90th company k infantry ww11? Any info on these men?

My gf was in the 359th infantry division, company K and he seen actual combat in WW11 and I’m sure he then went into the 90th division in June 1944 or possibly March of 1944, he was in the European Theater and Rhineland, and others as well. I’m trying to figure out how to determine exactly his role and did he get put into another platoon? I’m at dead end 

Parents
  • The 359th Infantry was one of the three infantry regiments assigned to the 90th Infantry Division in World War II. It wasn't that your Grandfather moved from the regiment to the 90th Division, he was in the 90th Division from the day he was first assigned to the regiment.

    The regiment was called to active service in March 1942 (it was a reserve unit) trained until it went overseas with the Division in March of 1944, and landed on Utah Beach on 6 June 1944, and participated in five campaigns: Normandy, with Arrowhead representing the combat assault on D-Day; Northern France, which was the breakout and pursuit; the Rhineland Campaign, which was the approach to the German Border; Ardennes-Alsace, which was the Battle of the Bulge; and Central Europe, which was the final defeat and occupation of Germany itself.

    The Regiment was also awarded two Presidential Unit Citations and the French Croix de Guerre.

    Unless he was severely injured, he probably spent his entire time in the same Regiment, and probably in the same company. And, although he might have had a different specialty, the two most common specialties within an infantry regiment were infantryman and medic. And if I were a betting man, I'd put my money on infantryman, simply because about 85-90% of the men in an infantry regiment were in that specialty.

    You say he moved to the 90th Infantry Division--is that because you have mail with a different address, or because you have photos of him with the 90th Infantry Division patch on? If you have letters that show he moved to a different unit--say, the division headquarters, for example--it might indicate that he was a different specialty. Or it could have been that he was a really good typist, artist, or German interpreter, and got swiped by higher headquarters as "borrowed military manpower."

    Hope that helps.

    If you check online, you'll probably find a history of the 359th. I know there are histories of the 90th Infantry Division, which would include the 359th in them. Just get one that is an overall discussion of Division Operations. The Division had a lot of trouble with leadership at the general officer level (OK, they had a revolving door for division commanders for a while)--don't get one of those books, it won't tell you what you want.

  • I have been thinking n contact with the National Archives and there are several medals he was to be awarded and I’m supposed to be the recipient of those, when and if they get here. But it does include 2 bronze stars. My grandfather never talked about the war, only a rare very few occasions but he also bought me my first pony. I have his flag and I just want to collect any things that he got that he wouldn’t even talk about it. I know one story where he told my dad and my dad told me that he was sent to a German hospital because his toes had been frozen and they wanted to remove his toes. Apparently he pulled a gun out on the doctor and told him if he touched his feet, he’d kill him. I can remember growing up that he had such a problem with his feet and nurses came often to tend to his feet but it never clicked as to why. But the only thing he ever shared with me was that he didn’t believe in God because I’d had seen what he seen, I would not believe in God either. He was a great man and a wonderful grandfather but I always felt completely safe with him for some reason. 

  • Just to set expectations and avoid disappointment--if his discharge papers say "European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 2 Bronze Stars," those are small bronze stars worn on the ribbon of that medal to indicate that he participated in two named campaigns in the war. If it says two Bronze Star Medals, it's what we today commonly refer to as the Bronze Star. 

    SS Rifle is "Sharpshooter Badge-Rifle." You can qualify on your assigned weapon at three levels--Marksman, Sharpshooter, or Expert. Sharpshooter is in the middle.

    ?? Infantrybadge is Combat Infantry Badge (CIB), awarded to infantrymen assigned to an infantry regiment or smaller organization who actually engaged with enemy forces. As badges go in the Army, it's probably the most prestigious (along with the Combat Medical Badge), because you have to get shot at to get it.

    Now, because he has the CIB, you will receive a Bronze Star Medal. In 1947 the Army awarded a Bronze Star Medal to everyone who had received the CIB or the CMB--but you had to a) know about it and b) ask for it, and many veterans never did, and it wouldn't show up on his discharge papers.

    If he was awarded 2 Bronze Star Medals, and he'd never applied for the 1947 blanket award, don't be surprised if you receive a Bronze Star Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters on it.

    He should have also received the World War II Victory Medal, probably received the Good Conduct Medal, and then any awards for valor, or the Purple Heart. He might have qualified for other service medals, such as the American Campaign Medal.

