Original U.S. WWII Tank Destroyer 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron Named Grouping

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind. Master Sergeant George A. Cassettari ASN 36019466 was a member of 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized) Tank Destroyer Battalion who landed on Omaha Beach during the Normandy invasion on D-Day +6 (June 12th, 1944). He fought in the following campaigns; Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe and was Wounded in Action in France on July 27th, 1944. He returned to action and fought for the duration of the war.

During World War II, the 3d Reconnaissance Squadron was activated as part of the 1st Cavalry Division on 15 November 1942 at Fort Bliss, Texas. On 21 November 1943 it was redesignated as the 38th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized) at Exter, England and assigned to the 102d Cavalry Regiment(Mechanized).

The 38th shipped from the New York Port of Embarkation on 15 November 1943 and arrived in Scotland five days later and disembarked at the Firth of Clyde. Following a period of training in the UK it arrived in France on 12 June 1944, shortly after the Normandy invasion. Entered Paris on 25 August 1944 and is recognized as the first American units to do enter the capital city. It reached Belgium on 4 September 1944 and Germany on 30 March 1945. In August 1945 it was located at Prestice, Czechoslovakia. Returning to the United States, it was inactivated on 28 November 1945 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. During the war in Europe, the 38th was attached to the 102nd Cavalry Group (Mechanized)

This wonderful grouping named to Master Sergeant George A. Cassettari includes the following items:

- Ike Jacket with Tank Destroyer Patch on left shoulder, armored lapel pin and medals ribbons that include: Purple Heart, Good Conduct, European-African Middle East Campaign with campaign star.

- Overseas Garrison Cap with enamel Tank Destroyer pin.

- Rarer U.S. Navy Version of Purple Heart Medal in case

- Original Honorable Discharge and Separation report, which documents his service.

- 6 x original photos, some featuring Cassettari in uniform.

- The 38th Cav Rec Sq History book.

- 102nd Cavalry Group Roster and campaign map naming Cassettari as a Master Sergeant in the HQ Company.

- Letters, Newspaper articles, books, patches, belt, tie, shirt and much more.

A truly amazing collection from a Normandy campaign Wounded in Action veteran who landed on Omaha Beach, fought in the entirety of the Battle of the Bulge and crossed the Rhine into Germany. Incredible!

Omaha, commonly known as Omaha Beach, was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on 6 June 1944, during World War II. 'Omaha' refers to a section of the coast of Normandy, France, facing the English Channel 8 kilometers (5 mi) long, from east of Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes to west of Vierville-sur-Mer on the right bank of the Douve River estuary. Landings here were necessary to link the British landings to the east at Gold with the American landing to the west at Utah, thus providing a continuous lodgement on the Normandy coast of the Bay of the Seine. Taking Omaha was to be the responsibility of United States Army troops, with sea transport, mine sweeping, and a naval bombardment force provided predominantly by the United States Navy and Coast Guard, with contributions from the British, Canadian, and Free French navies.

On D-Day, the untested 29th Infantry Division, along with nine companies of U.S. Army Rangers redirected from Pointe du Hoc, were to assault the western half of the beach. The battle-hardened 1st Infantry Division was given the eastern half. The initial assault waves, consisting of tanks, infantry, and combat engineer forces, were carefully planned to reduce the coastal defenses and allow the larger ships of the follow-up waves to land.

The primary objective at Omaha was to secure a beachhead of eight kilometres (5 miles) depth, between Port-en-Bessin and the Vire River, linking with the British landings at Gold to the east, and reaching the area of Isigny to the west to link up with VII Corps landing at Utah. Opposing the landings was the German 352nd Infantry Division. Of the 12,020 men of the division, 6,800 were experienced combat troops, detailed to defend a 53-kilometer (33 mi) front. The Germans were largely deployed in strongpoints along the coast—the German strategy was based on defeating any seaborne assault at the water line.

Very little went as planned during the landing at Omaha. Difficulties in navigation caused the majority of landing craft to miss their targets throughout the day. The defenses were unexpectedly strong, and inflicted heavy casualties on landing U.S. troops. Under heavy fire, the engineers struggled to clear the beach obstacles; later landings bunched up around the few channels that were cleared. Weakened by the casualties taken just in landing, the surviving assault troops could not clear the heavily defended exits off the beach. This caused further problems and consequent delays for later landings. Small penetrations were eventually achieved by groups of survivors making improvised assaults, scaling the bluffs between the most heavily defended points. By the end of the day, two small isolated footholds had been won, which were subsequently exploited against weaker defenses further inland, thus achieving the original D-Day objectives over the following days.
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