I neglected you all day yesterday, dear, but I was really on the go all day. I was still looking for billets for my men. So far we haven’t been made to move – but I had to have a place ready. Well – they finally released a place to me that had been reserved for a General who hasn’t shown up for it. It’s a big place – 16 rooms (we need about 5 rooms at the most.) I’m going to hold off moving until I actually have to – because battalion is looking around for a place where we can all be together. We’re spread out too much now.
Yesterday I got another old letter from you – 5 June, but also my most recent one, darling – 28 June – and both were very welcome. The earlier was written in a reminiscent mood and certainly took me back a long long way – to the days when I first was seeing you and falling in love with you. I can remember so vividly the little store in Wellfleet and the trouble I had in putting a call thru to LaSalle; And that week at Hyannis and our experiments with Benzedrine Sulfate and its energy-producing quality. Gee that is a long way back – but so pleasant to think about. But it’s the future that I’m interested in, darling, and living for.
Your letter of the 25th still showed no inkling of our mission and you still talk in terms of my coming home in a matter of several weeks – or at most – by September. Gosh, darling, I dread receiving the letter from you in which you hear that we’re M.P.’s and don’t know how long we’ll be here. But it’s the same with all Category IV outfits. They have a low priority. The one good piece of news is that they’re way ahead of schedule in shipping Divisions out of France and England. As soon as the bulk of the Divisions to do the fighting are cleared out – we’ll get our chance. And – by the way – I almost forgot to tell you. My chances of getting home and staying are better by 5 points more, dear. I got the Bronze Star Medal for “Meritorious Service etc.” in the Campaign thru France, Belgium and Germany etc etc. Of course I was glad to get the medal – but what interested me most was the 5 points – because although it just came thru – it was for the period before the end of the war and therefore it counts. It raises my total to 82 points – which is a pretty good score on the whole – and certainly puts me in a higher than average group.
In your most recent letter you tell me not to be concerned about Mother A worrying about this or that. Heck – I know it doesn’t do any good. As you so aptly put it – if it isn’t about my being overseas – it’ll be about the food – or some triviality. She’ll never change – it’s her nature. I can hope only that she’ll have less and less important things to worry over.
Here in Nancy – things are about the same. There are supposed to be some fine families but we haven’t met any yet. The Colonel met some nice people last nite – one, a French General’s wife and thru him I received an invitation to play tennis this p.m. with her. I guess I’ll go. It’s at 1500 and I have little else to do. If we’re going to be here long, I might as well make some nice friends. How about you, darling? Would you like to meet me? Good! Honestly, dear – I can hardly wait for the day when we can do away with all this bunk and just have each other to think about and love. But I can stick it out if you can and only hope that we’ll make it all up. I honestly believe we can and will. All for now, sweetheart. Love to the folks – and
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R E S T R I C T E D
HEADQUARTERS XXI CORPS
APO 101, U S ARMY
NUMBER 117 )
"Greg", Captain, Medical Corps, from 17 June 1944 to 20 April 1945, in France, Belgium and Germany. Entered military service from the State of Massachusetts.
(along with 8 First Lieutenants and 1 Second Lieutenant)
BY COMMAND OF MAJOR GENERAL MILBURN:
WILLIS E VINCENT
|The Bronze Star Medal|
Awards may be made for acts of heroism which are of lesser degree than required for the award of the Silver Star. Awards may also be made to recognize single acts of merit or meritorious service. The required achievement or service while of lesser degree than that required for the award of the Legion of Merit must nevertheless have been meritorious and accomplished with distinction. To be eligible for the Bronze Star Medal, a military member must be getting hostile fire/imminent danger pay, during the event for which the medal is to be awarded. The Bronze Star Medal is typically referred to by its full name (including the word "Medal") to differentiate the decoration from bronze service stars which are worn on campaign medals and service awards.
Two years before the creation of the Bronze Star Medal, the "Air Medal" had been adopted to raise airmen's morale. The award that eventually became the Bronze Star Medal was conceived by Colonel Russell P. “Red” Reeder in 1943, who believed it would aid morale of the ground troops if there was a medal which could be awarded by captains of companies or batteries to deserving people serving under them. Reeder felt the medal should be a ground equivalent of the Air Medal, and proposed that the new award be called the “Ground Medal”.
The idea eventually rose through the military bureaucracy and gained supporters. General George C. Marshall, in a memorandum to President Franklin D. Roosevelt dated 3 February 1944, wrote
The fact that the ground troops, Infantry in particular, lead miserable lives of extreme discomfort and are the ones who must close in personal combat with the enemy, makes the maintenance of their morale of great importance. The award of the Air Medal has had an adverse reaction on the ground troops, particularly the Infantry Riflemen who are now suffering the heaviest losses, air or ground, in the Army, and enduring the greatest hardships.President Roosevelt authorized the Bronze Star Medal by Executive Order 9419 dated 4 February 1944, retroactive to 7 December 1941.
The Bronze Star Medal was designed by Rudolf Freund (1878–1960) of the jewelry firm Bailey, Banks & Biddle. Freund had previously designed the Silver Star. The Bronze Star is 1-1/2 inches (38 mm) in diameter. In the center there is a 3/16 of an inch (4.8 mm) diameter superimposed bronze star. The center line of all rays of both stars coincide. The reverse has the inscription “HEROIC OR MERITORIOUS ACHIEVEMENT” and a space for the name of the recipient to be engraved. The star is suspended from the ribbon by a rectangular shaped metal loop with the rounded corners. The ribbon is 1-3/8 inches (35 mm) wide and consists of white, scarlet, white, ultramarine, white, scarlet and white stripes, in that order.