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)
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  • 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. 

  • By the way, if you want to read about  fire, what the Archives has been doing since to help preserve history, and the fire's impact on history, there was a truly awesome article published a week or two ago in "Wired" magazine. You can read it here:

  • This tells us he was a "drilling" reservist after he got off of active duty. He would not have received another DD-214 because of this unless he had a second period of Active Duty other than active duty for training (it's a mouthful, but that's how they word it). From the way it's worded, I'd say he didn't have another tour.

    Should you include it? Probably. But in the remarks section, you should put "Active Duty Date A to Date B; Ready reserve date B to date C.

    The question I'm not sure about, and I'd have to do some more research on to be ABSOLUTELY sure, is if "Active Status" means that he was a "drilling Reservist"--the classic "one weekend a month and two weeks in the summer," or if he was what we now call "Active Guard and Reserve," which is a Reservist who is on full-time active duty, but assigned to a Reserve Unit, doing reserve duties, like the administrative paperwork to make sure everything is ready when the other members of the unit show up for their weekend "drill." The certificate says "Army of the United States," which was the small Regular Army plus the larger Reserve on Active Duty.

    When my wife was a battalion commander, she had six or eight people in her headquarters assigned as Active Guard and Reserve.

    Again, send it to the Archives when you make your request--the more existing paperwork you provide them, the more places they know to look for info.

    Because most people leaving active duty went into "Control Groups," meaning that the government still had a string on them for several years, but it was more along the lines of "we'll call you if the Commies attack.:"

    And no, I don't mind at all. I find this sort of thing to be fun. I'll see if I can find a copy of the regulation cited on the bottom of the form.

  • My father returned home to Alabama in December of 1952. He did not have any reserve  meetings nor any summer camp. He was hired by Westinghouse Corp who had just opened a lamp division plant in our town three weeks after his return from Camp Rucker where he worked for 30 years until his death. I asked my mother and she remembered that he would not have to return to duty unless war was declared. It was not so he received this discharge certificate in 1956. I don’t know what that status would be. 

    There isn’t anything on his  foot marker other than Sargent and Korea. I’m confused about the technical terms concerning “bronze stars” and their meanings and why they are awarded. The large star and bars shown in my picture awarded at Camp Rucker means what exactly? And what a bronze service star is as opposed to the larger one. That’s my biggest question and if you’ve already answered it my brain missed it. 

    I guess I’m probably confusing you but military jargon and rules dates, abbreviations and reasons are complicated for a civilian. 

    I faxed the DD314 to the archives and asked for replacement medals so I hope I get a response. But it’s telling me without proof because records are completely lost I would only get what’s listed on the DD214. Thanks again for your help. I searched Facebook but there must be a million Donald Hall’s I had no location or town  to help narrow it down. 

  • Well, we've tried our best. At least you have the Bronze Star Medal and the article, so you know he was awarded it, even if the Archives forgot  

    It's likely then, that he didn't serve in any sort of a drilling status. So we won't worry about that. There probably won't be any records relating to that service--usually they had to "muster"--show up someplace to validate their medical status and their address once a year--but that was it.

    I would still contact the two veterans associations--for the 25th Infantry Division and the 27th Infantry Regiment--and ask if they have copies of orders for Bronze Star Medals from 1952 in their archives. You might just get lucky.

    And on Facebook, I've switched my photo so it matches the one I use here so you can pick me out of the crowd. Plus I live in DC.

  • Yes, I do have that bronze star and the article which is a blessing that it wasn't at my Grandmother's home when it burned because I guess I would never be able to prove he even received it since the archives fire erased the records. Ironic that a fire destroyed his patches and other awards and a fire also destroyed his records. Kind of like his service never existed. But that's life. I have sent a contact email to the link you provided to the Wolfhound Pack with the information that you have been able to provide me through the pictures and the DD214 it may be a longshot but they may can help in some way. Since most all of his comrades are likely deceased I don't have much hope of that. But thanks to my local Postmaster who is retired Air Force he suggested I contact the History Hub and other avenues on the net. I couldn't ever thank you enough for your help and your willingness to respond at all. I have requested replacement medals and contacted the Wolfhounds hopeful I get them. It's still amazes me that I have looked at that jeep picture a thousand times over the years and never noticed those two Wolf Heads and the writing on the bumper. You're a Rock Star!

