Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (10 & 11 December 2014)

Date of Auction: 10th & 11th December 2014

Sold for £400

Estimate: £250 - £300

An impressive Vietnam service Silver Star group of sixteen named to Command Sergeant-Major Bobby Lee Sturgeon, 25th Infantry Division

Silver Star, unnamed, crimp brooch; Soldiers Medal, reverse hand engraved, ‘B. Sturgeon’, crimp brooch; Bronze Star, unnamed, with ‘V’ emblem and three bronze oak leaf clusters on ribbon, crimp brooch; Purple Heart, reverse machine engraved, ‘Bobby L. Sturgeon’, with two bronze oak leaf clusters on ribbon, slot brooch; Air Medal, reverse hand engraved, ‘SSgt. Bobby L. Sturgeon’, with bronze oak leaf cluster on ribbon, slot brooch; Army Commendation Medal, reverse hand engraved, ‘Bobby Sturgeon’, with bronze oak leaf cluster on ribbon, crimp brooch; Army Good Conduct Medal, reverse hand engraved, ‘B. Sturgeon’, with second award clasp; Army of Occupation Medal, 1 clasp, Japan; National Defense Service Medal, bronze star on ribbon; Korea Service Medal, three bronze stars on ribbon; U.N. Korea Medal; Vietnam Service Medal, four bronze stars on ribbon; South Vietnam, Gallantry Cross, reverse engraved in script, ‘Serj Chef bobi’, with bronze star and palm on ribbon; Armed Forces Honour Medal, 2nd Class; South Korea Service Medal; South Vietnam, Service Medal, 1 clasp, 1960- , good very fine and better (16) £250-300


Silver Star citation: ‘For gallantry in action while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam.
First Sergeant Sturgeon distinguished himself by exceptionally valourous action on 8 September 1969, while serving with Company B, 1st Battalion (Airmobile), 7th Cavalry during an enemy attack in the Republic of Vietnam. When his unit's perimeter came under an intense rocket and mortar attack followed by a ground assault, First Sergeant Sturgeon, with total disregard for his own personal safety, repeatedly exposed himself to the hostile fire. First Sergeant Sturgeon continuously made certain that the main defense was always well supplied with ammunition as well as replacements for wounded personnel. First sergeant Sturgeon also aided some of the wounded and formed litter teams to extract them and get them to aid stations. First Sergeant Sturgeon's actions served as an inspiration to all the men and contributed greatly to the successful defense of the landing zone. His gallant action is in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service, and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.’

Soldiers Medal citation:
‘For heroism not involving actual conflict with an armed enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. First Sergeant Sturgeon distinguished himself by heroism on 19 January 1970, while serving as acting Sergeant Major with Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (Airmobile), 7th Cavalry at Fire Support Base Compton, Republic of Vietnam. When a fire broke out in the mortar ammo pit, the intensity of the flames ignited the rounds maintained there. During the subsequent explosions, one of the white phosphorus rounds landed in the center gun pit of the heavy artillery, starting a fire around the high explosive rounds. First Sergeant Sturgeon immediately rushed forward within 20 foot of the blazing mortar pit, continually exposing himself to the exploding rounds in order to combat the raging fire. His concern for the welfare of his fellow soldiers and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit and the United States Army.’

Bronze Star citation: ‘For heroism in connection with military operations against a hostile force: First Sergeant Sturgeon distinguished himself by heroic actions while with Company A, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry on 8 January 1967, when his unit conducted a heliborne combat assault during Operation Cedar Falls. Sergeant Sturgeon's s unit received a high rate of enemy fire around the landing zone, disrupting the maneuverability of the unit against the encircling enemy forces. Sergeant Sturgeon with complete disregard for his own personal safety, moved through the intense enemy fire pointing out targets to the riflemen and re-organizing the unit. He personally led one platoon of the company in advancing against the enemy forces and was a critical factor in his unit's moving off the landing zone and into the objective area. Shortly after he led the lead platoon into the edge of the objective area where it could support the remainder of the company's advance, Sergeant Sturgeon was seriously wounded in the leg and could not move out of his position. However, Sergeant Sturgeon, ignoring his own wound, refused medical evacuation and continued to direct the actions of the lead platoon, supervised the organization of a landing zone for evacuation of the casualties of the company, and kept the company commander advised of the action taking place in that sector of the company. Sergeant Sturgeon continued to assist the company commander in deploying the unit until 'the company had entered the defensive positions of the objective area and a landing zone for a medical evacuation helicopter was secured. Finally after being ordered by the company commander to accept medical evacuation, Sergeant Sturgeon departed the battle field in a medical evacuation helicopter. Sergeant Sturgeon's personal bravery, immediate response to a critical situation, sound tactical judgement, and aggressiveness were key factors in his unit's defeating a well armed and well entrenched enemy force. Sergeant Sturgeon's outstanding display of aggressiveness, devotion to duty and personal bravery is in keeping with the highest standards of the military service and reflect great credit upon him, his unit, the 25th Infantry Division and the United States Army.’

Air Medal citation: ‘The Air Medal is presented to First Sergeant Bobby L. Sturgeon 307367931, United States Army, who distinguished himself by meritorious achievement, while participating in sustained aerial flight, in support of combat ground forces in the Republic of Vietnam. During the period April 1969 to September 1969 he actively participated in more than twenty-five aerial missions over hostile territory in support of operations against communist aggression. During all of these flights, he displayed the highest order of air discipline and acted in accordance with the best traditions of the service. By his determination to accomplish his mission, in spite of the hazards inherent in repeated aerial flights over hostile territory, and by his outstanding degree of professionalism and devotion to duty, he has brought credit upon himself, his organization and the United States Army.’

Bobby Lee Sturgeon was born in Connersville, Indiana, on 3 April 1933. He enlisted into the Army in September 1949 and entered Korea with the 35th Regiment, 25th Division. Wounded by a grenade in Korera, 28 November 1950, he was evacuated to a hospital ship in Inchon Harbour and thence to the 361st Hospital in Tokyo. Discharged from the hospital in January 1951, he served as a military policeman with the 720 MP Battalion in Tokyo. He returned to the U.S.A. receiving an honourable discharge in October 1952.

He re-enlisted into the Army in July 1956 and went on to serve with distinction with the 1st Battalion (Airmobile) 7th Cavalry in Vietnam. Wounded in Vietnam 8 January 1967 and 30 August 1969. Awarded the Silver Star for his services in action on 8 September 1969; awarded the Soldier’s Medal first oak leaf cluster for heroism, not in action, on 19 January 1970. Awarded the Bronze Star for Heroism on 8 January 1967; first oak leaf cluster on 4 November 1969. Awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement in South Vietnam during the period, April-September 1969. Awarded the Army Commendation Medal in Vietnam, for service during July-August 1969 and the first oak leaf cluster on 6 July 1976.

Latterly living at 47112 Corydon, Harrison, Indiana; he died on 6 October 2002 and was buried at Jeffries Cemetery, Leopold, Indiana.

With copied service papers; all highly complimentary - one assessment stating: ‘First Sergeant Sturgeon is the most outstanding Non-commissioned officer that I have served with in 14 years. .... On many occasions he has exposed himself to hostile fire to organize positions, supervise resupply and to treat and evacuate the wounded. ... I can fully recommend 1SG Sturgeon for promotion to SGM.’

With Combat Infantryman 2nd Award Badge and five cloth badges/stripes and four metal pieces of insignia for display purposes.

This lot is sold as seen and is not subject to return. Please see saleroom notice on lot 280 for fuller details.