14 Replies Latest reply on Apr 28, 2020 5:18 PM by joan stachnik

    Seeking information on my grandfather's Purple Heart

    Mary Kinnikin Newbie

      I have just been given a Purple Heart that was my grandfathers George H. Chamberlain and would like more history. I only knew one grandparent which was his wife. All family that would have known are no longer living so trying to find history via family isn't going to happen at this point.

        • Re: Seeking information on my grandfather's Purple Heart
          Elliot Schneider Pioneer

          Mary,

           

          Where was he born? And what date and year?

           

          Thanks,

           

          Elliot Schneider

          • Re: Seeking information on my grandfather's Purple Heart
            joan stachnik Tracker

            Hi Mary, I'm assuming your grandfather was in World War II (and the US Army).  If you have your grandfather's separation papers for the military, it should list the General Order (GO) and date of the award. The GO should give the date and place your grandfather was wounded or injured. You might also search local newspapers around the time your grandfather was in service. Some of the neighborhood papers had updates about local men in service. And, if you have not already done so, you could request your grandfather's service records from the National Archives (St. Louis, I believe). There are a number of postings on this forum explaining how to request an OMPF (official military personnel file). Hope this is of some help. joan

              • Re: Seeking information on my grandfather's Purple Heart
                Mary Kinnikin Newbie

                Thank you for this information.

                Actually my Grandfather would be WWI

                I am still researching his actual birth date but don't know if that is going to be possible. I am backtracking from the information I do have like my grandmothers year of birth was 1901 so he was probably around the same time.

                Also my dad was WWII vet and I found some of his military papers.

                 

                Again Thank you,

                Mary

                  • Re: Seeking information on my grandfather's Purple Heart
                    joan stachnik Tracker

                    Mary, sorry if this is duplicate information for you, but I did a search on Familysearch.org (free after registration) and found a George H. Chamberlain in the 1900 census, living in Baltimore MD. He was born Jan 1900 to John and Dora Chamberlain. The same family is in the 1910 census, also Baltimore MD, now with 4 more children.  It looks like the same individual (with family) is in the 1930 and 1940 census also.  Familysearch.org lists an entry from "Find a grave" for a George H. Chamberlain, born 11 Jan 1900; died 15 Jun 1953 in Maryland. I think these are all the same individual. 

                     

                    If this is your grandfather, it might help in requesting any military service records. Hope this is of some help, joan

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • Re: Seeking information on my grandfather's Purple Heart
                      Elliot Schneider Pioneer

                      Mary,

                       

                      Could this be him? WW1 index card. Says he was from Baltimore, MD. Dose your father know him or was he raised mostly by his mother? Also found 1940 census any of these family members ring a bell. please see list below. If these family members are correct then I've got the right Chamberlain. Thus you can see he was with the Co C 112th MG BN also known as Machine Gun Battailion.

                       

                      Household Role Sex Age Birthplace

                      George H Chamberlain Head Male 40 Maryland

                      Matilda E Chamberlain Wife Female 38 Maryland

                      Edward N Chamberlain Son Male 17 Maryland

                      George F Chamberlain Son Male 13 Maryland

                      John F Chamberlain Son Male 11 Maryland

                      Raymond L Chamberlain Son Male 8 Maryland

                       

                       

                       

                      Thanks,

                       

                      Elliot Schneider

                        • Re: Seeking information on my grandfather's Purple Heart
                          Mary Kinnikin Newbie

                          YES oh my goodness....Matilda was my grandmother.....George F was my Dad....Oh my goodness I am in tears.

                          So now what do I do?

                            • Re: Seeking information on my grandfather's Purple Heart
                              Elliot Schneider Pioneer

                              Mary,

                               

                              Great to have helped. Well lets just say i found a roster of the men from his unit and it concluded that he was in fact listed as being slightly wounded on the roster. Use this information on that WW1 data card his service number is 1291194 dates of service 8/15/1917 - 6/5/1919 and home of record is above.

                               

                              Since he was from Maryland please follow instructions below to try and obtain records. i had actually checked on this and was given this information. The following individual maybe able to assist you. THey may have paperwork for you to fill out but can be accessed on their website.

                               

                              https://military.maryland.gov/Pages/hg_docs.aspx

                               

                               

                              According to my conversation with Mr. Gary he suggested that a CPT Lyons would be a better resource. She can be reached at 410-576-1496 or mary.e.lyons39.mil@mail.mil

                               

                               

                               

                              Hope this helps,

                               

                              Elliot Schneider

                              • Re: Seeking information on my grandfather's Purple Heart
                                joan stachnik Tracker

                                Mary, just to add to Elliot's response, Archive.org (a free library after registration) has the "History of the 29th Division" (which includes the 112th MGB). Your grandfather's name is included in the roster. If you are interested in reading about the history of the division and a bit about some campaigns, the link for Archive.org is below. Also, I'm not certain what kind of documentation there would be for your grandfather's Purple Heart award, From what I've read, the award was not used during WWI. It was given retroactive by request to those wounded (or to the families of those killed) in WWI starting in 1932. I found the following statement regarding the award and WWI. Hope this is of help or interest. joan

                                 

                                "Subsequent to the Revolution, the Order of the Purple Heart had fallen into disuse and no further awards were made. By Order of the President of the United States, the Purple Heart was revived on the 200th Anniversary of George Washington’s birth, out of respect to his memory and military achievements, by War Department General Orders No. 3, dated 22 February 1932. The criteria was announced in War Department Circular dated 22 February 1932 and authorized award to soldiers, upon their request, who had been awarded the Meritorious Service Citation Certificate or were authorized to wear wound chevrons subsequent to 5 April 1917."