  • I do see that I missed one question, and that was bronze service star versus Bronze Star Medal. Bronze Service Stars (also called campaign stars) are worn on the ribbon of the service medal for a war. In your father's case, he was awarded two. It is based strictly on when he arrived in Korea and when he left and when the campaigns began and ended. My father got four for his Korea service, because he was in Korea for nearly two years (support personnel stayed longer than combat personnel). I have two service stars on my Desert Storm service medal (officially, the Southwest Asia Service Medal), and one on my Iraq Campaign Medal. Again, it just has to do with when I arrived and when I left country, and when the campaigns started and ended.

    The Bronze Star Medal is an individual award. It's what is called a decoration. It traces its history to the Silver Star Medal, which started out as a silver service star which was worn on the World War I Victory Medal to indicate that someone had been cited for Valor.

    At the start of World War II< General George Marshall, the Chief of Staff of the Army (and later Secretary of State, father of the Marshall Plan, and Secretary of Defense) wanted to create another award, that would be awarded for either Valor or Achievement that was of a lesser degree than that of the Silver Star--which by this time had become a medal of its own.

    So the medal that Marshall wanted became the Bronze Star Medal. If you look on the back, it says, in small letters, "For Valor or Achievement" in a circle (your dad's name MIGHT be engraved in the center of the circle formed by the words--but probably not).

    The vast majority of Bronze Star Medals are awarded for Achievement--for doing your job in an exceptional manner. At some point, the Defense Department started issuing Bronze Stars awarded for Valor with a small bronze "V" on the ribbon, so you could tell when looking at an individual's ribbons if their Bronze Star Medal was awarded for Achievement or Valor.

    I worked for a boss in the 1980s who had two Bronze Star Medals for Valor. One was for running from bunker to bunker during a mortar attack to provide aid to the wounded and evacuate them to the battalion aid station; the other was for taking command of a patrol after the other LT was killed in an ambush, reorganizing the patrol, evacuating the wounded, and carrying on the patrol to complete their mission.

    You'll notice I keep saying "Bronze Service Star" and "Bronze Star Medal." That's deliberate. A lot of people mistake the two, so you'll see obituaries that will say that someone served in Vietnam and was a cook who was awarded three Bronze Stars. In all likelihood, those were bronze service stars on the Vietnam Service Medal, and the family didn't know how to read the DD-214. So I'm always careful to distinguish between the two.

    I hope that answered your question.

  • I thought I had it right but wanted to be sure. I didn't want to misspeak when communicating with other sites. Military rules and regulations can be hard to decipher by a civilian with little information as to their meaning.  I received a reply this morning from the The Wolfhound Pack site and they say that they have some records stored at the University of Georgia but those can only be viewed by appointment and in person and there may be no records useful to me. Most pertain to the Viet Nam era. The gentleman encouraged me to look at their merchandise and Wolfhound gear on their site and purchase some if I like. I may purchase my brother a cap which has the Wolfhound & slogan on the front and the Tropic Lightening patch on the back. I think he will love it. I recently had our Dad's burial flag placed in a display case for him. We found it in storage of my mothers things. I have always had the Bronze Star now he has the flag. We have always been immensely proud of our Dad's service and great respect for all Veterans who serve this country. When I see one with something on that lets me know they are Vets I always thank them however small that may seem. I may never know details that were in the records but I am eternally grateful for the things I have learned from you. I will continue to dig because I'm tenacious like my Dad maybe I will get lucky. A little 'luck" found you after all! May God richly bless you! 

  • I got this newspaper clipping here from another poster. My mother never mentioned Fort Jackson. So this is where he went for “Basic Training” I guess. Does the Company D 61st Infantry 8th division mean anything as far as records go? Or should I say anything that would help? I guess the photo without any medals was taken there. I swear military is complicated to me anyway. 

  • I got this newspaper clipping here from another poster. My mother never mentioned Fort Jackson. So this is where he went for “Basic Training” I guess. Does the Company D 61st Infantry 8th division mean anything as far as records go? Or should I say anything that would help? I guess the photo without any medals was taken there. I swear military is complicated to me anyway. 

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