Identified WW2 Purple Heart Medal Grouping – Schroeder
Exceptional Identified WW2 Purple Heart Medal Grouping (Reginald E. Schroeder). Includes: Purple Heart Medal, Good Conduct Medal, WW2 Victory Medal, EAME Campaign Medal (with 1 silver campaign star), collar insignia – “U.S.” and “Artillery”, 111th Field Artillery Battalion Distinctive Unit Insignia (DUI), 3 place ribbon bar (including Purple Heart ribbon, Good Conduct ribbon, and EAME Campaign ribbon with 5 bronze campaign stars), and dog tag to “R E SCHROEDER“.
Purple Heart is unengraved and unnumbered, but is identified via the included dog tag (as received).
*Artifact(s) come(s) with a packet of printed research paperwork related to Reginald E. Schroeder – including (where available) subject’s general vital statistics/subject’s military records/additional insights into subject’s military service. [Please note that this research was performed exclusively by/for Magi Militaria utilizing subscription-based archives, database resources, and other various internet searchable sources – included research may contain records from U.S. government archives, but the information furnished in this packet was not produced via NARA/NPRC information request.]
According to our research, Staff Sergeant Reginald Edwin Schroeder (ASN: 33525696), a native of Norfolk, Virginia, served with the 111th Field Artillery Battalion, 29th Infantry Division during WW2. Given his date of enlistment (February 12, 1943) and the number of campaign stars present on his EAME Campaign ribbon, we can confidently surmise that Schroeder would have been with the 111th Field Artillery Battalion at the time of their amphibious landing on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944 (D-Day). Schroeder was wounded in action in December 1944 by artillery shell fire – in the vicinity of Alsdorf, Germany. He would recover from his wounds and would serve throughout the remainder of the Second World War – until his discharge in October 1945.
*A brief excerpt from the 29th Division Association page on the incredible account of the 111th Field Artillery Battalion on D-Day:
“111th FA, is facing serious problems of its own. The battalion leaves England loaded into 13 DUKW’s which are then stored in a LCT. Each DUKW carries one gun (four per battery) and the last carries the headquarters. When the 111th’s time comes to disembark the DUKW’s are driven quite literally out of the LCT and straight into the Channel.
The first one off the ramp is hit by an upcoming wave and almost sinks on the spot. Since the battalion is dropped about 12-miles from shore at 0400 with a scheduled landing time of 0820, they circle, causing all of the craft to fill with sea water and begin sinking. Most of the men of these DUKW’s are rescued by other vessels so losses aren’t high.
When it’s time to ‘run’ for the beach only four boats remain afloat. As they near the shore two more are lost, one to the sea and the other to machine gun fire. The last two DUKW’s, commanded by captains Jack Wilson and Louis Shuford (Bty’s A & C respectively) spend more than an hour trying to find a place along the beach not blocked by disabled or burning landing craft. While in this process Wilson’s boat stalls, his gun is hit by a shell and the DUKW soon goes underwater. Shuford’s boat contains the last gun of the battalion and he and his men are determined to get it ashore. However, high waves are filling the craft faster then it can be pumped out. He pulls beside a special barge called a “rhino ferry” which has a crane and it lifts the gun out of the foundering DUKW. This gun is used by the 7th FA in support of the 16th Infantry.
While none of the 111th’s cannon make landfall under the battalion’s control men from the unit do make a contribution to the effort in getting off the beach. The Mtn commander, Lieut. Col. Thornton Mullins from Richmond, seeing his men crouch near the seawall yells out “To hell with our artillery mission, we’re infantrymen now!” With that he leads them into the fight in support of F/116th. Almost immediately he’s killed by enemy fire. Never-the-less his men keep moving off the beach, perhaps with more determination.“
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