                                 

                                29th Division History:

                                https://archive.org/details/historyoftwentyn00cutc/page/n7/mode/2up

                        • Re: Seeking information on my grandfather's Purple Heart
                          Douglas Campbell Newbie

                          Could this be him?

                           

                          Full Name:George H Chamberlain

                          State of Residence:New York

                          Death:2-Nov-43

                          Death Date:2 Nov 1943

                          Buried:Missing in Action or Buried at Sea Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery Manila, Philippines

                          Memorial Location:Missing in Action or Buried at Sea

                          Memorial Cemetery:Tablets of the Missing at Manila American Cemetery

                          Memorial Country:Manila, Philippines

                          Rank:Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Forces

                          Service Number:32382962

                          Regiment:8th Bomber Squadron, 3rd Bomber Group, Light

                          Conflict Period:World War II

                          Awards:Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart

                          Served for:United States of America

                          • Re: Seeking information on my grandfather's Purple Heart
                            Jason Atkinson Pioneer

                            Dear Ms. Kinnikin,

                             

                            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

                             

                            If you have not done so already, we suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 and prior to 1955 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002. If there is any information requested on the form that you do not know, you may leave this blank, however the more information you provide, the easier it will be for NPRC staff to locate the correct file. Please note that the document that Mr. Schneider found as well as other sources we located (see below) indicate that his service number was 1291194 so be sure to include that on the SF-180 in Section 1, Box 5. You may attach memos or letters with additional information to your request, such as the name of his unit. For more information, see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.

                             

                            We searched the National Archives Catalog and located a series titled Records of Divisions, ca. 1918 - 1942 in the Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (World War I) (Record Group 120) that includes records of the 29th Division and its subordinate units, such as the 112th Machine Gun Battalion (Entry P 1241-29, Box 11). General and special orders of the 29th (Entry P 1241-29, Boxes 110-116) may include information about any awards he received. We also located Records of Machine Gun Battalions, 1917 - 1920 in the Records of U.S. Regular Army Mobile Units, 1815 - 1970 (Record Group 391) that includes records of the 112th Machine Gun Battalion.  Plus, we located Central Files, 1926 - 1939 in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office (Record Group 407) that may include documents about the retroactive awarding of Purple Hearts to World War I veterans filed under War Department Decimal Number 220.5 Rewards-Enlisted. For more information about these records please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at archives2reference@nara.gov.

                             

                            We located Lists of Outgoing Passengers, 1917 - 1938 in the Records of the Office of the Quartermaster General (Record Group 92), which includes the following listing:

                             

                            Name:

                            George H Chamberlain

                            Departure Date:

                            15 Jun 1918

                            Departure Place:

                            Hoboken, New Jersey

                            Address:

                            2105 E Lailey St

                            Residence Place:

                            Baltimore, Maryland

                            Father:

                            John B Chamberlain

                            Ship:

                            De Kalb

                            Military Unit:

                            112th M G Bn

                            Rank:

                            Private

                            Service Number:

                            1291194

                            Notes:

                            Company "C" 112th Machine Gun Battalion

                             

                            We also located Lists of Incoming Passengers, 1917 - 1938 Record Group 92, which includes the following listing:

                             

                            Name:

                            George H Chamberlain

                            Departure Date:

                            11 May 1919

                            Departure Place:

                            St Nazaire, France

                            Arrival Date:

                            24 May 1919

                            Arrival Place:

                            Newport News, Virginia

                            Address:

                            2105 East Lanley Street

                            Residence Place:

                            Baltimore, Maryland

                            Father:

                            John B Chamberlain

                            Ship:

                            Artemis

                            Military Unit:

                            Co, C 112th Mgbn

                            Rank:

                            Private

                            Service Number:

                            1291194

                            Notes:

                            Company C, 112th Machine Gun Battalion

                             

                            These passenger lists are in the custody of RDT2. They are also available through Ancestry.com as the data collection U.S., Army Transport Service, Passenger Lists, 1910-1939.

                             

                            We located the series titled Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 in the Records of the Selective Service System (World War I) (Record Group 163) that are in the custody of the National Archives at Atlanta (RE-AT) that may include a draft card for him. For access to and/or copies of these records, please contact RE-AT via email at atlanta.archives@nara.gov.

                             

                            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2 and RE-AT. Also, the National Personnel Records Center is servicing only urgent requests related to homeless veterans, medical emergencies, and funerals which may be faxed to 314-801-0764.  We thank you for your patience and look forward to resuming normal operations when the public health emergency has ended.

                             

                            In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Archives has partnered with Ancestry to make the vast majority of their NARA-digitized holdings freely available to the public. Anyone with Internet access can create an account and access NARA records and use other Ancestry resources, such as their educational offerings and family tree-maker application. For more information see their announcement at Free At-Home Education Resources From Ancestry® and Access to Nearly 500M National Archives Records.

                             

                            The Maryland State Archives, the Maryland State Library, and the Maryland Museum of Military History may also have resources relating to Maryland units and Marylanders who fought in World War I. You also may wish to contact the U.S. Army Center of Military History, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, The Army Historical Foundation, the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center, National World War I Museum and Memorial, and similar institutions.

                             

                            We also searched online and located the following publications that have information relating to the 29th Division.

                             

                            We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!

                            2 people found this helpful