Original U.S. WWII 255th Infantry Regiment Silver Star Named Grouping - Oscar T. Semit
Original Item: One-of-a-kind. The April 23rd, 1945 Silver Star Citation for Technical Sergeant Oscar T. Semit U.S. says it all:
The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Technical Sergeant Oscar T. Semit (ASN: 36765828), United States Army, for gallantry in action while serving with Headquarters Company, 3d Battalion, 255th Infantry Regiment, 63d Infantry Division, in action on 17 March 1945, in the vicinity of Heckendalheim, Germany. When Sergeant Semit, platoon sergeant of an anti-tank platoon, saw one of the guns of his platoon abandoned by its crew and still attached to the truck in an open field under heavy enemy machine gun fire, with great initiative and magnificent courage he crawled out to the truck and drove it to a concealed area, even though it was being pierced and all its tires punctuated by machine gun fire at the time. His outstanding gallantry in saving his gun reflects great credit on himself and the military service.
This information can be verified at this link.
Included in this wonderful named grouping are the following items:
- Ike Jacket in size 42R. Medal ribbons applied by Vet or his family are as follows: Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart, 2 x European-Africa-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal one with 3 battle stars, WWII Victory Medal, Sterling Silver Combat Infantryman Badge (CBI). Of particular note are a pair of wartime 63d Infantry Division Distinctive Unit Insignia (Pin Back). 63rd Infantry Division patch on left shoulder, Sergeant chevrons overseas service bar on cuff.
- Overseas Garrison cap with 63rd Infantry Division enamel DI.
- Silver Star with original box.
- Purple Heart with original box.
- Bronze Star engraved with Oscar T. Semit on reverse with original box.
- WWI Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, European-Africa-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal.
- 2 sets of original dog tags.
- Army issue wool shirt with Sergeant chevrons.
- Army issue khaki cotton short with Sergeant chevrons and 63d Infantry Division patch on left shoulder as well as small sterling silver CBI pin.
- Original wartime photo of Semit.
- Copy of original Silver Star Citation.
- And More! (see photos).
255th Infantry Regiment information including an after action of the Battle of Waldenburg, Germany as seen through the eyes of Colonel James E. Hatcher, CO can be found at this link.
Three regiments of the 63rd Division arrived in Marseille, France, 8 December 1944, trained at Haguenau and, under the designation Task Force Harris, protected the east flank of the Seventh Army along the Rhine River. The task force fought defensively from 22 to 30 December 1944. On 30 December 44, while the 253d Inf Regt was attached to the 44th Inf Div and the 255th Inf Regt was attached to the 100th Inf Div, the 254th Inf Regt was moved to the Colmar area of France where it was attached to the 3d Inf Div which was at the time a part of the First French Army. The infantry regiments remained with their attachments until early February 1945. The rest of the division arrived at Marseilles, 14 January 1945, and moved to Willerwald on 2 February, where it was joined by the advance elements on 6 February. On 7 February, the 63rd conducted local raids and patrols, then pushed forward, crossing the Saar River on 17 February, and mopping up the enemy in Muhlen Woods. After bitter fighting at Güdingen early in March, the division smashed at the Siegfried Line on 15th at Saarbrücken, Germany, taking Ormesheim and finally breaching the line at Sankt Ingbert and Hassel on 20 March. Hard fighting still lay ahead, but the Siegfried Line was Germany's last attempt to defend its prewar boundaries along the western front. Before resting on 23 March, the 63d took Spiesen-Elversberg, Neunkirchen and Erbach. From then until the end of the war, the 63d Division carved a path of "blood and fire" from Sarreguemines through Germany. On 28 March, the division crossed the Rhine at Lampertheim, moved to Viernheim and captured Heidelberg on 30 March. Continuing the advance, the 63rd crossed the Neckar River near Mosbach and the Jagst River The 253rd Infantry Regiment, received the majority of the German resistance during this time at the Battle of Buchhof and Stein am Kocher. Heavy resistance slowed the attack on Adelsheim, Möckmühl, and Bad Wimpfen.
The division switched to the southeast, capturing Lampoldshausen and clearing the Harthäuser Woods on 7 April. A bridgehead was secured over the Kocher River near Weißbach on 8 April, and Schwäbisch Hall fell on 17 April. Advance elements crossed the Rems River and rushed to the Danube. The Danube was crossed on 25 April, and Leipheim fell before the division was withdrawn from the line on 28 April, and assigned security duty from the Rhine to Darmstadt and Würzburg on a line to Stuttgart and Speyer. The 63d began leaving for home on 21 August 1945, and was inactivated on 27 September 1945.
From mid-February 1945 until the end of the war, the 63rd Infantry Division made a path of Blood and Fire from Sarreguemines through the Siegfried Line to Worms, Mannheim, Heidelberg, Gunzburg and ending in Landsberg Germany at the end of April 1945 when the division was pulled from the line for a much needed rest.
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