Original U.S. WWII Battle of Heilbronn 398th Infantry Regiment Bronze Star Purple Heart Grouping
Original Items: One-of-a-kind set. Sergeant James L. Famer ASN 35074060 from Cressmont, Kentucky entered active service on March 19th, 1944. He was a heavy machine gunner in charge of 7 men in the 398th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army and fought in the Rhineland and Central Europe campaigns during WWII. He received a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for the same action on April 9th, 1945.
His Bronze Star Citation reads as follows:
James L. Famer, 35074060, Sergeant, 398th Infantry Regiment, for heroic achievement in action on 9 April 1945, in the vicinity of Heilbronn, Germany. During our attack on the tenaciously held fortress city of Heilbronn, Sergeant Farmer operated a machine gun in defense of a bridgehead spanning the Neckar river. In the midst of heavy hostile artillery fire, enemy forces viciously counter attacked. An (illegible section) manning his weapon and returned fire (illegible section) that he killed or wounded ten enemy before he himself was severely wounded. As a result of his courageous action i holding an important position, our forces successfully counter attacked and forced the enemy to withdraw. Entered military service from Cressmont, Kentucky.
Included in this fantastic 398th Infantry Regiment set are the following items:
- Class A Uniform four pocket tunic with 100th Infantry Division patch on left shoulder, sterling silver Combat Infantryman's Badge, Medal ribbons: Bronze Star, Good Conduct, and European-African-Middle Eastern with three battle stars. Presidential Unit Citation, Ruptured Duck, Sergeant Chevrons, infantry lapel pins and 2 overseas service bars on left sleeve indicating 12+ months of overseas service.
- Infantry overseas garrison cap.
- WW2 Purple Heart
- 1994 Issue Purple Heart inscribed to James L. Farmer with Certificate.
- 1994 Issue Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster with Certificate.
- Wartime Photos
- Original WW2 Documents: including his Honorable Discharge, Separation Record, Award of Bronze Star order with description of his actions. Various other wartime documents. Newspaper article and more.
- Medals including: European-African-Middle Eastern with two battle stars, WWII Victor Medal, American Campaign Medal, German Army of Occupation Medal.
- 100th Infantry division patches
- Captured German WWII Arbeitsbuch.
- The Story of the Century book about the 100 Infantry Division in WW2. Farmer is mentioned for his Bronze Star on page 325.
Overall a fantastic grouping from a soldier in one of the most famous U.S. infantry divisions of WWII.
The citadel of Bitche, France
In December 1944, the division went on the offensive in the vicinity of Bitche, France. The division occupied the nearby areas of Wingen and Lemberg after fierce fighting on 6–10 December. The division then advanced to Reyersweiler, which fell after fighting on 11–13 December. Fort Schiesseck, a major defensive work in the region, capitulated after a heavy assault by the 100th on 20 December. The division was ordered to halt its attack and to hold defensive positions south of Bitche as part of the Seventh Army during the Battle of the Bulge. Thanks to a stout defense, the men of the 100th later became known as the "Sons of Bitche". The German counterattacks of 1 and 8–10 January 1945 were repulsed, after heavy fighting at Bitche. After further attacks stalled and the Germans began to withdraw, the sector was generally quiet and the division prepared to resume its offensive east.
On 15 March 1945, the attack jumped off and on 16 March, Bitche fell to the 100th Infantry Division. The unit was then relieved from assignment to XV Corps, and transferred to XXI Corps on 22 March 1945. Taking Neustadt and Ludwigshafen, the division reached the Rhine River on 24 March. On 25 March 1945, the unit was returned from XXI Corps back to VI Corps. On 31 March 1945, the 100th Infantry Division crossed the Rhine and moved south in the wake of the 10th Armored Division and then east across the Neckar River, establishing and enlarging a bridgehead from 4 to 11 April. Heilbronn fell after nine days of house-to-house combat on 12 April and the division resumed its rapid pursuit of the enemy, reaching Stuttgart by 21 April. The 100th was mopping up along the Neckar, southeast of Stuttgart on 23 April, when it was removed from VI Corps and assigned directly to the Seventh United States Army as an Echelon Above Corps Asset. The division was then assigned primarily to patrolling the sector east of Stuttgart. Shifting to Göppingen on 30 April, the Division engaged in occupational duties as the war in Europe came to an end on V-E Day.
The division spent 163 days in combat. During that time, it suffered 5,038 battle casualties, including 883 killed in action, 3,539 wounded in action, 483 missing in action, and 491 prisoner of war. The division took 13,351 enemy prisoners of war on its own. Members of the division won three Medals of Honor, seven Distinguished Service Crosses, five Legions of Merit, 492 Silver Star Medals, 23 Soldier's Medals, 5,156 Bronze Star Medals, and 90 Air Medals. The division itself was awarded three campaign streamers for participation in the campaign.
100th Infantry Division returned to the United States via the Hampton Roads Port of Embarkation on 10 January 1946, and was released from active duty at Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia that day. The division then began the process of demobilization, before inactivating on 26 January.
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