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

Date of Auction: 10th & 11th December 2014

Sold for £240

Estimate: £250 - £300

An ‘Italian Campaign’ Silver Star group of thirteen attributed to Colonel Richard S. Smith, 339th Infantry Regiment, 85th Infantry Division

Silver Star; Legion of Merit, Legionnaire’s badge, enamelled, enamel damage; Distinguished Flying Cross; Bronze Star, with ‘V’ emblem and bronze oak leaf cluster on ribbon; Purple Heart, edge numbered, ‘321012’, with bronze oak leaf cluster; Army Commendation Medal, with bronze oak leaf cluster; American Defense Medal; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal; Victory Medal 1945; National Defense Service Medal; Korea Service Medal; U.N. Korea Medal, all unnamed, medals mounted on card together with an 85th Division cloth patch and rank insignia, medals nearly very fine and better (13) £250-300


Silver Star, by General Orders No. 19 of 16 June 1944. ‘Richard S. Smith, (0338937), Major, Infantry, Headquarters Third Battalion 339th Infantry Regiment, United States Army. For gallantry in action on 12 May 1944, in Italy. During a heavy attack against well prepared enemy positions Major Smith commanded his battalion from an advanced observation post. Despite heavy and continuing enemy artillery and small arms fire directed upon his position, he refused an opportunity to withdraw under a smokescreen, although given the opportunity to do so, but continued to supervise artillery support and direct his troops. His exemplary leadership in the face of bitter hostile action was a material factor in the successful accomplishment of the battalion’s mission and reflects great credit upon himself and the military service. Entered the military service from Lincoln, Nebraska.’

Bronze Star, ‘To Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Richard S. Smith, 032305, Infantry for meritorious achievement in ground operations against the enemy, Mediterranean Theatre of Operations, on or about 15 May 1944.’

Bronze Star, ‘To Lieutenant Colonel (then Major) Richard S. Smith, 032305, Infantry for Heroism in Ground Combat, Italy, 6 June 1944.’ (A rare award for a field officer).

Richard Secord Smith, born in Nebraska, 20 April 1914. Graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1936. Appointed 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry Reserve on 8 June 1936. Promoted to 1st Lieutenant, January 1941; Captain, February 1942; Major, January 1943; Lieutenant Colonel, July 1944. He attained the rank of Colonel in 1955.

original Certificates of Award for the two Bronze Stars, both dated 8 August 1950; with Department of the Army letter to accompany the certificates, dated 8 August 1950; copied citation and some service details.

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