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ONSV2191

Original U.S. WWII D-Day 16th Infantry Regiment Medic Silver Star and Bronze Star with Citations

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Original Items: One-of-a-kind Set. Technician Grade 5 Charles C. E. Woods ASN 350301413 was a medic assigned to the 16th Infantry regiment during WWII. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions on Omaha Beach on D-Day June 6th, 1944. Furthermore, we earned a Bronze Star and later Oak leaf for his actions in Tunisia and Sicily respectively. Included in this collection are all the original Citation documents, two award documents and both of his cased medals the Silver Star and the Bronze Star. This collection was acquired directly from the veterans family. Below read his citations:

CITATION FOR SILVER STAR
10 July 1944
Charles C. E. Woods, 350301413, Technician Grade 5, Medical Detachment, 16th Infantry. For gallantry in action in the vicinity of Colleville-sur-Ner, Normandy, France, 6 June 1944. Isolated from his battalion and acting purely on his own initiative, Corporal Woods, while under intense enemy fire, rescued many wounded men from the surf and treated scores of the more seriously injured on the open beach. His prompt, heroic action saved the lives of numerous American soldiers. Residence at enlistment: Crooksville, Ohio.


CITATION FOR BRONZE STAR MEDAL
21 March 1945
Charles C. E. Woods, 35030413, Technician Grade 5 (then Private First Class), Medical Detachment, 16th Infantry. For heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy in the vicinity of El Guettar, Tunisia, 26 March 1943. Despite heavy artillery, mortar, and machine-gun fire, Corporal Woods repeatedly drove an ambulance over exposed roads and at the risk of his life, transported casualties from a battle area to an aid station. Corporal Woods' courage and devotion to duty were instrumental in preventing heavy loss of life. Residence at enlistment: Crookuville, Ohio.
GO No. 60, . Ho 1st US Inf Div, 21 March 1945.


CITATION FOR OAK LEAF CLUSTER TO BRONZE STAR MEDAL
Charles C. E. Woods, 35030413, Technician Grade 5, Medical Detachment, 16th Infantry. For heroic achievement in connection with military operations against the enemy in the vicinity of Niscemi, Sicily, 12 July 1943. Despite a heavy enemy artillery and mortar barrage, Corporal `foods fearlessly left his place of comparative safety and crossed hazardous, heavily mined terrain to aid and evacuate casualties. Corporal Woods, heroic actions and outstanding devotion to duty reflect great credit upon the Medical Department. Residence at enlistment: Crooksvilie, Ohio.
GO No. 71, Ha 1st US Inf Div, 6 April 1945.

16th Infantry Regiment in World War Two
Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941, found the 16th Infantry back at Fort Devens, but not for long. It departed for England in April 1942, where it joined a large contingent of US troops slated for participation in Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. In its first amphibious assault under combat conditions, the 16th Infantry landed on a beach near Arzew, French Morocco at 0100 hours, on 8 November 1942. Over the next three days, the regiment battled relatively light resistance from Vichy French forces and helped to capture Oran. It doing so, the 1st Infantry Division(whom the regiment was assigned to during World War II) established a permanent presence for the US Army in North Africa. During the remainder of the North African campaign the 16th Infantry fought in a number of locations to include the Ousseltia Valley, Kasserine Pass, El Guettar, and Mateur in Tunisia. For its actions at Kasserine the regiment was decorated with the Croix de Guerre by the French Government and it received its first Presidential Unit Citation for its actions near Mateur.

Next came Sicily. Shortly before 0100 hours on 10 July 1943, the first wave of the 16th Infantry boarded landing craft for the assault on that island. After achieving a relatively bloodless hold on the beachhead in the darkness, the regiment pushed into the hills beyond. There the regiment was soon hit hard with an armored counterattack by German tanks. Despite numerous enemy tanks and reinforcements, the 16th Infantry desperately held on by receiving assistance from the heavy guns of the U.S. Navy and the timely arrival of the regiment's Cannon Company. By 14 July 1943, the regiment had moved through Pietraperzia, Enna, and Villarosa. Fighting against snipers and well-fortified positions, the regiment moved forward by a series of flanking movements and by 29 July had taken the high ground west of the Cerami River. In early August, the regiment reached the town of Troina in eastern Sicily. At Troina the regiment experienced some of the most bitter fighting it would see during the war. After a four-day brawl with the battle-hardened troops of the 15th Panzer Grenadier Division, the men of the 16th Infantry finally captured the town and soon after the Sicily campaign ended.