    If he was with the 359th for the entire war (not wounded and evacuated), he would be authorized the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Arrowhead and Five Bronze Stars. If he didn't land at Normandy, he wouldn't get the arrowhead, if he got evacuated, perhaps because of his frostbite, he might have missed one of the campaigns (probably Central Europe, as the frostbite probably happened during the Battle of the Bulge).

  • On the paperwork I received from the national archives it states he should be awarded 

    bronze star medal

    WW11 Victory Medal 

    Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award

    honorable service lapel button WW11

    maybe that helps more 

  • What paperwork did you received from the National Archives?  Did they include WD AGO Form 20?  This is the actual personnel record for your grandfather.  Below is a detail showing the "Record of Current Service" section of my father's WD AGO Form 20.  It shows he was assigned to K Company, 359th Infantry Regiment on 8 February 1945 as a replacement infantry rifleman (MOS 745).  He was trained as mortarman while with the company.

    If you did not get this record, you can still request Morning Reports (MR) for K Company from the National Archives.  If you know the dates of your grandfather's service with K Company, you can request those specific reports.  Alternatively, you could request the MRs for K Company's wartime service (6 June 1944 - 8 May 1945).  Morning Reports are exception driven.  They show only changes in the company's status; the arrival of replacements, transfers out, etc.  Company's location is recorded (sometimes as town names, usually as map coordinates).  There is also a brief description of daily activity such as movement from one location to another.  I do not have the morning reports for my father's time with K Company, but I expect to acquire them in the near future.

  • I havent requested this record nor did I know it was something I could request. 

    however I did get a letter from the national archives with the medal awards notification.. the letter also says that there is photocopies included with some of the documents I had requested but those weren’t included in the letter. I am so sad but so thankful.. 

    medals will come from US Army Tacom in Philly 

    awards included 

    Bronze star metal

    army commendation medal 

    good conduct medal 

    European-African middle eastern campaign medal with WW11 victory medal

    combat infantryman badge 1st award 

    honorable service lapel button WW11 

    **( on his separate paper I have it says European-African middle eastern service medal with two bronze stars and army of occupation medal ) 

    is there a difference in the two bronze stars vs not? Is the commendation medal same as the army of occupation medal?) 

    I did email the national archives about the enclosed documents missing  I hope to get those  

    but I’m confused about the medals  

    thanks

    amy 

Reply
  • I havent requested this record nor did I know it was something I could request. 

    however I did get a letter from the national archives with the medal awards notification.. the letter also says that there is photocopies included with some of the documents I had requested but those weren’t included in the letter. I am so sad but so thankful.. 

    medals will come from US Army Tacom in Philly 

    awards included 

    Bronze star metal

    army commendation medal 

    good conduct medal 

    European-African middle eastern campaign medal with WW11 victory medal

    combat infantryman badge 1st award 

    honorable service lapel button WW11 

    **( on his separate paper I have it says European-African middle eastern service medal with two bronze stars and army of occupation medal ) 

    is there a difference in the two bronze stars vs not? Is the commendation medal same as the army of occupation medal?) 

    I did email the national archives about the enclosed documents missing  I hope to get those  

    but I’m confused about the medals  

    thanks

    amy 

Children
  • OK, let's run through these medals.

    The European-African-Middle Eastern Medal is a campaign medal. It is awarded for "being there." There was a different medal for being in the Pacific, and a third one for being in the Americas (North, Central, or South). 

    To show the different battles, or campaigns, a soldier participated in, small bronze stars were worn on the ribbon of those medals. They are referred to as campaign stars.

    The Bronze Star Medal--always referred to officially that way, but always called the Bronze Star--is an individual award for valor or service in combat.

    It causes lots of confusion for people, because tehy see "three bronze stars" and think "three Bronze Star Medals."

    But they're not the same.

    In your father's case, his Bronze Star Medal is probably a "blanket" award. Following World War II, the Army decided that anyone who had been awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge or the Combat Medical Badge would automatically be awarded the Bronze Star Medal. No proof of anything, other than the fact of the award of one of those two badges, was required.

    The World War II Victory Medal was awarded to everyone who served during World War II.

    The Army of Occupation Medal was awarded to troops who were on occupation duty after the war for a specified minimum period of time. Interestingly, it was awarded for service in Berlin until the wall fell in 1991.

    The Army Commendation Medal (it was only a ribbon in World War II) was an individual award for service which ranked below the Bronze Star Medal. You had to do something to make yourself stand out, but not so much as you'd qualify for a Bronze Star Medal.