Reason my Father Robert E Davidson serving with Co "A" 194th Tank Bn. 47th Inf Div. Camp Rucker, Ala. received a Bronze Star during the Korean war. Records were lost in 1973 fire. Is there any way to get anymore information?

How can I find any information about why my Father received the Bronze Star in Korea? 


    Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!

    The Textual Reference Archives II Branch (RR2RR) has custody of the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917- (Record Group 407), U.S. Army Command Reports, 1949-54, and the Records of U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Organizations (World War II and Thereafter) (Record Group 338). Command reports among these records consist mostly of narrative historical and after action reports as well as unit journals and other supporting documents. We reviewed these records but unfortunately we were not able to locate general orders or award information for the 194th Tank Battalion or the 47th Infantry Division that include information on Robert E. Davidson. 
    We additionally reviewed Eighth Army Award Case Files within Record Group 338 but again were not able to locate records for Robert E. Davidson. If you are able to identify who issued the Bronze Star, date of issue, and general orders number please let us know and we will gladly continue searching our records for you. 

    We invite you to continue the conversation with community members on History Hub, but should you have follow up questions for the staff at Archives II, please email us at so that we can assist you further.

    We hope this assists you with your research!


    Textual Reference Archives II Branch (RR2RR)
    [RR2RR 23-56394-SZ]
  • Unfortunately I don't have any information. He never told my mother when or why he got the medal. The only thing she remembered was that she knew he was a 'forward observer". We have some pictures of him and some of his comrades but only one has a name on it and I can't find any information searching his name. I was young when my father passed away so I didn't think to ask any questions. I never even saw the medal until I was a teen. I was depending on his military records not ever thinking about them being destroyed in a 1973 fire. I will continue to search and keep up with these posts. Maybe I will get lucky some day.  Thank you so much for trying to help. 

  • Is a shoulder patch or other unit insignia visible in any of the photos? Maybe painted on the front or side of a helmet? Or on a sign in the background? If so, and you can post a high-resolution copy, someone might be able to recognize it and help identify the unit, helping narrow down your search. Even the shape can be distinctive. Each of the divisions that fought in Korea, and the Corps, had distinctive shapes to their shoulder patches.

  • The pictures are very small and even enlarged they don’t show any detail enough to see their uniforms. I do remember the mention of him being on Kojedo Island (not how it’s spelled now) at some point. On his dress uniform in the newspaper clip of the medal pinning there is a patch that is kinda leaf shaped with a lightening bolt inside it and on the other side and on the helmet is a round patch in blue and red with a Viking pictured in it. Also the stripes of Sargent with a T. The combat pictures I can’t see any last names. Only one has the name Pap Nolen. I have the Sargent stripes patch but don’t know what happened to the Viking or the lightening patch. 

  • In the Army, Soldiers wear patches on their shoulders for specific reasons. The patch on their left shoulder is for their current unit of assignment. That is the Viking patch, and is the 47th Infantry Division, which was mobilized at Camp Rucker, to which the 194th Tank Battalion was assigned.

    47th Infantry Division Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

    On their right shoulder, Soldiers who have been to war wear what is known as a "Shoulder Sleeve Insignia, Former Wartime Service," more informally known as a "Combat Patch."

    The patch you have described is the shoulder sleeve insignia of the 25th Infantry Division. It is a Taro Leaf with a lightning bolt, since the division was originally raised in Hawaii. It's pretty distinctive, and your description is spot-on. It's official nickname is "Tropic Lightning," but in Vietnam, soldiers referred to it as "The Electric Strawberry."

    25th Infantry Division Shoulder Sleeve Insignia

    Assuming your father didn't serve in World War II, we can conclude he was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division when he was in Korea.

    The Division does have an association, and it looks like they have an archive of donated records at the Marshall Center at the Virginia Military Institute.

    25th Infantry Division Association – Welcome, Tropic Lightning Veterans and Active Duty Soldiers (

  • Oh, my! I am so thankful for your continued effort to help me gain a little understanding of things military. Any knowledge is a blessing to me. I have sent an email to the website you attached here but haven't heard from them as of yet. The medal, his Sargent stripes and dog tags are all I have had over the years which is something. My mother doesn't know what happened to these two patches. Again so appreciate you taking time to respond and help! 

  • The patches are actually pretty easy to get online. Just type in "25th Infantry Division Shoulder Patch" or "47th Infantry Division Shoulder Patch" in Google search, then choose the "shop" option, and they should pop up. eBay also has them. If you want period-authentic, you want "cut-edge" on a khaki or dark green background--or one that says vintage late 1940s or early 1950s. The "merrowed edge" patch didn't come into use until later. Although for a shadow box, the merrowed edge, where the embroidery wraps around the edge of the patch, actually looks better, so is just as good. And don't get any subdued (camouflage) patches--they didn't start using them until the late 1960s, so your dad never wore one.

  • I did go to online shop page for this site. I don't think my Dad's patch was green/khaki and black. On his dress uniform picture although it's black and white The outline and the lightening bolt shows up light colored and the inside of the leaf dark. Mother says thinks it was yellow and red.  The lightening patch was on his right sleeve and the Viking patch just above his Sargent stripes on his left. there is some kind of pin on his headpiece. I wish I could get pictures to up load on this site but can't get them to from my phone. I hope that I am not bothering you with all these questions but I have known so little about what these things mean and about what his time was like. I am just grateful for your help. 

  • I'm sorry. I guess I wasn't clear. In the 1940s to the 1960s or early 1970s, you could see the background material on the shoulder patches. They refer to that style as a "cut edge." The background material at the time your father was in would be either khaki or olive drab; later in the 1950s it would change to Army green.

    Here are examples of cut edged patches:

    47th Infantry Division cut-edge shoulder patch 25th Infantry Division cut edge patch

    Later on, they went to a merrowed-edge patch, where the embroidery wrapped around the edge of the patch. It looks neater. This is the current style, in use today:

    47th Infantry Division Shoulder Patch, Merrowed Edge25th Infantry Division Shoulder Patch Merrowed Edge

    Your father would have worn color, cut-edge patches. If you are doing a display box, you can either chose to go with period-appropriate, or for the aesthetics.

    He never would have worn a subdued (olive drab and black) shoulder patch. He was in about 15 years too early.

    As for the crest on his cap, I wouldn't put too much effort into figuring out what it is. It most likely is the 194th Tank Battalion or, if they weren't authorized a crest, one assigned to a higher echelon unit.

    This is the Distinctive Unit Insignia authorized for the 194th Tank Battalion (now the 194th Armored Regiment) in 1952:

    194th Tank Battalion DUICoat of Arms (

    You've only mentioned his Bronze Star Medal. He should be authorized three additional medals for sure--the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, and the United Nations Service Medal. And probably a Good Conduct Medal, as well. Do you have his DD-214?

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