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Military medal collecting

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Military medals5 of 14Marksmanship Medal RingStrotz Medal, St. John's Military Medal
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Posted 3 years ago

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Militarist
(129 items)

Most military medal collectors start by collectng individual medals. As time goes on things can get interesting when a collector can pick up an entire group of one soldier with photo's and documents. My introduction to groupings came with my father's group illustrated here. Since then I have found more groups in antique shops, malls, gun and militaria shows, estate sales etc. Often the group has been or would be broken up so collecting groups is the ultimate form of historical preservation.

Comments

  1. scottvez scottvez, 3 years ago
    GREAT grouping-- as a 101st vet myself, I am very partial to the Division.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Scott
  2. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 3 years ago
    Wonderful grouping, and so much better when it's a beloved relative!
  3. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 3 years ago
    What are those two items to the right of the "ruptured ducks"?
  4. Militarist Militarist, 3 years ago
    Thanks guys, by the way he was in the 327th Glider Infantry. The two small pins are a American Red Cross Blood Donor pin and a long service pin from the Trostel Tanning Company. His history is some what unusual and interesting so I will post it here:
    Staff Sergeant Borgmann's Unusual History
    Born in Dusseldorf Germany in August of 1907, his first military experience was in 1914 when as a boy watching the German troops parade off to war he was picked up by the soldiers and put on one of the horses of a field artillery unit for a short ride. After the war in 1919 he nearly died of starvation during the allied food blockade. His ordeal and recovery left him a deeply religious man. The civil war in Germany between the Communists and the Nazis convinced him that neither side was any good. He finished his training as a baker and immigrated to the United States in 1927. In the U. S. he found that he was allergic to the bleached flour commonly in use and began learning to cook as new trade. He was the cook at St Josephs Hospital and eventually became a chef at some of Milwaukee's finest restaurants. He became a citizen in 1936 and in 1942 at the age of 35 he was drafted into the U.S.Army were he was assigned to the airborne. At 5 feet tall and weighing less than 120 pounds he was the probably one of the oldest and smallest privates in the army. During basic training it was discovered that he was a baker and a chef and after two months as a Private he was promoted to Technician Fourth Grade (three stripes above the letter "T" ) and put in charge of the mess hall. Before shipping out to Europe he was given the option to transfer to a Pacific bound unit because he had three brothers in the German army. He chose to stay and help liberate his homeland. Of his many experiences during the war the following are the most important. When the army was about to capture Dusseldorf the Germans started to shell the Americans with a large railroad gun. The gun had to be silenced but the Germans kept moving and hiding it between shellings. What was left of Dusseldorf would have to be leveled and the order was about to be given when someone remembered that this was Sgt. Shorty's home town. Based on his childhood memories Borgmann pointed out a few locations on the map where there were railroad tunnel entrances. Those locations were blasted and the gun was never heard from again thus saving the lives of countless civilians huddled in the basements of their bombed out homes. (Dusseldorf was 88% destroyed.)
    Throughout the European Campaign there were always hungry women and children around the army field kitchens begging for food and Sgt. Borgmann always gave away any left over food. This was fine until they crossed the German border when an order came down that from that time on all left over food was to be burned or buried. Sgt. Borgmann refused to obey that order and was charged with a court-martial offense.
    His Catholic Chaplin wouldn't help and only advised him to obey orders. The Lutheran Chaplin however did all he could to help. In his defense Borgmann paraphrased General Eisenhower's statement that the war was a "Christian Crusade" and then said that as Christians it is our duty to bury the dead, heal the sick and FEED THE HUNGRY !
    The charges were dropped and new orders came down permitting Sgt. Borgmann to continue giving away left over food to civilians.
    As the war came to an end the 101st moved into Berchtesgaden where Sgt. Borgmann found a suitable building to commandeer for the mess staff and then informed the family living there in perfect German that they had to pack up and move out. Not the best way to meet a future wife!! In 1948 he returned and married the family's eldest daughter.
  5. Militarist Militarist, 3 years ago
    Thanks Scandi. He was a kind hearted fellow and could be very stubborn on issues like this.
  6. Chrisnp Chrisnp, 3 years ago
    One of our local WWII veterans likes to joke that his German wife was a "jailbird." After having his little joke, he explains that the Nazis put her in prison for providing food to American prisoners of war. Its good to know that humanity can transcend fear of consequences for either side.
  7. Militarist Militarist, 3 years ago
    Thanks Chrisnp, The good people far out number the bad in this world though few of the good ones have the courage of that lady!
  8. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Thank you very much for sharing your fathers grand soul. Beautiful!
  9. petey petey, 2 years ago
    Love the grouping, but made even better with the background story of your father, FANTASTIC.
  10. Harborguy Harborguy, 2 years ago
    Wonderful history! Thanks for sharing.
  11. Militarist Militarist, 2 years ago
    Thanks every one. I'm glad you all liked it. There are so many stories out there just waiting to be told.
  12. sunnygal414 sunnygal414, 2 years ago
    Amazing story, I hope you have had your Dad listed in the archives, we had to list my Father in law as we couldn't find him in WWII memorial archives.
  13. Militarist Militarist, 2 years ago
    Thanks Sunnygal, yes he is listed.
  14. Militarist Militarist, 2 years ago
    Thanks miKKo.
  15. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    You're most welcome, sir. Thank you for posting this. As soon as I saw the 101st Airborne reference on nsvmom's 'Hero's Shadow Box', I thought of the account of your father's service. He has a mighty, towering soul, and in my opinion, his story can't be viewed enough. I had to send it gallery again, and I had to save it to the collection in which I am going to save heroic souls, for refreshment, when I need inspiration. You father could inspire anyone more sentient than a rock. God bless him.
  16. chinablue chinablue, 2 years ago
    What a wonderful and moving story and collection! You're right Militarist, there are many stories out there, but they are being lost because so many of these men have passed without sharing their memories/stories for various and understandable reasons. My father, was haunted until his final breath by his own. What little he shared was both horrifying and heartbreaking. miKKo, the collection you're starting is just one more example of your character and warm heart. Thanks so much for sharing these. :-)
  17. jimborasco jimborasco, 2 years ago
    I am forever grateful for brave soldiers like this. Without them i shudder to think where we as a country would be. My hat is off to him and thousands like him. At this time, and i can only speak for myself, I need a hero. You and nsvmom, who is my daughter, have illustrated exactly what a hero means to me. God bless you and thank you very much for sharing this wonderful display. Jimbo
  18. walksoftly walksoftly, 2 years ago
    What an amazing story, thanks for sharing!
  19. Militarist Militarist, 2 years ago
    Thanks everyone. If my dad were still living I am sure he would have been delighted with your comments. He was proud of his military service but never considered himself a hero.
  20. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 2 years ago
    Thank you very much, chinablue!!! : )

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