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ON10786

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Original U.S. WWII Named Silver Star Recipient 5th Infantry Division Grouping

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Original Item: One-of-a-kind Set. Lieutenant George J. Allison (ASN 33316444) from Ardmore, Pennsylvania received the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action in France in the Summer of 1944. His citation reads in part:

"Lieutenant Allison, was in charge of three men operating a radio relay station. It was discovered that an enemy force was approaching their position and Lieutenant Allison decided to hurriedly abandon the area. Upon departure the group came upon a force of 15 or 20 enemy troops. With utter disregard for his own safety, Lieutenant Allison stood erect in the cab of the vehicle, fired on the enemy and at the same time ordered his men to take cover. They dismounted from the vehicle and Lieutenant Allison led the group to safety in the woods. When approaching a farmhouse he again ordered his men to take cover while he investigated the building. Due to Lieutenant Allison's quick thinking, forceful leadership, and bravery, escape was made by himself and two others and the heroism he displayed reflects great credit on himself and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the service." A link to his citation record can be found here.

Included in this grouping are the following:

- "MY OWN PAGE" a letter written by a company President Steltz to his salesman, the company is unknown but based in Ardmore, PA and one of its employees was Lt. Allison's father. The letter outlines the Silver Star citation, is dated November 15th, 1944 and features a photo of Lt. Allison.

- Original Silver Star Medal

- Original Class A Uniform Jacket in excellent condition which is named on the interior tailor label to George Allison. Features medal ribbons that include: Silver Star, European-African Middle East Campaign with 3 battle stars, WWII Victory Medal. The epaulets have Sterling Silver Lieutenant bars and Enamel Signal Corps Distinctive Unit Insignias. Left sleeve has 5th Infantry Division red diamond insignia to shoulder. The original tailor label is by SACO of Philadelphia.

- Original unattached patches, DIs and more (see photos).

- Officer peaked visor cap by KNOX of New York.


On 16 October 1939 the 5th Division was reactivated as part of the United States mobilization in response to the outbreak of World War II in Europe in September 1939, being formed at Fort McClellan, Alabama, under the command of Brigadier General Campbell Hodges.

The following spring, in 1940, the division was sent to Fort Benning, Georgia, and then temporarily to Louisiana for training exercises, before being transferred to Fort Benjamin Harrison at the end of May 1940. That December the division relocated to Fort Custer, Michigan, from where it participated in the Tennessee maneuvers. The division went next to Camp Joseph T. Robinson, Arkansas, in August 1941 for staging into both the Arkansas and Louisiana maneuvers before returning to Fort Custer that October. The division, under the command of Major General Cortlandt Parker from August, was stationed there when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and Germany declared war on the United States in December 1941, thus bringing the United States into the conflict. As the winter passed the division was brought up to strength and fully equipped for forward deployment into a war zone. During April 1942, the 5th Division received its overseas orders and departed the New York Port of Embarkation (NYPOE) at the end of the month for Iceland. The 5th Division debarked there in May 1942, where it replaced the British garrison on the island outpost along the Atlantic convoy routes, and a year later was reorganized and re-designated as the 5th Infantry Division on 24 May 1943.

Normandy
The 5th Infantry Division, now commanded by Major General Stafford LeRoy Irwin, left Iceland in early August 1943 and was sent to England to prepare and train for the eventual invasion of Northwest Europe, then scheduled for the spring of 1944. Upon arrival in England the 5th Division was stationed at Tidworth Barracks, Wiltshire in South West England, before moving to Northern Ireland.

After two years of training the 5th ID landed in Normandy on Utah Beach, 9 July 1944, over a month after the initial D-Day landings, and four days later took up defensive positions in the vicinity of Caumont. Launching a successful attack at Vidouville 26 July, the division drove on southeast of Saint-Lô, attacked and captured Angers, 9–10 August, captured Chartres, (assisted by the 7th Armored Division), 18 August,[9] pushed to Fontainebleau, crossed the Seine at Montereau, 24 August, crossed the Marne and seized Reims, 30 August, and positions east of Verdun. The division then prepared for the assault on Metz, 7 September. In mid-September a bridgehead was secured across the Moselle, south of Metz, at Dornot and Arnaville after two attempts. The first attempt at Dornot by the 11th Infantry Regiment failed. German-held Fort Driant played a role in repulsing this crossing. A second crossing by the 10th Infantry Regiment at Arnaville was successful. The division continued operations against Metz, 16 September to 16 October 1944, withdrew, then returned to the assault on 9 November. Metz finally fell 22 November. The division crossed the German border, 4 December, captured Lauterbach (a suburb of Völklingen) on the 5th, and elements reached the west bank of the river Saar, 6 December, before the division moved to assembly areas.

On 16 December the Germans launched their winter offensive in the Ardennes forest, the Battle of the Bulge, and on the 18th the 5th ID was thrown in against the southern flank of the Bulge, helping to reduce it by the end of January 1945. In February and March, the division drove across and northeast of the Sauer, where it smashed through the Siegfried Line and later took part in the Allied invasion of Germany.

Across the Rhine
The 5th ID crossed the river Rhine on the night of 22 March 1945. After capturing some 19,000 German soldiers, the division continued to Frankfurt-am-Main, clearing and policing the town and its environs, 27–29 March. In April the 5th ID, now commanded by Major General Albert E. Brown, after Major General Irwin's promotion to command of XII Corps, took part in clearing the Ruhr Pocket and then drove across the Czechoslovak border, 1 May, reaching Volary and Vimperk as the war in Europe ended.
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