14 Replies Latest reply on Jun 18, 2019 2:37 PM by Brendan Grahn

    Silver Star Citation for Great Grandfather

    Brendan Grahn Newbie

      I'm seeking information on my great grandfather, Wilbur B McAllister, born 1901, Major, US Army (Engineer) during WWII. He received a variety of medals which we recently received replacements of, however a silver star ribbon found on his WW2 uniform remains unaccounted for. His discharge documents do not mention it, however his uniforms from the war have the ribbon and when donated to a local historical society, also had a separate silver star in it's blue box. The silver star however was unfortunately stolen many years ago.


      I am trying to find any type of record showing the silver star, to share with my grandfather. I have plenty of additional info on my great grandfather that I can provide as needed.

        • Re: Silver Star Citation for Great Grandfather
          Elliot Schneider Tracker



          Willing to help with this do you have any additional information about grandfathers military service including and unit information. Just to be clear your saying he was issued a Silver Star Medal? The reason for the question is that sometimes people confuse the stars on a ribbon for the silver star, these are seperate and the stars you see on the campaign ribbon are called battle stars signifying that his unit took part in certain battles within the campaign. Please send any additional information that may help others.





          Elliot Schneider

          3 of 3 people found this helpful
            • Re: Silver Star Citation for Great Grandfather
              Brendan Grahn Newbie

              Hi Elliot,


              Thank you very much for the reply! Let me share the information I have between his paperwork, family stories and the recent rediscovery of 3 of his donated uniforms.


              • My great grandfather served with the 1173rd Engineer Combat Group
              • Army Serial # 0 301 037


              Information from 'Military Record and Report of Separation Certificate of Service' (February 27th, 1946)

              • Battles and Campaigns - Northern France GO 33 WD 45 / Rhineland GO 40 WD 45
              • Decorations and Citations - European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, American Service Medal, World War II Victory Medal, American Defense Medal


              I recently found 3 of his uniforms at the local historical society, 20+ years after their donation. Ever since I was a child, my family told stories of the day that his uniforms were donated and the 'silver star medal in a blue box' that accompanied them. Shortly after the donation and display of the uniform, the medal was stolen. After rediscovering the uniforms after all these years, they tell a slightly different story than the paperwork.


              I have included a close up of the ribbon rack. As best as I can tell, this shows:


              • World War II Victory Medal
              • American Campaign Medal
              • European African Middle Eastern Service Medal
                • With 4 Battle stars (paperwork only shows Northern France/Rhineland)
              • American Defense Medal
              • Silver Star


              The two things I have been unable to explain are, what are the other 2 battle stars representative of and what is the story behind the Silver Star ribbon.


              If there is any other information that would assist, I'd be happy to help as best as I can.


              - Brendan


            • Re: Silver Star Citation for Great Grandfather
              Brendan Grahn Newbie

              I am also seeking any and all information on the 1173rd Engineer Combat Group. My understanding is that their composition changed from time to time based on projects, but that they typically were in command of 3-5 engineer battalions.


              The only reference I have found to date that mentions battalions that fell under the 1173rd's control was in 'Cleveland County in WW2', a book by Anita Price Davis and m. James Walker.


              "In November 1944, three battalions— 20th Combat Engineers, 1340th Combat Engineers, and 146th Combat Engineers—of the 1173rd Engineer Group committed as infantry. Their task was to recapture Vossenack from the Germans "

              • Re: Silver Star Citation for Great Grandfather
                Becca Simons Adventurer

                Dear Mr. Grahn,


                Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


                We searched the Unit Histories, 1943 - 1967 in the Records of U.S. Army Operational, Tactical, and Support Organizations (World War II and Thereafter) (Record Group 338) and the World War II Operations Reports, 1940 - 1948 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office (Record Group 407) but were unable to locate any records of the 1173rd Engineer Combat Group during WWII.


                We also searched the Silver Star listings prepared by the U.S. Army but could not locate a soldier named Wilbur B. McAllister.


                We hope this information is helpful.

                2 of 2 people found this helpful
                • Re: Silver Star Citation for Great Grandfather
                  Elliot Schneider Tracker



                  Here is what I would have your Grandfather do. Try doing 2 seperate SF180 one for his National Guard Service and the Other for his Army Reserve records. The reason I say this is because he had two separate service numbers one for National guard  and the other for the Reserves. They may have decided to store all his records under the National Guard records and vice versa. It is worth a try, sometimes its worth trying everything first. You may want to also try contacting local VFW or ROA also known as Reserve Officer Association.


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                  Elliot Schneider

                  1 of 1 people found this helpful