must actually read the first paragraph.

    Here is another consideration http://boards.law.af.mil/AF/BCMR/CY2013/BC201301991.txt rather long, will let the readers draw their own conclusion to this adjudication.

    For what it is worth here is a listing of AFHRA holdings for the 467BG via the AF History Index http://airforcehistoryindex.org/search.php?q=bombardment/0467/group here is the same for the 2BD http://airforcehistoryindex.org/search.php?q=DIVISION/0002/BOMBARDMENT&c=u&h=25&F=&L=
    The awards shown on the Bragg discharge originate from General Orders from 2BD, no obvious GO records of this type seem to be present in the AFHRA records. Some of these types of records appear to possibly be held in the 467BG AFHRA records. There must be A General Order somewhere showing the issue of the DFC within the 467BG.
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017

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