Subsequently, the regiment sailed to Liverpool, England, and from there entrained on 16 October 1943 for Dorchester, to carry out seven months of grueling training in preparation for the Allied invasion of Europe. On 1 June 1944, the men of the 16th Infantry departed their D-Camps in southwestern England and embarked on amphibious assault ships at the port of Weymouth. Units of the 16th Infantry boarded USS Samuel Chase, USS Henrico, and HMS Empire Anvil, preparatory to their third—and most important—amphibious assault mission. Late on the afternoon of 5 June 1944, the troop-laden ships slipped out of Weymouth harbor and headed for the beaches of Normandy. The long-awaited assault on "Fortress Europe" began in the early hours of 6 June 1944 as the 16th Infantry Regiment moved toward Omaha Beach. As landing craft dropped their ramps, men were killed and wounded as they attempted to get out of the boats. Others were hit as they struggled through the surf or tried to run across the sand weighted down with water-logged equipment. Many were shot down, but others made it in close to the base of the bluff where they found the area mined and criss-crossed with concertina wire. Eventually, an assault section of E Company under First Lieutenant John Spalding and Staff Sergeant Philip Streczyk managed to cross a minefield, breach the enemy wire, and struggle their way to the bluff. Colonel George A. Taylor, the regimental commander, noting the small breakthrough stood to his feet and yelled at his troops, "The only men who remain on this beach are the dead and those who are about to die! Let's get moving!" Soon other troops began making their way up the bluffs along Spaulding's route while other gaps were blown through the wire and mines. By vicious fighting, some hand-to-hand, other sections, platoons, and eventually companies made it to the top and began pushing toward Colleville-Sur-Mer. By noon of that bloody day, the 16th Infantry had broken through the beach defenses and established a foothold that allowed follow-on units to land and move through.
At Omaha Beach on D-Day, June 1944

The evening of D-Day plus 1 found all of the units of the regiment ashore, many of them well inland by that time, but some were combat ineffective due to casualties. A few weeks later, at an awards ceremony on 2 July 1944, Generals Eisenhower, Bradley, and Gerow came to praise the troops of the regiment for their heroic efforts and to present the Distinguished Service Cross to a number of the regiment's officers and men. At the ceremony, Eisenhower told the members of the regiment: After D-Day, the 16th Infantry became the division reserve, and after a brief rest, continued moving inland. In late July, the regiment was still in division reserve when it was ordered to be prepared to assist in a breakout through the German line near St. Lo. After the saturation bombing of the Panzer Lehr Division on 25 July, the Big Red One closely followed the 9th Infantry Division in the breakout attempt.

Two days later the 16th Infantry was launched on an attack through a break in the lines near Marigny and drove on the city of Coutance where it established battle positions on 29 July. By this time, the Germans were in headlong retreat and attempting to establish a new line well to the east. Their efforts would fail and the German Seventh Army would be largely destroyed as it attempted to escape via the Falaise Gap. Meanwhile, in an effort to keep up with the retreating Germans, the men of the 16th Infantry piled on trucks, tanks, and anything else they could find to move eastward as quickly as possible. After motoring south past Paris, the regiment caught up with the enemy again near Mons, Belgium, where it helped the 1st Infantry Division destroyed six German divisions in August and early September. From Mons, the regiment pushed on with the Big Red One toward Aachen, Germany, just across the German frontier.

For the next three months, the men of the 16th Infantry would experience some of the most grueling fighting of the war in the infamous Hürtgen Forest near Aachen, Stolberg, and Hamich, Germany. After sustaining very heavy casualties from enemy artillery fire and the cold dreary weather, the entire division was sent to a rest camp on 12 December 1944. The stay was short, because AH launched Operation Wacht am Rhein four days later and the Battle of the Bulge was on. The division was sent to bolster the northern shoulder of the bulge near Camp Elsenborn. The regiment was ordered to positions near Waywertz. For the next month, the men of the 16th Infantry held defensive positions there, conducted heavy patrolling toward the German positions near Faymonville, and engaged in a number of firefights with troops of the 1st SS Panzer and 3rd Fallshirmjaeger Divisions. All of this was conducted in heavy snows during one of the coldest European winters on record. On 15 January 1945, the Big Red One launched its part of the Allied counteroffensive to reduce the Bulge.

Over the next seven weeks, the regiment conducted numerous operations in western Germany culminating in the capture of Bonn on 8 March 1945. From there the Big Red One moved north to the Harz Mountains to eliminate a German force cut off there by the rapid advance of the First and Ninth US Armies. For a week the regiment conducted several attacks against die-hard enemy troops. On 22 April, the Big Red One finished clearing the Harz Mountains and soon received orders to once again head south. This time, the division was reassigned to the Third Army for its drive into Czechoslovakia. On 28 April, the regiment arrived near Selb, Czechoslovakia, and began advancing east. For the next ten days the 16th Infantry pushed into that country arriving near Falkenau by 7 May. At 0800 that day, a net call went out to the entire regiment to cease all forward movement. The war was over.

In 443 days of combat, the 16th Infantry had sustained 1,250 officers and men killed in combat. An additional 6,278 were wounded or missing in action. Its men had earned four Medals of Honor, 87 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 1,926 Silver Stars. Additionally, the regiment, or its subordinate units, was awarded five presidential unit citations and two distinguished unit citations from the United States, two Croix de Guerre and the Médaille militaire from the government of France, and the Belgian Fourragerre and two citations from the government of Belgium. Once again the regiment had fought with valor and courage to help win a war against the nation's enemies. It would spend the next ten years trying to win the peace in the country of its vanquished foe.
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