AR20140000098

IN THE CASE OF:

BOARD DATE: 19 August 2014

DOCKET NUMBER: AR20140000098

THE BOARD CONSIDERED THE FOLLOWING EVIDENCE:

1. Application for correction of military records (with supporting documents provided, if any).

2. Military Personnel Records and advisory opinions (if any).

THE APPLICANT’S REQUEST, STATEMENT, AND EVIDENCE:

1. The applicant requests correction of his records to show:

* his induction date as 10June 1944 instead of 11June 1945
* award of the Combat Infantryman Badge and Bronze Star Medal

2. The applicant states, in effect:

* his records do not include his:

* basic training at CampRobinson, Arkansas
* service in the Battle of the Bulge on 16and 17December 1944
* hospitalization at IndiantownGap Military Reservation from January through April 1945

* his induction date compounds his date of transfer to the 1325thService Command Unit from the 28thInfantry Division

3. The applicant provides:

* a photograph of himself
* WDAGOForm53-55 (Enlisted Record and Report of Separation Honorable Discharge)
* National Archives and Records Administration (NA) Form13038 (Certification of Military Service)
* news article, dated 9November 2012
* Engle Online Readers Services article titled “Tel Hai Recounts Veteran’s Story”
* Congressional correspondence

CONSIDERATION OF EVIDENCE:

1. Title10, U.S.Code, section1552(b), provides that applications for correction of military records must be filed within 3years after discovery of the alleged error or injustice. This provision of law also allows the Army Board for Correction of Military Records (ABCMR) to excuse an applicant’s failure to timely file within the 3-year statute of limitations if the ABCMR determines it would be in the interest of justice to do so. While it appears the applicant did not file within the time frame provided in the statute of limitations, the ABCMR has elected to conduct a substantive review of this case and, only to the extent relief, if any, is granted, has determined it is in the interest of justice to excuse the applicant’s failure to timely file. In all other respects, there are insufficient bases to waive the statute of limitations for timely filing.

2. The applicant’s complete military and medical records are not available to the Board for review. A fire destroyed approximately 18million service members’ records at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in 1973. It is believed the applicant’s records were lost or destroyed in that fire. The case is being considered using his WDAGOForm53-55, NPRC reconstructed records, and documents provided by the applicant.

3. The applicant’s WDAGOForm53-55 shows:

* he was inducted into the Army of the UnitedStates on 11June 1945
* his military occupational specialty was 405 (Clerk Typist)
* he had no service outside the continental UnitedStates
* he was not credited with any battle or campaign credit
* he did not receive any awards and decorations
* he did not receive any wounds in action
* he was assigned to the 1325thServices Command Unit
* he was credited with 2months and 28days of service
* he was honorably discharged on 9September 1945 under the provisions of Army Regulation 615-369 (Enlisted Men Discharge Inaptitude or Unsuitability)

4. A WD AGO Form 371 (Final Payroll Worksheet) shows the applicant’s enlistment, induction, or call to active duty date as 11 June 1945.

5. The applicant provided a letter from NPRC explaining his records were burned. He also provided a photograph of himself; his WDAGOForm53-55; an NAForm13038 that shows his induction date as 11June 1945; two news articles about himself prior to, during, and after his military service; and Congressional correspondence.

6. Army Regulation 600-8-22 (Military Awards) prescribes Army policy, criteria, and administrative instructions concerning individual and unit military awards.

a. The Combat Infantryman Badge was established during WorldWarII to provide special recognition of the unique role of the Army infantryman, the only Soldier whose daily mission is to close with and destroy the enemy and to seize and hold terrain. The badge was intended as an inducement for individuals to join the infantry while serving as a morale booster for infantrymen. In developing the Combat Infantryman Badge, the War Department did not dismiss or ignore the contributions of other branches. Their vital contributions to the overall war effort were noted, but it was decided that other awards and decorations were sufficient to recognize their contributions. From the beginning, Army leadership has taken care to retain the badge for the unique purpose for which it was established. The War Department received requests to award the Combat Infantryman Badge to non-infantry individuals and units employed as infantry during tactical emergencies. All of those requests were disapproved based on the fact that the regular infantryman lived, slept, ate, and fought as an infantryman on a continuous and indefinite basis without regard to the tactical situation.

b. The Bronze Star Medal is awarded in time of war for heroism and for meritorious achievement or service not involving participation in aerial flight in connection with military operations against an armed enemy or while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing armed force in which the UnitedStates is not a belligerent party. As with all personal decorations, formal recommendations, approval through the chain of command, and announcement in orders are required.

c. The Bronze Star Medal is authorized for each individual who was cited in orders or awarded a certificate for exemplary conduct in ground combat between 7December 1941 and 2September 1945 or whose achievement or service, during that period, was confirmed by documents executed prior to 1July 1947. An award of the Combat Infantryman Badge or the Combat Medical Badge is considered to be a citation in orders for award of the Bronze Star Medal. Therefore, the Bronze Star Medal is to be awarded to individuals who were authorized either badge for service during WorldWarII.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS:

1. The available evidence is insufficient as a basis upon which to correct the applicant’s records to show his induction date as 10June 1944 and award him the Combat Infantryman Badge and Bronze Star Medal.

2. Unfortunately, other than the news articles he provided, there is no evidence showing he served an earlier period of service or served outside the continental UnitedStates.

3. Although the Bronze Star Medal is awarded to individuals who were authorized the Combat Infantryman Badge for service during WorldWarII, there is insufficient evidence showing he held an infantry specialty or served in combat with infantry or infantry-type units on tactical operations.

4. In the absence of documentary evidence showing otherwise, it must be presumed that his information was properly entered on his WDAGOForm53-55.

BOARD VOTE:

________ ________ ________ GRANT FULL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT PARTIAL RELIEF

________ ________ ________ GRANT FORMAL HEARING

___x____ ___x____ ____x____ DENY APPLICATION

BOARD DETERMINATION/RECOMMENDATION:

The evidence presented does not demonstrate the existence of a probable error or injustice. Therefore, the Board determined that the overall merits of this case are insufficient as a basis for correction of the records of the individual concerned.

_______ _ _x______ ___
CHAIRPERSON

I certify that herein is recorded the true and complete record of the proceedings of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records in this case.

ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20140000098

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ABCMR Record of Proceedings (cont) AR20140000098

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